The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 78, No. 32, Ed. 1, Wednesday, January 17, 1990 Page: 3 of 6
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Wodnosday.January 17 1D90
mom . n
!P Optimist Pagej 9
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The two women acted like
life-long friends as they sat
giggling on the couch.
Their obvious enjoyment of each
other's company brought a smile to
the lips of everyone who passed
by and the casual observer could
easily have assumed theirs was a
friendship born of many years of
- f Nothing could be further from
&he truth. Although they acted like
iathey had known each other for
years they had grown up worlds
apart from each other. Cindy
Ogden grew up in the United
States of America and Xiao Ying
grew up in the People's Republic
Despite their very different
backgrounds however their paths
finally crossed in the city of
Xiamen in Southeast China. When
they first met in 1986 their friend-
ship was immediate and lasting
because they shared a common
bond. They were both struggling
to be New Testament Christians in
a world that limited religion to
Cindy graduated from ACU in
1984 with a degree in elementary
education. She taught elementary
school special education for a cou-
ple of years after getting out of
school but she just wasn't satisfied
with her life. She was looking for
Through some of her friends
Cindy found out about a group in
Seattle that sends English teachers
to China. Their program seemed
to be the perfect opportunity to
break into the mission field and
expand her horizons.
"I'd been involved in missions at
ACU and I'd been qri two globaj
campaigns to Central America"
Cindy said. "I also had several
friends who were interested in Asia
at the time so China appealed to
Cindy's unique position as a cer-
tified teacher made her the ideal
candidate for this type of mission
work. The Chinese government
must approve all teachers who app-
- ly to the program and most mis-
sionaries do not qualify. Cindy was
excited about the opportunity to go
where many missionaries could
"Not many Americans are allow-
ed to go live in China" she said.
"Because it is a Communist coun-
try it is impossible to get a mis-
sionary visa so teaching English is
one of the best ways to get into the
While Cindy was in the U.S.
making plans to move her life to
China a Chinese family was plan-
ning a transition of its own. Xiao
Ying's family was breaking with
the official government church to
attend an illegal underground
church - one that tried to follow
the teachings of the Bible.
"There is a church in China but
Army's burning scares states
The Army plans to start
burning about 30000 tons
of chemical weapons in a
project designed to make the
world safer that is arousing con-
cern in some of the eight states
pe where the destruction will occur.
"We feel it is a risky scenario"
said Linda Kaplovitz an en-
vironmentalist who lives near the
I Aberdeen Proving Ground where
tons of mustard blistering agent
are stored and will be burned.
. "We don't want another Bhopal
I or Chernobyl God forbid" she
Such fears are overdrawn said
Col. Walter L. Busbee command-
er of the Army's "chemical
demilitarization" program He was
interviewed at his headquarters a
low cinder block building
Cindy Ogden and Xiao Ying
it can't teach anything unless the
government approves it" Xiao
Ying said. "Any scriptural lessons
go against Communistvicws so
the churches just teah'tHe facts of
Bible history and sing songs."
But Cindy didn't ''now anything
about Xiao Ying ana her
enlightened religious views when
she arrived in Xiamen China. She
knew only that she was alone and
scared in an unfamiliar place when
she moved onto the campus of the
Xiamen middle school to begin
teaching English to the students
"I was living by myself and the
first day was traumatic" she said.
Several other American women
were teaching English in the area
however and they gathered
together frequently to visit. One of
the women was teaching English to
Xiao Ying and she brought her to
one of their meetings to meet the
other Americans. She and Cindy
connected at once.
Cindy remembers noticing
something different about
Xiao Ying when they met.
She didn't seem to be like other
Chinese people Cindy had known.
"I knew she was different when
she hugged me" Cindy said.
"People don't hug each other in
the Chinese culture but it didn't
overlooking the Chesapeake Bay
25 miles northeast of Baltimore.
The nine-year $3.1 billion pro-
ject has undergone rigorous scien-
tific scrutiny he said adding the
burning will not begin until he is
satisfied with a test program due to
begin in March on a remote Pacific
island. Congress has ordered the
Army to destroy almost all of its
aging chemical arsenal by 1997.
After the 16-month test destruc-
tion will begin at eight other sites
in Maryland Kentucky Alabama
Utah Indiana Oregon Arkansas
Under pressure from Congress
the Army scheduled destruction
last at the two most populous sites
Aberdeen and at the Lexington-
Bluegrass Army Depot in Ken-
tucky Busbee said.
Environmental concerns are
Different Worlds 1
bother her at all."
Xiao Ying had picked up the
hugging from her attempts to learn
more about American culture. She
saidraany Students like to interact
with American tourists and watch
them to learn about American
ways of acting.
