A White-In At Last

Interesting day. In our apartment complex, they’re installing some new heating pipes. And not too soon, as there’s already reports of snow in the area. Until yesterday, the only symptoms of the project were a steady clamor of banging and yelling. But yesterday afternoon, the power kicked off in the building, and we spent the rest of the day in an alternating brown- to black-out. No hint of electricity today until this evening, so we’ve been without hot water, an oven, a fridge, or, most agonizing of all, internet for a little over a day.

Good leaders meeting last night. We started a series of ten basic discipleship lessons that we’re going to translate and keep track of who’s taken which class. At the end, we’ll give some kind of certificate or something to anyone who completes the classes and then try to help them get a small group of people to teach the same lessons to. Last night we started with the most basic building block, “Who is God?” We looked up about 40 or so verses, looked at God’s personality, His characteristics, His positions, and His desires. We had a high number at this meeting, and it really is beginning to feel like a core of… something. Can’t get too excited, though – even apples have cores.

Ever meet someone you just can’t figure out? I wrote the other day about J. who I ate dinner with this weekend after attending his English corner. Well, I was majorly discouraged after that dinner because I felt like he just couldn’t wrap his mind around the importance of what we were talking about. I mean, he brings lots of people to the Bible study, and he claims to be a Christian, even to read his Bible, but he just seems to lack some passion about it. (Better stated, “a special passion” for it – this guy’s a fireball – passionate about everything)

Anyway, he came to the first meeting on Saturday. Brought his big group. Listened to the message about Jesus’ resurrection. After closing in prayer, I was making some closing announcements, and J. raises his hand. I call on him, and he stands up and gives a testimony of the change in his life since he became a Christian and tells everyone else what they’re missing by not getting saved! Hardly doctrinally rock-solid, but he just seemed moved to action. He told everyone that if they didn’t have a Bible they should buy one and read it everyday. Afterwards he told me, “I think we need to start a Chinese church.” As happy as I felt, I wanted to jump out the window! Where’s he been all this time? But, if he finally gets it…

Yesterday was his birthday, so we had a cake for him at the leaders meeting. He came in and practically wailed with giddy joy and called upon God to bless these his best of friends. Seriously. He prayed again before blowing out the candles. My wife doesn’t agree, but I think he might have been drunk. But, hey, he’s at the leaders meeting, so that makes him a leader… maybe. Whatever he was, he was thankful to have a Christian family last night. If I could summarize everything that I’ve learned about the average student here in one word, I’d say “lonely.” (Fortunately, I have a blog, so I get to use lots more words, too) When we talk about activities and fellowship and building relationships with each other, some genuine interest is almost always apparent.

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