Right before I got off work last Friday, I received a text message from a friend of mine, Linda, a new convert. She asked if I had a scale because she wanted to weigh her luggage. She’s preparing to return China next week, along with her husband, Qiang, and their two and half year old daughter, Shanshan. (Her husband received a one-year Visiting Scholar Visa last year from University of Houston to do research and the family came along). I told Linda I have one but wouldn’t be able to make it to her apartment until seven o' clock. She said that was fine. It was around seven when I arrived. Not only were they happy to see me, they had a bowl of hot noodle soup waiting, knowing I wouldn’t have time to eat dinner after work. How did she know a bowl of noodle soup was just what I wanted? That showed how much they care about me and how thoughtful they are.
We had a good time catching up with each other while I was eating. After they weighed the luggage, I told them I needed to leave. As I was about to go, Linda asked if I could pick them up for worship on Sunday. I was honored and gladly said yes! You might recall that it was raining this past Sunday morning. I was afraid they would cancel as some people don’t like to go out in bad weather, especially some Chinese folks who don’t have the routine of going to worship. I kept checking my phone but didn’t see a message from Linda saying they couldn’t make it. I left my apartment, trying to be there at the agreed time, but with a worried heart. I called on arriving and was cheered when I heard they were coming out to meet me!
As we approached the church building, Linda asked if she could give the offering in cash as she had forgotten to bring a check. I told her of course! Once again, I was encouraged. I didn’t know how much she would put in the offering tray but that’s not important. What was important is that I knew she was giving it with a cheerful heart. Second Corinthians 9:7 reads: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” I know our dear Lord will bless them abundantly as He promised. Linda has received the greatest gift in the world while in the US. Her life has already changed and I believe when she returns to China, she’ll share the Gospel with the lost. That’s what keeps me going in fulfilling His work on earth. When I see the faith of the saved ones grow, my own faith is strengthened as well!
God bless, Steve Luke 18:1
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