"Her Christianity probably has
something to do with it too" Cin-
Their friendship started simply
when Cindy asked Xiao Ying to
teach her how to cook Chinese
food. Cooking lessons led to Bible
studies and they began spending
more and more time together.
After studying the Bible with
Cindy Xiao Ying eventually
decided she needed to be baptized.
Cindy said one of the most special
memories she has of the year she
spent in China is the memory of
the day she and Xiao Ying went.
down to the ocean for the baptism.
After everything she and Xiao
Ying had been through together
during the year Cindy was sad to
leave her when the time came to go
home. But the oceans that separat-
ed them were only a temporary
barrier between these two friends
because one of Xiao Ying's teach-
ers had taken a special interest in
This teacher arranged to sponsor
her in attending Towson State
twofold: that a destruction facility
could explode or leak and that the
exhaust cannot be scrubbed clean.
Each part of the facility will be
sealed against leaks and reinforced
against explosions Busbee said.
"I'm not telling you that there
will never be an accident or an in-
cident" he said but added "the
probability we think is very low."
Kaplovitz cited a long list of
possible pollutants from the facili-
ty including dioxins which
researchers blame for ailments
ranging from headaches to birth
defects cancer and toxic poison-
ing.' The environmental organization
Greenpeace International has
wafhecl that gases given off at the
tes'0Ue on Johnston Atoll 800
miles southwest of Hawaii could
harm marine life.
University in Baltimore some-
thing many Chinese students
desire to do but few are able to ac-
t complish. Xiao Ying entered the
'shoolhis fall; and to the delight n
of both her and Cindy they were'1 f 1
able to spend the Christmas holi-
days together in Abilene.
Xiao Ying is enjoying her
time in the States although
she still wonders what God
has in store for her life here.
"Maybe God is trying to show
me something by opening the
doors for me to come here" she
said. "I still don't know what I'm
supposed to do here so I'm just
praying for guidance."
Xiao Ying hopes to be able to
transfer to ACU next fall to be
near Cindy and the Christians she
knows here but first she will have
to find a sponsor who is willing to
help her. If she can't find a spon-
sor she will have to stay in
Maryland with her current spon-
sorship. Although she is enjoying her
time in Maryland Xiao Ying
would like to be able to study more
with the Christians here. Religion
in America confused her when she
first arrived specifically the
number of options churchgoers
"In China I was taught that
"We feel that the Army has ig-
nored quite a few major en-
vironmental concerns" said Sebia
Hawkins a Greenpeace activist in
The Army's approach was
recommended by the National
Academy of Sciences and the plans
were reviewed by the Environmen-
tal Protection Agency and the
Department of Health and Human
Harvard University chemist
Matthew Meselson said the facili-
ties are likely to cause less pollu-
tion than many urban refuse in-
cinerators because the chemical
reactions are more predictable and
more easily monitored.
"There is something that has to
be recognized here and that is that
we are going to do this once. We
are not building something for
there was only one Church just as
there is only one Spirit" she said.
"Here you have so many different
churches and I just don't unders-
Xiao Ying said she thinks
religious people in America want
to believe their thoughts and be-
liefs are better than those of people
who have differing opinions.
"I think people don't really
understand the Bible so they just
go and do their own things" she
said. "They aren't praising God
but they want to show people they
are better than others with what
Xiao Ying believes in a personal
relationship with God something
Cindy is only too familiar with.
"The most important thing that
happened to me in China is the
way my relationship with God was
strengthened" she said. "The rela-
tionship had to be strong because
it was just me and Him."
But God didn't leave Cindy
alone in China for long. He
brought her another young Chris-
tian to make her time in a foreign
country easier and now Cindy has
an opportunity to repay that favor
to Xiao Ying.
by Lorri Hunter
mankind for its indefinite future. It
doesn't have to be the last word in
technology" said Meselson who
previously has challenged the gov-
ernment on other issues.
Busbce's organization is to begin
the test run of its first full-scale
destruction facility on Johnston
Atoll in March burning chemical
agents that were stored on
Okinawa until 1971 and others
that arc scheduled to be moved
from West Germany sometime in
the next two years.
Although the Bush administra-
tion is negotiating a global conven-
tion to ban chemical arms it also is
producing a new generation of so-
called binary weapons. Chemical
components in the binary weapons
are kept separate until use wluch
Armypfficials say makes them
safer to store or destroy.
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 78, No. 32, Ed. 1, Wednesday, January 17, 1990, newspaper, January 17, 1990; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101553/m1/3/: accessed August 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.