April 10, 2010

Volume 4, Issue 4

Every in Harbin is ready for spring! The students playing basketball above are a little too eager for the warm temps to arrive. While we haven’t joined any students playing basketball in the snow, we’ve interacted with numerous students indoors.

We’ve begun the semester by meeting each student for one-on-one conversations either over lunch or in scheduled office hours. These talks have been a great ice-breaker to get to know each student. Although the conversations are short, they are meaningful allowing us to plow the soil preparing for seeds of truth.

2012, The End of the World

Many times normal activities or events lead our students to consider deeper truths. The hottest topic to begin this semester surrounds the movie “2012”. The movie is based on the belief the Mayan calendar correctly predicted the end of the world in 2012. The characters are left fighting for their survival as the Earth crumbles, literally.

Although I probably wouldn’t have chosen to watch the movie on my own, I’ve been encouraged by the number of conversations with students about the end of the world and life after death. I ask the students some important questions: Do you believe the world will come to an end? What will happen after the end of the world? Can anyone know the time of the world’s end? Are you fearful? Why do you think there are so many movies now about the end of the world? Each question leads the students to consider deeper truths they may have never considered.

Here is one such conversation with two Freshmen students about “2012”:

Me: “Was the movie sad?”

Students: “No, there’s hope for a new world at the end,”

Me: “What gives you hope?”

Students: “I have hope in myself.”

Me: “I’m glad my hope is not in my own abilities. My hope is in something bigger then myself because I can’t control all things like earthquakes or the end of the world. I have hope knowing there’s a Father who is in control of all things and loves His people wanting the best for each of them.”

As I ask other students what gives them hope, the answer remains the same, myself. This semester is full of hope for each student to discover the true hope only found in the Father, creator and maker of all things!

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