O, I Of Little Faith

This weekend has opened up a new chapter in our work here. Probably the best thing of all is the excitement that has been generated in the church over the creation of a new church for a different university. Tried real hard to reinforce the idea that our church was “giving birth” to another – and that the real work would come afterwards as we try to raise it to maturity. I guess a better analogy would be that another church has been “conceived,” because it is still completely dependent on the other – workers, money, planning, teaching, etc. is all coming from the another location. Besides a heartbeat, there ain’t a whole lot there…


I was a little worried that all the momentum towards the opening of the new location Saturday would take its toll on the services last night, but praise the Lord, we had two almost-full-house services with lots of great first-time visitors. All told, we were well over 100 in attendance between the three services and after throwing out all the repeats. So that’s definitely a high for us. Sam preached the first last night, and I preached the second in Chinese.


Some interesting guests last night. Of course, when I say “interesting,” I mean to say “frightening”… Makes me feel like quite the hypocrite – while I’m preaching about Peter walking on water and his doubts, I’m terrified that some of our visitors are going to get me in trouble!


For instance, there was Misha. He’s a Russian student that goes to the same university as I do. I’ve met him a few times before – he’s a real nice guy, but I’ve never talked to him about anything besides our studies, never about our work here. We don’t exercise much caution in our work here, but one thing that we just don’t do is talk about our work to anyone that has any influence on our visa: foreign students from the college we go to, professors from our school, our landlord, etc. Maybe we should, but we just haven’t so far. Well, that plan was bound to falter sometime (part of the whole faith thing, really). My friend-who’s-definitely-not-a-spy is also a Russian translator – met Misha at some Russian-speaking thing and told him about our church. So I was pretty nervous about what Misha was going to think – if he mentioned this to the right people, it could mean visa trouble. Fortunately, he seemed to enjoy himself – also, the friend that brought him is on the paranoid side and probably wouldn’t have brought him unless there was some measure of confidence.


Then there was some assistant to some director from our school. Guy’s got a pretty high-up position around there – works especially in buying and developing land for school expansions. He seemed to really have a good time, he’s a real nice guy, and he was interested in helping us get jobs if we needed them. All in all, a good lesson that I’m not nearly as courageous as I think I am, and that faith isn’t even really tried until there’s something going on that scares us.

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