Displaced

We have arrived in the States and are already really missing China. Definitely feel out of place. It’s amazing how fast you can lay roots in a place – how fast you can build a comfort zone, even in the most foreign of environments. My wife and I have been in China now for almost a year and a half, and you don’t really know how home you feel in a place until you aren’t there anymore. That’s probably the most significant of the feelings we have about coming back – “out of place.”

 

We landed in the Newark airport and made it as far as immigration before having to translate. The police officer at one of the booths had some Chinese guy in line who didn’t speak any English. He yelled back at those of us still in the lines, “Anybody speak Chinese?” So my wife pushed me forward and I translated for the guy, who was coming into the States as a consultant for some business. We were the next people in the same line, and the officer was plenty curious about how we could speak Chinese. Had to translate again at baggage claim and again at our connecting flight. Made me feel like such a useful person!

 

Find myself stressing through most of the day about what’s going on in China – have a hard time concentrating on other stuff, honestly. Just feels like we left at a really important time. But I can definitely see this as a time that the guys need for their growth. Hopefully this will be a catalyst in the lives of some of the other members, too. Sunday before we left we did the third installment of a basic training for running the church while we were gone. The week before we had reviewed some of the jobs that we will need to be done, and this week we took volunteers to take responsibility for each job. Really surprised by the outcome, to tell the truth. Surprised in an excited way. Some students stepped up to the plate that have never really had more than passing interest before. A couple of them have already come up with plans to do things better!

 

Talked to S. and T. yesterday. They were working hard at finishing up their messages for this Sunday. They’ve also been spending plenty of money trying to get the new place in operating condition – planning on moving in on Friday, they said, and have services there on Sunday. I hope you’ll pray with me for these guys – this is a major time for them, and I pray the Lord will teach them to rely fully on His power.

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