The Plot Thickens

Weekend is in full swing. Yesterday me and the guys worked on Job for a couple of hours. And I thought that book was hard to understand in English! But the class is really lots of fun. Except for the fact that it is a real reminder of how far I have yet to go in my language ability. I do my best to not use English, since it is just me and the guys, but the vocabulary necessary to teach a survey class is proving to be pretty wide. Whereas I use pretty much the same words every time I teach the Gospel, in a survey class every week I’ve got a couple dozen words and phrases on my plate that I’ve never even thought about. A lot of junk that I don’t even know how to find translations for. For instance, last week we talked about the fall of man. Well, I didn’t know! I’m sure there’s a consensus already among the Chinese Christian powers that be as to how to express this idea, but I don’t really hang out with any of those guys. So I had to look up a bunch of verses in the Bible that talked about the fall of people or cities or the devil and figure out a reasonable translation. Learning a language is one thing, learning a language to teach the Bible in is yet another. It’s funny when you ask someone in your new language, “And what does this mean?” And they don’t know. Then what do you do? 

Bible study tonight. Somebody must be praying for my health, because it’s amazingly holding steady! My throat is strangely in constant mild pain, but it’s not getting any worse, even after hours of abusing it. Great. So there’s a praise disguised as a prayer request! Unfortunately, my wife’s getting sick and feeling pretty miserable. So please pray for her, too! 

We started our new series tonight on finding the right person to marry. Nothing gets a bunch of college students attention like ranting about marriage for a while, so we’ve devoted the next few weeks to seeing what the Bible says in response to common questions about falling in love, dating, and marriage. I really think the Lord blessed in both services – teaching the Bible here is such a thrill – I could never begin to describe it. Lot of friends of regular attenders came tonight; a lot of them introduced their friends to me. Very exciting. Also, we made our first announcements of the twenty-third as our first big Chinese service. We’re going to start with a Christmas concert as part of our kickoff service that Sunday. And some of the students told me that some lady from our building was really angry about our meeting – they don’t really seem to have any complaint besides how many people we have, but she promises to call the owner, etc. Please pray for that situation. Negative publicity is not really what we need right now.  

I was probably most encouraged by the good amount of fellowship tonight. A lot of the Christians are becoming closer friends and enjoy spending time together. Even better, some of them are getting better at approaching strangers and trying to make them feel welcome as well. We’ve also tried to bring in a bunch of games as additions to our upcoming student center. And tonight, whereas a lot of people usually make quick exits after the service, a lot of them stayed and played some games for a while, and a lot of good connections were made. And the girls knitting for the orphanage takes us about a whole room – they’ve pretty much got a factory going!

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