It is belated, but happy Chinese new year!
On Saturday, February 5th, 2011, the Bordeaux Chinese Christian Fellowship organized a new year’s event in the form of a gospels gathering for the Chinese community of Bordeaux. The gathering took place at the new Cenon church and the flow of the event was as follows:
(1) Welcome and greeting
(2) Performance by worship team
(3) Testimony and sharing
(4) Message from pastor
(5) Response and benediction
Weeks of preparation went into this event, and every brother and sister put in all of his/her effort into making the event a success and making our guests feel welcomed in the house of the Lord. I am still excited, three days later, when I think about that day when I experienced such joy and fulfillment…
With weekly worship team rehearsals and co-worker meetings during the entire month of January, I was beginning to feel like my work at fellowship is a full-time job rather than my PhD. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still doing fine and I haven’t neglected my responsibilities as a student. It just makes me feel so stress-relieved to be away from office politics and plunge into a family of love and comfort.
The event began at 11 o’clock in the morning, but with anticipation in our hearts, co-workers began their preparation at 8:30. Since our church just moved and the construction is not nearly complete at the new location, we weren’t left with great conditions to work with – no heat, no functional bathroom (there is a “chemical bathroom” and two public bathroom stalls nearby), and no structure. Great. It seemed like we had to start from nothing, didn’t it?
But God is amazing like that. He started us off with nothing and in the end, everything worked out. One couldn’t help but ask…what ISN’T possible?
I can only put a selected number of photos here but if you’re interested in seeing the full spectrum, feel free to visit the fellowship web site or Facebook.
Simple decorations, but the combination of red and yellow transformed an empty church into a bright haven. The set-up was rather delicate, in the that cross on the right was placed directly in front of a window pane. As the sun shone through, the two crosses gave off a yin-yang effect. Pretty neat. The centre of the stage would soon become a popular spot for after-event photo spree 😛
Event manager Yihua discusses performance details with Annie, who played this song on the recorder (translation of song title – Jehovah, You are my God). I think the instrumental was originally played with the Chinese wooden flute. I tried to play with my western flute but it wasn’t able to elicit the crisp sound, so I gave the recorder a try. It wasn’t as crisp as the wooden flute, but a lot better than the western flute, so that was the instrument of choice for this song!
Dumplings…lots and lots and lots of dumplings. There were literally bookshelves full of dumplings, separated by filling, waiting to be served batch by batch. I think the food team made about 1500 dumplings that morning for the 70+ guests that were present. Quite impressive!
Helpers from Paris brought these tripe platters, and our very own dessert master Sharon made awesomely delicious almond cookies. I want more!
Batches of dumplings exit the cooking station as they were being prepared. Here’s little Yuxuan and Mingyang with a look of anticipation on their adorable faces. I don’t know what they’re after, but I highly suspect it being the pot of dumplings in Zhao Xin’s hands…
In our church, after worship while the guys wait for food. This seems like an emergency round table meeting of some sort. Everyone looks tired and hungry. Could it be that they’re plotting to overthrow the “ladies first” policy and claim all the food for themselves?
Ma Xingya, Zhang Wei the dancer, Bai Yu the emcee, and Aoneng Suoli.
Two beautiful couples: Shi Jiawei and Wan Zhe (far left and far right respectively), Wang Yuanjie and Xiaohu (middle left and right).
I think this is my absolute favourite picture of the entire event. From left to right: Mingyang, Yuxuan, Zhu Yuehong, Bai Yu, Yang Weiyun, Sharon, and Annie.
Group pic!!! Too many people to name them all, but I’m definitely in there somewhere. The dress code for the day for co-workers was red for girls and purple for guys. The combination was genius – everyone looked so beautiful and even more gorgeous when the red and purple blended in with each other! What a lovely group of people! Although exhausted for the day, our hearts were filled with joy and love.
Worship team, POWER! It seemed like Yihua is a character from Dragon Ball as he pushed me into our piano player, Francois. It was such a privilege to work with this group of dedicated and talented people. What a blessing to be part of the team!
Another favourite – the gals! From left to right: Wan Zhe, Sharon, Yang Weiyun, Zhang Wei, Bai Yu, Annie, and Zhu Yuehong.
The three most hard-working people in the fellowship (aside from our “Big Brother” who isn’t around): general manager Yihua, worship team leader Yang Weiyun, and fellowship “dad” Andy.
This picture was taken while Yuehong and I were off to the train station with our guests from Paris. Such adorable people, all working so diligently and joyfully for our God.
And here’s a group photo with the Paris helpers in front of Gare St.Jean. From left to right: Pastor Dick Kaan, Chi Zhiwei, Aunt Ji Na, Wu Shangqian, Huang Junsheng, and Annie. Super friendly, super funny, and super gentle. Looking forward to our next meeting, which aside from the pastor, would be in two weeks!
Overall, the Chinese new year event was a gigantic success thanks to our wonderful God! Thanks to the members of the worship team for all the patience and coordination put into our performance preparations. Thanks to the food team for working NON-STOP to provide the best meal for our guests. Thanks to the managers (Yihua and Andy) for taking care of all the details of the event. Thanks to the Paris co-workers for helping with the flow of the day. Thanks to the members of the fellowship who took time after school or work to set up the church beforehand. Thanks, thanks, and thanks again.