In July 2018 Friends Christian School welcomed students from China for a one week visit. They came to classes with us, we went on field trips together, we showed them the mall, and we made friends. Their English was sometimes difficult to understand and our Mandarin was horrible, but we communicated pretty well. We learned about their culture. We shared about our culture. We competed in STEM Challenges. We played Uno and Gaga Ball and laughed together. They downloaded Google. We downloaded WeChat. And when they left we missed them.
In September I got to go see them! I was invited to visit their school, Zhuhai WenYuan Middle School, and a few other schools as well. It was surreal to be so far away from home and see friendly faces!
I observed an English lesson, military training, an orchestra performance, an awards assembly, and more. I met students who giggle at newcomers but were happy to high five an American stranger, teachers who work to implement technology in their classrooms and get nervous when observed, and administrators eager to brag on their school and show off their awards. I saw how eager the educators in China were to collaborate with us.
I shared about FCS, how we value each student and their talents and abilities.This was intriguing to them. I bragged about our arts program, STEM projects, and athletics. They were impressed. I told them that we are in Yorba Linda, home of Richard Nixon. They love Richard Nixon. I told them if they came to visit we would welcome them with open arms!
Now they are coming! They will be here in January! Our administrators will brag about the hospitality of FCS families. Our teachers will make learning come alive in their classrooms like they do every day. Our students will smile and laugh and connect with their new friends from the other side of the world.
Their English might be difficult to understand and our Mandarin will no doubt be impossible to understand, but we will communicate. Our new Chinese friends will hear about Jesus’ love for them in class each day. They will see Jesus in our lives in how we treat one another. They will feel the hope and freedom we have in our salvation. They won’t need to download Google and we won’t need WeChat to communicate the most important message of all.
July 2018 in Yorba Linda at Friends Christian Middle School
September 2018 at Zhuhai WenYuan Middle School in China