Letter to The Witnesses
Greetings from China
I had really planned to be there for the reunion but once again, the best laid plans ganged aglay, Burns may have been a Scot but that describes how things usually work in China.
I have been doing a lot of things in the past few years, some that are better described in person. I think I have done more pastoral counseling here than I did as a pastor and this has involved everyone from Chinese students to the foreign community. For a while I was able to help some Chinese students but funds have been limited. There are plenty of preachers in China, but the face of Christianity seen by most Chinese is not always pretty. I have had students come away from Christian churches laughing. One young woman had asked me about Christianity. I first told her to read the Good News modern English version of Luke’s Gospel. We talked a lot but she wanted to talk with more Chinese Christian’s. A friend took her to a house church and that ended all discussion of Christianity. At the house church, she was greeted with a graphic description of the Lake of Fire and given the option of Heaven. The sermon was an hour and a half, apparently without notes, on the 6000 year old earth. After the service she was cornered by a group of the sisters who went into greater detail describing Hell, but promised that if she became a Christian God would love her and she would get rich.
I will be back in the fall. Hopefully I will see some of you then. I have a project started here and will be hitchhiking around the States (and putting the journey on the website) for a couple of months to promote it. About a year ago I looked into marketing some items, hand made by Christian craftspeople here. The response from churches was a deafening silence. I had given up, when a few months ago I found a simple (and free,) website. There are a lot of things that could be used for fundraising, and they can be marketed on line. This would help fund other projects I have been doing. (I would love to do a preschool English class for some Uighar kids at a restaurant I go to, but I don’t have time.) The longer term goal is to make connections between churches and crafts and folk art co-ops. This will not only fund other projects but also show a different kind of Christianity; one that is sees workers as sons and daughters of God. Not as replaceable parts in a machine. The Mennonites have a great program in the developing world that assists in marketing handcrafts.
Anyone who knows of preaching or speaking spots, let me know. I will be in Maine the end of September and from there I go with the rides and preaching commitments. Take a look at the pictures on this site I’m working up a power point presentation that uses a lot of them. I hope to see you soon.
Grace and peace