Beijing. The capital city of a country comprising 1.3 billion people. Alone, this city holds 20 million residents and spans thousands of years of history. The Great Wall reaching from the northeastern to the northwestern tips of China was originally constructed over 2000 years ago. It was expanded and developed more recently (i.e., around 600 years ago) into what it is today. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world, bracketed by gates that were built in the 1400s to protect the city. It is the place where the establishment of the People’s Republic of China was first announced in 1949, and it has been the site of numerous national events and political protests since then. Surrounded by such significant landmarks and inspired by such fascinating history, Heather and I decided that we could not pass up this opportunity to do one particular thing before we left this ancient city. That one thing?


You see, about a month ago, Heather and some friends convinced me that I needed to get in shape, and cross fit was the way to go. I agreed to go to a “Friend Day” one Saturday morning, thinking that maybe it would be “friendly.” Not the case. I was miserable, and after a short 15-minute workout, I was lying on the floor. My heart was beating fast, my legs were threatening to explode, and I could hear a parade of people walking by me and whispering in hushed tones about how bad I looked.

I was hooked. I clearly needed to get in shape, and Heather and I immediately signed up for the introductory class. We’ve been doing that for a few weeks now, and we are determined to keep the work-out routine consistent in China. So today, we decided to do some WODs (WOD stands for “Workout of the Day”) in some pretty historic places.

First was the Great Wall of China. These massive brick stones spanning thousands of miles once protected the Ming Dynasty here. Today, Heather and I scaled this wall only to get to the top and do some air squats and burpees. You can check out the action here:

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Next was Tiananmen Square. This WOD involved a 2-mile run to the Square. There, under the watchful eye of Chairman Mao’s gaze, we did pushups…



And then we paused to commemorate this momentous workout before our 2-mile run back to where we’ve been staying.

There’s a saying in China that “he who does not reach the Great Wall is not a real hero.” Today, Heather and I didn’t just reach the wall. Instead, we did what few, if any, Chinese have ever done before: a WOD on the wall. And thus we added another page to the storied history of this great city.

In all seriousness, we had an absolutely wonderful last day in Beijing with the boys. They were troopers, climbing up considerably steep portions of the Great Wall all the way to the top of the section we visited. We thank God for the priceless time He has given us with them in these days before their world turns upside down (in wonderful ways, of course!). And we praise God for His beauty on display everywhere we turn in this truly historic place. See this last video from the top of the Great Wall.

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Jesus is sovereign over history and Lord over China, and He deserves the praise of all 1.3 billion people who live here. Please continue to pray for “Winter” as we will have one more opportunity to be with him tomorrow morning before flying to our next city, where we will meet our new daughter, Lord willing, in less than 48 hours!