Dear Friends and Family,
Sigh, every time I write to you I want to burst into the typing of exotic and foreign words that come so often from my mouth during the week. I just wish you all could understand them. You know, when God confused the languages at Babel, it was because the people were united against him in rebellion by one language. Now, in this present age, would God want all the world to speak one tongue? What would change if the whole world all spoke the same language? What would it be? Arabic? Chinese? English? (See I’ve planned it all out, either way I come out on the top since I’ll be able to speak all those languages :)>
But now, the language barrier is a barrier for the spreading of God’s word as well. Think of all the millions of hours and thousands of days spent by committed missionaries to translate God’s word into a different language so that those people can be saved. Communication is a funny thing, and that’s one reason I like it so much.
With communication in mind, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my last potluck at the IFI’s Friday night bible study. I met some new people (as always), and we had a wonderful bible study. After the bible study we broke up into our small discussion groups. My discussion group happens to be composed of Tom, the leader (American), me (American), and then four Chinese and one person from Singapore. We were discussing in Luke 9 where Christ asks Peter who Peter thought he was, and Peter says “The Christ of God.” And Jesus told him not to tell anyone. So we started discussing why Jesus said that. I think it is because he didn’t want people to start talking about what they thought he was going to do (physically conquer the Romans and free the people of Israel), and get him captured and executed by the Romans before his time.
That somehow lead to talking about the spreading of the gospel in China and what it was like to be a Christian there. The one Chinese Christian in our group told us how careful you had to be when you did anything but go to the public, state sponsored Churches. The other two Chinese men seemed surprised to hear that Christians were persecuted in China. They seemed to think that, since they had their official Churches, they were not bothered or restricted in any way. I was so surprised to hear that people from China didn’t know about Chinese Christian persecution. But I supposed it makes sense because one, if they are not Christians, they are not paying as much attention to Christian affairs as the rest of us do, and two, perhaps in China, the government keeps a tight hold on what kind of news is spread publicly, and of course they wouldn’t want lots of news reports talking about their oppression of freedom.
And I wonder, what will happen to me when I am in China? I definitely plan on going to Church. I wonder what the official churches are like there. From what I understand anyone is allowed go to a licensed church, but no one is allowed to practice Christianity outside of that. I would actually very much like to talk to some people who have been in China, the Elliots for example (who has their e-mail address?), and learn a little bit more about what I should expect and how I should behave. I am very excited about going to China, and I pray the Lord will use that time to help me grow in faith and in my walk with him. Feel free to pray for me.
Well, questions abound and answers are few and far between. After all, what fun would life be if we knew all the answers? Have a good week, a restful Sunday, and I’ll touch base again next week.