Bye Bye Baoan

Baoan is on the other side of Shenzhen, quite a long way from our apartment in Futian. Getting there can take a while and Friday evening is not the best time to be travelling. Nevertheless, for the last four or maybe nearly five years I have been going to the English Fellowship at Baoan Church, maybe once every five or six weeks, and preaching for them. Last Friday was the last time.

Baoan Church is rather different to my church, Shenzhen International Fellowship (SIF). Baoan is a “registered” or “official” church, so it can operate out in the open, as it has been recognized by Chinese government. This means that the Baoan Church can have a big building and a full-time minister.   

Ocular, who really is the leader of the English Fellowship, was my translator. I did one of my favourite sermons, “What is so special about Christian prayer?” (If you are interested in such things, Christians have five special things when they pray: the teaching of Jesus, the example, the blood, the intercession and the name of Jesus Christ to use in their prayers.)
Irena came with me and she also led the singing. As usual, her voice was beautiful!

After the service, Ocular has arranged a little party in my honour, to thank you for serving the church. We had some fruit, some drinks and of course a cake. It was a bit like a birthday party. Chinese people LOVE to take lots of photos of any kind of social event like this, so out came all the mobile phones and we all had to pose.

Yes, it was an enjoyable occasion, but one that was tinged with sadness. It is nearly always the case, if you are an expat, that sooner or later you have to say a lot of goodbyes. Some of these goodbyes will be to people you really like and you will probably never seem them again. It’s painful. On the other hand, if we had never come to China, then we would never have met them at all.

As a special treat, here is a photo of Julia, with the naughtiest dog in the Middle Kingdom.

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