Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year Baptism

It was a privilege to be present at the baptism of Wang Hui (English name Dinah) who was converted to Christ at the 11AM Sunday service on 23rd October 2011.

Dinah is from China and is a student at Aston University where she met one of our church members who invited her to church. Read the full story in the latest Reformer. Just e-mail for a copy.

She was interviewed prior to her baptism and here is the transcription:-
Mary: Dinah, can you tell us a bit about where you’re from and what you do?
Dinah: I’m Dinah and I’m from China. I’m an exchange student at Aston University.
M: Did you hear about Jesus before you came to England?
D: Yes I heard about Jesus because one of my aunts is a Christian so when I was 9 or 10 years old I went to church with her. But at that time I did not know the real meaning behind it. I just knew there was choir and...but I did not know the real meaning of believing in Christ Jesus.
M: How often did you go to that church?
D: I just went there twice.
M: Is your aunt Chinese?
D: Yes, she’s Chinese.
M: How did you come to believe in Jesus?
D: Really amazing! I went to a lecture and I met Mary there. I know that Christianity is the prevailing belief in the Western World because I know that people are guided by their belief and have got their way of doing things so I am really curious about it and so I want to know more about it so I followed Mary to the church Household and see Ben and Annie and Mary and they are dancing in worship. I want to be part of the body so I just want to establish my relationship with God. So I prayed with Graham and then I confessed that Jesus is my Lord.
M: How has God helped you?
D: It’s not easy to be alone and to go abroad, sometimes I just feel homesick. I think I’ve gone through a culture shock! I think everybody is hostile and English people are really cold! God made Mary and I meet and God gave me a family – Graham and Annie are my father and mother and I have Ben, Mary and Katie are my sisters and brother.
God helps me with my studying, in my life, and I know that God will never forsake me, He will guide me and help me.
M: Why do you want to be baptised?
D: Because Jesus said ‘Believe and be baptised’ and I just want to obey His words and commands.
M: Thank you, Dinah. It’s such a blessing to be a part of your story.

Her baptism video:-

Monday, January 09, 2012

International Christmas

I am not a great fan of the way most people celebrate Christmas. It often is to do with an excess of spending and indulging and bears little resemblance to a Christian celebration. Over the years as a family we decided to stop giving presents and see it as a time to celebrate each other and spend the time together enjoying that.

This year was very special. Our daughter Jenny is now living in South Africa with her husband Louwrens and is expecting her first child due any time now. It was sad not to have her here but God made up for that with an international set of guests.

We had three nationalities staying with us over the holidays. Mary lives with us permanently and is from Lebanon. She has become a daughter in our home integrating well with the rest of us. Dinah is a student at Aston University and the newest convert in our church. She is from China and is studying in the UK with a view to doing a Masters degree. Werner was also a temporary guest visiting from the Harvester Church in Cape Town. He was here to see his girlfriend Katie, a church member, and do some work in the Church.

I cooked breakfast for us all Christmas morning. It felt so right to have all of us together. It reminded me of the unity that comes from belonging to Christ and the fact that there is no national barrier between God's people. We are one in Christ.

We held the Christmas Day service in our home which continued this sense of family. It was special to worship and pray with each other. Tears were shed and bonds were strengthened.

I think I have now discovered how to celebrate Christmas. Make it a celebration of the family of God and the wonder of His Body.

So next year who knows who will be with us.