29 August 2009

Beijing Worship

Woke up this morning, freshened up, and got the bicycle from the
hostel here. Made my way, checking the map a few times, to one of the
Christian churches in Beijing. The outside of the church had an old
look to it. It wasn't cathedral style. Someone helped shoe me where
to park my bicycle and I headed inside.

I was greeted by a smiling member at the door who showed me to a seat.
Almost every seat was full, and there was another large room next to
the main building I was in. There was well over 500 people there. I
arrived about 9:30 am, I think, and it looked like they were having a
group Bible study.

Then we sang a song, that part of the program seemed to be over, and
the main worship begain about 10 am. About 25 members in the choir
entered as we sang a sacred opening song. People didn't sing quietly,
they sang with volume and spirit. The songs were familiar tunes, but,
of course, in Chinese. I couldn't understand the words, but I could
work out a few of the meanings of the Chinese characters (since I knew
some Japanese), and I could sing the odd note here and there.

Once or twice, as I was singing the songs, I recognized the words
"blood", "wash", and "white", and another time "Jesus", "love" and
"you". As I realized the meaning, and saw the large number of people
wanting to know God having strong faith, and that God is everywhere
(Australia, Japan, China), I couldn't help but feel my eyes become a
little watery. I felt I was closer to God and that it had been a
while since I'd been united in worship. All this, even though it was
all in Chinese and I didn't really understand.

But, one young man was able to translate the worship for me. He could
speak English and Chinese and I'm very glad he could help me. The
message was about being happy, and how our joy comes from Jesus. When
we are happy, our body's health and spiritual health is much better.
Sadness can cause more sickness. Jesus loves us, has forgiven us, and
we can have the joy from knowing He cares for us. It was a simple
message, but one that helped me.

At the end of the message, the pastor asked who had come for the first
time. About 20 or 30 people raised there hands. The pastor asked
them to come to the front; the choir sang; the pastor prayed for them,
and invited them to know more.

After church, was ate some of our own lunch and some others shared
with us. We saw people praying together and some with their Bibles
open as they ate lunch. There were at least 4 different programs that
afternoon: pre-baptism classes, post-baptism classes, youth classes,
English classes etc.

This church seems dynamic. The Spirit is working in this church.
People are coming to know Jesus.

I felt really blessed to attend. After lunch, I chatted with the man
who translated for me, and also another young man who'd just moved to
Beijing for work. It was pleasant to share lunch and to chat
together. I was encouraged. I'd like to attend again, but next
Sabbath, I'll be in Thailand.

God is Lord of all. He is in each country. His Spirit is available
everywhere. I want to be near this God who created all things, who
loves me deeply.

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