My Chinese Choir in Luzhou: Supportive and Concerned

 

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As mentioned before, I am in touch with my Chinese church choir on my cell phone via WeChat, China’s equivalent of Facebook. As in America, Churches and large gathering places still continue to be closed due to COVID-19.

While the Chinese Christians have always been very active in WeChat, it has become even more so due to the absence of meeting together for worship.  Where once hundreds met in our 1913 sanctuary, . . . .

now, it is empty.

Doors once open, now closed at the Luzhou Protestant Church due to virus precautions

In the case of the choir, practices and taking a physically active part in the services are still on hold. (Below, see us last year preparing for worship)

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I currently belong to 3 church texting groups:  The daily scripture reading group, my daily English prayer group (that is my duty, to post a short prayer in English and record it) and the Constant Love choir sopranos’ group, soprano being my vocal range.

In all three, we are full of Christian love and support.  No matter what is happening in the world, no matter how our countries are warring with one another in the media or what the headlines screech concerning opposite or controversial viewpoints, we remain Christ-like to one another.

Whenever I post prayers, notes of concern, share songs that I find uplifting or add pictures of my current situation, I receive the most lovely replies (mostly in Chinese) from my soprano choir community:

“Connie,  Jesus loves you.  We love you!”

“I also love this song, Connie.  Is the American church still closed?”

“Connie, we miss you.  May God bless you and all your brothers and sisters in church.”

“The Lord take care of everyone’s body and bring peace.”

It is a given that no one posts controversial news reports or launches into words of discord which will stir up hard feelings among others.  As Christians, we steer clear of all that might hurt, attack and upset.  It can be a challenge, especially when our countries’ leaders launch into rhetoric that puts both our nation’s people and governments at odds with one another.  The blame game of  COVID-19’s spread is a particularly sore spot at the moment.  It seems an impossible task:  How can world Christians maintain strong faith values of love for our neighbors and compassion during such a time when outside forces continuously stir up trouble and dissent?

I take my cue from my Luzhou church choir members.

Personal Prayers Sent

Yesterday, one of the group members worriedly texted, “Connie, the US epidemic is very serious now. You and your family should take precautions.  God bless your country, and peace be with you.”

Quickly following came an embedded English music video, posted by another member, to reassure, calm and encourage.

What a thoughtful gesture, to include something for me in my own language with such an appropriate sentiment relayed through song and unity.

What was sent to me? The lyrics and the embedded performance as posted on the choir WeChat I leave below. Sound familiar?   I think it resonates for all of us.

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
Refrain:
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.
Refrain
.

My Posted English Prayer for Today

Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, Help me be fully alive in your presence.  Use me to do good in the world and let my heart become one with yours.  In your name I pray, Amen.

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I am anxiously awaiting my return to Luzhou, where I hope to don my robe once again and join in song with my faithful brothers and sisters.

About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 18 years as an English language teacher. 13 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my second year in Guangxi Province at the 3-year college, Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities. The college is located in smalltown longzhou, 1 hour from the Vietnam border.
This entry was posted in A Message of Faith, A Visit Home to America, A Visit Home to Marshall, China, coronavirus, Illinois, Luzhou, The Chinese Church, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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