A situation has developed greatly impacting the ERAP program since I last wrote. Last fall the Foreign Expert’s Bureau in China enacted a new policy stating that all foreign teachers would need to have a teaching certificate and at least two years of teaching experience, which was to go into affect at the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year. At that time, the schools at which we teach petitioned for exemption from this rule so that newly-graduated Cedarville students could continue to go to China. However, some of the people at the Bureau were recently replaced, causing the schools to resubmit their requests, which were refused. The principals at these schools have been petitioning the government for the past two weeks in hopes of being granted exemptions.

Unfortunately, the outcome for which we were all hoping for was not to be, although it’s better than what it could have been. The principal at Ren Da Fu Zhong and its branch school was the only one granted an exemption for her schools. The decision is final, which means that six newly hired teachers that were to begin their first year with me were informed yesterday that they will not be able to travel with us to China next month. Some of you may know Jaimie Teekell, Shawn Green, Emmett Robinson, Betsy Verwys, and Chris and Nicole Jones. I ask that you would be in remembrance for each of them as they face great disappointment and begin to pursue other options.

It is bittersweet as I prepare to leave for training on Thursday. While I feel like I am following father’s plan, I am also very saddened and disappointed for the others who will not be able to travel with us. I have gotten to know several of them, and was looking forward to living, working, and serving with them. At this point, returning teachers and new teachers at Ren Da Fu Zhong are scheduled to fly to China on Wednesday, August 22. We are still unaware if the date will need to be pushed back by a few days, as we are still waiting for the invitation letters and work permits needed in order to apply for visas. Unless they come very soon, our flights will be delayed, so please lift up your thoughts for added motivation for the Chinese government this week!

I have begun to study Chinese, in hopes of having some slim understanding of the language before stepping off the plane in Beijing. Dr. Don has been instrumental in my grasp of the Chinese language, and I thought I would share some of his helpful tidbits (and his humor) with you all:

Are you harboring a fugitive? Hu yu hai ding?

See me ASAP Kum hia nao

Small horse Tai ni po ni

Your price is too high No pai dum ting

Did you go to the beach? Wai yu so tan?

I bumped into a coffee table Ai bang mai ni

I think you need a face lift Chin tu fat

It’s very dark in here Wai so dim?

Is your flight delayed Hao long wei ting?

An unauthorized execution Lin ching

Are you on a diet? Wai yu mun ching?

This is a towaway zone No pah king

You are not very bright Yu so dum

I got this for free Ai no pei

I am innocent Wai hang mi?

Please, stay a while longer Wai go nao?

Our mtg is next wk Wai yu kum nao?

They have arrived Hia dei kum

Stay out of sight Wa shing ka

Does this bathroom stink! Hu flung dung?

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