Thursday, June 7, 2012

Visit to Shaolin Temple

Stephen writing as Jennifer is asleep. Today we opted for a trip with the rest of the group to the Shaolin Temple about 2+ hrs away from the hotel. Jack did great for the most part considering it was such a long trip. Our guide, Mr.T, spoke very good English and even sang a famous Chinese "lullaby" on the way there which amazingly caught the attention of all the children right away. When asked by one of our group how his English was so good, he replied, "I read the Bible every day - today my reading was in 1st Kings. That help my English a lot." What a wonderful testimony to God's Word - we learned later that he's been doing so for about 7 years. On the way back on the bus he sang "This is the day that the Lord hath made..." I know at least 2 or 3 of us encouraged him privately to keep at this most important of readings.

The visit consisted of 3 parts: The Shaolin Temple (Buddhist), The Pagoda "Forest" and a Kung-Fu show by some of the monks. All parts were good - not everyone's thing of course but interesting nonetheless.

The Pagoda is a place for storing ancient relics, often religious in nature. In the monks case, when one of the Buddhist leaders dies, his body is cremated within 3 days and the ashes are placed into a Pagoda. The length of the period of leadership, importance of the leader etc. will then determine the size (girth, height & complexity) of the Pagoda. A closed door at the bottom means only one person's ashes are there - open means, additional ashes have been added.

The Kung Fu part demonstrated some pretty amazing acts of strength, dexterity, agility and suppleness. We got back to the hotel around 5:30am after which a number of us walked to a Pizza Hut that another family discovered last night. Needless to say it was very good and here we are back later than usual tonight complete with a visit to a Walmart like store for necessary baby supplies.

Please pray for Jack who has become very congested and has the makings of a chest infection. Another doctor friend of one of the group said there is very little we can do as it is equated with the change in living quarters to air conditioning at the hotel, restaurants, etc. - something very few of the children would have been used to. Many of them have runny noses and coughs - indeed even I had a troublesome cough tonight. The air quality in Zhengzhou is very poor - a constant haze surrounds the city. Up in the mountains on the trip today the air quality was noticeably better - even the tour guide acknowledged this!

Here are a few pictures of our day.

Statue at entrance to Shaolin Temple, China

Most of the group at the entrance to one of the temples

Jack riding a ferocious "turtle"

Daddy & Jack at Shaolin Temple, China

Most recent pagoda at Shaolin with inscription that marks the period

Close-up of inscription/carving:  look for video camera, laptop & airplane

Jack tackling a pear (YES, not a typo, a ginormous PEAR)

Though a little blurred just by the sheer speed, the pic does show great suppleness of KungFu participants


  1. God's Word will do its own work. Amazing. Hoping and praying Jack keeps strong and there is nothing that cant be shaken off eventually. Keep well all of you. Love T&C

  2. What a great experience for you, think of all the things u can tell Jack about, his wee system will soon adjust and he will thrive, he lks lk he has been a part of ur family forever, god bless u all, he is soo full of live xx Barbara xx.