No, Thank You -26-


There was a restaurant in the city where most of the dishes they served were BBQ meats. It was an exquisite and expensive place where people who had money went to eat. Since our trip was all-inclusive and because I wasn’t familiar with the Chinese currency Yuan/Renminbi, I didn’t pay attention to how much was our food. The hotels where we stayed offered grandiose included breakfasts. This time our translator mentioned the dinner was pricey.

The lady pastor sat next to me and, with the help of our interpreter, we started to talk. She had one son, and her husband was working far away. She was in charge not only with her big church, but supervised quite a few churches in that area. At the end of that day, she didn’t look the strong woman of God she appeared when she walked to the pulpit.

Her sermon was powerful and moving. I saw people around me wiping their tears. She encouraged her church to have faith in Jesus and not let go. Now, at the end of the day, she was tired and drained. She was going home to her son. She felt lonely.

Her confession made our hearts tremble.

This woman of God had to battle many battles, to raise up a child by herself, to nurture a marriage with an absent husband, to care for her elderly parents and her husband’s parents as well, to pastor a big church while minding the requirements of her government, to feed the old folks in her church who had nothing to eat. When she said this last statement, she turned her head to hide her tears.

“If you could, ” she continued “please help us with food for them. We can’t keep up with the great need. All we can offer is a bowl of rice, and even that is not enough to feed so many who come every day.”

We were eating meat and visiting the country, and our brothers and sisters didn’t have food to eat.

I felt so guilty. And with all of that I didn’t know how to help, what to do. Sending money was impossible. We were not allowed to keep in touch with our friends. Everything had to go through the government.

I remembered when I got home to the United States I wanted to raise money for a soup kitchen in that city in China. My youngest son and I put aside all the money we had for that project. It was little, but I started to spread the word to our friends and family. Then I was told that the Chinese government didn’t allow foreigners to open food banks or soup kitchens in their country. That would have proved they were not able to care for their own people and it would have impaired their dignity.

But that was what the lady pastor asked us; to help them feed their elderly.

-To be continued-

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