In-laws, M&Ms, and Catholics

Had some problems with the website here today, so I haven’t had a chance to post yet. My wife’s parents are visiting with us right now, so it’s been nice to see family again. They came, as they often do, bearing gifts always welcome in a missionary’s home – American food. I’m rejoicing in my newly-replenished peanut butter M&M’s hoard. It sure beats mixing normal M&M’s up with peanut butter and scarfing it down with a spoon (but I have to do that sometimes, too).

My brain is aching from a constant language school strain. Studying everyday with St. is exactly what I’ve needed: I have to speak Chinese for hours on end. We just finished Acts 18 tonight, and it felt like I was moments away from an aneurysm! There are times that I think, “He can’t possibly understand what in the world I’m saying.” And I’m usually right! But he helps me fight through it. He’s pretty desperate to learn all that he can about the Bible, so he seems to be quick to forgive my bad Mandarin.

My wife and I started our university class today. We were pretty intimidated going into it because it is a fairly high level class, especially considering how long we’ve been here (almost all of the other students have been here for two or three years). It looks like it’s about the perfect level for us, though; the skill level is quite challenging, but not impossible. It’s that just-out-of-reach sweet spot that makes for extremely effective language school.

Our leaders’ meeting on Sunday was one of the more interesting we’ve had. Two more students from last semester showed up, so the crowd is looking more familiar every week. We studied some of the expected effects of salvation, including the responsibility of the new Christian to allow Jesus to have control of our lives. They especially like the part about Jesus as a permanent resident – once He comes into our lives, He never leaves! We talked about the difference between fellowship and relationship. Please pray much for these meetings. It is so important that the truth of the Word sinks into these students’ hearts.

J., our friend that brought ten other friends last Thursday, is a history major at his school. They’ve been studying the Middle Ages, apparently, and he had a lot of questions about the Catholic church, which, naturally, his teachers just refer to as “the Church.” So, as a regular member of our Bible study and a new Christian, he had some questions about this subject. Everything from the sign of the cross to the difference between a pastor and a vicar. Unbelievable. The devil’s second line of defense here. If someone breaks through the lines of ignorance here and escapes the vacuum of spiritual knowledge, Satan is quick to use deception, imitation, and confusion of the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus. More on this later…

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