China Trip—Day 3

January 19, 2006

4:29 PM CNN says the temp in Beijing is 32 and the skies are smoky. That’s a pretty good description of the air quality most of the time.
4:17 PM Today we had lunch with a man who has a very broad view of China. When asked about the church in China, he said, “Everything you hear is true somewhere.” Remember that China is a vast country of 1.3 billion people that stretches from Vietnam to North Korea to Afghanistan to Outer Mongolia. There are places where being a believer puts you in immediate difficulty and other places where that poses no problems at all. And you find everything in between. “It is a simple fact that the greatest revival in history has taken place in the last half-century in China.” When the fulltime workers from other countries left in 1949, there were perhaps a half-million believers. Everyone thought the “Jesus movement” would collapse. But it didn’t. Today there are between 80-120 million believers in China, and the number continues to grow as the Father builds the fellowship in cities and towns and in rural areas.
4:15 PM Mark and Nick said they ate donkey dumplings while they were in Harbin over the weekend, and they liked them. I object to that statement on every possible level.
5:45 AM We’re starting the busiest portion of our China trip today. This morning Mark and Nick and Dave McKee and I are eating breakfast with Charlie Brainer, head of the university teaching section of ELIC. Charlie happens to be from Oak Park, came to faith at Judson Baptist, and later attended Wheaton College where he met his wife Joy. Charlie and Joy have been in China for almost 20 years. Marlene will join us for lunch with the folks from ZDL Books, our publisher in Beijing. Then tonight Marlene and I are having dinner with Charlie and Joy. The guys plan to go to Papa John’s for pizza. Tomorrow night I am speaking at the first of three meetings in connection with the publication of my books in Chinese. More about that later.

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