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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Little Answers to Prayer

On Sunday, I heard an inspiring talk on prayer from an American who desscribes himself as "just a normal person," reminding us that kind answers to prayer are not just for a select few but something that all of us should be experiencing in our lives. Recognizing kind answers to prayer with much patience is part of the key to success.

He shared how in their challenging circumstances after coming to China, he needed to find a way to better help his wife who couldn't speak the language and was struggling with many of the basics of daily life. She really needed a translator and a car or a new location, but these were unavailable to them on their budget. As they explored their options, they realized that the direct solutions to their problems were not really options. In his prayer, he turned to the Lord and said that he simply could not see or find a solution to the problems they had, but he needed to find some way to help his wife and pleaded to the Lord for help. Two hours later, as he was taking a taxi to work, he was surprised to find that his cab driver could actually speak English--a rarity. Then it hit him: this cab driver could become a resource to help his wife when she needed to do something. Instead of hiring an expensive full-time driver, she could just get in his taxi when help was needed. This worked out perfectly, and like many Chinese people I know, that man proved to be so kind that he would go the extra mile, not just taking my friend's wife to where she needed to go, but also going in with her, helping to translate and carry things. He's becoome a friend of the family and a key factor in making life better for that couple.

Finding that cab driver was a kind answer to prayer. As he shared this simple story, my eyes watered up as I pondered all the similar answers to prayer and the similar acts of kindness from the Lord and from others as we've struggled with life in a very different part of the world. So many times we've been given the help we need at just the right time, so kindly, often in answer to prayer. I'm not saying it's been a bed of roses or anything and there are plenty of frustrations and challenges in the midst of all the excitement of being here, but gently little acts of kindness and perfect timing have left us repeatedly grateful to the Lord and to His many helpiing hands in this nation filled with good people.

By the way, I'm very grateful that the officials in Shanghai have kindly allowed the Church to meet on Sunday. Non-Chinese citizens can assemble for Sunday Services in a beautiful, air-conditioned conference center in Pudong, the relatively new east side of Shanghai (I live on the older west side where all the excitement is, in my opinion). We must be careful not violate Chinese law in any way (no proselyting, Chinese citizens may not attend, all religious literature such as hymn books must be locked up when we are done), but the privilege of being allowed to meet and worship is greatly appreciated. I hope that the officials who made that decision will never regret the kindness shown to us.

6 comments:

Faith said...

"The First Presidency and other senior leaders at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City have had discussions with a senior official of the People’s Republic of China from Beijing, and have established a relationship which we expect will lead to regularizing the activities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in China."-http://newsroom.lds.org/additional-resource/statement-from-the-first-presidency

I was so excited when I read that news, then I found out that the Chinese citizens were still not allowed to attend church or hear about the gospel. Well, it's still a big step though.

The most powerful religion in China is "The church of communist party." All religions in China, including Christian,were gathered together to sing songs to praise that great "church". ha-ha :<

It's great to see that you are trying to focus on the positives and only write about them. I'm thankful for your kindness and the way you express and write about China.

And it's very true that generally Chinese people are really nice and helpful.I really love my people and very proud of being one of them. I also really love my country, but I don't like that great powerful "church".

BTW, never donate any money to the Chinese red cross please, never ever! It's corrupted!How sad, even the red cross...haha.:(

Faith said...

"I would ask that your faith and prayers continue to be offered in behalf of those areas where our influence is limited and where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely at this time. Miracles can occur as we do so."-President Thomas Monson.

I'm thankful for your prayers! Thank you! :)

Michemily said...

No Chinese citizens can ever attend meetings anywhere? I swear I know a Chinese man who is attending somewhere in Shanghai . . .

Faith said...

If that Chinese man is married with a foreigner, he is allowed to attend LDS church meetings.

Or, maybe he is not a Chinese citizen anymore.

Paul said...

Chinese citizens who join the church abroad may attend church with other Chinese citizens. Those units may not have contact with ex-pat members of the church.

NathanS said...

Jeff, I know your readership is a pretty sophisticated bunch and probably all who read this already know, but I almost didn't so I'm going to explain for any average people like myself:

"ex-pat" meaning "ex-patriot" meaning "people living in a country not their own" - or something sort of like that.