April 2011 Update

This is a copy of an email Rolf sent to Sherri of how he spent this Easter in China. Hope your Easter was Christ filled and as incredible. Jesus is alive! Hallelujah! And He certainly is alive in China no matter what the government would like!!

“We had an incredible Easter Service here in Shijiazhuang. The church was completely full (2000) and another 500 or so sat outside on the steps up to the church listening to the service over loudspeakers. The pastor used scripture passages from Luke, Mark and 1st Corinthians to share the Easter message of Jesus betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection.

After the 2 hour service they rearranged the podium to make room for a 70 person choir dressed in beautiful white, red and purple robes and pulled up a large screen.  For the next hour they showed a film of Jesus’ betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection, accompanied by scripture passage readings and choir singing through each stage from the time the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus all the way to is resurrection from the empty tomb. The film ended with Jesus showing himself to his disciples.

There was a lot of weeping and crying in the church and not many dry eyes. The Chinese people were glued to the screen and you could hear often oh’s and ah’s coming from the benches. When the film began many people from the outside started to come inside and the ushers started to squeeze them into the already overfilled rows of benches. We hardly could move anymore and it became quite uncomfortable, especially for me as I could not stretch my legs any longer sideways to prevent the locking of my right knee. Well, a small price to pay in relation to Jesus’ suffering”.

After the service we had lunch. I had three new students and two previous students and some Chinese friends who joined us. There was a lively discussion going on during lunch and at times it seemed to me that the conversation got a little testy, especially between the men. I was told after the lunch that one man told another one that he was not a Christian (believer) and he should not join us the next time for lunch.

Needless to say I was speechless of the directness of the Chinese when they talk with each other. Another student said that there were many different religions and that he was a practicing Buddhist which started another round of heated discussion, all in Chinese of course. I was sitting there thinking that this could spark another “revolution” if it got out of hand. Thank goodness the lunch was soon over and everyone calmed down and left peacefully.

It looks like I will have my hands full talking with some of these students one by one about Christianity and what it means to be a real believer. I am so glad I have taken along enough of the “Anchor for the Soul” booklets which are an excellent tool to share with the students. Everyone comments how clear the message is. Vincent (a student) said it is the best booklet he has ever read explaining how one can become a believer. He read the whole book from cover to cover in one afternoon and soon thereafter prayed to receive Jesus.

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