By Cyndi Levesque
Christmas in China was a special experience. Marc and I lived in Nanning, China, for four years, and would always remain there at Christmas because the Chinese New Year holiday wasn’t until late January to early February. We would smile as we walked through shopping malls hearing Christmas carols in English, knowing that most Chinese could not understand the words, much less the meaning behind them. The registered Chinese church had a 2-hour program each night of Christmas week complete with adult and children’s choirs, costumed dancers, and elaborate stage play. Dressed as Santa Claus, Marc would enter the sanctuary at the end of the program hauling a bag of gifts for the children to the tune of Jingle Bells (in English). One Christmas I wrote a play called “God’s Special Lamb” and using full-body puppets with Chinese features that I had purchased, the play was presented to the children.
We always had our own separate English class program, inviting our students and family members to learn about Christmas and sing Christmas carols – a great witnessing opportunity.
Since we didn’t have a car, we had to walk and take the bus everywhere. With no elevators in buildings with fewer than eight floors, we also did a lot of stair-climbing. When I broke my ankle and had to use crutches, it was even more difficult. The verse in Isaiah 40:31 was a great comfort – “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Take a moment to reflect on this verse when you are exhausted from working, shopping, traveling, cooking, or whatever you do during this very busy me of year!