Monday, June 14, 2010
Our next few weeks are going to be LARGE !!
School finishes for the holidays this coming week so Jan and I are fully stoked and pumped for the holiday. Our break should be close to around 2 months and then back to school somewhere in mid-August.
Our approximate movements will be as follows:
1) Trip to Taiyuan (capital city of our province - the yellow province in the middle) to get our medical tests done for our work visa application in Hong Kong later. Its about a 4 hour bus trip away to the north, from our current location. We will stay about 2 nights while we are there.
2) Then we get on a train for a mother of a trip (around 34 hours) that departs close to mid night and arrives in Guangzhou (in Guangdong province, the other yellow one far south) around 10am the "following-following" morning.
3) We then join Candice Swanson and the City Church crew from Hong Kong for a 2/3 day outreach in Shenzhen. Don't have huge details but we will be going to 3/4 churches so it will be great fun and so kif to hang with some mates (whom we haven't met yet) !!
4) After that we will probably visit Paul and Tori in Xiamen in Fujian province (blue one just north along the coast) for a few days.
5) Then we cruise further up north to Hangzhou in Zhejiang province (purple along the coast) to start a summer camp job from the 5th - 20th of July. We will earn just more money in 2 weeks than one month salary back in Hejin so the timing is good. We dont get paid over the 2 months holidays and as you see will be doing some serious traveling so the money will be well received.
6) THEN we head all the way back far south to Hong Kong to sort out our work visas and obviously hang with the friends we will be meeting at the outreach from City Church. We will hopefully stay around 2 weeks if we can.
7) Finally, back home for some relax time before we start teaching again.
This is quite an open ended itinerary at the moment and things could change a lot, so we will just have to wait and see.
We wont have our VPN in order to get onto secure sights such as Facebook and Twitter so this week will be our last on those forms of communication. We should have access to email from time to time though.
Ok that's it for now - no serious deep spiritual input unfortunately (sorry Forklift) - but will give some serious feedback after the outreach and trip to City Church - CANT WAIT !!!!!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
"I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ."
Ok so were having a 4 day break at the moment and its time like these that you really miss your family and mates. I wont go so far as saying I'm lonely, but definitely a bit bored from time to time. I know however that the main reason I feel funny sometimes is because I miss the random opportunities to share the gospel easily and effectively back in Durban (not home, since China is now home). The reason I miss it so much, is quite simple, it is the reason I am alive.
I understand many people don't really enjoy the thought of the responsibility the individual has of sharing the gospel, healing the sick and destroying the works of the devil, because it means just that, it means responsibility. I quite like this quote:
"Evangelism is the perpetual task of the whole church, and not the peculiar hobby of certain of its members."
E. Wilson Carlisle
I wont go into trying to convince you of that fact, (which just in case you were doubting it, just read the gospels, and see how Jesus lived His life, and how He expects us to live). One might expect a decrease in enthusiasm due to the lack of opportunity I am currently experiencing, but in fact, a constant and ever burning desire to see His Kingdom advance and people saved is often all I think about.
We have had he odd obscure opportunity here and there but with the massive language barrier and lack of any real common ground to work from with the locals (new respect for the likes of Hudson Taylor and crew!!), it hasn't really been what I would have wanted. However, I am in no way discouraged or feeling any sense of failure in our move to China. I am learning a lot about the people, the culture and also slowly but steadily building my Mandarin skills (they love it when you can communicate with them) which are all utterly invaluable for the future.
It's also been an awesome time of getting rid of a lot of "stuff" I use to believe (maybe for the next blog) and some major mind-renewing as well. We are looking into relocating to somewhere further South after this contract to get more involved with some "front lines of battle" spiritual warfare.
The conclusion here is this, we, the church, are on earth to set others free. Stop hiding behind "your corporate calling" or your "worshiping gift" (which are all good things, don't miss quote me here) The church needs to believe who they are, and what their mission is. Let's get back to basics...
We simply responded to a need, the need is millions and millions of Chinese people who have no clue who Jesus is, and we will figure out the details as we go. Not everyone moves to China I know, but everyone is surrounded by need. You and I have the answer living inside us, don' make it complicated, don't wait for an angel to give you a word of knowledge, but start with simply responding to the Word of God and doing it.
I will leave you with one more quote:
"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time."
Carl F.H. Henry