Last night Mandarin Bible Fellowship had a welcome dinner for the new students. We usually do this kind of thing - a package of some ice breaking games, introduction to our church, a short talk and a nice meal afterwards - at the beginning of each session. We did get some freshly-landed students coming, but most attendees are just friends of friends.
The topic was on "this life is shorter than eternity" (less-than-literal translation from the original Chinese), and Earnest Sim is giving his first public talk in MBF meetings. I'll say it was a good talk - students are welcomed to the university, and more importantly, the gospel message is preached. I forgot to provide some feedback to Earnest last night, but I'll definitely do so tomorrow...
However, it is the meal time that is the highlight of the night. I do not mean the actual food itself, but the opportunity to chat with different people on what they think of the message, and hopefully have a chance to share the gospel with them. You do get to see different threads of thinking people have when you chat with them, and how they view Christianity.
One person does not agree that "logic" is required to get to know God. I was trying to convince her that the reason I trusted God was because all the evidence showed that Jesus Christ died on the cross, raised from the dead, ascended into heaven and will come back for judgement - all these are quite possible and fit in logically. She was shocked, as it did not fit into her model of "faith".
Another two guys I talked to criticised on the presentation of the event itself, when I challenged them about the gospel message. They claimed that the young people from China today might have shorter eye-sight, i.e. the next week might be the furtherest thing they will plan for, let along eternity. They said more "fun things" might help us to sell the message, whatever the message is. Well. Surely they were coming to have some fun, but then what about the gospel message they have just heard? And I don't consider 22-23 years old "too young" to think critically on the issue of life and death. Maybe they have mixed up between "young" and "immaturity".
Then there is one person whom we have encountered from the previous welcome dinners. That person has never appeared to any of our other evangelistic meetings where dinner is not offered, but again has shown up in last night's event. Vivian asked her about the message in the talk, and she thought she can be right with God as long as she is a good person. That's surely not what Earnest has said. She then wandered off after the meal...
Sometimes it can be disappointing to talk to these people. After the meal, they have not remembered anything about the gospel message that was presented just an hour earlier. But at the same time, I need to remember that it is normal - man cannot understand God and seek God by his own will, because our sinful will prevents us to do so. We just need to continue to pray for them, that God's will of salvation can override their own will, and rescue them from the wrath of God through the blood of Jesus that has already paid for their punishment.