“Ping, Ping, Ping!”
It’s Saturday morning and my WeChat messages from the choir’s soprano group are becoming unusually active. Luzhou is 14 hours ahead of Illinois, meaning messages were coming in for China’s Saturday evening. That is a strange time for so many “ping!”s to take place.
What set everyone off? Below, I have translated for my English-speaking audience. Before reading, notice what always emotionally stirs me the most about this faithful group of individuals:
- The willingness to follow government guidelines to keep people safe.
- The dedication of both the monitors (leaders) of announcements and attendance to make sure their duties are performed in a timely manner.
- The commitment of being a responsible choir singer, which requires asking for leave and informing others why you will be absent.
- An adept, knowledgable use of Scripture for all occasions.
- A Christian-centered re-enforcement of encouragement, concern, care and love to one another.
January 16, 2021 Saturday Evening (China time)
Shouyi (monitor for choir announcements): Urgent notice, Brothers and Sisters. Peace. In response to the government’s epidemic prevention arrangements, the Sunday worship will be held online. All the staff involved in the service, be on time. (The congregation will not come.). There will be a live broadcast. We are singing tomorrow. We will prepare at 8:30 a.m. on the third floor of the church. The service will begin at 9:30. May the Lord prepare the time for the brothers and sisters, keep us safe and ask the Lord to remember us. Hallelujah!
Dian Da: In the morning tomorrow, be careful. It is very cold now. Wear more clothes.
Ke Daying: Good evening! Because I am out of town, this time before the Spring Festival (i.e., Chinese New Year) I ask for special leave. Thank you!
Gao Zhong: Well, may the Lord grant you peace as you come and go, and have a blessed New Year!
Huang Hong: I am sorry I cannot come. I am watching my grandson, in Shidong township.
Liu Ming: I am in the hospital today for the treatment of skin, my feet. I ask for special leave. Pray for the Lord tomorrow for us to prepare the time to serve. May the Lord remember you!
Zhang Ming (Attendance Monitor): @ Ke Daying, Huang Hong, Liu Ming — Got it!
“Naomi” Yu: What’s wrong with you, Dear Sister Liu? May the Lord lead you and help you.
Liu Ming: Thank you, gentle sister. Sorry, I sent the wrong message. It is not my feet, it is my face. Because of a lot of inherited freckles on my face, yesterday I went to the Medical Beauty Center of the Affliated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine to laser off my freckles. After the face laser, blemishes surfaced more and more. The scabs are still repairing. I am afraid to scare you, my brothers and sisters, so temporarily, I need to ask for leave for a week. Everything is fine after the treatment. I thank God. I thank the sisters for caring.
“Naomi” Yu: Thank the Lord, sweet child of God. You are gentle, virtuous, kind and optimistic. As the Lord said, “A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.” (Proverbs 31:10) Do safe protection, prevent infection, and may the Lord keep you safe.
Liu Ming: Thank you for your praise. I know I’m still far from a woman of virtue, so I keep working toward perfection. Post-care is really important. May the Lord renew my spirit through this treatment, just as it renews the skin from broken pigments. Whatever is not to God’s liking, He Himself renews. Just as the metabolism of the skin drains away the old, so we must drain away sin and let the care of the Holy Spirit clean and harvest new life.
My Hope for this Entry
May we all stop, think and reflect upon our own faith as witnessed through this tiny glimpse at my Chinese church family’s devotion to the Lord.
平安 (Ping Ahn, Peace) for your Sunday.