The Great Wall is an historic and iconic symbol of China and her people! How are we to think about it today? The answer can be found on a memorial stone erected by the Germans who assist-ed in its restoration in 1989.
“Once intended to ward off enemy attacks, today it brings together the peoples of the world. The Great Wall, may it continue to act as a symbol of friendship for future generations”
That is what we have experienced these last 12 days – being drawn into their history and our history. Despite the walls that continue to confront the world, we are called to bring the really good news of redemption! To all of you that kept us in your prayers, we thank you! To our hosts, travel agents, drivers, guides and the Outreach Foundation, we thank you. To our new friends, it was great being with you.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
Greetings from Shanghai!
We arrived about noon in a steady drizzle which continued all day. After our first taste of American food since we left home, we ventured out into the city. The city is beautiful and there are people everywhere! We spent some time shopping. Like teenage girls, Betsy Wilcox and I bought some pearls, but we promised not to wear them on the same Sunday! We loved walking through the grocery stores which are filled with the most unusual products! It gave us a flavor of Chinese life.
Last night, some of us walked to the river which flows to the busy port here. The lighting on the buildings and the gardens on the wall were spectacular.
This morning we are going to the China Christian Council. This is a very important meeting. This afternoon, we plan to go to the Shanghai Museum.
Tomorrow, some of us leave for Beijing; others leave for the USA. We have enjoyed the company of people from various parts of the US and hope we stay in touch.
Love from the other side of the world,
The last two days were in Jiangyin. This for the group from FPC was a highlight- actually two highlights.The first was visiting the Jiangyin hospital. While checking into the hotel, we discovered that the Jiangyin Tourist Magazine had a feature on the history and impact of the Worths and James Sprunt. We were treated like royalty at the new hospital that was completed this last year. It is a 1200 bed modern top-level hospital. We were surrounded by paparazzi and security!
The best was worshiping yesterday in the Jiangyin church- Pastor Mary’s church. We celebrated the ‘harvest’ of God’s work in this place. We kept asking, “What would George and Emma say about this place today?”
We are now back in Suzhou and getting ready to go to Shanghai.
Thanks for your prayers with this body of Christ here in Jiangsu Province.
Notes from Suzhou
We are in a beautiful hotel surrounded by a large park and Lake where we took a long walk. It is amazing not to see high rise buildings around us! There is a peacefulness here, but we will be leaving for Jiangyin in about an hour to be guests of Pastor Mary and her church. This is the city where the Worths lived and worked. Do you remember pastor Mary praying in English in our church a few years ago? That was amazing!
Our time up to now has been mostly visiting the seminaries, churches, Amity Foundation and Amity Press. There are nineteen of us in three groups – The Outreach Foundation, FPC Wilmington and University Place Presbyterian Church from Tacoma, Washington.
A few impressions are the shear number of people, the many new high rise buildings,the flowers and plantings in large cities,abundant Chinese food; but most notably the genuine warmth of the people.
Love to all,
Saturday, October 20 at 9am Shanghai time
The Gifts We Share
I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (NIV)
In China, friends and visitors usually come bearing gifts. What should we bring? What expresses our shared Christian faith? After consultation with current and former Presbyterian Outreach Foundation staff we settled upon two choices for this trip. We brought Nativity sets hand-carved in Bethlehem of olive wood. The other gifts were conch shells symbolizing our Atlantic coastal location. Seashells were an early symbol of Christian baptism since they could hold just enough water to baptize by sprinkling. For this trip they symbolize “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all” as Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
P.S. As a church we have received many generous gifts from our Chinese Christian brothers and sisters; look in the church library as well as on many walls around the church to discover them.
It was a long flight and you are never sure whom you’ll get a chance to sit beside! Micki was on one side of the aisle and I was on the outside 3-3-3 configuration. Sitting next to me was an older (well, younger than us) couple who were quiet for the majority of the 14 hour flight and then it happened! The gentleman/husband suddenly had a bloody nose/epistaxsis! Not being able to communicate severely limited any real assistance, what to do?
It was Google translator to the rescue. No aspirin use, no nose picking, but some chronic hypertension. There were flight attendant recommendations, but I just told him to pinch his nose for 5 minutes. It stopped!
I continued the Google-translated conversation and learned they were also going to Nanjing. I thought that was the end of the story, but “No”! We finally got to the boarding area for the last leg and here they were! The rest of the group got to see them and smile!
I thought that was the end of the story – No! I had made some “business” cards and thought this would be a good chance to share. I handed over our card and she wrote out their contact information, in chinese😄. I thought that really was the end of the story, but “No” again.
Five minutes later, the “patient” returns with his son on a video cellphone connection from Durham N C! He has just began work at Duke in microbiology and his parents had returned after visiting the Durham highlights; their grandchildren and Duke Chapel!
Well, that must be the end , but no, on the crowded shuttle we see our friends again and try relate the story to a Chinese lady to Toronto I we tell he First Presbyterian story of 100 years for all to hear!
I am now sitting our last plane, tired but excited to have made our first new Chinese friends !
A small Big world story. Stay tuned for others!
October 16, 2016 11:45 pm