Speaking of China…

Pray for these people

{click on collage to enlarge, then again on any photo}

Several times while I was in China  I felt I couldn’t wait to get home so I could begin posting tales of my adventures and the plethora of scenes I indulged myself in capturing on film & digital.  I had hoped while I was there to post daily entries to keep family & friends abreast of my adventure but I was curiously prohibited from doing so.  It was both disappointing and disturbing to me that I couldn’t access my web blog while in China, even more so when I learned that sites containing the word “Jesus” are banned there.  Still I wrote incessantly on whatever I could find to express my thoughts and chronicle my experiences before they faded beyond memory.

 

 

Now back in the sanctuary of America & safely ensconced before the computer in my home office, I look across my pile of notes in addition to my regular journal entries to find scribbles on the inside of a book cover, a ticket jacket, hotel notepads, maps, postcards written to myself, and even receipts.  I ponder extensively where to begin and how to go about this…should I simply organize my notes chronologically to create the blogs I would have posted had I been permitted?  Might I combine experiences within each city I visited and write from that perspective?  Or maybe I could go by themes…monuments, buildings, gardens, bodies of water, food, people.

 

 

People.  My mind lingers there for a moment.  I am moved to review my photos, both the ones I secured mechanically and the ones that flash in my mind though no camera was quick enough to capture them…like the children in the middle of a busy intersection bowing & banging their heads on the pavement before going car to car begging, or the young woman sitting in her apartment window encircled by hanging laundry as she wiped away tears from  her cheeks or an elderly man with no legs navigating his way through frightening traffic while balancing himself on a decrepit skateboard.  Images of suffering and squalor convict me while other memories of a beautiful Asian wedding & smiling toddlers bring me joy. 

 

People.  It occurs to me that they are China’s greatest treasure.  Children waving the red flag, soldiers marching in lock step, couples celebrating their union, beggars, hustlers… “hello lady, lookie, lookie”…merchants, tour guides.  Mobs at bus stops where no one waits in line but rather everyone pushes their way through, blank stares from riders on bicycles, Asian families climbing the Great Wall together, faces in the crowd at Tiananmen Square anticipating the flag ceremony at sunset.  Besides the obvious matter of being Asian most of these natives of China have at least one thing in common…they are not freely allowed to fully embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Oh sure, there are “open” churches in China but they are government sanctioned and public worship is restricted by carefully constructed regulations. 

 

 

A new friend I made in Shanghai admired my cross necklace and felt compelled to whisper when he asked if I am Christian.  We met up again later that same day and discussed the confines that Chinese people of faith are subjected to and the dangers of publicly confessing belief in Christ.  Clearly well-educated, a prosperous bi-lingual businessman, he was taking an enormous risk trusting me with his secrets but he rejoiced in being able to talk openly to another believer.  His parting promise to pray for me and my son touched my heart & brought me to tears.  I promised to reciprocate and he thanked me as he told me it would be his most precious assurance. 

 

 

People.  I could blog all day & into the night about the sites I have seen, the foods I have tasted {& my body’s reaction to them!}, the experiences and adventures I encountered…and I probably will eventually.  But those things pale in comparison to images of the people.  Monuments will decay, buildings will crumble, the flowers of every garden will wither & die.  But the people are eternal, their souls will live beyond all these other things.

 

 

Please go back and look again into the faces you see in the photographs of this entry.  Study their expressions, feel their emotions, bow your head and pray for them.  But don’t stop there.  Ask the Lord who saved you what you may do to reach out to the lost people of China.   This land is one of the most untapped treasures of souls for the Kingdom of God.  

 

Recall the promise that God made to Abram/Abraham in Genesis 12, the original Great Commission, when he told him to leave his home and go to a land that He would reveal.  God told him that if he would obey, he would not only make of Abraham a great nation, but ALL people groups of the earth would be blessed through his obedience.  God was telling Abraham that He Himself would be revealed to all nations through the obedience of one man.  Such a priority to the story of God & man  was this covenant, He repeated Himself 4 more times—twice more to Abraham {Gen 15:5; 22:15-17}, then to Isaac {Gen 26:3-4} & finally to Jacob {Gen 28:13-14}.  It was God’s original intention that ALL nations would come to know & worship the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.  Jesus Christ was the Key to that covenant {II Corinthians 1:19 & 20}.  This Great Commission was revisited by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 when He commanded his followers to “go and make disciple of all nations”.  The heart of the Great Commission, God’s covenant with Abraham to bless ALL nations, must be fulfilled before Jesus can return to earth to claim his Bride.  China is a huge part of the Great Commission!

 

 

The return flight from Asia seemed to pass much slower than the outbound even though logistically it was an hour shorter.  I was missing home still I was sad to leave.  There was a nagging feeling of having left something behind.  It took my weary mind a while to figure it out…I had indeed left something behind in China…a piece of my heart.  Before I took my son to China I asked several people to be praying that God would open Zech’s heart toward missions.  Little did I know that the work He was going to do would be so strong in my own soul.  My heart is heavy tonight as I consider the lost people of China and ponder what God will reveal to me in the months & years ahead regarding my role in the Great Commission.  But I am more open than I have ever been. I am greatly excited & humbled at the thought that the Lord can use even a broken vessel like me to reach out to this nation. 

 

Seizing an opportunity to share with people wanting their children’s photo taken with a “white lady”…a  song I sang in Tiananmen Square over little Chinese children as we congregated before sunset for the flag retiring ceremony:{to the tune of Jesus loves me}

Jesus loves me, yes it’s true and He loves the Chinese too.

Every heart in this dear land, He holds in His mighty hands.

Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, Jesus loves you.  Yes Jesus loves us.  The Bible tells me so.

 For additional information on China’s religious culture, go to http://operationworld.org/country/chna/owtext.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 responses to “Speaking of China…

  1. Meagan Hentgen

    Wow! I am truly amazed and quite impressed with this blog, Aunt Di! What an amazing trip and an amazing testimony…the things you have seen and experienced are lifelong amazement. I love you and want you to know I am so, so very proud of you!

  2. Absolutely amazing to see all you’re doing. I can’t believe how big the boys are now and it is so great to hear about everything your heart is focused on. We hosted a boy in our home for a few months about three years ago. He was from Taiwan. We still keep in touch, but I haven’t heard from him in a while so this reminds me to send him a note. Keep us posted on what you’re doing and I will let Ryan see these pictures too. He will be glad to see them.

    Love you guys,
    Dawn

  3. I want you to know that I am deeply moved by your blog. People. They are what life is all about. Making a difference in their lives. Letting them have an influence on us. I am truly grateful that you and Zech are safely home. And I am truly thankful that you are in my life!

    Love,
    Marsha

  4. Great photos! And, I loved the story about the man who remarked about your cross necklace which brought about a conversation and a promise of prayer for each other.

    the other Diana

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