Beijing, 23-28 Mar 10
Just got back from a 6-day trip to Beijing. It was the first time in my life that I have been to China. My wife was there for a 2-day conference, so I joined her, and we extended 3 more nights. Having been to Taiwan and Hong Kong before, it was not a complete culture shock for me. It really felt rather nostalgic, like a coming home of sorts, as my grandparents were immigrants from China, Hainan Island and Guangdong to be exact. And being a Singaporean Chinese, though distant, our roots still lie in this great Middle Kingdom.
What a rich history and culture! I visited the Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs and the Great Wall. It really was an eye-opener, and I learnt a lot about Chinese history which for the majority of my life remained as distant legends and old stories, but never really had a keen or genuine interest in. I had always told myself that at least once in my lifetime, I have to visit China. Praise God for His provision, that made this trip possible at this time!
Visited the largest and oldest church in Beijing on the Sunday morning before our afternoon flight back. It used to be called Asbury Church, but is now the Chongwenmen Three-Self Church. It was Palm Sunday, and we had the privilege of witnessing water baptism of new believers too. Though much has been said about the Three-Self Church movement, it was heartening to see many believers that day, and the gospel message being preached from Lk 19:28-38.
Dear God, thank You for this rare opportunity to revisit my roots and heritage as a Chinese. Thank You for the richness of heritage, culture and history that China has experienced, and that over the centuries, has influenced and birthed nations across the world, including Singapore. Thank You for sustaining and blessing Your body and for the growth of the Church. May You continue to pour out Your richest blessings and grace on both secular and spiritual leaders of this land. In Jesus' name, Amen.