Today we took advantage of an amazing opportunity. We worshipped with a body of believers right in the heart of Guangzhou. This church meets in a hotel every Sunday, several miles from our hotel. We had no idea what to expect. I didn't feel like going. I wanted to stay in my pajamas, drink coffee and let Seamus lead us in worship in our hotel room but Seamus really wanted us to go. So we did. And I am so thankful that he made that decision for our family, despite my stubborn will.
There were hundreds of people there, from all different countries. Americans, Indians, Africans, Europeans. Because it is the first Sunday of the month, we had the honor of sharing communion with these fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. So many of our Lifeline friends made the comment that this is what heaven will be like. Yes! It was amazing to be united with these people... our family. The sermon was on 2Timothy 2:8-13. It was so perfect to be there for that passage. The service was an hour and a half long. I thought about how most Americans would be yawning and checking their watches. These people were hungry. It was beautiful.
Before we went to worship, we were reminded to bring our passports. I didn't understand why at first. Turns out the government does not allow Chinese nationals to worship here. The hundreds of people here were foreigners. The Chinese are not allowed to freely hear the good news like we did today. May I please be bold and urge you to go to church?! Not out of obligation or a false notion that church attendance wins you favor with God. Go because you can. Go because we have the freedom to worship with a body of believers and that is an awesome privilege. We take it for granted, the same way we do our right to vote (but that's a blog post for another day. ;). So sad to think of the Chinese people not having this opportunity to worship with us. Yet so humbling and grace-filled for God to bring these believers together to share the Lord's supper! Thankful for this experience.
|Taxi ride to worship|
|Oragami cross that Brady made in Sunday school.|
We met our Lifeline group downstairs at 2:30 and we took the bus down to a really neat market in Guangzhou. Rows and rows of jewelry stands and shops. There's a ton of Jade and as much as I wanted a Jade bracelet, I went straight for the pearls. We bought a strand of pearls and pearl earrings for both of our girls. Our plan is to give these to them for their weddings. We had our guide with us to educate us on the classes of jade and pearl, the vendors who were honest, and negotiating. We spent less than $200 for the strands and earrings. In the states, these would have been several hundred, maybe even thousands. I can't wait to share these with Emily and Anna one day!
|Searching for the perfect pearls|
We will be doing some sightseeing tomorrow, with our group. We miss our babies back home but are excited to be experiencing all this. 5 days until we fly home! Oh how we long to be a family of 6, all together.