Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Great Wall- guest post by Larry! (Dad)

Today we experienced, for the second time, one of the great wonders of the world….The Great Wall of China. Our trip took us to an entirely different section of the wall than our previous trip, which allowed a ski lift to the wall followed by a hike to the top. While surveying the immensity of the wall, I marveled in God’s creation of man to build such a wonder. Imagine, if you will, a wall of such immensity across the entire nation of the United States…and we’re not just talking Kansas. The sheer rise and drop of the mountainous region, followed by desert and again the mountains by “unskilled” slave labor. Genesis 1:26 came to mind of God’s design in man’s dominance over the earth…”Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

First glimpse of the wall from the van!
Erica literally cartwheels everywhere she goes- it's like a form of transportation to her!! Here she is cartwheeling up to the Great Wall!

Welcome to the Mutianyu section of the wall! So beautiful!

Taking the chair lift up to the Wall!
A humorous touch to the day can not be passed in this update as my wife’s perspective of ‘where’s the nearest restroom’ became a life event for the dear woman who made the mistake of traveling with the Toering family to the Great Wall…she shall remain nameless. Shyla assured her she saw a restroom sign pointing…yes, pointing up the wall. Our poor unassuming traveler…not young of age, preceded to place her trust in her new friend Shyla and after 1000 feet of vertical assent began to doubt Shyla’s words. I assured her that the wall is merely 4,000 miles long, surely the restroom will appear (????? Shyla…what was in your tea that morning????) Of course, the wall was never built to accommodate the physiological needs of the invading Huns, so therefore there was to be no restroom and our dear friend sat in exhausted dismay…looking now at the distance up…and back down and the reality of her situation becoming evident. The rest of the story can just be left to your imagination as the locals assured her the wall would remain standing. So…note to self…when walking the Great Wall of China… ok, got it.

Absolutely breath-taking!

Erica led the pack the ENTIRE time...what a little trooper!

Meredith's sweet friend Polly from the summer came with us! She was such a help and so sweet!

Mom and Dad with 1/2 of the Toering kids! 
Back to a serious note…while the greatness of man has been displayed from the Tower of Babel, to the Great Wall, to the greatest electronics at Best Buy, it is only when man is humble that the correct perspective becomes possible. In all the greatness of the Wall, it was the simple bribe of an important, but prideful general that allowed the wall to be penetrated by simply opening the gate to the waiting Manchu army…it took 3 days for the army to march in to invade without a stone being thrown. Isn’t it ironic? The Wall became nothing because of the pride and foolishness of one man. While God set us in place to rule over his creation, and in our giftedness accomplish great things, let us always humble ourselves at our nothingness before the Creator.

We may or may not have snuck out onto the crumbled part of the Great Wall- it was beautiful!!! 
The end of this section of the Wall! So amazing to see! 

The drop-off for the Wall! So crazy!!! 

You can see where the Great Wall starts back up again...we trekked through a dirt type path to make it to the end of the section we were standing on. 

Meredith and Polly coming up!

Looking out from the very edge of the Wall! Wayyyy down below you can see the little village! 
Pointing out where we ACTUALLY walked to...the "not open to tourists section"...Whoops!! :)
And, the toboggan sled all the way down. SO much fun!!!

Go Shyla!!! 
Tomorrow we fly to Zhengzhou, Henan, to meet Brooke at her birth province. We appreciate your prayers as she leaves her nanny and begins her journey with our family. We had the chance to visit her again when we returned from the Great Wall, and she said goodbye to her one nanny and to her best friend Jeremy. He loves our sweet Brooke so much and has taken such good care of her for us while we were waiting to come get her! It just breaks your heart to watch her say goodbye to the people who have loved her so much over the last year and a half! 

Brooke and her sweet buddy Colton! 

Saying goodbye to Jeremy
Thankful as always for your prayers…Larry for all.

And of course...Erica cart-wheeling her way across the Great Wall of China. But of course! Why not?! Ha :)

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