Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not a Normal Sunday.

Today was not the normal Sunday that we usually have. Honestly, the word normally is not usually in my vocabulary, but you will forgive me for using it this time.
On an average Sunday, we wake up, and head down to the deaf school for play with some amazing deaf kids. BUt day was different.
As some of you know, my Mom is visiting, and we decided to take her to an actual Chinese church. One of the legal ones, the one we help lead a Bible study in. They have four services:
6:30 am
8:00 am
9:30 am
11:00 am
Can you guess which one we went to? We went to the 9:30 one which meant we could not go to the deaf school this week, but we will be next week…don't worry!
When we arrived, the earlier service was just finishing up, and it was packed. People were lining the stairs, and standing in the landings. But they were not waiting for the next service, they were part of the overflow crowd! As the service ended, and we struggled against the flow to find a seat, I was amazed at the cross section of people who were there. Usually, a legal run church will be full of ladies in the 50's and older, but this one had a lot of men, young people, and even some families!
The service began by us "practicing" the hymns we would sing; the reason for that is many of the older people cant read, so they teach it to them, so they can sing along later in the service. The sermon itself was on the "Sermon on the Mount", but somehow swung around to Abraham!
In many ways, its like a service we have in America. Singing, praying, and a sermon. But it was more than that, it was so awesome to see all these people worshiping the same God we do. We squish close together here, the benches are really hard ( though we will be getting actual pews soon), and the whole service is an hour.But its the same, in that we are praying and singing to the same God, who hears us no matter where we are. I think we are going to adjust our schedule so we can go every week-the deaf school can wait an extra half hour or so.

The church website is here:
If you go here, and scroll down, you will see a good looking family from Oregon:

By my estimate, there were about 1,000 people in those 4 services, which is amazing. There is another church in town, so double it. 2,000 out of six million that live in Changsha? We have some work to do, but that church is off to an amazing start! Not a normal Sunday, but an great one.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great pictures!
I always feel proud when I see this kind of pictures,that's a big family, and I am one of members in it...
Josh,I am so touched by your words...thank you, and we people here love you guys,too.