Be a Bringer

Tonight was our first meeting at the new place. I was worried about it, because I knew some of our anchor people are out for vacation already, and it’s in a new, improved, hard-to-find location. But 56 people found it! Praise the Lord for that! I only bought 60 chairs (that’s about all that will fit in there), and I only (in my great faith) set up 40. So our first meeting filled the place.

Lot of newcomers, as always. But every time we meet, it’s amazing to see the regular, serious attenders becoming more and more well defined. We had four students come early to help us set up and clean the place (chairs and whiteboard arrived at three in the afternoon). Probably the most natural, unofficial leadership position we have is that of the “bringers.”

Each school has a couple of them. They are people who know a lot of people, enjoy coordinating them all, and organize everyone’s departure and arrival to the Bible study. It’s pretty amazing. There’s just a few of them, but they control a large number of people. The best bringer we got, J., was on vacation until tonight (he headed straight for the place from the train station and wandered the streets in vain for quite a while looking for it, until we finally told him to give up and go home and get some sleep!), so I worried about our attendance from one particular school. But we had an awesome number come thanks to the substitutionary bringing of the vice-bringer, Rn.!

We especially need the bringers now that we’re in a much harder-to-find location. It was really tough for a lot of people. We had packs of students fluttering around the area trying to figure out where to go. Most of them were finally rounded in, but there were two or three that never did make it in. One of them told us afterwards that they asked a police officer where it was. Now there’s a security scenario I hadn’t thought about: “Hey, Mr. Police Officer, can you tell me where this Bible study is? Here’s the address…”

Taught tonight about the reason for Jesus’ death. It was an unbelievable experience to have a room packed full of people and deliver the news of the Gospel, the first time for many. It’s fun now, because I can usually say a sentence in Chinese if I’m afraid they don’t know what it is. So my confidence that they’re understanding what’s going on is getting higher.

My wife wants to get curtains for the wall of windows on the far side of our big meeting room. I hadn’t thought of it, but that is kind of a crazy scene for anyone in any of the neighboring buildings. Look into some apartment and see a room packed full of college students with some white guy ranting and waving his arms around drawing crosses on a whiteboard. I don’t get too paranoid about living in China, but I think I’d even call the police if I saw that!

Favorite part: after it’s all done. The dust begins to settle. My throat feels like a cactus field. There were six or seven students who stayed behind to talk afterwards. Three of them were members of our leaders meeting. The others just wanted to spend time with us and talk about the Bible for another half an hour. These are the young people that could be the great spiritual leaders of this nation! I wish I could find a new way to say it. There’s just no way to explain the vastness of the opportunities here!

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