Sunday, August 28, 2011

Touring Day in Guangzhou

This morning there was no driver, so we had to catch a cab to the other hotel and meet up with the two other families and our guide.  We started the day at Sun Yat-sun Memorial Hall.  He is considered the "father of the country" compared to George Washington in the USA.  It was a very warm day filled with much walking, but we did see some interesting things. 

While we were in the amphitheater, a man approached our guide and asked if he could take pictures of Tommy. (Here we go again!)  She asked us and we said yes, so he posed for a picture with Tommy and Elsie took the pics.  So, thinking that this was the end of it and moving ahead with our group, I notice that this man is following us all over and snapping pictures of Tommy.  He wasn't creepy, just completely enthralled with his fair skin and blond hair.  Then, he asked for Elsie's email address and said that he would email her the pictures.  The funniest thing was that as Elsie was taking a large group photo of all the families together, there he was again, snapping away.  Finally, he asked her if he could get IN the photo with the whole group.  So, once again she grabbed his camera and took a picture of him with us.  It really was quite comical! 

This rock has chinese writings carved into it that spell out some of the positive attributes of Guangzhou.  My Chamber of Commerce Colleagues would have been proud. It was a memorial to the city of sorts.  As you can imagine, as Tommy posed for this photo, there was more than one camera at work.  After the memorial, we headed over to one of the most famous Buddist temples in China.  The "Six Banyan Temple". 

It was such a surreal experience for me to walk through this temple and see all the local people who were there burning incense and worshiping these statues.  It was an opportunity to talk to Tommy about idolatry and why we have no need of idols because we have Christ.  I kept listening to the guide share about the history of Buddism and Taoism (its predecessor in China) and felt so deeply sad for these people.  Of course, I wondered what religious background, if any, Colin experienced so far in his life.

These "Kings" are in a place of signifigance as protectors of the Budda.  People were swarming to bow before them also.

Two of the three buddas in the temple.  Each represents the past, present and future lives that Buddists believe they have.

Buddist Monk.  One of the families that we were with asked him to preform a blessing on their new child.

While it was an architechturally beautiful place, it was a sad place of lost souls.  There was, however, a bright spot---no-- a wonderful part of this visit.  While we were learning about one more in a long line of "buddas", one of the husbands from our group asked Elsie if she had a religious belief system.  She did not bat an eye and responded, "yes, I am a Christian."  I was suddenly very relieved.  I asked her if she experienced any problems in China as a Christian.  She said, no.  She explained that there was freedom of religion in China (not sure if that is true all over, or even if it is true by our definition) but that was her response.  I mentioned to her that I was concerned about how Colin might respond to our faith.  It was then that she told me about a conversation that she had just had with our son.  Apparently, she had mentioned to him (in Chinese) that she did not believe in Budda.  His reply was, "I don't either!"  Praise the Lord. That is a good start. I relaize that not believing in Budda is a long way from a relationship with Christ, but it sure did make my day!  It hurt my heart to think that he would participate in such a futile system of worship.  For all you prayer warriors out there, please join me now in praying that Colin's heart would be open to the gospel and that he would find a lasting relationship with the Lord while he is still young.

Once our tours were over, we all drove over to a nearby Mall and ate at a nice Malaysian restaurant for lunch.  The food was quite good.  After lunch, Elsie hailed a cab for us and we came back to the hotel.  While at lunch, I mentioned to her that we wanted to find a bookstore so that we could look for the Chinese print of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis  I wanted to get Colin some good reading materials that I thought he would enjoy, but that I could be sure were age appropriate.  I received this set of books when I was a little younger than Colin and I loved them. In fact, I still have them.  I figured that once Colin has read them in his own language and knows the stories, it will help him navigate the English vocabulary when he reads them in English.  We will present these to him tomorrow when we celebrate his birthday.

Now this beauty, was also purchased today by special request.  We were asked by a fmaily member to get them a "lucky cat".  Of course, I had no idea what a "lucky cat" was, but apparently it was not that tough to figure out.  The hand of this cat waves forward and back to indicate prosperity or "money grabbing".  So, if we can get it home without incident, it's all yours friend!

Hey Kim--- this bookstore was unbelievable.  HUGE= five stories. But, it was like manuevering in an ant colony.  I have never seen so many people.  We were fortunate not to lose Tommy in the crowd.  The store is a few blocks away from the Westin.  Don't have an exact address for you, but well worth the trip over there.

Love to you all,

Happy Sunday to you all!


kimjax said...

So I'll need my sis with me if we hit the bookstore! I've heard it's crowded. Did they have recognizable titles or did you need your guide to find stuff? So glad everything is going well - sounds like you have a great guide!

Jenni Hester said...

Praying for Colin's precious soul to know our Savior!! What a great way to introduce Colin to Jesus with Aslan! How lovely that God is orchestrating these times for Tommy to feel special with the unexpected attention :)

Chelsea Gour said...

We had Elsie for a guide when we were there adopting Claire. She is very sweet!

Monica said...

Enjoying reading of your adventures with your new son. Especially enjoyed the entries from Shenyang as we were there in December when it was too cold to go out much.
(mom to Shen Jia Wen from Shenyang SWI)

Annie said...

Praying for Colin to be one day filled with the Holy Spirit!!!

Carmi said...

Will be praying for Colin. One awesome thing that happened for us before we traveled for Zane was that I met a lady here in Mooresville who is a Chinese Christian. I told her about going to adopt Zane and asked her to come and talk to him in Mandarin when we brought him home. She was such a blessing to our family and to Zane. You might check around in Charleston to find out if there is a Chinese church. There is one here in Mooresville. Unfortunately we don't get to go as often as we would like.