Wednesday, July 1: Another Day's Journey
by Quinn Harkless
It’s another day’s journey, and I’m glad about it. Today began with a devotional from Proverbs 4:7 which expresses that in all our getting we should get understanding. This devotional was intended to stress the deeper understanding of God’s purpose for having us all together at this time on this trip. Before we left Ningbo today we made four stops, the most we’ve made in a day. We visited two charming churches, the Holiness Church and the historic Centennial Church. The history made the beautiful structure appear to be richer. We were initially met with the rehearsal of a brass band. If you hadn’t had your morning coffee at this point, you were definitely wide awake by then. As we toured both churches, we were able to briefly see catechism classes taking place. It was a beautiful thing to see how God is working in the lives of individuals here as they devote their time and lives to the knowledge of Christ.
Our next stop was to the Christian Council office. The office had incredible architecture and décor which we learned was because the building was at one point a fine dining restaurant. The exposed brick in the office became a metaphor of my exposed heart just after this stop. Learning about the history of the Presbyterian Church and the growth of the Chinese Christian Church my heart became heavy. As we traveled to our next destination, I shared tears and what God had laid on my heart up to that point. I truly long for my Chinese brothers and sisters, the Presbyterian church, and the global church at large to come to know the fullness of God and experience His abundant joy and liberty.
Our last stop was at the Ningbo Training Center. We were greeted with a profusion of home cooked food which we enjoyed to our hearts' content and then grabbed one more piece of watermelon. We toured their facilities and learned about their program that is growing to contain a more practical curriculum. As we met with the students, Peter shared a riveting impromptu lecture on leadership. He reminded us to lead as God leads us and to allow people to make the necessary mistakes that allow them to learn. He closed telling us to ‘Think before we speak,’ making sure what we have to say is Teachable, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind. After Peter’s lecture, it was off to Hangzhou!!!
As we arrive in every city, each one becomes my favorite. After dinner, we went on a beautiful walk to a nearby lake where saw a beautiful light and water show which was accompanied by music. Being with our group and watching such simple art was beyond beautiful. It was a reminder of God’s love to me as we can get so caught up in life’s busyness that we forget to enjoy all life has to offer. As we walked back to the hotel to retire for the evening, we shared laughs over Magnum ice cream bars. Each day provides exciting new experiences, and tomorrow will be no different.