Last Friday in Columbia was gorgeous. The dogwoods were blossoming, the daffodils were out, and the grass was blanketed in a purple flower I don’t know the name of. I’d read recently that walking was a really important way to keep mom and baby healthy, so I suggested to Elisa that we take a stroll around our apartment complex.
As we were walking, I noticed a group of our neighbors talking. They were all Chinese. We’d never met them. I thought, “What’s a way that we can easily go introduce ourselves?” And then I saw it. A big, round, pregnant belly. One of the Chinese women was very pregnant. I looked at Elisa, and she knew exactly what I was thinking: we’d go over there and Elisa would say something along the lines of You’re pregnant? I’m pregnant, too! Isn’t that interesting? And then we’d be in.
Our neighbor–the pregnant one, since they were all our neighbors–turned out to have a six-year-old son who came out of their apartment to meet us. I love little kids, so I struck up a conversation with him.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Peter,” he said, through a big smile with two missing front teeth.
“Oh, that’s great! Do you like Spider-Man?” Blank stare. “You know, because Spider-Man’s real name is Peter, too.”
“No,” he said, “Like the disciple of Jesus.”
That’s right, our Chinese neighbors are Christians! The other two Chinese women with them were either also Christians or were at least exploring the faith by attending the local Chinese Christian Church. A couple days later, I met another Chinese couple by our mailboxes who also turned out to be Christians. (I was, once again, able to initiate the conversation because the wife was super pregnant. Our baby’s going to have lots of friends to play with!)
It’s really amazing to meet all of these Chinese people who love Jesus. Along with Chinese like Harry who came to the Lord a few weeks ago, this is just another indicator of the beautiful way God is moving in the heart of China. We don’t often associate China with Christianity, but some estimate that there are more than 100 million Christians in China today.
If you’re interested in reading about the move towards following Jesus in China, many articles can be found by Googling them, but here’s a good one written by The Guardian.