Many times when people hear Rolf is teaching in China their comment is, “he must know Chinese then”. He does know many words but not really enough to carry on a conversation. So how does he manage without speaking the language? Actually it is very simple. His students are eager and willing to be of any help they can. Usually he takes a student with him when he needs to shop. But what does he do when he needs to go somewhere and doesn’t have a student with him? He finds a cab and then calls a student and tells him where he wants to go. Then he hands the mobile phone to the cab driver so the student can give the driver the information. He gets what he wants, goes where he needs and at the same gets to know his students better and builds friendship with them.
He is finding this new semester to be a bit more challenging. He has two fewer classes but they are all non-English major classes. This means their English proficiency is all over the place. So he needs to come up with lesson plans that aren’t too easy for the students with better English or too hard for those that aren’t. PRAY he can come up with just the right lesson plan that will be best for all.
As much as he enjoys the challenge of the classroom and campus activities the highlight of his week is Sunday and having students join him going to church. When he has the opportunity he tells the students he is a Christian and that he goes to church and if anyone wants to join him on Sunday they can meet him at the school gate. He usually never goes to alone. Afterwards Rolf takes them out for a “hot pot” lunch. Hot pot is the Chinese version of fondue. There is a metal pot of hot stock in the center of the table. Using chopsticks one would dip in the pot thinly sliced meat or vegetables or bean curd or any other number of choices. When it is cooked it would be eaten with a dipping sauce. Very conducive for a leisurely meal and for some long and meaningful conversations.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.” II Corinthians 5:17
A few Sundays ago he took three students that have gone with him before to church. After the service two of them asked how they could become Christians. So sitting on the front steps of the church Rolf went through the booklet “How to Know God Personally” and explained what it means to give one’s life to Christ and how they could do that. They prayed with him and were so excited, afterward jumping up and down and hugging Rolf and each other. Now you have to know outside of immediate family and close friends it is very un-Chinese to hug! PRAY for them to grow in their new relationship with Christ. PRAY, too, for the other student, he is very close to making his own commitment to follow Christ.
What a privilege to be able to pray with someone who has made a decision to follow Jesus and then be there to follow up and disciple them. We are very grateful and we are thankful for you. Know that you have made an eternal difference with your prayers and support.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel . . .” Philippians 1:3-5