Our last day in Beijing dawned bright and clear. Wouldn’t you know it! After already doing the most important sightseeing, the one day we had nothing special planned showed up looking pretty special. Ah well, that’s how the fortune cookie crumbles.
Actually, it was a bit of relief to realize that there are non-polluted days in Beijing and it gave me hope for the Olympic athletes that will soon be descending on this massive city of 14 million people. With a little wind and the drastic measures the government will be taking – scaling down all construction and factory output two months leading up to the event as well as taking half of all automobiles off the road before and during the event – I’m praying that the Olympics will enjoy clear skies like we did our final day.
Jessica decided to stay at the hotel to work on homework that final morning. Linda and I opted for a rickshaw tour of the old city. It was a blast!
I had read a few novels set in China, so it was fascinating to get a look inside hutongs, the neighborhoods made up of walled family compounds. The size and opulence of the home depended on the individual’s wealth and position. We toured a middle class compound as well as the hutong of a Red Prince. Each home was built around a courtyard, and each room had a designated purpose.
Our rickshaw rider took us through the winding alleyways and around hutongs being demolished and/or renovated. While most hutong neighborhoods have been destroyed to make way for high rises, this particular neighborhood is being restored. It was neat to get a peak into how Beijingers lived centuries ago.
After a final meal of Mongolian hotpot, we boarded our shuttle for the trip back to Hong Kong and then home to the U.S.A.
There really aren’t enough words to describe how special this trip was. From the amazing people we met, both Chinese and expatriates living in China, to the food, the sights, and the little God moments the Lord graced us with – I will never forget the privilege of sharing Christ on the other side of the world. And I will forever be grateful to those who made it possible to bring Jessica and Linda with me. Our hearts are knit together with memories we will never forget and moments that we will share forever.
Thank You, most of all, Lord Jesus. You have embarrassed me with Your kindness and overwhelmed me with Your grace. I love you.
Soli deo Gloria. For You and to You alone. May Your name be proclaimed in all the earth.