January 1987 – Midwest USA
Since I returned from my nursing tour of China in June, things have been busy. My director of staff development asked me to do a presentation on my nursing tour to the entire hospital. The audiovisual department helped me make title slides and convert my best photos from 35 mm negatives to slides at no charge. I did the presentation in the auditorium and was amazed when 300 people attended. People are very curious about China since it only reopened to tourists less than 10 years ago. I asked the Lord to give me peace since I have never spoken to so many people before, especially my peers. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV).
By God’s grace, He gave me a quiet heart and strong voice and it seemed to go well. Everyone seemed fascinated by my photos since it is so different from here. One of the nursing school instructors happened to attend and asked me afterward if I could present the slides at the nursing school, which I agreed to do.
I invited my Chinese teacher, Mr. S, along with his wife to come to my home to show them my photos and tell them all about my trip. They were interested in seeing what the other cities are like in China since they have never been permitted to travel outside of Beijing. Mrs. S taught me how to make Chinese dumplings, one of my favorite foods.
My Pastor also asked me to present my slides to several churches and at the children’s Bible Camp where I have been a counselor for the last few years. During these presentations, I emphasized how the Christians in the underground churches often suffer since they are forbidden to meet openly. I asked them to pray much for the believers in China to be strong in the Lord in the face of persecution. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10 KJV).
Afterward, one of the counselors encouraged me to pray more about teaching at the hospital in Beijing where they offered me a job. I explored it further with my Pastor and a former missionary to China, and both encouraged me to apply. The missionary said Beijing has many foreign Christians and a regular Sunday service in English. Fellowship with other believers and prayer partners should not be a problem. So I sent the Director of Nursing a letter explaining my interest in the teaching position along with a letter of recommendation from Mr. S. who is returning to his teaching position as English Professor in Beijing.
After several months of waiting, I finally received a letter from the Director of Nursing. She said she only meant that if I ever visited again, she would like me to give a lecture on nursing care. They have no money for a foreign nursing instructor. Apparently, things got mixed up in translation. But I thank God for making it very clear that this was not an open door.
Even though God never opened the door for me to live in China, I thank God for the many opportunities He gave me to tell the brethren more about China so they could more effectively pray. I know of at least two of the children at the Bible camp who have returned to China as adults to minister there in various capacities. It was a privilege to expose them to another country that has been closed to the gospel for many decades.