So the other intern and I taught a free class at one of the universities here a couple weeks ago. It was there that I met this guy who made it onto my list of people that I send a text message to, inviting them all to church today. I should mention that this exclusive list, is also known as my entire phone contacts that I have made here in China. I should also mention that I do this every week. Multiple times a week. For every service, bible study, and every church event. Every contact. Send invitation texts. Text ministry, so progressive. Anyways, said guy comes to church for the first time! After church, I ask him what he thought about the service.
“I really love it. It is so good. I want to be a Christian.”
Oh, yeah! That came out of nowhere! I sit down with him, ask him some questions, talk to him, continue this conversation over dinner with him, and walk with him back to his dorm. After the three-hour whirlwind I have learned: he heard about the existence of God in high school through a teacher and has been interested ever since. He wanted to be a Christian for a while, but he never knew what that meant or how to become one, so he would just go around saying, “God bless you,” to people. He now understands and believes in the gospel and what being a Christian means. He professed a new faith in Jesus. We plan on studying the Bible together. He’s hungry for the things of God.
“I think today, I become a Christian.”
Yeah man, I think you did, too.
My friend who just recently became a Christian comes over and we have a Bible study. We read through the first part of John 1. He has a ton of questions. I never realized how confusing the Bible can seem to someone who hasn’t grown up in church or even in America. His English isn’t as good as other people’s so I answer his questions very slowly and as simply as possible. His face lights up when he understands concepts of Jesus. Oh, to speak Mandarin. To speak the truths of the gospel in his heart language. But alas, until then, very slowly and as simply as possible will have to do.
My friend, Kan, comes to the house for a Bible study. Again, I realize how difficult the Bible can be to understand. I have to explain to him: Jews, priests, Levites, Jerusalem, he, Christ, they, him, Elijah, those, Isaiah, Pharisees, baptize, Bethany, Jordan, Lamb of God, Israel, and Spirit. A ton of things we take for granted. With this new Christian, every little thing needs to be explained.
Nehemiah 8:8, 12 “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading…And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.”
As I am about to leave the house, I am surprised by a knock at the door. And by ‘knock at the door’ I mean barge in the door. I was surprised to find that it is not one of my roommates barging in, it is Kan. He now makes it known that he has shown up unannounced for two reasons. One, to have a Bible study with me. Awesome! But wait, I’m leaving in 10 minutes, we didn’t plan this, plus he forgot his Bible. And two, to receive a guitar lesson from my roommate, who just left. I really like him and I’m glad he likes us enough to come over and feel comfortable around us. If he would just plan things, we might be a bit more productive.
After lunch, Kan, the three students from the south, and I have our Bible study. Kan and I have begun to study John so we continue our study with the other three. After about an hour, we finished studying and discussing the passage. As we’re winding down and I’m closing out the study I hear,
“Shall we continue?”
Oh…ok! We dig into the next passage finding what it is that God is saying to us. None of them have been Christians for even a year yet. What an exciting Bible study. They have questions and input and I feel God’s power filling inside of me, pouring out of me, and surrounding me. Our study concludes with a prayer from the girl and a statement from one of the guys,
The same way he regarded every room of the missionaries’ house, the ice cream we ate, the lunch Kang cooked for us, and the newly learned truths of God’s love and power.
Kang Jian (white shirt) faithfully attends church
Kang Jian (tan outfit) dresses as a shepherd for the Christmas play during the Christmas outreach event
Kang Jian plays Chinese Christian songs on guitar during the Christmas outreach event
Kang Jian (middle, white shirt) sees me off back to the United States