New and Improved Year

Happy New Year! 48 minutes into it here in China – it’ll be along in the States presently. Don’t worry – it seems like an alright year so far. There have been plenty of fireworks going off outside our house this evening, but I’d rather be warm than see fireworks, so our viewing was limited to those visible from our windows. 2007 was by far the greatest, most intense year of my life – marriage, new country, new language, new church, etc. I have to say that I have been privileged and blessed to see God work in some amazing ways this year, and I pray that He’s not done working. 

All in all, we had a pretty good weekend. With the three services now, the students are starting to spread out more evenly between them, giving us more manageable crowds and, in my opinion, greater effectiveness. A lot of sickness going around right now, besides more school activities, hurt our numbers a little bit, but Saturday we really had a couple great services. Sunday didn’t seem to be quite as great – I still haven’t quite got the hang of being excited about the same message multiple times on the same weekend. Honestly it can be a little exhausting.  

These students really keep me on my theological toes. Not a week goes by that someone, in a heart of sincerity or curiosity or puzzlement, asks me a tough question about the Bible. They’re reading their Bibles and finding lots they don’t understand, which leads to plenty of hour-long conversations about the Bible. Last night, I preached for about 40 or 45 minutes and pretty much wore my Chinese self out. But then I had two hour-plus-long chats with different groups of students about things they’re reading in the Bible. These are so fun. Three parts fun, one part terror. Just waiting for the moment they’re gonna drop some atomic question on you that you’ve never even thought about. Anyway, by the end of the night, I’ve said about every Chinese word I’ve ever heard – and some of my own that I make up! 

And we came home last night to a pretty heavy leak in our bathroom which put about an inch of water on the floor and about caved in the ceiling. Already nighttime, I tried to turn on the light in the bathroom to see how bad the damage was. Me and my slick moves – I shorted out the electricity to the whole house. So I had to turn off the water to the house. Gotta love those no-electricity, no-water days! Anyway, a guy came today to fix everything. Tore apart our bathroom, but he fixed the problem. Bathroom’s still in shambles, but we’ve got power back and the leak repaired. So I get to start the new year with a home improvement project.

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