Who donated that sum of money in my behalf to bring Bibles to China? My church office was told to keep it secret, and I accepted it with no questions. Under special circumstances, the secret was revealed to me a couple of years later. A member of a dear girlfriend associated with my work shared that he drove that friend to my church where she donated the money for me.
I was so humbled. During the years, I loved being in God’s plan when my hart was full of passion for that plan, but I learned that He could use me in spite of my nothingness.
At the next meeting, one of our trip leaders collected our passports, my green card and other documents in order to apply for our visas. Everybody else was US citizen but me. There was a different protocol between Romania and China regarding the visitor visas. I was thankful that my birth country and China had a long history of good relationships and, based on that, I was granted the visa.
In 1971 when dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romania’s communist leader visited Mao Zedong’s China with his wife Elena Ceausescu, I was still a child.
My parents had made a great financial effort and bought us a TV set a couple of years before even though there was only one channel – the national TV station- and three hours of TV per day. I was stuck to the machine between 7:20-7:30 PM when they had a show for children. For a long time after Ceausescu’s visit to China, the children’s program on TV showed how to become a good communist, and the Saturday and Sunday movies where Chinese, with happy people who worked in factories, and making a happy life.
Nobody believed them.
Spring time turned into summer. The sun was hot almost from sunrise. There were only a few weeks until our departure. We were told that summers on the East side of China were scorching. We needed light clothes and had to keep ourselves well hydrated for the whole trip. Sandy bought herself a special towel to wear around her neck and she said that would keep her cool. That was my first time when I saw something like that. She showed me how, after immersing the towel in cold water and twisting it to get rid of the extra liquid, the fabric stayed cool for a long time.
I ordered one for myself and, during the long hot days in that part of Asia, it tremendously helped me to keep my body temperature bearable. Because I suffered of heart condition and high blood pressure.
Not many years before that I was on a trip to Israel and had a long stop at the Dead Sea. When I got out of the bus, the torrid heat almost made me faint. Unfortunately, I decided to go and float on the water with my friends. I didn’t want to miss such an experience. When I got out of the water, dehydrated and burning, I barely dragged myself on the short way from the shore to the bus. And what was the worst was the fact that I couldn’t breath. I prayed to stay well, since I was one of the adults there in a bus full of teens. God granted my prayers.
I went through my clothes and chose a few items for my trip to China and also got two sets of light capris and matching T-shirts. When I wore the orange ones in Nanjing or Shenzhen and saw myself in the mirror of the hotel, I realized people could spot me in any crowd from afar. I didn’t like that and I gave away the outfit.
Two or three days before leaving to the airport, one dear friend wanted to do something special. She came, prayed for me and gave me a hand massage. I was so impressed. That was such a sweet way of her to share her love.
We were supposed to check in one bag and have a carry-on with us on the plane. “Better pack less than too much,” somebody said. “Don’t bring food. You will be delighted with the best Chinese cuisine from start to finish.”
-to be continued-
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