Thank you so much for praying for our move.... for the good byes and the road trip. The Lord really couldn't have made the journey here any sweeter. We did have our share of all the normal bickering, but we had a surprisingly smooth ride for the 5 days we spent on the road.
We got to see some spectacular friends along the way, drive through a slice of the Great Wall (really! who would have thought that such history would be chopped up for a highway!?), see a few roaming camels, days of desert mountains, and only one late night of driving (China-side friends, believe it when you hear that there are reasons to avoid night driving here! Think hundreds of brights shining straight into your eyes and old semi trucks with no lights at all... clutched fist, constant-prayer driving I tell ya!) All this, and then we arrived into our new city with an armed crew of comedian, friendly soldiers to welcome us at a checkpoint on the highway.
Now that we're here, I have made two beautiful local friends already and our kids have made one too! But we're feeling even more of the pinch of crazy desperate need for grace from the Lord! For all the good work we've moved here for, we've narrowed down the area we want to live in and there are absolutely zero apartments to rent there. (There's been a rumor here of a new tax for owning more than one property and most of these apartments were bought as investments by landlords living elsewhere.) Also, as foreigners we aren't allowed to have a mortgage from China to buy here and as far as we know, international purchases aren't allowed from stateside mortgages either.... Meanwhile, the six of us are in a hotel room beggingly eager to unpack toys and homeschool books and more sleep diapers (that are nigh impossible to find on the ground here) and have our own place to host our new friends and wash clothes!
The Lord knows all these things... and we're grateful for your prayers with us too for wisdom and for His provision and leading. Tonight, we don't know what to do but simply to beg Him for wisdom and guidance for His way to go... Should we persevere in searching - waiting for a place to rent or maybe throw out our plans for where to live (this could be His way of redirecting us?) and/ or should we pursue international lenders that might finance such a purchase? Lord, lead us for your glory!
Thank you dear friends for standing with us in prayer!
More news (and photos!) soon...