March 26, 2008 It seems like just the other day...
It seems like just the other day when I last wrote you. I will say that everyday is very different than the last. We are still doing the Saturday ESL class with the students and that is going very well. I feel that Rachelle and I are both starting to make some good friends in that group of students. I have one boy that is a little slower mentally than everyone else and he has a few physical disabilities which make him not fit in as well with everyone else but I feel drawn to him. The other day he took my hand and walked with me all the way back to the ch after eating lunch. He likes to say my name in English and then start to talk to me a hundred miles in Spanish. I can only pick up a word here and there. He is a joy to me and to everyone around him and I praise the father for him.
This past week Rachelle and I have started going to Florida State University the Panama extension to the Library because we had heard that there are a number of Chinese students that hang out there in the library. They never seem to stop studying and many times they don’t have any friends because of that reason. So we have e-mailed a contact that we know in the University that has a ministry with FSU students to see if we could help her out with her ministry. After talking with her and our m they are thinking about starting a church here in the area where we live with the students from FSU. Be in yarper about this possibility. The father will have to do this and not us if it is going to work.
We have been told by a young 4th generation Chinese friend that the guys from the same generation as she, like to go play war games on their computers in special shops designed for this in the New China town. I have started to go to gaming places in hopes to build relationships with the young Chinese guys. A problem with this is I can’t seem to find the shop that the Chinese go to. I have been out three times and every time I find a shop it is the wrong one. So finally in frustration I have asked one of my friends to go out with me tomorrow and help me find this place so I will know where it is in the future. I never in my life thought I would be out playing video games as a ministry but I know Dad can even use video games to reach out to people. Be yarping that this would be a ministry that would work.
Thank you everyone for remembering us in your yarpers.
Not much has changed since the last time I wrote you. We are still involved in our Saturday English classes with the kids. Last week we did a literary study of 1 Corinthians 11 with the older kids. The girls didn’t seem very interested in the task because they had just spent the three days before that doing the same thing on 1 Timothy with people at a Chinese retreat. Needless to say they were burnt out. The guys on the other hand really were interested in dissecting the scripture. I was really glad to hear that the Chinese ch had an event for all ages during the Holy Week (Easter); during this week no one goes to school or work and most people go to special services on Friday and Sunday.
We have started visiting the Florida State University extension that is located in our neighborhood. We were told that the Chinese students like to spend their time in the library between morning and evening classes. We really feel like we need a friend at the university to help us make friends, other wise we are just strangers in the library. We might have the opportunity to go paintballing with some of the university students this Saturday if the time doesn’t end up conflicting with our other ministry. Please pray that the Father will open a door for us to work with the Chinese students at FSU.
We have also started going to computer/ internet shops because we were told that the young Chinese guys like to play war games after school and after dinner. We have found several of the shops but haven’t found a place that has the right kind of games and when we go there never seems to be many people there. Today we are going to be meeting one of the people that told us about the Lan parties/ gaming shops, hopefully we will find the popular shops today. Please yarp that we will find the shops that the young people like to go to and that the Father would give us the words to speak to these young people.
It seems as though the outreach strategy for this ethnic group may be changing drastically as new ch plants seem impossible with the turfism going on among the established ch throughout the country. I believe Dad is giving those working with this group a vision for the future and possibly for now. Please yarp that all those ministering with the Chinese will have the confidence and courage to do the things that the Father is leading. Trying to reach a people that have not been successfully reached before can be very intimidating. But as it is said if it were easy these people would have already been reached. Just continue to yarp for relationships with these people and openness to the good news.
The picture above is from language class a couple of weeks ago when our language teacher taught me how to cook a few Panamanian foods.