Belize - Day 5
Sorry we didn't update yesterday! We had to prepare for our Tuesday night program after a day of interviewing. In last night program, Pastor Jim taught "How to study the Bible." Everyone, especially the youth, learned a lot from this informational workshop.
Today, Patricia from the Chinese church, brought us to many places today. We first split into two teams and visited different grocery shops and bakery. God is good to us. He knew we had to take in a lot of difficult stories in the first two days. So today's visits include many optimistic and blessed people. For example, the Lau couple we first visited lived really close to the church. Although they own a really small store, they are really content with their live situation. Mr. Lau is not a Christian yet. But since he had chef experience when he was in China, he always made a lot of food for church when his wife goes to church on Sunday. Also, as they live in a safe neighborhood, they are more at ease with their surrounding. They have four kids and their only hope for the kids is that one day they can be self-sufficient and make money on their own. Through this visit, it shows us that we really don't need a lot of things, like a spacious house, a nice car, etc, to be happy. It reminds us once again that we cannot put our "first-world" mindset and impose it on others. Meanwhile, the other team visited a bakery and Pastor Brian was able to talk to a young boy who grew up in Belize. He didn't go to school and his parents would like him to inherit the store.
Then, we visited Qing jie. We wanted to visit her yesterday but she was out when we got to her restaurant. She has been in our prayers because we knew she is in a unhealthy relationship, her "husband" is already married to another wife, and he is addicted to gambling. She worked hard to make money, but a lot of times she had to give the money to her "husband." When we talked to her, she said "A lot of people could not understand how I can tolerate the situation, but for me, it's because I don't like conflicts. I don't want to fight with him." Her mild temperament is quite admirable but at the same time, we still really want to pray for her that she will be able to give her heart to God so that she is able to be freed from all the constraints of sins.
In the afternoon, we visited some bigger grocery stores next to the airport. The grocery stores are a lot bigger and it's not blocked by gates. The owner has a great business sense of knowing how location, and adapting to the local culture matter. After owning a small gated grocery stores like the other Chinese for a while, he and his brother decided to expand and do something different. They bought a piece of land near the airport and opened this huge grocery store (size is almost equivalent to half a Target). His story reminds us that the Chinese stories here are not all the same. They are people who are willing to be more immersed with the local culture, and live in a "freer" environment.
The last interview for the day was very meaningful as well. Wu Ma, tan, small, wears a stylish glasses, is a very amiable and cheerful and fun-loving lady. She has been here since her early 30s around 24 years ago. We had a good story about her life in Belize and how she opened up a club, a 24-hour burger store, before she opened this current Taiwanese restaurant. She loves to cook and enjoys singing with friends and customers at her store. Her husband died around 11 years ago from cancer. She then shared with us her testimony of how she came to believe in God. When her husband was able to be baptized in his last days and passed away peacefully. She even mentioned that her husband saw angels and people singing before he died! It was an encouraging testimony for us.
A lot of people we talked to today were encouraged that our church is sending a survey team here to Belize. They appreciated our willingness to get to know them, and they are happy to get their story out, so that more people are aware of the hardship that the Chinese experience here. Please continue to pray for all the people that we have spoken to. Thanks to our previous effort in Belize, a lot of people recognized LGCC, and they are thankful of the medical team that gave them free health examinations! We will continue to sow the seeds and are also ready for harvest! :)