Sunday, February 7, 2010

Worshiping in China

Today I did something I can honestly say I would have never expected in my lifetime. I was able to worship Jesus Christ in mainland China, openly. I took Fisher to the Christian Church here on Shamain island. The service we went to was in both Mandarin and English, just enough to keep Fisher somewhat engaged. He absolutely loved the praise and worship as they clapped and sang. He LOOOOOOVES to clap and sing. I think his foster family must have had a karaoke machine. The sermon was in Manderin and translated as we went along into English. Some of the songs were in Manderin but some we sang in English. As we were singing one praise song in English it struck me what we were doing and to be honest, I felt very humbled and insignificant. I'm sure many people suffered greatly for this church and service to even be a reality. My small part of the world in Alabama and in God's vast plan seemed infinitely smaller this morning. 

This trip has made me realize how arrogant we are sometimes (i.e. Americans swooping into Haiti and attempting to sweep children across the border without permission). All of this, including countries that openly denounce the existence of God, is part of something so much greater than I am, so much longer lasting than my influence, and worthy of so much more thanks than I give. The foreign nations and tongues from Babel we read about in church have seemed like only stories, almost like fairy tales for me. Seeing modern day China and being in that church this morning made those biblical accounts more of a reality for me. I saw Chinese nationals vehemently praising and worshiping in a way I probably should be. 

My perceptions of China certainly have been knocked off their foundation since being here. Although much of what we hear is definitely true, much seems not to be. I can certainly say I was not expecting an open Christian church service and am not even sure how/why they are "allowed" to do this, except by the grace of God. What I do know is there were a few hundred committed Christian brothers and sisters from China gathered together today, so I know the Holy Spirit was there as He promised He would be when two or more are gathered. It was a beautifully amazing thing!


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