The Church Assembly in Dallas

We weren’t entirely sure what to expect when we arrived at house where the church met. We knew the services were held mainly in Mandarin Chinese and that M Wang would translate for us.

We were some of the first to arrive, so we were able to get the babies situated and meet some of the other saints before we started. There were about 6 other couples and a few singles. Everyone was very friendly, though we didn’t have a chance to have much conversation.

The seats were arranged in a “U” formation in a large front room that connected to the kitchen. Chalkboards lined two of the walls in the front room. On the chalkboard behind the open side of the U was written Chinese characters, and in English the words Acts 14 and Hymn 358, 354 and 8. The chalkboard on the other wall was completely full of Chinese characters and mathematical equations. Brandon said from the math he recognized they were studying from Daniel and Revelation.

There were red and blue hymnals placed on the chairs. M Wang handed me a hymnal as her younger son Jo started playing the piano. I found the hymn and quickly learned why there were two colors to the hymnals. One was English and the other Chinese. Everyone sang the same hymns in their native language. It was a very interesting effect. Afterward various people would read aloud the verses in whichever language they were comfortable with.

We then discussed hymns a little, E Wang started and then different men shared what had touched them. Next we participated in the Lord’s Supper. We had prepared Abigail beforehand, so she knew Mommy and Daddy would be eating and drinking something but that she couldn’t yet.

After that we read Acts 14. Different believers would read a verse or a few verses, again in their own language. Afterward we discussed the scriptures. It was clear that E was guiding the meeting, but only in a way as would keep order and to occasionally help a younger believer with their understanding. The day before E had made it clear that the Holy Spirit could guide all believers old and young in such a way as could profit all. It was a refreshing change from the typical lecture-type sermon.

The language wasn’t really a barrier. M did a great job translating to English for us and E translated our words to Chinese for a couple that didn’t know English well. It was not on our list of traits we were seeking in a church, but I think in it could be a blessing. It is a vivid reminder that the Bride of Christ is not just in our neighborhood and our culture, but that God will call his remnant out of all peoples.

Abigail did very well. She sat quietly for the majority of the service. She enjoyed holding the Bible and watching what was going on. I hope that next week she will still do as well even after the newness wears off.

We went for a time to the kid’s room when she got restless. Jo was supervising the kids. I stayed and helped teach them for about 30 minutes or so until the meeting was over. I taught them one of my favorite passages to teach children who get overly restless: Ephesians 6:1. Jo was surprised how well the kids responded to me, he has great difficulty with them. I think it would be good for me to teach him how to better interact with the kids; it took me many years to learn.

Overall our impression was very positive. It was so wonderful to fellowship with other believers again! I think that there is much we can learn here and much we can share as well. E and his older son Je have a real heart for evangelism, something Brandon and I are weak in. I pray that they may teach us something of boldness in the Lord.

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