Blog Posts

Missionary messages

I’m (not) an Expert

Maria Niechwiadowicz


At Ningxia Shifan Xueyuan the foreign teachers are often formally referred to as “English Experts.” I laugh at this title because I find it ironic. I’m really only an expert by default, that is, I grew up in an English-speaking country and therefore, it is my native language. That does not mean that I always speak well or use correct grammar, though I do pride myself in lacking an accent (thank you Midwest home). The new sophomore English textbook I am using this semester is awesome! It is ...

Community Track

Maria Niechwiadowicz


Living on the old campus means that I am steps away from the well-worn, dirt track that has now become a community space. Over the past year, I have worn millions of footprints into it’s soil and run countless laps around it’s tedious loops. I have shared important conversations with friends within it’s walls and sprinted out tears along it’s straightaways. But returning to the track in August after a 2-month hiatus brought a new appreciation and comfort. This track is a symbol of routine for ...

Traveling Simply

Maria Niechwiadowicz


As any teacher can attest to, a semester of teaching can be long and tiring despite the joys that come with teaching. But the end of the semester brings a time of rest that is welcomed with open arms! Having almost two months of summer vacation is a huge blessing, one that most Global Mission Fellows do not have. This time of respite provided an opportunity for me to see other parts of China with eager eyes, connect with family, and meet new friends. But traveling is a privilege, mostly because...

Summer Travel Through China, Photo Gallery

Maria Niechwiadowicz


Beijing Gallery Well hey there, Beijing! Beacon of Tiananmen Inside the Forbidden City Niech Team plus Mao Great Wall of China, MuTianYu section   Rickshaw riding Temple of Heaven Visiting the 2008 Olympic venues! Olympic Champions! Shanghai Gallery Come take a look… View from the Pearl Tower Jet-lagged but lovin’ life Garden visits in Suzhou Zhejiajiang Water Town Can’t beat the views in Shanghai! Xi’an Gallery Terra Cotta Warriors Pit 1, over 6,000 ...

The Huangshan Hiker

Maria Niechwiadowicz


n July I set out with a backpack, my sights set on Huangshan! Huangshan City is located within Anhui province in southeastern China. Located outside of the city is Mt. Huang or Yellow Mountain, for which the city is named. Mt. Huang is reputed to be the most beautiful and most visited mountain in China. But besides Mt. Huang there are other wonderful mountains and trails to explore! I spent almost a full week in the misty and green area of Huangshan, exploring 3 different mountain trails. QiYun ...

Redefining liberalism

Maria Niechwiadowicz


In the context of America, I consider myself a liberal-minded Christian. One who interprets scripture with a progressive mindset and emphasizes the importance of living out the life and practices of Jesus Christ. But liberalism in China has a slightly different connotation, one that I have been reading eagerly about this week. I want to share two articles that provide detailed perspectives on the Liberal or Reformed Church in China and how various church groups are responding. I hope that these...

12 lessons in 12 months

Maria Niechwiadowicz


I can now officially say that I have been a Global Mission Fellow for one year, which means there is just one year left of my service in China. It is amazing to look back and reflect on the time that has passed! What a journey of joys, struggles, understanding, and confusion this year has been. Needless to say I have learned a lot, and the learning is not over. In fact, God’s wisdom is just beginning to show it’s light in my work, in Guyuan, and in me. Here are 12 lessons I have learned in 12 ...

First year of teaching, complete

Maria Niechwiadowicz


After a long two weeks of listening to final exam speeches, grading outlines, and submitting final paperwork, I can now say that I have officially completed one year as a teacher at Ningxia Teacher’s University! (Cheering, Clap-clap, Hooray, Boo-yah! Trumpets, tambourines, confetti, etc) So what have I learned about being a teacher so far? 1. There is no “off-button.” I work at school. I work at home. I work at 8am. I work at 7pm. There is no “off-button” as a teacher. My work is everywhere and ...

Mother-daughter outreach

Maria Niechwiadowicz


As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” -1 Peter 4:10 Mandy has a gift. She is a party planner. When it comes to birthdays and holidays, Mandy is the best! Starting with a theme, Mandy will not only plan corresponding decorations and food, but also come up with silly activities and suggest appropriate costumes. When it comes to our foreign teacher team, Mandy has planned some pretty awesome parties throughout the year. But Mandy’s real ...

Playing in the Sand

Maria Niechwiadowicz


This weekend I had the chance to visit ZhongWei with a student that lives there! ZhongWei is located in west-central Ningxia along the Yellow River, and is boardered in mountains and the Tengger Desert! Its most popular feature is the Shapotou area, a 2,000-meter long and 100-meter high sand mound on the northern bank of the Yellow River and at the southern edge of the Tengger Desert. Walking into the park and taking in the landscape was incredible! Rustic mountains in the background, the ...

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