Blitzen, Blitzkrieg, Blitz till the End

So it has been 1, 2, 3, 4… 4ish days since I wrote to you last.  There is quite a bit to catch you up on. Some of it has been eventful and others parts need to step up their game a bit.  But all in all life is still a daily adventure here in Zhōngguó (that is Chinese for China ps).
So backtracking a bit… last Thursday and Friday I helped pack and move the family’s stuff out of the apartment we lived in at the beginning of the summer. On Friday evening we went to a 1 year old birthday party with a bunch of other foreign families bursting with children.  Seriously, sometimes it seems like these people all have small armies.
Saturday I spent most of my day helping test elementary school students on their English and then went and moved some more. So those were long, busy, crazy scheduled 3 days.
Now Sunday is when things get interesting.  Ok, actually they weren’t that interesting because I laid in bed literally the entire day.  No joke.  Sunday morning I woke up feeling sick.  This was a major bummer because it was my last Sunday in Xinning and I wanted to go to some various fellowships, see some friends, and maybe climb an oversized hill as well. But apparently God had other plans.  I spent all day queasy and not eating anything.  Then when my stomach started feeling better I had chills and aches like a fever.  Turns out I got some nasty little 24 hour stomach bug from one of the small army members (aka kid) at Friday’s birthday party.
Well 48 hours later I am proud to say that I have risen from the dead.  Ok, so I am being dramatic, but really I am healthy again.  I got to play soccer last night after I got a pedicure with some friends!  And then today I met up with a friend of Will’s from UK who happens to be in the same city as me at the university that is literally across the street… Crazy huh?!  That was a lot of fun!  And my first time ordering a meal on my own at a restaurant without a picture menu… scratch that it is the second time.  The first time was my second week in China and I was not nearly as successful lol.
After that I came back and hung out with the kids for a while.  A bit later I went running, which was quite an adventure.  Adventure is all in the eye of the beholder, but allow me to recount the events of this evening’s run for you:
-I run around the corner (after I already smiled at and said hello to the security guards here… I like to be friends with law enforcement) and as soon as I get around the corner there is Corrie (the girl from lunch who knows Will) and a bunch of people going to dinner (those are the moments you don’t feel like you are in China).  I stopped and said hello and she told them all how she knew me.
-then I kept running to the soccer field where there is a track
-As always, I  have my headphones in so I don’t notice the stares from everyone I run past.
 -I get to the field and they are playing baseball on one end and some guys taking shots (as in kicking a soccer ball) on the other end.  The baseball team did not look that good.  One guy seems like a decent hitter, and their 1st baseman is good… really agile and limber.  Unfortunately he was wearing a yankees hat. I picked up a few stray balls and tossed them back as I ran.
-After running about a mile there I stopped and just jumped in with the soccer guys.
-after I did that for about 15 min I ran another lap and then ran home.
…now my story is more comical.
-in my typical graceful fashion…  I totally tripped over the gate to the apt complex.  I mean big time tripped. I hit my whole foot on the bottom of the gate and WIPED OUT (if life had a background track that Beach Boys song would have been playing).  Now I have a nice scrape that will leave a good bruise all up my left shin.  The gate keeper came out and there was a man right behind me…  they probably thought I was drunk or something…
-Then I walked past my security guard friends again and asked them if they had eaten (common Chinese greeting.  It is the equivalent of “what’s up” or “how ya doin?” in the States).
-After they answered to the affirmative and asked me back I chased down these two boys on Ripsticks and said “wo keyi ma?” (can i?) and they said “keyi” (yes) so I rode on that a bit. 
Anyway it was an eventful run.  Tonight I made peanut butter cookies with Ariel and Gabriel.  That was a lot of fun.   Honestly, I think those two can roll dough into a more spherical ball than I can. 
Tomorrow we head back to Gansu province, and tomorrow night at midnight I hope to watch the USA women in the semifinal of the World Cup.
I only have 11 days left before I begin my travels home.  I can’t believe it is so soon.  I feel like I am right in the middle of the best moments here though.  Best worship, best fellowship, fun adventures, and just a lot of joy and grace from the Lord.
Please be praying for all the ministry going on in this country and for all the teams who are here to be used by the Lord.  They need your prayers.
Check back in soon!
Devra
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