Someone once caught me off guard with the question, “What do you do for fun in China?”

Tough question. A few thoughts came to mind . . . Hiking around Kunming is fun. I also enjoy riding the double decker city bus with my boys. Meeting a friend for a bowl of spicy noodles can be fun. Killing mosquitoes with our mosquito zapper is entertaining – especially when they sizzle and pop.

But I would rather tell you what I do for joy. Joy is so much better than fun. It lasts longer and feels better. It is that deep down sense of happiness, goodness, and delight that comes from doing the kind of activities you know you were created for.

Sometimes, joy can be found in situations that are not all that much fun.

For example, last month, 29 new Himalayan children arrived at our foster. Some of these kids had never ridden in a motor vehicle, seen a foreigner, or had a bath for that matter. They all needed a good cleaning, new clothes, and a thorough check up.

So I began recruiting some docs to help me examine these kids and 18 other new foster children. One guy responded, “No thanks, that’s not my idea of fun.”

Two other physicians were happy to help out. It was a bit crazy as most of these kids do not speak Chinese. So we had interpreters going from Tibetan & Hani to Chinese. English was not an option. We also took photos and registered all of the new students. It was kind of like M*A*S*H meets the Three Stooges meets Olan Mills on picture day.

What a blast! 47 kids later, we were tired and we smelled pretty bad. But Dr. Briggs said, “That was fun!” Yes, but much more. That was joy. That was better than any roller coaster theme park (see photo)

Why settle for just fun when you can have joy?

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