在辛辛那提华人教堂的经历 Experience in Cincinnati Chinese Church

作者:Frank

我们在2012年7月底来到辛辛那提,那时候我所在的公司内华人并不多,尤其是刚从国内搬过来的。有位热心的同事建议我去本地的一家华人教堂里看看,到那里认识一下新朋友。我说我们并不是基督徒。这位同事说那也没有关系,都是华人肯定可以有很多话可以说。

于是我们一家三口在周末去了这个华人教堂。教堂里面有很多志愿服务人员,他们都很客气,知道我们不是基督徒只是来看看之后仍然邀请我们参加他们的活动。一进入大教堂里面,感觉还是很有冲击力的,因为满满一屋子的黄皮肤黑眼睛的华人,出国几周之后进入这样的一个环境,又听到熟悉的汉语让人倍感亲切。

教堂的活动分为两大部份,一开始是所有人都在大教堂内聚在一起,在这里有的人分享感悟,有的人分享过去一周教会的新鲜事,比如刚从台湾回来的分享与台湾教会的交流成果,最后还特别给包括我们三个在内新来的人一些时间,介绍一下自己的背景。之后大人们被分成不同的小组学习圣经。一个小组有十几个人,我还记得我们被分到了湖泊庄小组。

教堂里有好多间如会议室式的小屋子,大家围坐在一起,轮流逐行逐句地读圣经,并互相印证自己的理解,有问题便一起讨论,有的时候还对照圣经中文与英文版本一起学习。这时候所有的孩子们被带到旁边的另一处教堂里有专门的长者带着学习圣经。

在分组学习活动结束之前,组长要求大家分别说出一件正在担心的事,大家一起祈祷神的保佑。我还记得那时我分享的事情是大姐在我们出国前不久得了癌症。希望现在神还能一直护佑大姐及全家人的健康。

后来我们又去过几次。每当过节或某个人过生日的时候大家在分组讨论前还增加了聚餐的活动。随着工作和学业变得越来越忙,我们逐渐去得少了。在辛辛那提最后那几年因为非常频繁的出差,我们再也没去过这个教堂。不过我们一直和部分教会的朋友保持着沟通和来往,他们都是非常热心善良的人。

有一个亲身经历可以说明真正基督徒的善良。一次我和一位信教的同事一起出差,在辛辛那提机场的候机楼里一起快速走向目标登机口的时候,她突然停下来,并叫住迎面走过来的一个双手提满东西的老太太,原来她发现那位老太太的鞋带松了。我以为她只是提醒一下,没想到她蹲下来,亲手给老太太系上了鞋带,之后再继续向前走。那是我第一次在成年之后的世界里看到一个人给另一个陌生人系上松开的鞋带,也是我对基督教好感大增的一刻。

另外我们还介绍了其他朋友去这个教堂,其中有一位徐女士在这里正式入教了。 

我们一直对那些在辛辛那提教会中帮过或试图帮助我们的朋友们心怀感激,虽然没有入教,但他们当中一些人的品德已经成为一束光照亮了我们的生活。   


教堂前有很大的停车场,一般都是两口子甚至全家一起来。Many cars can park in front of the Church. Normally couples or even whole families come together.



下面这是斜对面的另一个教堂。分组讨论的时候,孩子们在那里学习圣经。This is the nearby  church where children of Christian Chinese parents study the Bible in each weekend.


We came to Cincinnati at the end of July 2012, when there were not many Chinese in my company, especially not many moved from China. A warm-hearted colleague suggested we visit a local Chinese Church to meet new friends there. I told her, "we are not Christians". This colleague said,  “it doesn't matter. Most people in that Church are Chinese. You guys will have a lot to talk with each other." 

We (myself, my wife and my son) went to this Chinese Church in one of the weekends. There were many volunteers serving in the church. They were all polite. After they knew that we were not Christians, they still invited us to participate in their activities. As soon as we entered the cathedral hall, I was very impressed, because it was full of Chinese people.  After a few weeks out of China, it was very nice to hear people talking with Chinese again.   

The activities of the church included two parts. 

First, all people gathered in the cathedral hall. Some people shared their thoughts and learning experiences related to bible. Some people shared news of the church in the past week. For example, some of them who just came back from Taiwan visit shared the trip's result and learning from Taiwan Churches. Finally, they also gave some time to the new comers, including the three of us, to introduce our backgrounds. 

After that, the adults were divided into different groups to study Bible in detail. There are more than ten people in each group. I still remember that we were assigned to the group with name as Lake Village. There are many small rooms in the church. People sat around a table and read the Bible sentence by sentence in turn, and shared the understanding with each other. When there were questions, folks discussed them together. Sometimes both Chinese and English version Bibles were studied at the same time to ensure no misunderstanding due to translations. At the same time, all the children were taken to another church nearby, where there were dedicated teachers to lead the Bible study. Before the end of the group learning activity, the group leader asked everyone to say one thing that the individual worried about and then we prayed together for God's blessing. I remember what I shared was that my elder sister got cancer not long before we went abroad. Even now I still hope God bless and protect the health of my elder sister and my whole family.

After that, we went to this church a few more times. When it was a holiday or someone's birthday, we also held dinner party before the group discussion. As we got busier and busier with our work or study, we went there less and less. In the last few years when we were in Cincinnati, we stop visiting the church completely because of the very frequent business traveling. However, we have kept contact with some of the friends from this church. They are truly warm-hearted and kind people. 

Here is one example about how good a true Christian is. One time I was on a business trip with a Christian colleague. We were walking quickly together toward our boarding gate in the terminal of Cincinnati Airport, she suddenly stood there and stopped an senior lady who was walking in the opposite direction with her hands full of things. She found that the lady's shoelaces were loose. I thought she would just remind the senior lady for that. To be surprised, I saw she squatted down in front of the senor lady and tied the loosen shoelaces for her, and then moved on. It was the first time after I became an adult that I saw a person ties a loose shoelace for a stranger. It was also the moment that my love for Christianity increased. Being convinced that is a great place, we also introduced other friends to this church. One of them, Ms. Xu, officially became a Christian at that Church. We have always felt grateful to those Christian friends who have helped or tried to help us. Although we have not become Christians, some of those Christians' spirits have lightened our lives. 



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评论列表

  • #1楼   2020-08-26 03:14   Loralin 回复

    That is a wonderful story, Frank, and I am happy to know it. I'm glad you had overall good experiences with Christians here. There are very good people all over the world, some Christians and some not. You and your family are very good ones!

  • #2楼   2020-08-26 10:35   Frank 回复

    Thanks a lot for the kind words! It’s grateful and our pleasure for meeting you, your husband and many other great Christians while we were in the US. Yesterday, Lucy and I watched a movie named as “Hacksaw Ridge”. I am so impressed with Desmond Doss, the leading role in the movie, for his strong faith in God and his determination to only save people without carrying any weapon on an extremely dangerous battlefield. Based on the pictures showed at the end of the movie, it’s a true story. The movie clearly showed how cruel a war can be and how strong faith can make miracle happen. Very inspiring!  

  • #3楼   2020-08-26 21:52   qj40 回复

    英文比中文写的好!

  • #4楼   2020-08-26 22:51   Frank 回复

    @qj40: 英文比中文写的好!

    不论中英文,仔细查查都能找到可改进之处。很高兴看到有国际友人读到这篇笔记的英文部分,这给了我们一些动力继续用双语记笔记。😊