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Archive for June 2008

China Report- Kind of…

OK, so I promised to update you from China about earthquake releif, orphans and any strategic partnerships that emerge – as well as any fun/touristy kinds of things in China!

The only problem is that I am at home in Omaha. My visa, along with Ian’s, got ‘postponed’ three times by the Chinese embassy until it was no longer plausible to go. Pretty disappointing. Roger Atwood (elder) has still gone with George (UNMC dotor) and Don (releif specialist). Please pray for them this week! Only the ‘pastors’ got rejected. I guess were pretty suspicious. 🙂

I have two reflections on this. First is that China still seems to be a nation in transition. The recent Chicago Trib article shows that there are pockets of great openness to spiritual progress, while our visa story demonstrates that there are still some people who treat Christian pastors with suspicion. This seems to be true all over China, with great freedoms in some areas and great persecution in others. It will be very interesting to see how the next 50 years plays out.

Second, I am really glad that I believe in the idea of a sovereign God who runs the universe. He is truly in control. So, if the doors close on this trip, I am sure he has better plans. I feel like I got a ton of stuff done this week, since it was cleared out for the trip. But beyond that, God knows how every thread of the universe is woven together, so we simple trust him for the best!

Baptism

Since the beginning of the Christian faith, there has been one thing that has marked followers of Jesus. There has been one initiation rite. There has been one marker of a person’s newfound commitment to Christ…Baptism.

When you come to Jesus, you have to ask yourself “Am I willing to make this public? Do I want to identify with Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection? Do I want to be fully obedient to his every command?” If the answer is yes, the baptism is your next step.

Check out our page on Baptism on the Green which will be held on July 13. There is a link to a sermon there that gives all the speicifics of what baptism is and who it is for. You don’t need to be a member. You don’t need to be super righteous. You just need to be willingly profess that you follow Jesus!

China Trip

Well, many of you know that I am off to China. It was supposed to be today, but got postponed until Thursday. What will we be doing? We’ll visit the earthquake ravaged city of Chengdu to discuss medical partnerships and disaster releif. Dr. George Hemstreet of UNMC and Don Young will be joining us to help assess partnerships in this area. In addition, we will go to Beijing to visit an orphanage and explore strategic partnerships with our friends in China.

Although much of the strategy will be determined in the coming month, the potential of this trip is monumental! Please be praying for us. As I write this blog, there are still some glitches with our Visas, so please pray that those make it through.

Interestingly, there was a great article in the Chicago Tribune about the openness of China to spiritual matters. It is called Jesus in China.

You’ll be amazed and it will give some insight into what our trip could become.