Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random China Topic: Water

This is the first in a series of random topics from the China trip. Today's topic is water.

Water is something that we take for granted, walk over to the tap and take a drink of cool water. In China ... not so much! You are not to drink the water in China; not just the visitors but the nationals do not drink the water at all.

The tap water has a strong sulfur smell and is naturally very soft water; however, no one drinks the water! We were even told to use bottled water for brushing your teeth.

Speaking of bottled water ... when we went to a restaurant to eat, we would order water and 90% of the bottled water was room temperature. Because of the poor water quality there is no ice and from what I could see very little refrigeration for water alone.

One more "water" observation ... I don't have a clever way to tell this so I'll just put it out there. In China it is totally acceptable to water your grass/lawn with raw sewage water. I'm totally NOT joking here! They literally drop a sump-pump into an open manhole and and start pumping out the "water"! I'm not kidding it reeks! As I'm watching this process happen I'm thinking that just a few hours before the "watering" began I was playing with the kids in that grass! GROSS!

Just thinking about it ... now I feel like I need a shower! More topics to come, none quite this gross; well there is the WalMart post that is coming!

I remain,
Pastor Steve

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thanks For Checking In!!!

I know it has been a while but I just finished a couple of big weeks of ministry at summer camp.

Special Camp:

The first week of June found me once again at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp (IRBC) for a week of Special Camp. We had 87 campers with both physical and mental handicaps, 30 staff people which include counselors, 3 teachers, 6 craft workers and 4 program staff.

The weather was pretty good with a couple of days of rain. However, we always plan for rain days. overall, everyone had a wonderful week!

Junior Boys Camp:

This past week was our Junior Boys Camp. 250 junior boys! Wow now there is a bit of energy! What an incredible experience! I love junior boys week!

There are tons of activities like: Zip Line, a 40 foot climbing wall, jumbo dog & tubing, boat rides, archery, night hikes, campfires, swimming, bumper boats, paddle boats, mini-golf, disk golf, gaga ball & box hockey just to mention a few!

I am soooooo tired this morning! got home from camp, mowed the yard and get all my gear stowed. I finally got the opportunity to sit down and pound out some thoughts.

Another Note:

Take heart - I have a ton of topics to cover from the China Trip. The list is long and varied and I'm looking forward to getting in some new posts this week. I'm traveling to Chicago on Monday for the GARBC National Conference. While busy at the conference, I will have time to do some blogging and some twittering.

Talk to you all soon,

Pastor Steve

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bits & Balderdash


Our flight from Beijing to Chicago left Thursday afternoon at 4:00 PM Beijing time and we landed in Chicago at 4:13 PM Thursday afternoon. A 13.5 hour flight in just 3 minutes!! BRUTAL!!!

Got to bed Thursday night at just before midnight ... was wide awake at 2:30 AM. got up and did my laundry, drank some tea and at 5:30 AM Susan was up for the day. I stayed awake with out a nap all day Friday and slept fairly well Friday night. Saturday night was even better and from then I think I'm on top of this sleepless in Clear Lake thing!

Memorial Day:

Monday was Memorial Day and I had the incredible privilege to serve as the honorary Chaplin for the day. This entailed a prayer at the Sea Wall as a wreath was laid commemorating those soldiers who lost their lives at sea defending our country. From the Sea Wall, we moved to the Clear Lake Cemetery where there was a speaker, more wreath laying and I opened and closed this part of the day in prayer as well.

This was very special as my Dad was a WWII veteran and taught all of his kids to love this country as well as to honor those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The days activities came to an end with a lone trumpeter playing "Taps". Hearing this song, I'm always finding my self choked up with a huge knot in my throat. I'm so thankful for my Dad and all of the men and women like him who have faithfully serving our country! BTW, We need to be mindful of the families and loved ones left behind as other go off to serve ... sacrifice is sacrifice - Thank you!


I know that I'm already behind on my postings about China. But rest assured that I will be posting about China for a long time. The trip was eye-opening and life altering. I know that sounds over the top but it is true. The most asked question has been what is the one thing that stood out to you the most while in China? The answer to that is simple ... in China because these children are "broken" they are tossed out like yesterdays trash. I'll explain that more in future posts, but that is the short answer.

Here are a few pictures of the kids we met:

This is Tony
This is my "special" buddy - Henry

My Mom:

Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday so I'm headed to Des Moines for a birthday celebration with my family. This should be a blast as we alway have the best of times when we are able to get together.

More to come....

Pastor Steve