In 2001, I was given the opportunity to travel with a group to China. We were going on a short-term mission trip to visit an orphanage in Shenyang, which is located in the northeast part of the country, not too far from North Korea. We first arrived in Beijing and stayed there for two days. Our tour guide met us at the airport. She asked each of us where we were from. When I told her I was from West Virginia she started singing “Country Roads.” What a shock! I later learned that “Country Roads” is very popular in China.
On a Sunday evening, we boarded a train for an overnight trip to Shenyang. As a child, I always enjoyed riding on trains and I still do. I think it is a special way to travel. Going to Shenyang, we went by hard sleeper. Hard sleepers are cars with bunks stacked three high. The mattresses are thin so hence the name “hard sleeper.” Actually, it was very comfortable. Before going to bed, I was able to visit with some of the people in our car. Language wasn’t as much a barrier because so many in China now speak English.
I woke up early the next morning and watched farmers tending their fields in the countryside as we traveled. For breakfast, I had some sweet coffee and snacks. Ladies on the train were walking through the train cars selling food. We finally arrived in Shenyang and went to our hotel. I think we were all anxious to see the kids in the orphanage. I still couldn’t believe that I was actually in China. This was the beginning of a fantastic adventure. One time I heard someone use the acronym FAITH which stands for Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him. How true! When we trust God we can experience some fantastic adventures.