Update #7: Saturday and Sunday

From Jim:

Saturday

Saturday morning we visited the M people museum.  We saw pictures on the wall showing creation of man from the perspective of evolutionary theory.  The communists preach that there is no God and that only leaves them the theory of evolution.  When you see the pictures of the sea and then ape looking men you realize what a leap of faith you have to make to believe evolution.

Tammy, Tatiana, and Sandy met Lisa for dinner.  Lisa shared two things that were instrumental in her becoming a believer.  The first was a Chinese book that discussed evolution vs. the creation story.  This was the beginning for her.  The second was seeing a Christian doing acts of kindness for others with no expectation of anything in return. This is part of the pattern we are following in the village were we are doing acts of compassion.  We trust that the national believers we are working with will be able to share the reason we gave and that others will be impacted by this. The dinner with Lisa went well and the girls were able to encourage her in her faith and point her to some local believers who could help her too.

Sunday

Sunday we attended the first organized service in country that any of us had been to.  In fact we attended services at two different churches.

The first was the morning service at the 3S church where Pastor Pan preaches.  The church is in a building of 3 or 4 stories.  It is just a building and doesn’t look like a church from the outside.  The sanctuary has benches that can seat 50 to 75 people.  At the front is a stage raised about 8 inches above the floor.  At the back of the stage from floor to ceiling and wall to wall is a pastoral scene of sheep and green grass.  In the center of the scene is a large cross painted red with the word Emanuel above it, which means God with us.  Through the middle of the scene are the words from John 3:16.  At the bottom of the scene are part of the verses from the 23rd Psalm.  There were about 20 nationals present.  His wife played an organ keyboard.  There was singing, prayer, greeting of one another, and then the sermon.  The message was from Hebrews 2:1 ” We must pay more careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”  Our interpreter shared the points with us following the service.  Pastor Pan did a good job and became wonderfully animated as he preached.

After lunch we went to the second 3S church in L city.  This one actually seats more than the first, but is currently without a pastor.  We arrived for the last part of the sermon which was delivered by a woman.  After the service they have some students from the nearby high school that sometimes gather there.  It was raining today so there were only two high school girls, but several younger kids.  Donnie played guitar and led them in simple Christian songs.  Some of the older ladies stayed and joined in as well.

After this we went to the high school where our English teacher friends work.  We had about 150 kids.  Donnie played guitar and led in singing songs.  He also told them the story of the Good Samaritan using the kids to act out the parts.  Then we did a spelling game with them that was a real hit.  Then we spent another 30 to 45 minutes just talking in small groups with the students.  It was really nice to be able to visit with them.  They are so friendly and so excited to be able to practice their English with an American.

I told you the second church is without a pastor at the present time.  It is being led by three women elders.  All throughout this country there is a real shortage of men. Both in the congregations and in positions of leadership.  Please pray that more men will respond to God’s call to follow Him and become believers and assume positions of leadership. Thank God for the women that have answered the call to believe, but Lord send the men.

-Jim

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