Wednesday, June 29, 2011

South Africa 2011

Guest post by Seth Liptak
So as you may or may not know I went on a missions trip to South Africa last week. It was pretty amazingly awesome. SA is an incredible nation, the people there are so friendly and open, the beaches and nature are gorgeous, and the culture is super cool.

Throughout the trip my main job was to lead worship. Multiple times almost every single day I played guitar and sang worship songs at schools, churches, and homes. Sometimes we would have a full band, and other times it would just be Tim and me. And a lot of time I'd only know about half an hour in advance. Also most nights we would debrief and then Joe would ask Tim and me to lead the team in some worship. These times were some of my closest times with God during the trip.

One of my highlights from the trip was when we went to a Zulu (all black) church. The church culture there was so amazing and different from anything we had ever seen before. We walked in and there was one guy jamming out on a synthesizer while everyone else was dancing, yelling, singing, and blowing whistles. It was incredible. At the end of the service we ended up having a dance off between all the guys on our team, and all the Zulus voted on a winner :D.

One of the most amazing ways I saw God work through the trip was when we went to do a house vist. The man we were visiting was almost completely blind. We prayed for him and commanded God that if it was his will for John to see, that he would give him back his sight. After the prayer John opened his eyes and began saying, "I can see you! I can see the sky, I can see!".

And now the last story I'm going to tell you. Picture this, it's evening, upstairs, in a small hut on a farm, in the hills in South Africa. Theres a girl holding a needle and an apple. And I'm sitting on the couch squeezing Tim's hand very tightly :D.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Not sure if this little fruit is available in other parts of the world, but I hadn't had it before we came to China. Lychee is in season here now, and oh so delicious. The sweet white flesh is wet and slippery, with a small dark brown oblong seed inside. Can I get this in the US? If you've seen it, please let me know. :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tai Chi Queen

Miss Maggi boldly joined right in with the locals in their morning tai chi exercises on the grounds of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing when we were there together in April. I love her style!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Missing my guys tonight, each on a different continent thousands of miles from me. Madelyn and I have been going through old photos the last few days. I found these couple...
The thing is, these little boys aren't coming back. I'll see my guys again by the end of the month, but not these little blonde ones.

The guys I'll see at the end of June are nearly men now. And that's a good thing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

South Africa blog

Click here for day by day details about what Seth and the rest of the South Africa missions team are up to!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

South Africa Team!

This is Seth and the rest of the youth missions team, at the Pudong airport before they headed out Thursday night. We haven't heard from them yet, but by now our guy should be "playing a band" in South Africa. Love it. :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Caroline and Madelyn~ these two have been holding hands literally from the first day they met, three years ago this summer, when Caroline's family was new in Shanghai and our two families walked to dinner together after church. Today we said good-bye to Caroline. One of the down sides of this expat life, having dear, dear friends leave every year. Seems somehow the hardest on pre-teen girls. The blessing is that Caroline's family is moving to a place where we will easily be able to see her again, and the girls have already made plans for this summer.
The flip side of this difficulty of having friends leave is that we have friends in so many places now! :-) I had this discussion with some good friends yesterday morning over coffee, ladies I have shared Bible study with over the past several years. We all agree it is so hard to say good-bye, but we definitely feel thankful for the time we've had together, and are richer for knowing one another.
So much fun to photograph these two earlier in the week!
They chose their poses...
The jumping ones were so much fun!
The Liptaks love you, Caroline... especially Madelyn.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Real China

Jenna spotted this cutie when we were shopping in an antiques market area during their visit in April. Don't you love his bright eyes? This type of wicker stroller is still common among locals.
This morning I got up early and rode my bike across the main road into the Chinese area of Jinqiao, something I haven't done in a while. Swallowed up into the intricate dance of bikes, buses, and pedestrians on the road, and as the only foreigner in sight, I became a part of the morning landscape in a way that I don't usually experience. I biked to a fruit stall, where I chose mangoes, bananas, apples and a melon, then pedaled home with my purchases.

Only one more year to soak up China in an up close and personal way. Don't want to miss my chances, snug and cozy in my expat bubble. Planning on more early morning bike rides. Wish you were here, Lisa, to get me into the side streets where real China still lives. :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


School Is Over

School is over,
Oh what fun!
Lessons finished,
Play begun.
Who'll run fastest,
You or I?
Who'll laugh loudest?
Let us try.

By Kate Greenaway

I love children's poetry, and this poem from my childhood comes dancing into my brain about this time every year. It's towards the back of the big Child's Book of Poems- do you remember it, Mark and Sarah? :-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Seth's 8th Grade Graduation

Here's our guy four years ago, after his very first day at Concordia, which was also his first day of traditional school, after we had homeschooled him for five years. And here he is yesterday, receiving his certificate from the middle school principal for the completion of middle school at the 8th grade graduation ceremony. The four years of middle school have been a huge growing time for Seth, in so many ways. He is well more than a foot taller than when he started, has been in and out of braces, and has blossomed in so many ways socially, academically and spiritually. Can't wait to see what high school holds for him! We are so thankful for the great place Concordia has been to foster so much of this growth in Seth.
With a bunch of friends at the reception after graduation...We were chuckling when we posed for this picture that Scott still has braces and Seth doesn't!
As a side note, Seth had a very specific idea about what kind of outfit he wanted for the festivities yesterday. He chose the fabric for the suit, and picked out the tie. He was the only one in his class in a light colored suit!
Seth and friends heading out to their graduation dinner and dance for the evening! Friends from many nations... love it. :-)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Roof Detail

Andrew took this photo somewhere in the Temple of Heaven complex, when we were in Beijing together. Love it!

Saturday Snuggle

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Evening Exchange

Caleb: Mom, can you bring me something to eat?

Me: Sure, what would you like? Pie? Cereal? Fruit?

Caleb: Can I have pie and cereal and fruit?