What A Night!

Two nights ago, we saw many answers to prayer in regard to our church’s Thanksgiving dinner outreach. We had about sixteen International students join us! Students at this table were from Malaysia and Taiwan.

Students at this table came from Germany, France, Spain and Sweden.

After the meal we had special music, singing, a slideshow of pictures and Mr. Woodhouse gave a terrific message about the founding of our nation — with a very clear gospel presentation.

“Most young people in Europe don’t really care about religion,” the European students told me over dinner, explaining how empty the large church buildings are on Sunday mornings. I acknowledged I had heard similar reports.

“I think one reason for that is evolutionary teaching,” I told them, “Because if people believe that they evolved, and science has disproven the Bible, how can they really believe it?”

“I was taught evolution, but I don’t see a contradiction between evolution and the Bible,” one of them said. “I just take the beginning of Genesis metaphorically.”

I explained how many Christians who are also scientists teach how the Bible and science are consistent. I told them how we run a bookstore in town that carries about 350 titles of these kind of books. (Books on creation science in every area of science and on every level, from first grade to PhD.), explaining that “We (Creationists) look at the same evidence as evolutionists do, but come to different conclusions because we start with different presuppositions. For example, we believe Noah’s flood explains a lot of things — like canyons. People who believe the earth is millions of years old believe that canyons formed over long periods of time. But we believe they happened quickly by the huge amount of water during the flood.”

The surprised, skeptical look on his face told me these were sort of new and different ideas to him, yet he seemed intrigued that I held this view.

“So you really take the whole Bible literally?” he asked.

“Yeah!” I said.

“I’ve heard that there were people like you in America but I’ve never met one,” he replied.

[smile]

“So…how old is the earth?” he asked.

I laughed, anticipating his reaction to my answer. “About six thousand years,” I said.

Understandably, this was somewhat surprising for him.

I didn’t really want to talk about origins the whole time, so I stressed the importance of the gospel (the cross and resurrection) but I asked, “How can one believe the end of the Bible if they can’t believe the beginning?”

“Yeah, I’ve wondered that before,” he said, “Like about the contradictions in Scripture.”

I mentioned how it’s true that people claim there are contradictions, but I’ve never been shown a contradiction that was a true contradiction. They always have answers and explanations.

Though it was obvious these comments were all new to him, he was nice and he definitely seemed like a thinker.

Some friends and I met these girls from Vietnam while talking with students on their campus a few weeks ago. I was then able to attend a presentation on Vietnam they taught last week — and then they came to the Thanksgiving dinner.

If you still have room at your Thanksgiving dinner in your home or at your church, consider inviting some international students. They are grateful for the opportunity to learn about American culture while they are here, and Thanksgiving is a perfect open door for this. (Christmas is too!)

We were able to have an e-mail invite sent to all the international students at our local college, and I assume something similar could be done at any college. Even though many of the students had never met us before, they seemed eager to come and expressed how much they enjoyed the evening.

Sunday School Adventure

“Do you want to teach the preschool Sunday School class tomorrow?” Stephen asked me.

It was Saturday night after our last Bright Lights conference in Minneapolis. The people who normally teach the preschool class at Straightgate (the church at which we held the conference) were sick and a fill-in was needed.

“Sure,” I said. I was thinking, Preschool class? That shouldn’t be too difficult. I was imagining four or five kids.

I figured that I should get a little more information, so I went to talk with Eric from the church.
“How many kids do you normally have?” I asked.
“About thirty,” he replied. He went on to explain that they were usually very wild.

I had forgotten — This wasn’t a normal church. This church had a huge bus ministry. These were inner-city preschoolers.

“How long does the class last?” I asked. I was thinking maybe 45 minutes, but I learned that they meet from 9:30 all the way to 11:00.

Three other Bright Lights leaders from our team also came to help, and some people from the church were helping as well. Although we were a little apprehensive at first, we had a WONDERFUL time with those kids. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

Chelsea with the kids.

Amanda leading songs

We couldn’t get over how cute the kids were.

Snack time!

The kids certainly had no lack of personality! [smile] Actually, these preschoolers are only a fraction of the inner city kids that come to church every week.

There were many classes meeting in different rooms…here was one class meeting downstairs.

Straightgate is an amazing church. They have about 200 bus kids and basically everyone in the church is a Sunday School teacher or is working with the bus ministry in some way! What an example of a body being used and reaching out.

Why I Haven’t Been Posting!

…I’ve been working on a book on witnessing. It should be done in spring of 2012. It is going to be a compilation of stories and ideas to encourage Bright Lights girls (and our generation in general) to be bold with the gospel.

I’d really appreciate prayer. I really want this to be God’s message, not my own ideas. We also have a lot of decisions to make regarding cover, title, cartoon ideas, what content to “cut”, you get the idea.