July 28th 2008 (2) comments so far
I received the following update from our team in China. They have had a rough beginning to their trip, but are in safe, rested (now), and anxious to begin their work in Beijing.
We have now been in Beijing for 3 days and it’s been a whirlwind of events. We decided before we left Dallas that flexibility and unity were the words of the day. And we have used those words since. We began with what should have been a three and a half hour flight from Dallas to Newark that turned into an 8 hour flight. After losing our hotel reservations in Newark, we spent the night at the airport. It is truly amazing that there were plenty of opportunities for grumbling, I’m sure we all had those thoughts, but everyone remained flexible and kept a positive outlook. God used that time to draw us together in a bonding experience for the team. Joann even received a compliment about our team unity from our South Carolina partners. They told her they thought we had known each other for quite awhile because of the way we interact with one another. We did finally get on our flight to Beijing along with part of our South Carolina partners and managed an eventless flight. We arrived right on time and slid right through customs without a hitch.
We arrived at our accommodations, which are absolutely wonderful, and met together for the first time with everyone from our South Carolina team. Although exhausted, we were treated to dinner at a Chinese restaurant across the street. It was a wonderful time for all. The next morning we were treated to an American breakfast by two American missionary families living in our complex. We spent the remainder of the day in team preparation meetings and sightseeing the Beijing area.
On Sunday we had the opportunity to attend the church service at the Kuanjie Church where we will be conducting the Vacation Language School. We were there to witness over 100 baptisms. It was an absolutely amazing experience. First we watched the baptism, then we were allowed the privilege of singing Amazing Grace for the congregations. Tears filled our eyes as we watched the congregation engage with us by clapping, cheering, and even singing along. It was incredible. You could definitely feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place. After meeting several members of the church, we were honored with lunch at a fabulous Chinese restaurant by John Chen and church leaders. The remainder of the day was spent with preparations for the language school beginning tomorrow (Monday).
Christine: This trip has been absolutely amazing thus far. I have been overwhelmed in a very positive way with the events so far. I feel truly blessed to be part of such an incredible team handpicked by God. I came on this trip not really knowing what to expect. There have been plenty of challenging moments that could have been negative, but God has turned them into wonderful memories that will not soon be forgotten. One of my favorite moments thus far has been the Kuanjie church service this morning. It was so awesome to see so many Chinese people praising God and proclaiming their faith. It was truly an indescribable experience. Thank you so much for your continued prayer support.
Kimmy: WOW! Words cannot describe how amazing this trip has been so far. From the moment we have arrived, the Chinese people have been wonderful and welcoming. The servant hearts of the people are overwhelming and so inspiring. The outreach of everyone at Stonebriar and friends has been amazing! Our cups runneth over with all of the love, prayer, and support from everyone! We certainly can feel the prayers from across the world as we come together and become one body of believers with the Kuanjie Church. Please pray for the children we will be working with and that God allows us and our brothers and sisters from South Carolina to plant the seeds of wisdom and truth in their hearts and allow them to grow.
Bethany: I am so in awe of God and so humbled to be used by Him. His plan and His ways are so amazing and far above me and yet He chooses to let me be a part of it all! This whole experience in Beijing has been so incredible and the people are so gracious and giving of themselves. Please pray with us that we would have wisdom, that we would be emptied of ourselves to be filled with God’s love and message for these precious children this week, and that God would be lifted up and glorified.
Joann: Today we witnessed 100 people being baptized into Jesus. Words can’t describe the feeling. What a blessing. The people in China have been wonderful and very gracious. Please continue to pray for the camp this week.
Nancy: What a blessing to be in the midst of Chinese Christians-meeting and talking with Ann and Timothy Li. They serve as the leaders of the House of Li house church of 300 members, divided into 5 groups of 60, with 100 baptisms of youthe and adults each year – sometimes in bathtubs. Hearing their stories help me to realize what lengths these Christians go to spread the Gospel. We also saw the Olympic Village and a building with its roof shaped like a dragon which helps us to see the talents God has given these people. Our prayer is that they will give God the thanks and glory for these gifts. Keep us in your prayers especially as we work with 202 children in the Language Camp, so that through us they may begin to have a vision of Christ and His love for them.
Michael: Today was eye-opening to be able to attend Kuanjie Church in China and see more than 100 people baptized, all in one service. The church sings to the ones being baptized as they come up out of the water. After the service, with some of our hosts, we enjoyed Chinese “hot pot” for lunch, similar to fondue. Our hosts are very friendly, and we’re looking forward to a week of ministry.
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