Monday, June 9, 2008

Farewell to our foreign friend

For the past six months we have had the wonderful priveledge of getting to know a very special girl from Hong Kong. Her name is Fai Ching, she goes by Crystal as well, and she has been such a joy to know and spend time with. We were matched with her back in January through the International Friendship Program at the local university, when she had just arrived to study marketing for the semester. We became friends right away and I was just amazed at how God had matched her with our family so perfectly. I loved having someone to talk about China with and I think she was just suprised that I was so interested in all of the different Asian cultures. Although she only spent 6 months here living in the dorms without a car, we managed to squeeze quite a bit of time in with her before she had to return home. She even lived with us for the last 3 weeks!
And so, sadly last week we had to say goodbye to our sweet friend as she left back for Hong Kong. We have promised to continue to keep in touch, and one funny thing she said before she left was if I was ever going to be in Asia then to call her and she'd come see us. I told her Asia is a big continent! and she said that didn't matter, she'd find a way. :-) She is especially excited about our little girl who will be from Asia. Fai Ching we love you and miss you already!

On her 21st birthday with her sweet Malaysian friend Shi Ying (not sure if I spelled that right?)

One of the highlights of our time with her was getting to celebrate Chinese New Year together. We started this tradition last year but it was especially fun to have someone Chinese spend it with us. We had so much good food and neat decorations. She showed us how to make dumplings and we showed her how to make fortune cookies (which is totally an American thing by the way)!

We also were priveledged to be able to witness her baptism which happened on Good Friday. It was such a blessing to be able to be a part of the work that God is doing in this young girl's life.

I want to encourage each of you reading this to consider being a part of an International student's life. Whether it is through the friendship program, Intervarsity, or even hosting someone in your home for a semester or two- you will be blessed. There are many students who are so lonely when they come to the U.S. and just by being available to have a student or two over for dinner or to go bowling or shopping with, it means so much to them! And it has lasting impact on your kids as well. This picture is of Fai Ching and her Malaysian friends who are here for 2 years. They have left for the summer, but my hope is that we will be able to connect with them this fall when they come back and hopefully be able to eventually connect with some Korean students too!

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