Sharon, James and I left last Sunday early in the morning for Church. We arrived at 8:00AM and participated in the pre-service prayer program. The sanctuary was already filled with hundreds of people who arrived early. The Lord must have been very pleased with all the prayer humming going on. The female worship leader gave popcorn prayer nuggets and the people on their knees would pray in unison for these requests. By 8:45 AM the church was full and I couldn’t resist thinking how Pastor’s at home would be thrilled to have no late comers trickling in after the services has begun. Not to mention the hundreds of warriors who arrived early for prayers!!
What a discipline by the Chinese Christians! The service began with the hymn “Father that was Thy Love that knew us” followed by “God’s Reign is like Sowing Seeds” and then concluded with “What a Friend we have in Jesus” and “Singing I go”. The message centered around Ephesians 5:15-20 of being wise and full of wisdom in living a life worthy of the calling they had received, to be imitators of the Word, to live as children of light and to be very careful how to live, not as unwise but as wise servants.
Apart from the church service I spend the whole weekend including all day Monday in bed as I came down with a severe case of the flu and diarrhea. Since my apartment does not have any heat yet I was cold and shivering from the fever. Sharon went to the supermarket to purchase me a warm feather bed covering and James went to the Pharmacy to buy some medication relief. I felt pretty miserable most of the week but managed to teach all classes. Towards the end of the week I felt better and was able to eat again solid food beside Seven-up, crackers and tea with honey. I hope and pray that this was an isolated instance, as I do not look forward to being sick again.
On the teaching side the sophomore class approached me saying that they felt that the listening & speaking lessons were too difficult and they would prefer doing more oral activities and games as they are very tired and overloaded. They told me their total weekly lesson load for the English major curriculum is 18 class hours and very intense. Several students fell asleep during class this week. I have a meeting next Monday with the head of the Foreign Language Department to discuss what course the administration wants to pursue in this regard.
On the home front Sherri called to let me know that her mother, Dorothea B. (Bobbie) Jennings passed away early Wednesday morning, October 25, 2005 with Sherri being at her bedside after a lengthy battle with cancer. Please lift Sherri up in prayer, as she has to carry all the funeral burdens by herself with me being away in China. Please pray also for travel mercies for Sherri’s brother Art and his wife, Debbie, who live in Florida, as they are heading north to be with Sherri and the family. We really need the Lord’s wisdom and strength during these difficult and stressful times in our lives. You can also lift up thanks and praise to the Lord for allowing her mother to enjoy a wonderful long life of 88 years on this earth and for taking her home when her body got old and frail. She is now free of any suffering, resting in glorious peace in the comfort of His presence.
For Sherri you can pray that He will bless her with His love that she may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given. You can pray that Sherri’s memories of her Mother become joyful, that the coming days will be enriched with peace and friendships of those who love her, and that He lifts her from the depths of grief into the peace and light of His presence. Give thanks to our heavenly father for giving us hope, joy and peace that we will see our loved ones again when we join them in heaven. He is our refuge and strength and our comfort in our sorrow. His untiring love will dispel the shadow of death with the bright dawn light of tomorrow.
A classmate of Sharon who studies computer science came over this week and hooked up my laptop to the Internet. I am finally able to use my own computer instead the virus infected school equipment although we were unable to make the printer work with my laptop. We spend 8 hours on Saturday in the city trying to purchase a printer who could work with my laptop to no avail. It is somewhat puzzling why my laptop does not recognize the printer driver and rejects its installation. Well, I guess for the time being I will need to use the school computer for printing jobs until someone comes up with some genius idea how to solve this problem.
A couple of weeks ago I met John, a Chinese adult student who has been sent to this University by his company together with 9 other fellows to study advanced locomotive engineering techniques for sixteen weeks. We originally met in the cafeteria enjoying a meal and this week we went together to get a haircut. You might be interested to learn that my haircut, including shampooing, cost me 5RMB ($0.65) versus the $20 I have to shell out in the US. After the haircut we went for a 45-minute relaxing foot massage costing us each 20RMB ($3.25) before we capped off the evening with a meal for two for 70RMB ($8.75). There are definitively some economical advantages here in China and I will have a real culture shock adjustment to make ones I get back home. John indicated that he never has gone to church and would like to join us next Sunday if I didn’t mind. We agreed to meet at the entrance gate at 7:30AM.
Be not disturbed at being misunderstood; be disturbed rather at not being understanding. Chinese Proverb
Until next week…