One year ago

On May 24, 2010, we packed up five suitcases, a guitar, a stroller, and our most precious possessions, which is each other, and left for China. We have only begun to learn what it means to lean not on our own understanding and to not look back. I have never adapted more, or learned more in my entire life than I have in the last year.  While Jim has never worked harder in his life than he has this past year.

Our challenges in China have included having minimal time with Jim due to his 6-day workweek, dealing with a 30-day exit entry visa which required monthly trips out of the country, learning an extremely difficult language and learning how to navigate and thrive in a fast-paced city.

In spite of the challenges, we have found many rewards here in China. We are grateful that Jim has a challenging, yet well paying job in this crazy economy. Serving at Abundant Grace International Fellowship, I as a keyboardist and worship leader and Jim as a sound engineer, have enriched our lives. We have had the unique pleasure of being a part of the core team to start a new Saturday service aimed at the lost and people who are “young at heart” in Shanghai.

One of our biggest rewards is seeing the development of Jameson’s Mandarin skills as well as his knowledge of Chinese culture. I know it is difficult to believe that 2 ½-year old can learn and converse in a foreign language in such a short time, but he has learned so much and has daily conversations with Ayi that are just gorgeous.

Our other great reward is the joy of bringing a new baby girl into the world. Baby Giselle Renée is due on May 20th 2011.

Miss Giselle Renée Devey
I think Giselle is praying that we will find a good hospital in China

My blogging has been as consistent as my health has been for the past six months. Since the beginning of my pregnancy I have been sick with a respiratory infection 5 times. The last infection landed me in the hospital as my body was not responding to the antibiotics. My two-night stay in the hospital was a blessing, as I decided where I did NOT want to give birth and am checking out a new hospital on Monday. Please pray for healing for my lungs and for baby Giselle to stay in until 38 weeks (as she tried to come early on Chinese New Year, which landed me in a hospital for the first time!)

Aside from my tour of hospitals, we have had lots of fun.  We spent Christmas here in Shanghai and after singing at the candlelight Christmas Eve service we stayed at a hotel with our friends Joe and Jodie.  Although we missed our families, it was great to have our Shanghai family with us!

Thanks to my friend Carol, our Christmas tree cost 40 RMB
(about 6 USD)

Jameson helped decorate and not one ornament was broken
(although all of the ornaments are Made-in-China-plastic!)

Jameson, Jim and I spent five days in Hong Kong for New Year’s and had a fabulous time as a family. All Jameson asked for every day was to go to the park with Mommy and Daddy.  I don't think he had any idea just how fun this park would be!

Even though Disneyland-Hong Kong is the smallest Disneyland in the world
It is still the happiest place on earth for a 2-year-old

Although he has never seen the movie,
Dumbo was Jameson's favorite ride.  Just ask him!

"I like Dumbo, and cars, and Pooh Bear, and Buzz Light Year, and Small World
and horsies, and fireworks..." Jameson tells me every day now!

The only thing Jameson did not like was stopping for a photo shoot

Even the train to and from Disneyland was fun!
We were able to take the Hong Kong Metro all the way from our hotel to the park

We are so glad we went to Hong Kong as it was the first relaxing vacation we have had as a family since we went to Hawaii in October of 2009.  Just having Daddy around for five whole days was even more of a treat than Disneyland.

In the past year, more than anything, we have learned to value each other and truly trust in God. We may be here in China until October, but we still do not know for sure. Almost daily, I am reminded to not look back and to choose joy. Now we look forward to the joy of welcoming our little baby Giselle in May!

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