The Good Ship Disciple

Last night was encouraging – though this season bears plenty of discouragement. Everyone is heading home for the holiday. School is out, and most of our friends are already gone. It can get pretty lonely – we’re really blessed with a good number of close friends here – not particularly fun to have them all leave at the same time. Probably had about a dozen people or so last night – down from 100 two weeks ago. This is our second time to go through this vacation here – we’ll be praying the church comes back strongly as the new semester starts. Seemed to last year – have to trust the Lord again this year.

 

Because it’s so cold here, and because the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), the winter break is just as long as the summer break. Leaves us with a couple big six-week holes in our calendar each year. But I pray that we’re wise enough to see these potentially discouraging times as opportunities: to work on my language skills, to focus on those disciples who are spending most of their break here, and to prayerfully plan for the next semester.

 

With that in mind, our services over the break will be deeper Bible studies around a table. We’re doing a study on being and making disciples. To say I’m thankful for the first night’s results would be an understatement – we really had a great time! The lesson (What is a disciple?) had about a billion verses to look up, some discussion questions at the end, and a suggestion for further study (the students that are still here have nothing but time on their hands). Listening to them argue out the differences between being a disciple and a believer was really fantastic.

 

Later, one of the guys that’s really stepped into the upper tier in the last couple months was talking to one of our most faithful girls, and they wanted to ask me some questions. Explained to me that they want to be sharing the Gospel with their friends but still feel unsure about what to tell them. This girl had a friend of hers call her last week and say, “I’ve been thinking about it, and I want to become a Christian – what should I do?” Kinda froze – last thing she expected, though she’d been witnessing to him for some time. So we talked about how their roommates see them and their faith. The guy says that his friends are finding out he’s a Christian, but he’s not sure how to turn a conversation to that person’s spiritual condition. Both of them have friends that make fun of them for being believers. Pretty amazing – this girl really demonstrates how important response to criticism is to the effectiveness of your witness. Everyone in her dorm knows she’s a Christian – they see her reading her Bible everyday. And though they’ve all consistently mocked her for it, eventually they’ve all asked her about her faith. Finally, just a couple weeks before Christmas, two of them approached her and asked if they could come to church with her!

 

Anyway, blessed to have some wonderful students like these two to work with, you can see why we hate to miss them for six or seven weeks.

2 Comments on “The Good Ship Disciple”

  1. Peggy January 13, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    What joy must fill your heart to hear that these students, that you have discipled, are now turning to do the same!! That is the LIFE in “For the Word of God is living and active” Hebrews 4:12a. I rejoice with you!!

  2. Faith Davis January 14, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Rather than lament the fact that your students are all away, remember the awesome opportunity this time of year is! All of your teaching is traveling across China in the hearts of each student. I have been praying students and migrant workers alike who have found faith in Christ will know how to share that love with their families and friends as they travel home for the holiday! May God give them the words to say and the light of his love to share.

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