Sunday, April 1, 2012


I'm gonna be honest.

I don't know a heck of a lot about other religions.

Buddhism being one of them.

It's the biggest religion in China. One that Jude was intimately exposed to. His foster family was Buddhist, and he frequented the local temple with them to worship.

It makes my skin crawl. You know....being that we're down with Jesus and all that.

Well, today we visited one of the oldest Buddhist Temples in Guangzhou. It's history dates back 1500 years. It is called the Six Banyan Trees Temple, but the 6 trees are no longer there, although there are a few.

This is "Smiling Buddha" or "Happy Buddha" and is usually the first
Buddha you see when entering a temple.

It's the home of about 15-20 monks. And a pretty happening joint for a whole lot of worshippers.

Lining the streets surrounding the temple is shop after shop selling small Buddha idols, incense, fruits, flowers, and other items to offer as sacrifices. Beggars also lined up outside of the temple entrance. Apparently twice a day the monks clear out the sacrifices and give them to the beggars.

There were multiple buildings on the grounds, each containing one or more Buddha. The people systematically go around, burn incense, and worship each Buddha. I didn't realize there was more than one Buddha. Nor did I realize there were male and female Buddhas. Each one represented different things, like the past, present, and future, or luck, or health. People gathered in one building and sang chants with the monks. One building (where we were not allowed to take pictures) allowed people to offer gifts in honor of relatives who have died in hopes that they would then bless them.

These 3 Buddhas represent the past, present, and future.

This is a female Buddha.

We were offered the opportunity to receive a "baby blessing" from the monks. We declined.

Overall, I have to say it was interesting to see. But it made me all the more thankful that we can bring Jude home and teach him about Jesus.

Our next stop was the Chen Family Academy, a place we visited on our last trip to China. Unfortunately, Jonah wasn't feeling well, so I stayed on the bus with him and let him take a little snooze while Rush, Jude, and the rest of our group went inside. Basically, it is a large building that was built in the late 1800's by the Chen Family, a large and wealthy family in Guangzhou. It was used as a gathering place as well as a learning facility for the people in their village. In the 1950's the government took it over and now it is used as a folk-art museum. It has extremely intricate carvings on the roof, which are very impressive to see. I'm sorry I wasn't able to take some more pics!

Then, we headed back to the Island for lunch and some down time.

This afternoon, we got some paperwork together for our guide to give to the Consulate and then we headed across the street to check out another park.

This park surround a large lake and had various sections to it. On a side note, the Chinese know how to do a park. Their parks here are gorgeous! There were sections for playing ping-pong, playing badminton, exercising, rides for kids, even an area for people to bring their pet birds and hang their cages in the trees!

Don't have a dog? Bring your bird to the park!

J-man checking out a mean ping-pong battle!

Tomorrow is another free day. I think we're heading back to the Island yet again just to hang out.

We're starting to hit the wall. As much as we love exploring and seeing China, this long trip is starting to take a toll. We're ready to come home. We miss the girls. We're tired of being sick! We're just ready to start the next phase of things. We've got a ways to go though, so we're trying to make the most of it!

Just thought I'd add this picture in....I don't know what tree this is, but they're everywhere and beautiful! It's also the official flower of Hong Kong.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that looked similar to a cherry or plum blossom tree, but after looking it up, apparently it's the Hong Kong Orchid Tree. They are pretty!

    That temple is really amazing from the outside.

    I'm sorry that you guys still have another week. I think your girls are missing you, too. I'm going to make airport posters with them on Friday!