Posts in Lisa Speckhard
Heaping Plates of Grace: Returning from China to the United States

Perhaps you’ve worked and lived overseas and were required to attend a debriefing session. It’s very possible you heard a story that goes something like this: “I went to the grocery store to pick up cereal, but when I got to the cereal aisle, I was totally overwhelmed with all the choices. I just had to sit down and cry!” Not to belittle those who have experienced these emotions, but when I heard this story at my own debriefing a few days before returning home, my exact thought was, “HA! Tears of joy, maybe.” I had just spent a year in Sichuan, China, as a university teacher and, for the most part, loved it. From what I’ve seen and heard, spending a single year in a country seems to be somewhat of a gamble, because if things start out terrible, there is not much time to turn it around. My coin flip ended happily. I lived on campus with my fun and functional team, which enabled us to interact with our students frequently. My classes were well behaved and the subject (oral English) relatively simple to plan. I became friends with students and visited their hometowns, along with other major cities in China. I got to constantly enjoy spicy food and become pals with the restaurant owners. My teammate and I even had the opportunity to lead a study on the Word for our students. Some of them came to know Christ, and all of them heard things about Christ they never knew before. All in all, it was a very positive experience, but I was also very excited to come home and enjoy some of the aforementioned cereal benefits.

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