Thank You To be My Sponsor

by Zachary Deng

June 2016

I just thank you so much for the support you gave me for this trip! The money you gave me is a HUGE amount of money, and I don’t think that I would have fundraised enough without your support. I came back just a few days ago, with a grateful heart, thinking about the wonderful sponsors (yes, I mean you,) that scraped up your money to donate to the cause of this mission trip to sponsor me. I feel so thankful! So, Thank you again so much for donating to my cause, and may God bless you for what you have done! I not only had a lot of fun but also learned a lot, and served others. A lot. I’ll give you a little update of what we did, what I learned, and etc. Basically a summary. Then I will say what I did.

Video Recap Just for You!

On the first day, we went on the airplane to the 14-and-a-half hour plane ride to Tokyo-Narita airport. Our airplane was delayed by 3+ hours! But thanks to our church’s prayers, as well as yours, (if you heard about it,) and God, we took off, and landed in Tokyo safely.

Phew. Then we went on another 6-hour plane ride to Chengdu, in the Sichuan province, where we stayed a night, and then went on yet another (this time being only 1-hour) plane ride to Lijiang, which is in the Yunnan province.

We spent 2 nights there for team building, as well as fellowship in an nicely designed hotel, which was a rebuilt of an ancient Na-Xi tribe house with beautiful ponds and boardwalk leading to each private room. The roofs of the buildings were pretty cool and intricate. Its tips are the shape of the horn on a saddle.

On the 3rd day we went on a long horseback-riding trip, and then went canoeing, so that was fun. After adjusting to the higher altitude and the jet-lag and learning that everyone smokes in China, we went on another 4-hour bus ride to Shangri-La, the city we were staying in.

On the 5th day, or the 1st day in Shangri-La after we got through the bus and airplane rides, and the jet-lag and all that other stuff, after we got to the hotel that we were going to stay in for the pretty much remainder of the trip, we settled down and did a briefing about the trip. After that, we sort -of just had free-time to do what we want. And sleep.

We ate at the hotel when we got there, discovering that the food their was AMAZING! The hotel owners invented some fusion dishes combining American, Indian, and Singaporean styles using unique local ingredients and fresh vegetables from their own organic farm. One of my favorites dish is four cheese pizza, a thin crust pizza with yak cheese on it. That’s another thing I learned about China. The food is (mostly) great, and very unique as well!

Local Food

Local food (at 10,000 ft!!)

So on that day, I was feeling pretty good, and had a deep, deep sleep. Now do keep in mind that the elevation in this place is 10,000+ feet! (3,050+ meters!)

10,000+ feet! (3,050+ meters!)

Prayer Walk

On the 6th day, or the 2nd day in Shangri-La, we did a prayer walk around one of the temples in Shangri-La old-town, and prayed for the people there. After climbing up 90+ stairs, with ⅔ oxygen of normal! Ouch. Then we did more praying around a prayer well, which people spinned a big tank-shaped thing that was really heavy to “work their way to heaven” (notice the quotations)

Even though they don’t worship God, they worship Buddha. I felt a bit sad at that, so we prayed more, and then walked back down the stairs, all the way back down to old-town Shangri-La. Fun fact! The temple has so many stairs that they are “elevating their” “gods” (notice the quotes and uncapitalized “g” on the word “god’)(That was really hard to write)

teaching English

We did something also in the afternoon. We started teaching the staff at the hotel English! Since this was a also a restaurant, there were staff members, and some staff weren’t exactly the best at english, so we taught them.

After that, we taught the hotel waiters and waitress how to serve English -speaking customers as the hotel constantly has foreign tourists stop for afternoon tea, meals and stays.

Farm Day!!

On the 7th day, or the 3rd day in Shangri-La, we went to the farm.

Little did I know this was only the first of the three tiring times that I went to the farm. We did some service there, picking weeds, lots of weeds, as the farm was a decent size. We fed all the weeds to the pigs, who were pretty hungry, as usual.

Mom is at it!!

Pigs and more pigs to feed!

I am that one on the right under the cap!

More field work....

Intern at The Cafe

I also volunteered to clean the hotel floors as they are pretty short of staffs. It was not easy to sweep all four floors after a tiring day.

On the 8th day, or the 4th day in Shangri-La, we did something special. The rest of the youth went off biking, and playing basketball with the staff at the hotel for some extra team-building and other activities.

