Monday, April 08, 2013

April Picks

This was a surprising documentary about individual farmers across China's map.  I think the title "Every Seventh Person" piqued my interest.  Did you know that every seventh person in the world is a Chinese farmer?  I was touched that one of the aged farmers was elated that the days were gone when they use to cook their food in their chamber pots.  You have to understand he said this while he sat in a ramshackle shanty with the crudest of furniture and devoid of luxuries.  Puts a little perspective on life.  There were many radiant faces and many farmers expressed dreams that their children would gain education and would have the privilege to not work the land. 
Another fascinating glimpse into the new China through the eyes of 9 young people with varying education and ambitions.  If you liked the British Up Series, this is an abbreviated Asian version.  Life, love and character are explored.  Businesses are started, relationships end and new ones begin.  Real life is full of hard decisions for these nine. This documentary was candidly filmed, and still somewhat stoic to life's upheavals and heartaches.  From my protected living room where I find it hard to imagine my mother being kidnapped by human traffickers or my husband to be living alone in a far continent for three years due to economics, the individual story lines were gripping and often bittersweet.  
Though not a film, this thin book was just as captivating.  After the first chapter or so, this was a tremendous read.  Full of earthly nonsense, it was packed with calm, mountain moving power.  The Lord is doing a mighty work in the Middle East.  The dead are raised to life, the infirm are healed, and the Muslim clerics are seeing visions telling them about Jesus.  I love that God's ways are so unusual and how he uses a man stricken with a terrible disease to love the unlovely... enemies of Christ.  There is no doubt that the vicar's heart bleeds and beats with great joy in shepherding the faithful and persecuted body of Christ. 
This book was a stark contrast to the Chinese farmers' acceptance of a hard life.  The author becomes a little girl again and relives her harsh childhood which was surrounded by luxury yet impoverished in the things that matter most.  Her emotional scars are still fresh and vivid.  She writes full of pain and still some unforgiveness.  Her perspective is not redeemed by the healing power of Christ.  It was an interesting look into China before the Japanese occupation and growing up in troubled times. 

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