Profitable Inconvenience

So Sunday we tried our two service arrangement for the first time (not counting Easter). It’s quite a bit more exhausting, but I think it’s definitely worth the hassle. If we put all those people into the same service, it would be pretty uncomfortable in there, less attention would be paid, and I think we would have made personal connections with a lot fewer students. As it was, the first service was close to full, and there were probably half as many in the second. So I tried to make it more personal, and it seemed to go at least as well as the first.

 

We had three Korean students as visitors who came with a Chinese student who has come before, but I couldn’t place him. At least one of them is a Christian and speaks a little bit of Chinese (though she can read and write a lot more than me), and the other two have just arrived here. Our new piano player did a great job yesterday, though she was super nervous. She had some friends come to see her play – one was not a Christian and wanted to become one, but Debbie didn’t really know what to do about that (we found out about that after they had left). So pray for her.

 

We started our Philippians book study last night – “Objective Joy” we’re calling it. Meaning there is a joy that is a product of the work of the Holy Spirit, not of our surrounding circumstances. My original intention was to spend six weeks in the book, but that doesn’t look feasible now – I only made it to verse 11 this week. I struggled to get the language rolling in the first service, but it finally came. I manuscripted my entire message again this week. When I preach, I’m nowhere close to word-for-word from the manuscript, but preparing in that much detail pretty much guarantees I know all the vocabulary and sentence patterns necessary to make it through the message. So though it probably doubles my prep time, I’ll probably keep doing it like this for a couple months.

 

Part of the problem is that by Sunday night, I’ve gone almost two days without language school. I mean speaking the language for multiple hours, not studying the language. I study on the weekends, too, but not as much oral drilling. So I’m a little rusty on Sunday night. Fortunately, there’s usually some people with some Bible questions before we get started on Sunday night, which lets me get a good warm-up before I have to stand up and go.

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