Also A Miracle

Tonight felt like a big step in getting back to normal around the church. I’m really interested in what the net results will be at the end of this school break. I think it’s been a good time for our core group, and it seems like they’re anxious to get started on a new semester, too.  

The girls had their first Bible study in a couple weeks. A great number showed up, too – I’m not sure how many they had, but a couple were people that have just got back into town. According to my wife, they really opened up about their devotional lives, personal struggles, and questions about the Christian life. They went a loooong time. Which, by my calculations, if you have a girls’ group that doesn’t drag on like that, the girls probably aren’t relating to each other very well. They ended with a time of prayer, especially for my wife’s back. 

T. got back this afternoon, so we had our guys’ ministry class again. J. from the underground church came, plus St. and a few other visitors. We’re still working through this Old Testament Survey course, but this semester we really want to start at least one class for anyone who wants to come and learn more about the Bible. Hopefully the seeds of our future Bible Institute.  

I wanted to tell this story – L. is one of the girls that we haven’t seen in awhile. She’s been a Christian for several months, and even came to the leaders meeting a little, but she’s always seemed kind of semi-interested and in the last few weeks before the break she was almost completely absent from anything to do with the church. She showed up tonight, though, for the girls Bible study.  She told the girls that when she went home to her hometown – way out in the west of China – a friend of hers got very sick and had to go to the hospital. Whatever his problem was, the doctors didn’t really offer him much hope and expected him to get continually worse. When she went to visit him, she told him about becoming a Christian the past semester. He was interested, but she didn’t really remember many verses about having a relationship with Christ, as she had only read the Gospel of John. So she just opened her Bible to the first chapter and started to read, and she said it was just amazing! Not sure what that means! But the guy liked it and has started to read the Bible for himself. And strangely enough, his health, contrary to the doctors’ expectations, is starting to turn around.  

Naturally, I wish she had been able to declare the Gospel with more certainty. But it seemed like something had been stirred inside of her as well – a confidence in the Word of God – that is worth rejoicing about all by itself. Maybe this semester, she’ll let God have His way in her life. And maybe we’ll get to hear of other stories like this from students returning from provinces all over the country!

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