Tuesday, December 17, 2013

East Meets West (repost from 2006)

*This is a repost of a blog I wrote in 2006. It warmed my heart to read it again. How thankful I am for this memory. Robert is with the Lord, and the Chinese students are literally spread out around the world. It's going to be a happy reunion one day! I found some pics of our group. 

And they sang a new song: You are worthy . . . with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation . . . Revelation 5:9-10

At 7 o'clock Sandy and I arrived at our friends' home to meet with the Chinese students. Robert met us at the door and took us downstairs. The basement, which had ground level access, had been converted into a beautiful apartment. The first things we saw were four round and smiling faces, and the American and Chinese flags facing each other on the back wall.

This week is a national holiday in China. The students were feeling a bit homesick. Our host proposed a toast in honor of our student's country (Relax. It was non-alcoholic). He also asked each of them to give us some of the history of the holiday. I asked Larry to explain the meanings of the symbols on the Chinese flag (One large star with a crescent of 4 smaller stars). The large star represented Communism and the four smaller stars represented the Chinese people. I then asked Larry if he knew the significance of our own Stars and Stripes -- he explained it all without missing a beat! With the history lesson finished, they sang the Chinese National Anthem and a praise song in their native language. We heard . . . a new song!

I brought a listening guide for each of the students and began to teach from it: the first lesson explained how a person becomes a Christian; the second lesson explained baptism. I moved slowly through each lesson answering any questions they had. Rarely have I seen anybody so eager to learn about Christ. After I finished teaching, Sarah asked them if they would tell us how they came to Christ. Theirs lives have not been easy and their stories left no doubt that they had met with the Savior of the Living God!

"Would you like to be baptized?" Bright eyes, quick nods, and multiple yesses answered my question! This Sunday I will have the honor and privilege of baptizing Oprah, Cordelia, Linda, and Larry (Christian names). Beginning next Monday night, Sandy and I will begin a Bible study with them. They told me "We want to learn more about Jesus."

Larry loves to sing. He asked us if he could sing his favorite "Christian" song for us before we left. He cleared his throat, cleared his throat again, took another drink of water, closed his eyes and began to sing "Because He lives."

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives
All fear is gone.

Because I know
He holds the future;

My life is worth the living
Just because He lives.

When it was time to leave I took another look at the flags hanging on the wall. Each represented political philosophies diametrically opposed. None of that mattered or hindered us. East and West had met and we gathered in the name of the only kingdom that is going to last!

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