"Happy Spring Festival!"

Because of where Josh is currently located, he’s unable to use any religious language in his updates. “Sky-Dad” is how he refers to God, and “lifting up” refers to prayer.

Happy New Year!

The Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) is in full swing... 4 days in!

Hello everyone! The biggest holiday in China is currently underway. Night 1 was a bombardment of fireworks that puts every July 4 celebration I've ever seen to shame. There was not a single moment in the entire day when I couldn't hear fireworks going off. It was pretty incredible, but also a little tough when it was 1AM and I couldn't go to sleep due to fireworks going off outside my window. There's a video on my Facebook page that captures this nicely.

The semester ended in the beginning of January and school won't start again until the end of February. The students and friends I've been pouring into have gone home and the campus is empty. You might be wondering how I've been spending my time if there's nothing for me to do. Well, the past couple of weeks the new teachers and I were in Tianjin taking a course to improve our teaching. It was definitely a challenge, but we all came out of the course being better equipped as teachers. It's thanks to YOUR support that I was able to take this course. Sky-dad will be well pleased with our improvement as teachers. We all still have one more (big) homework assignment before we get our certification, but it will be well worth it! Thank you all for making it possible for me to take this class.

What's next, you ask? Well, [our teaching conference] of course! In case you haven't heard our conference is in Thailand this year. I am currently in a hostel in Beijing awaiting my flight which leaves tomorrow afternoon. The conference will be a good time to process our work this past semester and to learn from some great teachers. The intensive equipped us to be better at our jobs and the conference will equip us to be better at our other job. We all are looking forward to this time of listening and reflection. We will have a couple days of adventure in Thailand before the conference begins.

Things to lift up

  • That our time in Thailand is fruitful. Oh, and safe. Safety would be nice.
  • The skills we learned in the TESOL training course will be implemented in our teaching to bring joy to Him. And English to students.
  • That I would be better at emailing YOU! You provided the way for me to be here and I need to send you more updates on OUR work in China.
  • That I trust in Sky-Dad to show me the ways he wants to use me this coming semester with students and friends and my team.

If you're interested in getting Josh's updates via email, email Val Catrow at val@citychurchrva.com and she'll get you in touch with him. IMPORTANT NOTE: because of the current environment where he's serving, please refrain from using any Christian or religious language.