My fourth year in China was hard, but it was a pivot point. I learned more about what I wanted from life. In some ways it was the end of youthful angst. My attitude was shifting, and my direction in life becoming more clear.
There’s been a lot of great stuff happening in youth ministry over the past few weeks. It’s hard to explain how much preparation went into all these events, how much joy I find in them, and in each of the students who were part of them.
The last two weekends were my last Fall Youth Camps in Beijing. Youth camps are a LOT of work but worth it. The shared experience of camp helps lasting friendships develop. It’s also a chance to get away from “real life” and have space to think.
I struggle to tell you what I actually do in an interesting way. The highlights of my work are people and I don’t feel comfortable sharing stories that don’t belong to me alone. But I love what I do, and I want to share it with you.
Part 2 of my Great Wall Adventures spans 2006-2013 and includes Mutianyu, Badaling, Laolongtou, Zhengbeilou, Huanghuacheng, and even Yumen Pass in Gansu province. But my favourite is probably Mutianyu covered with snow!
A fun thing about my trips to Cambodia is relationships with the TCKs there. A highlight of the trip was when two students made comments about “saying goodbye to Tanya is easy – I know she’ll be back”. In TCK world, that’s a big deal.
My church expects to lose 30% of the total congregation every year. Last year the youth group lost 50% of our regulars. Cleaning out phone contacts I removed 39 people without deleting recent graduates – from a phone only 9 months old.