I didn’t know how it went, because I wasn’t there, but with my parents visiting one of the best hotels in Shangri-La! I think that was pretty awesome.

Family Time


I was somewhere else because, well the high elevation would make my mom a bit, well, out of breath. This would happen a lot, so I decided to stick together with my parents just in case anything happened.

After that, we met up with the group after some shopping at the local supermarket, (which was just a big warehouse - thing that had lots of street-stand-type things,) and then we went the owner of the restaurant’s house to do, guess what? Cooking! Yay! That was really fun, and every 2 people got to cook a dish. Along with the staff at the hotel! So we had SO many dishes that we could eat, with desserts at the end! I went back to the hotel with a full stomach, and slept very deeply.

Recycle food from local market

Recycling Food from local market

On the 9th day, or the 5th day in Shangri-La, we went to the farm. Again. Also, that day, something really bad happened. 2 of the chickens they had, well, died from a sickness, so I was pretty sad about that. One of the chickens was found dead inside the cage, and the other one was really weak, so we took care of it until it died. We buried them in a little corner of the farm, and put a small cross, a gravestone, and some flowers.

More Farm Days

On the 10th day, or the 6th day in Shangri-La, we went to the farm. For the third time! They stated that: “We need more help at the farm, please come again to pick weeds.” My gosh. I was so done with the farm.

My gosh. I was so done with the farm.

But I went anyway, as I realized that we were in Shangri-La to serve, not just to play around and go sightseeing, so I went reluctantly to the farm again to pick weeds and throw them at the pigs so they could eat the weeds. We went to the farm and started picking weeds, as usual. 2 hours in, I started feeling tired after throwing a basket of weeds over the pig pen. I realized at this altitude, my heart had to pump much faster with the less-oxygen-atmosphere, if you get what I mean. So I got really tired, and had to take a break for a big part of the day. (sniff sniff) We still got to eat the awesome lunch, and I felt better after that. We went home, taught some more english to the hotel staff, so when english-speaking people visit, they can serve them more easily.

Then we got the rest of the day off as my dad had more passion test stuff. So I fell asleep that night almost instantly.

Potatso National Park

On the 11th day, or the 7th day in Shangri-La, I woke up to eat a hearty breakfast, then set out on a one hour bus ride to a place in Shangri-La called Potatso National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Shangri-La! When we got there, equipped with our rain poncho, as it was going to rain, I was amazed by all the mountains and valleys. It was such a beautiful tourist place! Then we started on our 2-hour walk on the trail of the National Park. We stopped at many breathtakingly beautiful flowers, views, lakes, and even saw many different unique trees growing around the Park! It was a really nice walk. In fact, they wanted to preserve it so much, they drove some Tibetan people out of the Park, and built a boardwalk as a trail and making it so no one could step on the grass! There’s a bad side and a good side. This place reminded me of the Little House on the Prairie. Beautiful, (I said that word to much there) Vast, anything awesome you can think of

After that, we went on a nice little boat ride around the biggest lake of Potatso Park. That was nice to see the amazing view of the mountains.
Boat Ride at 10,000 ft elevation!~

Visit Tibetan House

Then finally, we went on a bus to drive all the way down to a different part of the National Park, walked some more and then drove to visit a real Tibetan house. I think that was a really interesting experience, as we got to see 2 cats, but we also tried some of their tea, which tasted good, ate their cheese, yogurt, and even some bread, while sitting around their stove, which was like a campfire!There was also a way to take a special type of flour which you could mix with your tea or yogurt to make a rice ball which you could eat!

Visit a Local Tibetan house

So yeah, that concluded this tiring, but awesome mission trip to Shangri-La. But, hey, all this was only possible because you donated your money to me to sponsor me for this trip, and I just wanted to say Thank You again.

Mom & ME

But on top of that, I want to also thank God for providing for this trip for us. The weather during our stay has been very cooperative with us, which is nice, as there were a few times when we just got back to the hotel before it started pouring, and it was pretty much never hot or cold. Yay! Also, God has helped me through my struggles during the trip such as the altitude, jet-lag, annoying advertising, and a lot of other things. So I probably should thank you, but also thank GOD

God has helped me through my struggles during the trip such as the altitude, jet-lag, annoying advertising, and a lot of other things. So I probably should thank you, but also thank GOD
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Zachary Deng

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