So I’m in China. I have neither great Internet access, nor much time to write, nor the necessary cable to transfer pictures to my laptop so I’m afraid my posting will be a bit sparse on this trip. Here are some quick highlights.
Visited with the entire student body of a Bible college in Inner Mongolia today. They were very interested in denominations in the U.S., since in China there is one Protestant denomination, overseen by the government.
One student wanted to know what I thought about gay people, given that I was Episcopalian. I was flabbergasted that a student from a rural and remote part of a vast province would be so interested in an issue that doesn’t touch China directly. But he reads about it on the Internet and said many of the students follow the travails of the Anglican Communion closely. I asked him what students at the Bible college think about homosexuality and he said many people have different opinions. “Just like at my school!” I said.
On Monday, there was a visit to a seminary in Beijing. It is interesting to listen to the students talk about the challenges they face when they return home – uneducated congregants, syncretism,and so on. The church is growing so quickly that it has outstripped its supply of educated clergy.
In general, it has just been fascinating to be in China and see just how vibrant and overwhelming (in a good way) this place is. There is so much to learn about a place that is clearly so very important not only to the church but also to the world.
The Beijing subway system is amazing and puts London, New York, etc. to shame!
More to follow as I am able.