Sunday, August 3, 2008
Christian churches are now open to the public in China. 70% of the Christian churches have been built in recent years. I read somewhere that approx. 10% of the population of Guangzhou is Christian, a high number for any area in China. The city that Naomi was born and fostered in (Feng Cheng City) only had 1%. Even though Christianity is state governed, many Christians still suffer because of their faith. Christians must register with the government and have many restrictions, especially when it comes to sharing the gospel. Therefore, many choose to attend "house churches". The church on Shamian Island where the White Swan hotel is located was built more for the American guests. That was the Chinese government's plan, God's plan has this building overflowing into the "side room" with video feed with Chinese Christians. We were able to purchase a Chinese/English Bible from the bookstore on the grounds. The store is only open for 1 hour on Sunday and it was packed with people, many were walking out with stacks of bibles. One can only speculate and hope that they were going to share these with friends and family. This church also holds bible studies during the week as well as prayer sessions.
Naomi's personality is really starting to shine. She is getting quite active. I don't think she had much opportunity to really move around while in foster care. In just a week she has figured out how to roll over and is making strides in figuring out how to walk. Today we went to church (I'll write another blog on that experience) then spent about 3 hours in the pool. She actually fell asleep in the pool. It started out like "daddy's club" again but after awhile more mom's joined in. It is so interesting to hear all the different stories from each of the families. We went to Lucy's for dinner again. The buffet in the hotel is about $45/person which is really ridiculous. We can eat at Lucy's for under $10 for both of us. After dinner we did some shopping and met another Christian shop owner. Mike noticed his bible on his desk and struck up a conversation with him. His name is Jordan and he wrote Naomi's name in chinese calligraphy for us as a keepsake. We stopped at the 7 eleven on the way back to the hotel and got some icecream bars. I'm sure it was another 1st for Naomi. She really enjoyed it. So far we haven't found much she doesn't like. Tomorrow the plan is to hit the electronics market.