Monday, July 26, 2010

China Contribution

Greetings -

Thanks to Jim and Jack Spooner for their contribution of 250 Matchbox cars for us to distribute to some wonderful young people in China.  The Spooner boys made a similar contribution for our last trip.  We pass the cars out to children in the orphanage schools we visit and some nomadic areas - many times these are the first toys of this kind the kids have ever seen - and believe me - they are overjoyed.  Pictures of that experience to follow.

Scott Raecker

Some of the kids we are helping

I dearly hope this is the final 'test message' I send. I think I have the
'photo posting' problem sorted out, but I need to send this just to confirm
that fact to myself.

Since I needed to send a note and picture, I thought I should send a picture
of some of the children that we are helping thru the Shining City
Foundation. Also, you can see some of the homemade hats that are being put
to good use.


Where we will be

I had someone ask about a map that had some of the locations where we will be. So, click here and you will see it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

China Trip Preparations

Greetings Friends -
The countdown is on and one week from right now (Sunday 8 pm) we will have been on an airplane from Chicago for 8 hours - with another 5 hours to go before we arrive in Beijing.

This morning our travel team was commissioned at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Dan Timmons did an excellent job of capturing the essence of our journey before Pastor Burcham and members of the congregation offered a prayer of commissioning.  A very special moment.

This weekend we gathered to pack the 7 large duffle bags with items that we will take for those we are serving.  We have the remainder of my dad's dental equipment for the Dentists at the Ren Li Clinic (along with three lab coats from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry), over 40 quilts made by a great group of woman from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, pencil boxes and education supplies, 250 Matchbox cars provided by Jim and Jack Spooner, hundreds of hats knit by Cheryl Gilg, and and large quantity of hygiene supplies.

We are limited to smaller bags than the previous trips and the weight must be under 44 pounds so we needed to maximize every inch of space.  ONE of the great values of having young people on the team is their creativity.  Emily suggested we use the "as seen on TV" vacuum bags - which we did - and they are amazing.

I have attached a couple of photos and will attempt to send a short video to the blog.

Our schedule and updates can also be found at

And finally, thanks to Doug Pals for setting up the e-mail update and blog.  Doug is one of our China 2010 team members who will be joined on the trip by Dan and Deb Timmons, Brad Peyton and his daughter Leslie, and my daughter Emily - along with me, the person writing this post - Scott Raecker.

Friday, July 23, 2010

T-8 days until China

If you are getting this in your email, it is because you asked to be updated
on the Shining City Foundation trip to China that Scott Raecker, Emily
Raecker, Brad Peyton, Leslie Peyton, Dan & Deb Timmons and Doug Pals are
taking Aug 1-11.

This should also post to our blog at, so some might be reading
this update there.

This is essentially our final test to be sure our email distribution system
and blog posting by email are working correctly.

Thanks to you all for your interest and 'upward thoughts' about the trip.
This is Doug Pals writing today. We are not sure which member of our travel
team will be writing during the trip or if we all will take turns. Much will
depend on our ability to find a good Internet connection, etc.

Needless to say, we are all excited to get this adventure started and we are
packing in earnest. Thanks to so many that have provided us hats, clothes,
quilts, books and dental equipment to take with us to deliver to friends -
new and old in China. For some of us (me, Emily and Leslie), this is our
first trip; for others (Scott, Dan & Deb, and Brad) they have been multiple
times. All of us are excited about the new opportunities that we might

Blessings to all of you! Be watchful for our next update.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Preparing to travel

We are very excited to begin our adventure and visit many places throughout
China. The packing has begun in earnest!

This is Doug writing, but I know that Scott, Emily, Brad, Leslie, Deb and
Dan, are all eager to get our trip underway.

This is a test of the "email to blog" publishing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trip Schedule as of July 16th

AUGUST 1st -11th, 2010

Aug 1:   
Depart Des Moines 600A – arrive Chicago 718A (UA 494)
Depart Chicago at 1220P   (UA 851)

Aug. 2:   
Arrive Beijing at 2:40P
Tour Great Wall in PM 
Hotel accommodation at the Holiday Inn Lido Beijing

Aug. 3:   
Depart Beijing at 805A arrive Kunming 1140A (CA 905)
Have  lunch and visit market  in Kunming
8 pm flight to Zhongdian  
Hotel accommodation in Old Town Zhongdian  at the Compass Inn

Aug. 4:    
Flight to Lhasa around 8:45 am. (exact flight yet to be determined)
Arrive Lhasa approx. 10:35 with about 75 minute drive from airport to town
Hotel  accommodations at Yak Hotel
Lunch at Snowland CafĂ©   
Afternoon time to coordinate / pack education bags for kids, quilts & school uniforms
Deliver education bags, quilts & school uniforms to children in evening

Aug. 5:   
Visit the Jokam Lamasery in morning
Visit the Potala Palace in afternoon
Aug. 6:       
Day trek to Nomadic Area to visit local villages & nomadic Yak herders

Aug. 7:       
Fly to Zhongdian - morning
Bus drive from Zhongdian to LiJiang
Stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge
Hotel accommodations at Grand LiJiang Hotel

Aug 8:   
Visit  Orphanage in Lijiang
Visit with Bottle Man and pick up bottles to bring home
Visit Ren Li Clinic and deliver dental equipment
Dinner at Naxi Home

Aug 9:   
Bus ride to Yi Village / Mountain Trek
LiJiang to Kunming on PM flight
Kunming Hotel yet to be determined

Aug 10    
Depart Kunming 1220P arrive Beijing 325P    (CA 1404)
Hotel accommodations at the Holiday Inn Lido Beijing

Aug 11   
Tour Tiananmen Square / Forbidden City
Depart Beijing 410P arrive Chicago  413P (UA 850)
Depart Chicago 830P arrive Des Moines 946P (UA 464)