The bittersweet return.
I never thought I would be able to enjoy the experiences I had oversees, but even more surprising was the road that lay ahead as I returned to the USA. As I had endeavored through about 5-6 months in a couple South American countries, immersed in the Latin culture, and surrounded by the Spanish language, the rest of my family had begun a journey in our own backyard. Yes, there was a new field opening up and more ready than ever for the harvest. It was something I never thought I would ever do. Learn another language!?! Are you crazy?!
My family had not only joined a foreign language congregation, but they joined a Chinese one at that! As I would tell them about my stories and studies in Colombia, they told me about theirs in Orlando, finding Zhonguoren (Chinese people). They began on their adventure learning Chinese Mandarin. What's amazing is my family new absolutely nothing in the language, only Ni Hao ( hello). And with that, and only that, they somehow already had return visits and studies. One particular Chinese woman even went to the meeting with them after meeting them only one time in an Oriental Market parking lot.
By the way, the meeting was 1 hour away, in Auberndale. On their one hour trip to the meeting , they were unsure what to do, since the woman spoke absolutely no English, and they didn't speak Mandarin. My mom takes out a Bible teach book and simply points to paragraphs and questions, as the woman reads and answers. A Bible study started. When you work in a foreign language field, you really appreciate the wonderful provisions of literature we have, all the tools Jehovah gives us to be proficient teachers, even when it's not our own language. My jaw dropped with each story. I knew immediately my next goal would be to join them in this Asian adventure.
This adventure was definitely not an easy one. So many ups and downs. It is so much work! With the language alone you get stressed out, and don't forget all that driving! Feelings of giving up did come in little moments, but then you remember why you took up the challenge in the first place. It wasn't for you, it was for those Chinese interested ones that haven't even heard of the Bible or God. Many have no beliefs but are so curious and eager to learn. It is a lot of giving. In the end, though, you are more refreshed than ever before.
And, of course, there's nothing like coming back home.
|Back in the States|
|With our Chinese PinYin Bibles|
|Mom's Chinese talk. |
When our meetings were in Auberndale.
|Dad's Chinese talk|
|First Memorial in Chinese.|
Jenny and her kids were able to make it!
|With Tricha, before the time she went to help out|
the Gainesville Chinese group.
|Chinese friends playing Chinese checkers|
|Assembly in New York|
|Michelle cooking us up some lunch before leaving to LA|
|What you can experience at a nearby Asian Market.|
|Chinese are so hospitable.|
Many studies start and/or end with a drink, snack, or meal.
|FIRST CHINESE MEETING IN GAINESVILLE|
|Gainesville Chinese Group|
|Working the booth at the Oriental Market. So much success|
|Our second Memorial in Chinese. |
My Dad's studies that were able to attend, Guo Wei and Lucky.
|With some of the Pengyous (friends)|
|My bro with James.|
|LAST CHINESE MEETING IN AUNERNDALE|
|The day we officially split from 1 congregation into 2,|
Tampa and Orlando
|Our journey in Auberndale ends as we continue as|
Southport Mandarin Congregation in Orlando!!!