Giant Exterminators

Well, I haven’t been able to get on my blog for a while. I’m not sure what the problem is, or how to fix it, but sometimes the website just doesn’t work here. I think this is when I’m supposed to get really paranoid and monitor all my emails and calls. A bunch has happened in the past couple of days, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a good bunch of it. Last night, of course, was our Bible study. The whole two services thing isn’t really taking off very well. Last night, only one student showed up for the second study. Everyone else piled into the first. So maybe that second time isn’t good for people. Maybe we can shift it a little. Part of it is the herd mentality. People want to be where the people are. So some of our options are shifting the times and bringing some more excitement into the second service.

Fortunately, the guy who showed up tonight for the second service had a lot of questions about the Bible that he wanted to ask me personally. He’s a Christian and comes to our leaders meeting; in fact, he’s one of the only people that comes to our Bible study that was a Christian before we met him. He had all kinds of questions – real ones, the kind that come from reading your Bible and trying to live the Christian life. Questions about his sin, about his giving, about his call. His English isn’t as good as a lot of the other students, so I talk to him in about 90% Chinese. Great practice for me. So we studied the Bible together for about an hour. I’d like for him to start living a life like St.’s, and I think he’d jump at the chance, but it’s not timely for me, as my language learning is not complete. As frustrated as I was about our services’ lopsidedness, I really have to praise the Lord for a fantastic Bible study last night.

First of all, St. kicked us off with a short devotion. He normally just presents the Gospel, but this week, I told him to get a verse and explain it to everyone. (Yeah, I don’t know how to say “expository” yet in Chinese.) He went for the “straight and wide gates.” Really did a good job. He really gets the hardest assignment. There’s still students coming in, people scrambling for their Bibles, people talking because he’s not the “real” leader. He gets nervous, but he hangs in there. Brought in some I Cor. 1 action and talked about why the gate is so narrow – about humbling yourself, about admitting your sinful condition, and about the lack of braggarts in heaven. I really need to build him up a little bit in front of the students to get them to pay attention to him. But every speaker needs to learn “crowd control,” and he’s sure getting a crash course in that.

We continued on with David tonight. Who doesn’t love to hear about some crazy shepherd killing lions, bears, and three-meter giants? It is so bizarre to tell that story to people who have never heard it! Who don’t know the ending! The only clue they had that David wasn’t going to get killed was that I told them we were studying David for three more weeks! We do all the Bible reading in Chinese, so they all are able to follow along with the story pretty well. We worked through the story a few verses at a time, and they just loved the story. They were more in tune than any study we’ve ever had! I think it really let the Bible come alive for them. They laughed as we read the verses where David is scorned by his brother, where David refuses the king’s armor for a sling, and where Goliath asks David if he thinks he’s a dog. They all clapped at the end of the story. We really need a few really good weeks like this for the student’s appetite for the Word of God to really be whetted.

But our application this week was that David, as all successful people do, saw opportunities where other people only see danger. Where others only see risk. I mentioned that there were maybe students there that had become Christians and were afraid to tell others about their decision. Nodding heads. And from people that we didn’t know were Christians. There were maybe students that needed to witness to a friend and were afraid to. More nodding heads. There were maybe students that needed to talk to someone about how to become a Christian but were afraid to. My wife told me that L., a guy who’s been coming lately, was nodding his head. Pray for him. All these people need to learn to look, like David, past the dangers and see an amazing opportunity for God’s glory.

It’s what we have to do here in China, as well. We have to risk, risk, risk like crazy and pray God chucks the stone.

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One Comment on “Giant Exterminators”

  1. David Campbell October 27, 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    Please keep telling these stories about your bible studies on the blog I love hearing it. It sounds amazing to get to experience the bible completely new again through the ears and eyes of those you are ministering to.

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