I was unaware that house churches still existed in China after they ceased to be persecuted, but I suppose it only makes sense to keep doing what works for that amount of people. We went to a small house church that Dahui knew about this morning, and were welcomed with open arms. The church consisted of a small apartment with stools set up for everyone to sit on. There were a total of 14 girls (women and college aged), and 9 boys (Dahui and college aged). The pastor or leader of the church was a doctoral student at Nankai University, and Dahui informed me that she became a Christian about 5 years ago, and "can really talk." The service included a lot of scripture reading outloud in unison, but that was not the part that struck me. I have heard in my many years working at camp that there are different ways of praying, but the way they did it in this house church was to pray outloud. Everyone prays outloud, their own prayers, and somehow magically end together. They sung many songs that I did not know, but one that I did. So I sang along in English.
The most striking part of the whole experience was how much more passionate the Chinese students were about expressing their prayers/faith openly and excitedly than most average American churches. Granted there are passionate Christians all over the United States, but that's not what I'm saying. It almost difficult to put into words, but there is a definite difference in the way a persecuted religion operates as opposed to a free religion. There is so much more I could talk about this issue, but a lot of it gets personal.