On Sunday, we took our first adventure as a family, venturing closer to the center of Beijing, to attend the Christian Church here in Beijing. Back in Stillwater, we would complain about the 20 minute drive to Eagle Heights in our air-conditioned, spacious 7 passenger Nissan Quest. This week we took a different way of transportation church, and what an adventure that alternative was. At 9:50 we met our guides Ting-Ting and Yilee outside our apartment. From there we walked to the bus stop outside of our university to wait for our bus. But even though these buses do come about every ten minutes, you do not know exactly when. And when the bus operator opens the doors for approximately 5 seconds for new passengers to board, it can make just getting on the bus an adventure within itself.
Luckily, we did all board the bus safe and sound and endured the steamy hour ride to the stop nearest the Christian Church. It was not far from that stop to the church.We arrived at the church about 15 minutes early, and it is a good thing we did. By the time the service began, there were only a few seat remaining. The service begin with singing “10000 Reasons”. We went on to sing other songs that we might sing at Eagle Heights, like “I Believe” and the “Revelation Song”. The preaching was also in English. These small details reminded me of home, and gave me the comfort that even here, on the other side of the world, we have brothers and sisters to love and encourage us.
Also, while at church we saw another American family, which we have not seen since we left the US. They were on a tour, and would not be at that church again, but even though the Chinese people here have been wonderful and friendly, it was nice to talk to someone who’s first language was English.
Near the end of the service, the choir and congregation sang us a song they called “Our Welcome Song” to those who were first timers at the church. The energy and joy that they sang that song with really made me feel welcome, and I can imagine we will return to that service again.
PS: To those at EHBC, Hi!!! We miss you all!