Friday, March 30, 2007


Old Wisdom in a New Place

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: … a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and time to dance…” Ecc 3:1-4

Things change. Plans are interrupted. Successes are stolen by surprise, and our joy can turn to sorrow at a moments notice. This sentiment is not new, and as Solomon in his wisdom stated, “there is nothing new under the sun.” There is a very real and present danger surrounding us 24 hours a day. While this enemy may go unseen by most, he is not inactive or go un-credited when tragedy strikes unexpectedly. My scheduled fall trip to China was advanced a few weeks when I received a special invitation by the Chinese government requesting my presence at the 90th anniversary celebration of the Taian Children’s Home. You may recall I have visited this orphanage each year since 2001, and in 2005, the ministry donated 15 wheelchairs for their needs. It was a great honor and an “offer I couldn’t refuse”. Arrangements were made, visas applied for and off again to the other side of the world.

My in-country connections coordinated the details, and our friend Brenda Adams (who was already there), would accompany me down to Taian for all the official ceremonies. We were treated with the highest honors, given a hotel suite, even grand dining with government officials. The officials made requests and promises for future ministry opportunities to additional orphanages. We had arrived into the realm of “trusted friend” in Chinese cultural terms. We gave an evening performance for the orphans after dinner, and the next day were seated on the stage with local and national officials in front of an audience of 500. The children of the Jinan Children’s Home for the Disabled performed as did the Taian orphans. It was a wonderful and touching performance. Brenda and I headed back late in the afternoon on Cloud Nine on the bus with the children from the Jinan Home.

In just a few hours, the enemy would try to steal the joy, the success, and the victory we accomplished in the Kingdom realm. On our way home from dinner, as we made our way across the University campus to the hotel, Brenda was deliberately struck by a car. A nightmare of activities (ambulance, police, emergency rooms, diagnosis, and surgery) consumed ensuing hours and coming days. Our plans had definitely changed. But God’s presence and reassurance surrounded us. Brenda was hospitalized for almost three weeks and it was another few weeks before she could safely return home. After much prayer I flew on to Beijing, for my University performance and visit to the House of Hope Orphanage. There was nothing I could do personally that was not already being attended to by friends (American and Chinese). It was a season of sadness, but the season of joy would come only a few months later when Brenda RETURNED to China (bringing materials, gifts and humanitarian items) with her husband and family. She exhibited an irrefutable testimony of grace, forgiveness and the mercy and love of God towards the people in China. His truth goes marching on!