About a year and a half ago, my youngest son attended a mission's conference and felt God calling him to go on a trip to China. Another youth felt that pull as well. Several months later, my husband also discerned God's call. Preparations began for a trip that was to take place in the summer of 2009.

Then the accident happened. While my husband and two sons were on a skiing weekend in late March, my husband severely fractured his pelvis. It required extensive surgery. Complications arose after surgery that affected the nerves in his right arm, limiting the progress of his healing. It became obvious that he would be unable to make the trip to China. The idea was put further on the back burner when the other youth decided to go on a different tour.

However, after sensing the leading of God, we determined that our son could still make the trip. God could take care of our son in China even though plans had changed. On this trip, my son was able to experience many new things. He felt God speaking to him as he had to switch planes all by himself and meet up with the rest of his team in California. His trip lasted a total of 18 days, longer than he ever had been gone before.

While in China, he was able to see and learn about many interesting things. While the team was visiting a local university, several Chinese students became Christians because of their witness. My son stayed with a host family where the father is a pastor and has been in jail for quite a while because of things said.

While in China, my son helped with a "character camp." Chinese children ages 5 to 15 learned about good character traits each day through Bible stories, games, songs, and more. The teachers talked about the fruit of the Spirit. Even though they were undercover and not able to specifically mention spiritual things, the Word of God went out to these children. I cannot help but be amazed at how God used this trip to China to speak to my son and others as well.

The nation of China may seem to be just a distant land. At times it is even feared. My son's trip caused me to realize that China is full of people who need to hear about the love of God. I am proud of my son for his desire to share that message, even undercover. Perhaps learning about China's heritage and the land itself can help us to better understand the needs of its people. February 14 is the holiday known as Valentine's Day, but in 2010 it also marks the Chinese New Year. What better time to learn about this country?

Vocabulary 

Abacus, lantern, population, compass, dynasty, calligraphy, kites, oolong tea, panda, ibis, emperor.

Memory Verses 

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19)

Math 

  • China's current population is 1.3 billion people. Write this number.
  • The abacus was first introduced in 3000 BC by the Chinese people. It is a type of counting device. Research to find out about this early calculator. Design your own abacus.
  • If you were to drive from the east coast of the United States to the west coast, you would only travel about 3,000 miles. The Great Wall of China is actually made up of many walls, but it spans a length of over 4,000 miles. With a parent, mark off a distance of one mile and then walk it. Can you imagine walking for 4,000 miles?

Art  

Make some Chinese paper lanterns to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Collect multiple colors of construction paper. For each paper, do the following: Use a ruler to measure and cut ½ inch off the short end of your paper. Set this aside to use as the handle of your lantern. Next, fold your paper in half lengthwise. Draw a light line one inch down from the end of the long edge, opposite the folded edge. Measure and mark off lines ½ inch apart across the long edge. Use scissors to cut each line, stopping when reaching the penciled line. Unfold the paper, match the long edges together, and tape top and bottom. Attach handle. Hang around the room. For a variation, draw a different scene on each piece of paper before cutting.