An Unconventional 4th of July From the Great Wall

Happy 4th of July!!!!!
Let me pause for a moment to point out that I spent 4th of July in America when I was 12 and I have only spent one there since… now I am 20.  That is a lot of 4th of July’s in other countries.  Honestly I think that it has given me a better appreciation for the holiday.  Seriously, spend an Independence Day away from the States, away from the bbq’s, the fireworks, the red, white, and blue overload, the festivities, and all the pomp and pageantry that we focus on in America… Here they just celebrated 90 years of Communism 2 days ago.  Talk about a contrast.  

Different? Yes.  Perfect 4th of July?  Just about.  Very few things could be added to today’s adventures. Maybe some watermelon and fireworks… Here I celebrated the 4th of July by climbing the Great Wall, praying over this nation and America, wishing a happy 4th of July to every foreigner I saw on the wall, and singing patriotic songs on the Great Wall.

Sadly this is my last say with Kate and Alex, my last night in this king bed we have shared for last few days of our adventures.  It has been great to hear them debriefing and begin my own debriefing process.  I am going to miss the fellowship with them.  They have been a blessing to me this summer.  Their accountability, encouragement, and likemindedness have been a large part of my summer.
It will be a boring train ride home by myself tomorrow…
But back to today…
The Great Wall is indeed great.  I enjoyed it so much, and when I live in China someday I definitely wouldn’t mind going back.  The view is amazing.  The climb was fun and invigorating.  We had quite an adventure and took some great pictures (which will be on facebook in a couple of weeks).   We also spent time in this really desolate part of the wall just reading our Bibles and praying… quiet time and intercession on the Great Wall… who needs fireworks on the 4th of July when they have that?
After a long, hot day of sweating and getting our tan on we headed back into town.  Through the help of a sweet Chinese girl who took pity on us, we found a bus to get back into Beijing.  After that hour and a half it took us another 45 minutes to get a taxi to our hotel… tai mafan. Word to the wise: don’t try to get a taxi in Beijing around dinner time…
Once we got home to the Ba Ba Binguan we went to our regular/favorite restaurant again. Last night when we ate there they noticed that it was our second night there and asked if we were going to be coming back again.  We told them yes, and we kept our word. 

To celebrate our last night together, Kate and Alex’s last night in China, and the 4th of July we had a feast of all our favorite dishes definitely some gluttony, but we DID WORK on that meal.  The next stop was ice cream. Lol.
After that we went to get a taxi… we were passed by multiple ones.  That is one of the most frustrating things. BUT it ended up being a God moment. While taxi’s were passing us by He brought a hungry, begging brother and sister into our path.  We were able to help them and pray for them… we had a chance to tangibly be Jesus.  As soon as that encounter was over we got a taxi immediately.  I really think that God was keeping us there for that specific reason.
That taxi took us to Tiananmen Square.  We went there because that area is absolutely beautiful at night!  So we walked around, digested our massive meal, and prayed some more. 

This is the point in today’s shenanigans when things took a turn for VERY entertaining.   See China doesn’t have the most happening night life… catching  a taxi at 10:30 is no easy task.  We finally hopped in this little motorized rickshaw that was not made to carry 3 people. Lol.  That ride should have taken at maximum 30 minutes, but instead it took us a solid hour because our driver had NO CLUE where we were going… But the Lord provided a nice woman who spoke English and knew where our hotel was!!!!
So that is our day in a nutshell.  There are so many more details than that.  BUT the long and short is that we prayed a lot, we climbed the Great Wall, had a great time, ate too much, and saw God’s goodness by providing for us and being used to provide for others.
Tomorrow I get some quality alone time on the train. Pray for safe travels for all three of us and for divine appointments along the way.
I have 3 weeks left here… time to make the most of them.
Mingtian qu Qinhai,
Devra
Ps… “Happy 4th of July. Go Communism!” ~Kate Reeves
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