First i would like to say that I am sorry that I have not written in the last few weeks. I had a friend come and visit recently and I was very busy getting ready for him. I loved ever bit of it!
Recently one of my oldest and best friends in the world, Lane, came to visit me here in China.
I had been excited for the longest time about him coming and getting to see firsthand how I live life here. It also gave him a chance to see the work I am doing and to even give me some good advice as an outsider. The encouragement he gave me and all of us here was amazing. He also will be posting a blog soon about his trip here and I encourage you to read it. It will be a good chance to see how he seen China through his eyes. His blog page is http://www.ministerlane.wordpress.com/.
Since this blog is about my thoughts on life I would like to talk about something I learned when he was here visiting.
In the past I have taken many campaigns around the world. Everywhere I have been the people were always so amazing. They would do anything for you. I had always been thankful for those people and what they did for me but I never really understood how much they gave up to make my visit a great one. Now don't read into this the wrong way and think that Lane was a burden to me. He was the perfect guest and was no headache at all. I would gladly have him come back to visit me a 1,000 more times. However I have learned that a great deal of responsibility is in your hands when someone comes to visit. A great deal of time was put into getting things ready before he even got here. I had to redo my class schedules, I had to book tickets, and get hostels ready. I had to plan out what we will do each day and make sure the time he had here was the best I can give someone who came around the world to encourage and see me. I wanted him to feel at home as much as possible.
With all that going on I still had to care for my daily responsibilities here. That is one thing I never really thought about when people hosted me on a trip. During the day while I was out doing Good things they were at work and living their life. Then they would come home and do whatever they could in the afternoon to make me comfortable. I just never realized the effort, energy, and love they showed to make me feel that way.
After I gave Lane a hug goodbye at the airport and he walked away to get on his plane home I turned and looked at my friend Thomas and jokingly said, "I don't want another person to come visit me ever!" Again, I don't really mean that but I have learned that seeing the coin on the other side is very different. It was something I was not expecting or even thought about. I now have even more respect for the people who take the time to host me when I am visiting or on a campaign. I don't write this because I want Lane to realize how much I did for him but to help whoever reads this to really think about what the people that host you do to make you feel welcomed.
I also learned that in return you are greatly encouraged more then the person that is coming to visit you will ever know. Besides him coming all this way I was able to see the love that Lane has for me everyday when he talked to his wife and 2 year old girl on my computer. Each time they talked I was reminded what he gave up to come see me.
Though I lost hours of sleep and went nonstop I will never lose the experiences that we had together, the stories that we will have, and the great talks about life we had each day. I also now have someone back home who understands what I am going through and what I am talking about. To have a close friend understand what you are going through is awesome and even after one week I can talk to him about stuff that he did not really understand before.