Suzhou Part One
by Christy Lineweaver
We start with a drizzling morning in Suzhou. After breakfast we gather as a group and are led with a devotional by Rev. Choon Lim, PC(USA)'s East Asian liaison. Rev. Lim has joined us for a few days after visiting North Korea. The theme of his devotion was reconciliation, where he shared some of his faith story with us. We focused on 2 Corinthians 5:18-20... I found the verse "therefore we are ambassadors for Christ" to be a wonderful reminder of our purpose! No matter where we go we are to be ambassadors for Christ.
We had an opportunity to be tourists in the morning and spent time at The Pattern Carved Mansion (the first mansion south of the Yangtze). We then visited a tea co-op, before enjoying another 'light lunch' with more dishes than I can remember!
A highlight was a visit to the Suzhou Mt Lion Church, where we were able to visit with church leaders... The commitment and enthusiasm they have for their faith and their community is contagious. The church has 200+ baptisms a year! A comment that resonated with me is that 'the Care Team is the Key to the church'... How do we bring this idea home?
Our day ended with a dinner featuring over a dozen special dishes from the Suzhou area. We were hosted by Rev. Wang Bin and Rev. He from the Dushu Lake Church. The opportunity to deepen our relationship with Christians in the region was a main topic of conversation. Both communities are excited about where God is leading us. The joy, energy, and hopefulness of believers here is hard to put into words. I'm a so graceful to be experiencing it myself!
Christy Lineweaver for the team