Thursday, July 27, 2006

Laudi Mountain, Sally, and Famous Noodles

This weekend was strange and wonderful. The school officials took us to Laudi Mountain on Saturday where we met confucious, then hiked and explore the ancient gardens there. It was glorious to be up in the fresh air and green trees - away from the smog and noise of the city.
I took several pictures and made several friends; one of whom is a girl named Sally. She is a Senior at Chang Zhi University, studying to be an English/Chinese interpreter. A very bright and charming girl. She wanted to practice her English so we talked and talked all day.
Praise the Lord I was able to share the gospel with her, my testimony, and why I am a Missionary...She wanted to know all about Jesus, so He gave me the right words to say! She wanted to come with me to church the next day =) which she did and acted as my interpreter for the whole 4 hour service. I don't know if that would hinder or help a person decide to go to church - but God works in mysterious ways =)
The pastor shared the gospel again and 100 people were baptized! Incredible.
Sally has not made any decisions that I am aware of, but I don't want to be pushy or anything because I know recieveing Christ is a very important and personal decision, especially in China. She needs some time to think about it, I pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to her heart and reveal her need for Him.
After church Sally and I left the other Americans at KFC and ventured out to a street vendor selling green bean noodles and sauce.
Chang Zhi is famous for noodles, most local people eat them at every meal.
They can be made out of wheat, rice, or bean flour...and cooked a variety of different ways.
At a traditional Chinese meal the host will serve several small dishes of meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables...then after the guests are finished snacking they are served a heaping bowl of noodles and sauce.
This is opposite of how many Americans eat; we like to fill up at the beginning of the meal, then snack a little afterwards. The Chinese save the bulk of the meal for the end as the climax - sort of keeping the best for last?
It has taken our team some time to adapt to this - we're such a quick-fix instant everything culture - when we feel a need we must satisfy it. now! When we're hungry we fill up. The Chinese are more patient.
I'm not sure how I feel about this dynamic. It is a good lesson in self-control, but people are grumpy when they're hungry. So I would think the dinner conversation would be more pleasant if you satisfied people first, then talked over some light snacks. But it doesn't really matter in my case because I have been appointed the taste-tester in the group. I'm the only one who eats anything - or everything so everyone always whispers "Jen...this looks kind of taste it and tells us what it is". So by the time the noodles come around I'm not hungry anymore =)
Wise Confucious say "He who is the taste tester, will never hungry be". =)
The Chinese culture is very old and wise though, so they must have some reason for their dinner traditions. I think I had better ask them.
(p.s. please keep praying for Sally).

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