Luzhou Vocational and Technical College Begins a New Semester
The semester has begun in China without me.
The new president of the English Association (our campus-wide English Club) has been in contact with me already about most recent club members who signed up for the Spring 2021 term. Her name is Anna and she asked me to create a video for her to show at their “Welcome” meeting, which introduces newcomers to what the club does . My mom participated by helping me record an upbeat message of warmth and fun. We ended with a song, me holding rescue Bridget in my arms, and wishing everyone good luck in their studies.
Anna also asked for past photos of English Association activities during the last few years. I had to dig a bit on my computer but I found about 40 visuals of different events held throughout the years: Mooncake Festival, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, English Corner and English Center gatherings and the Drama Contest.
She will put together a slideshow of these to present during that opening meeting so others will see what the Association has done in the past and, hopefully, will arrange for the next few months.
During our WeChat texts, I shared with Anna my worries concerning the English Language Resource Center being closed all this time. I think the last to use it on a regular basis was me, over a year ago, when several of the Association members and I tidied up the room before leaving for the holidays.
Anna assured me she planned to gather a group together to clean the room and make sure it is open 3 times a week so students could use it. If I were there, I would have already arranged the volunteers to help with that. Anna seemed very keen to get that started up again so we will be working together to see it’s taken care of, even though I am halfway around the world.
One does have to praise technology on these occasions. How very grateful I am that we can keep in touch so quickly and easily through our cell phones.
Updates of Foreigners Returning
On March 15, new policies went into effect in China regarding those of us stuck overseas, hoping to return.
Chinese nationals and their families, plus other special interest individuals, can now re-enter the country with the Chinese vaccine having been given. Either certified proof of the full 2 doses is required or a single dose shot is needed, taken 14 days prior to applying for the authorized visa.
Further notice was given that China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has announced that “the country plans to issue international electronic health certificates and implement mutual recognition of other countries’ nucleic acid testing and inoculation, to allow “a healthy, safe, and regulated new order for cross-border exchanges of people.”
There was no date on when that will be instigated but I am hoping it will be this summer so that I can return in August to get ready for my college’s Fall semester.
My school checks often with the local city government officials so when the above goes into effect, my invitation letter can then be authorized, sent to me and I can begin the visa process from this end at the China consulate. It’s a step forward, not backward, so that’s always good news.
My Global Ministries’ Position
As a Mission Advocate for the North Central Jurisdiction, I’ve been very busy these past months meeting many wonderful mission groups and church individuals from across the country, all through the wonders of Zoom.
The best hours spent have been attending virtual mission trips. Since Covid has grounded so many volunteers in mission (VIM), we are meeting in a virtual environment.
These are quite wonderful. If you’re interested, go to umvim.org (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) and sign up. You don’t have to belong to the Methodist church to attend. We’ve had several who are from other denominations yet heard that the Methodists had these trips offered so they joined us. I signed up for the Congo in April.
If you’re wondering, these “trips” are taken over a period of a few hours or several days, depending on what kind of format is used. You get to Zoom with others across the States and those in the country where the journey takes place. You’ll learn about the the mission project highlighted, meet the people involved, plus be able to interact with others by asking questions, sharing opinions and learning something new. You’ll feel as if you really have gone somewhere, even though you’re sitting right in the comfort of your own living room.
And it’s all for free!! Why not try it and join in? Look for me!!
And on that last note, as always, here’s wishing you 平安 (Ping An, Peace) for your weekend.