I made a two-week trip to Chiang Mai at the end of April. The trip was interesting and more rewarding than I expected.
Church in Chiang Mai
To join a local church for Sunday service is always the highlight when travelling abroad, and this time was no exception!
The church is basically a 70 square metre open space which houses people during the service and serves as classrooms when kids have their Mandarin class.
Children do not have their own classrooms. The space is divided into several classrooms with removable plastic plates when several classes are going on at the same time.
The church has been praying for a spacious place for a long time.
“We believe that God is with the church all the time!” said pastor Duan, who is the head pastor of the church.
He cites Isaiah chapter 64, verse 4: “For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides you, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.”
Feel the call
The thought of how could I help the church filled my mind that night. I began to wander and search in my mind whom I could help and what could I do. How can I help? I was entangled with such questions and couldn’t sleep.
Maybe I could write down what I have seen and experienced here, and then share with the church back home. If possible, we could launch a fund raising activity. Given the currency exchange rate between Chinese Yuan and Thai Baht (1:5), the fund will be amplified five times!
I was excited about this idea and couldn’t sleep until midnight. I believe that I was here for reasons. God must want me to do something!
Hit the ceiling
I couldn’t wait to meet the pastor and pour out my thoughts when I went back to Beijing.
“The church is not free to hold any fund raising activities, especially for foreign churches. There are some political reasons that you don’t want to know.” The pastor replied so after hearing my ideas.
This is the least answer that I would expect! It took me a while to accept the fact that the church and I could do nothing to help.
It was quite disappointing!
I felt that there is an invisible ceiling above my belief. Our common belief does nothing to help when it is needed.
Faith sets people free! I was told and inspired by such a great thought.
What if there is limitation for faith itself? What if faith in turn restricts the freedom that one could have? What if your faith is what you are told to believe?
However, sometimes the simple answer is not the only answer. My pastor continued with another thought: “I’m sorry that we couldn’t offer any practical help in the name of church. But you may give your tithe to Chiang Mai church if I could suggest that,” he said.
Keep on believing
Yes, I could start to do something myself! I feel better knowing that my tithe will help two kids with their tuition and living expenses.
I shared with pastor Duan about my experience back home and told him that my faith is getting less and less.
“Let’s continue praying and waiting! We must believe God’s arrangement with boldness.” said pastor Duan.
" For not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear!” (Luke chapter 12, Verse 6-7).
I was ashamed before pastor Duan’s great faith. There is no doubt that I should always fix my eyes on Jesus. So our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He is gracious to us.(Psalm123,verse 2)
Cheng Xingyi (known as Cindy) was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cheng Xingyi's previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html
Cindy Cheng was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html