Love and learning amid the bedlam

Posted on December 20, 2011 by Global Mission Support

The Rev. Wayne Nieminen and the Rev. Christa VonZychlin are ELCA missionaries in Hong Kong. To support Wayne and Christa, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to

Some of the members of the Truth English Bible Club.

Some of the members of the Truth English Bible Club.


Five weeks of Truth English Bible Club — count them five long weeks. Almost all of the kids came back every week. They loved the crafts and didn’t want to leave. In fact, I think we might be in trouble with the school because they were late for their bus back to China so often. I think. I don’t actually know. Sometimes it’s good not to know.

You can’t help but love these kids but they are rowdy! Maybe, for just a moment, they contemplated the God of the universe who created jewels of all colors, and children with all kinds of interests, curiosities, and capabilities — maybe, maybe.

So that’s what I did on Thursdays these past couple of months. We had 24 kids enrolled, six adults and bedlam. It makes me appreciate my “real” job (or my paying one, anyway) which is now with international seminary students, who are calm, interested and glad to be at school! And they don’t jump on the chairs and tables (or at least not as much)!

Who knows which of the things we work for are worthwhile, which are of lasting significance, which are worth our time and talents and treasures?  I love the season of Advent because it reminds me, in the midst of the world’s frenzy, that there’s power and strength in toughing things out (for a season), waiting them out, watch and see, which things show signs of fruition.

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” — I Corinthians 4:5