Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Wedding And Footprints Of Jesus

I've mentioned before that sometimes in Vietnam I'm in the dark about what's happening even as it is being discussed all around me. That happened today. At the end of our Chinese service, I saw in the bulletin that there was a WEDDING right after worship! I had noticed there were several floral arrangements at the front but I had made no connection. Also, David Fang, our minister, preached about marriage from a Christian perspective but it did not register.The couple, Jerry and Eva, are friends with Tony Li, one of members who is from China. (I should note that 1/3 of our number is comprised of American English speakers.) Tony asked me as I was putting away the communion emblems if I would stay. I was honored- I've been to two weddings in Vietnam but none with Chinese connections. After I completed my task with the trays, I walked back to the Fireplace Room, the location of our worship/wedding and I heard, "Coach Hawley!" It was Hao, one of our WCS grads from 2010. She's now a University of Houston grad and was with her significant other, a Ph. D. teaching assistant at UH, who knew the bride. We caught up and she made friends with one of our members, Yanping, who is finishing up at UH. The wedding was interesting, conducted concurrently in English and Chinese, by Tony and Buddy, one of our English-speaking deacons who works with us. Yanping giggled some so obviously I missed some of the finer points of the ceremony. The flower girls were several of our Chinese children which of course was adorable. The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, and it went off without a hitch, at least as far as I could tell.

There was a reception/catered meal afterwards but I needed to run into our school building, which is adjacent to the church building. As I neared the school's back door, someone honked at me from a parked car. It was a former student and his mom. Nearing  junior high, he attends another school now but told me how much he is hoping to come back. I told him I would be praying for his return! His mom talked to me about her conversion, a neat story, and told me about a film clip called ''Living On A Dollar A Day In Guatemala" which I might use in class! Soon, I made it back to the reception where I was able to eat and converse with Hao for at least a half hour.  She told me although she had seen the address  before they came, she did not recognize that it was at the location of her alma mater which shares the property with our congregation. She also told me she didn't know we had a Chinese fellowship here and that they will be back! I'm already looking forward to next week!

When I woke up this morning, the only Big Event of the day in my mind was the Super Bowl of which I only saw the final eleven minutes. And yet, the Lord led me into three really neat things in the space of less than an hour: an unexpected wedding, a chance to pray for a boy and his mom, and a reunion with a former student! I wish we sang Footprints Of Jesus more like we did when I was little. The point of that hymn was that we don't know just where the Savior will lead us. It might be overseas but it might be three happenings within a fifty yard radius in only thirty minutes. We never know what's next....and that's what makes the life of the believer a journey of adventure.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The bride and groom — May their joys be as bright as the morning, and their sorrows but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love."
Minna Thomas Antrim, A Book of Toasts, 1902

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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