Category: Full Life

Reflections from the East

  • beautiful little girl
  • China student retreat pic
    Student retreat that just ended in China
  • teachers at Lang Fang
    Josh, Jamie, and Christina (teachers) and Jim
  • guy at rib place 2
  • scorpion fest group pic
    This is us eating scorpions on a stick. When in Rome...
  • scorpion fest on a stick
    They also had seahorses but I thought they were endangered so we didn't eat them...
beautiful little girl

One of the most beautiful little girls in the world

















I’ve been home for about 5 days but I have only just begun to mine the treasures from my time in China. Here are some reflections and some pics from my trip.

1. I take freedom of faith for granted everyday of my life.  Being able to openly worship, read, gather, and talk about Jesus is something that not everyone is allowed to do openly.

2. Sometimes I value comfort and imagined security over people hearing the Great Love Story.  The teachers (YL staff) over in China have sacrificed so much so that college students could be introduced to the God who created them.

Josh, Jamie, and Christina (teachers) and Jim

Josh, Jamie, and Christina (teachers) and Jim

3. The Chinese are a precious people and their university students are like none other.

Student retreat that just ended in China

Student retreat that just ended in China

4. Jim Cunningham and Mike Gaffney are great men.  It was a blast to be with them and learn from them for 10 days.

guy at rib place 2

This is us eating scorpions on a stick.  When in Rome...

This is us eating scorpions on a stick. When in Rome…

They also had seahorses but I thought they were endangered so we didn't eat them...

They also had seahorses but I thought they were endangered so we didn’t eat them…

5. God is on the move and His Kingdom is bigger than I can fathom.  Thanks for praying for my trip over to China.






So many people!

Wow.  There are so many people.  And so many bikes.  And so many mopeds.  You have to keep your head on a swivel anytime you are outside.  Did I mention how many people are here?  On Wednesday we ate donkey for lunch.  That’s right, donkey.  It tasted OK but was a little fatty.  Then we went with some students and teachers and did KTV.  This is a phenomenon.  It is a Kareoke parlor with a bunch of private rooms with couches, big screen TV’s, and microphones.  You can pick from thousands of songs and it was a blast.  Shy and timid Chinese students became rock stars with a mic in their hand.  On Thursday we drove 4 hours one-way to visit the Great Wall of China.  It was phenomenal.  We got to lift up the whole nation of China while walking on the wall and one of the teachers Jimmy we were with said he has never done that and “his mind was blown.”

great wall pic















Today (Friday) we traveled from Baoding to Lang Fang (pronounced “Long Fong”) for our last stop.  We had lunch with a school official–the head of foreign affairs for the university and his favorite movie was Braveheart!  What are the chances?! This afternoon we toured the city and then had dinner with students Jane, Dandan, Mango (isn’t that the best?). Buddhist Eric, and teachers Josh, Christina, and Jamie. Please remember them, especially Eric. I hope you had a great week!



Off to the east

Hello gang! This is the first test post. Just seeing if it works. I am sitting in the Dulles airport waiting to board my 14 hour flight to Beijing, and then another 5 hours to Hong Kong. I will be visiting one of my best friends Paul and his family for a few days before our Young Life part of this adventure begins. I will be in touch.




To whom much is given…

Much is required. This is the end of one life-changing adventure, and the beginning of another.

This is our last post of the trip. It is from Meredith Cotton, a rising senior at JMU. Our group is on the way to the airport right now.

Today is our last day of this eye-opening, life changing journey!! As Jonathan described in his post, the last few days have been a transition in our trip as we’ve moved from packed days filled with exploring the Holy Land to serving at a Young Life camp in Palestine! It’s been so fun to dance with the kids (especially last night when two 13 year-old girls showed Chelsea and I up on the dance floor), play in the pool with them, and play games with them. But the most beautiful part about our role here is that we’ve had the honor of praying as we sit and listen to Yousef speak truth in Arabic at Club, to pray while the kids are having their Cabin Time (a time for the kids to be with their leaders in their cabins to reflect on what they learned, heard, or felt during the talk), and to plan different activities for the kids behind the scenes. It has been so humbling to be able to step into a lowly role that doesn’t result in recognition. In these last two weeks we’ve been absolutely showered with God’s presence and filled to the brim with His love. How fitting that we are able to finish our trip with being emptied by showering that love we’ve received on these precious kids? This morning we got to hear from some of the local leaders as they shared some sweet stories about what their kids have experienced throughout camp. It’s so evident that God is moving in big ways and this camp could be the start of a life-long relationship with Jesus for these kids! They’ve not only heard truth verbally but they’ve also been able to experience the joy that comes with living life with Christ through all the fun we’ve been having  After all- our God is a God of celebration! (If Jesus came to our dance party last night, he probably would’ve showed Chelsea and I up too  Check out John 10:10!) It would be beautiful if you could pray for these kids alongside us- that what they’ve heard, seen, and felt here would stick and resonate deeply in their hearts (especially in the next few weeks as they leave camp and go back to their day-to-day lives in the West Bank). What a privilege and honor it is to be co-workers with Christ. Why he wants to use such imperfect people I will never understand, but I’m so humbled and thankful that He does because it is such a gift!  We’re looking forward to seeing you back in the states!!


Video From Camp:


Camp has begun…

  • Young Life Westbank
  • The view from the top
  • Young Life Camp Isreal
  • Party by the pool

This is from Jonathan Bowman, a rising junior at JMU:

Three days ago we completed the touring portion of our expedition. What better way to relax than by entering the inner city markets of Jerusalem to test out our haggling skills. Can you say intense? The trick was to bring Will Jarrett with you, he’s 6’7. Ornate garments of red and purple and many other colors lined the narrow corridors of the busy market. Loud shouting, a varied palate of language and accents, and some very, unique smells. After some delicious schwarma (pita and seasoned beef or lamb), we began to shift gears in preparation for the service portion of the trip.

Tuesday night, we left the inner city of Bethlehem, and traveled to a new resort a few miles outside of Bethlehem. It is this resort that we are hosting Palestine’s 3rd Young Life camp. All we could do was pray, and all we have experienced is tremendous blessing. Yousef, the camp speaker passionately shares the gospel with the 100 (exactly) kids who are here at camp. Hunter Lambeth runs the behind the scenes operations, keeping the camp running smoothly.

The camp staff refers to our group from JMU as the “work crew” while we are here. Our jobs include everything from helping with meals, cleaning up rainbow ice cream puddles, leading music and games at “club,” and making them laugh as much as possible. We want to give everything we have so that the kids are having fun, but more so that the kids are seeing a little piece of Jesus. The kids have been blowing us away with their energy.

Please be praying for the high school and middle school kids as Yousef will be sharing with them their need for a savior today. Pray for open hearts and minds. Pray for kids to think objectively for themselves. Yalla yalla!

Check Pete’s facebook for some videos of the action so far. Alysia Wood has posted 2 videos.

WATCHH OUUTT! Party by the pool Young Life Camp Isreal The view from the top