Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 28: travel to Nanjing

View of downtown Beijing from our hotel
Today was a crazy day of travel. We woke up to news that nearly a foot of snow had fallen in Nanjing, and flights had been cancelled. After contacting our agency rep on the ground we were told the roads were already cleared from Lottie’s city of Yixing to Nanjing and trains were still going. What a relief! God made a way. We were unable to go to church this morning, because there were no State Protestant churches in our area. We are sure there were many secret churches meeting, but we could not be a part of them even if we knew where they met. Foreigners make them vulnerable to being caught.
With Anna, Vicky's little sister
At 10:30 we met Vincent’s parents in the lobby and went to the bullet train station, one of four in Beijing. It was massive! Thousands of people stood in line and crowded the station to board trains. We were delayed 1 1/2 hours due to snow. While we waited we told Vincent’s parents goodbye and Vicky and her little sister came to see us off as well. They had to travel by bus and subway 1 1/2 hours to do that. Their kindness was mind boggling!
In line at the train station
Getting in line to board the train was very difficult. We were the only family in the entire station with more than one small bag, so hired a man to push a buggy through the crowd to get us there. He was aggressive but still struggled to get to the front. There were people pushing, yelling, herding, and shuffling to get in the gate to board. Boarding is limited to a few minutes so if you don’t hurry, you miss it! We were some of the last ones through. When our porter got to the elevator to bring down our luggage, someone beat him to it. We went down the escalator to meet him at the bottom and it took what seemed like forever. People were running to board and alarms were sounding. We literally threw the luggage on the train as final alarms were going off and the doors closed as soon as Kris jumped in. We made it!
We took 4 1/2 hours to get there. Anna Faith sat in the window and sang, played I Spy, talked my ear off, and ate lots of snacks. She couldn’t rest until the last 30 minutes. Kris got a nap but I didn’t.
Very, very crowded
The snow kept getting deeper
Waiting to arrive in Nanjing
As we got nearer the snow got deeper. The cities we passed never seemed to have a beginning or end. There were tiny field plots and trees all looked alike. They were strategic in planting around each plot. Houses had no yards, even in areas outside the big cities. They were squished together like little compounds. We saw sheep and shepherds. Anna Faith said “ those aren’t shepherds. Shepherds are in Bethlehem!”
We passed through lots of small mountains. It was pretty to see.
When we arrived our driver to the hotel was waiting for us. It took 30 minutes to get to the hotel. The trees and landscaping in Nanjing is gorgeous! It is a city of 8 million compared to Beijing’s 20 million. The trees here are so huge and old, and many have leaves on them. The snow was hanging on everything. It was like a scene from Chronicles of Narnia. Our hotel is right in the middle of the city. There is a mall attached to the lobby, but to our surprise it has an outdoor walkway around the shops! It is very high end like the one in Beijing so we will only be eating some meals here. The only food we could find fast was at McDonald’s. We wanted to unpack and get to bed.
After an adventure on the squattie on the train 
I took two Melatonin and 2 Tylenol to get to sleep. Hopefully that will do the trick to sleep more than 3-4 hours tonight! We are so excited about tomorrow. Our lives are about to change, a lot. Lottie’s life is about to be shaken. Please pray for all of us!

That's fast!

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