I feel like we're caught in a little bit of a time warp here. I guess it's really no different anywhere else. Time has a way of being paradoxical - it simultaneously feels like we just got here and yet have been here forever. I can't believe it's already Friday again ... and that we've already been here for a month. Where has the time gone? I'd say that it is just the new job, but Kelley feels it too. I just keep remembering that the Spirit tells us to redeem the time for the days are evil... and yet, it feels a little like I am mostly just watching time flow steadily past me with the unyielding force of a river. Is this how it happens that people can suddenly wake up from a slumber and find that the world has moved on and they are still standing in the same place?... Not me. That's a resolution that I need to keep fresh in my mind. I am here, not just in China but on Earth drawing breath, with one purpose and one goal - to draw close to God and to bring His presence like a torch into the darkness.
Anyway, I went to a Chinese church last weekend, which was pretty cool. I poked my head in around twenty minutes after the 'service' had started and was ushered to the front like an honored guest. As the only non-Chinese person there (technically not even true), I drew a fair bit of attention. I sat squished up against the pulpit and listened for an hour to the preaching. I only understood a handful of words but I was acutely aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the small and crowded room. I didn't need to know a word of Chinese to know that the preacher was genuine, passionate, and a gifted communicator. After the service I told him in broken Chinese that I hadn't understood a lot of what had been said, 'Ni shuo hao; bu guo, wo ting bu dong' (literally, you spoke well but I hear not understand). He just smiled and pointed to my heart and said, 'Ni xin mingbai le' (your heart knows though). I just smiled back at him as he turned to talk to one of his flock. It was good. Afterwards, I walked and talked with a woman from there and we managed to carry a conversation for several blocks despite the language challenge. It is totally true that the unity of the Spirit knows no geographic or linguistic barriers...focus...I need to maintain focus.