Stealing from the Dead. What in the world does that mean? Let me explain to you how this all came about.
The other day we were informed that we were going to be doing some friendship Olympics in Hong Kong. We were going to put into practice all that we have been learning these past two weeks. Our assignment was to go into town and make Asian friends. Needless to say I wasn’t to enthusiastic about the prospect. I was tired and it was like a million degrees outside. I asked the L*rd to work through me because I could not do it on my own.
My team heads into town to make some friends. On the way into town we started noticing all of this money on the ground. We were like “wow somebody’s purse must have broken, blessings from the Lord.” We started picking up the money. We felt a little weird but we thought maybe nobody else saw it or cared about picking it up. We finally got into town and went our separate ways to try and make some friends.
My partner Ash and I tried to summon up all our bravado to start approaching Asian girls. My heart was pounding as we came close to the first set of Asian girls. I felt my mind go blank and I had no idea what to say. Luckily Ash stepped in. However that conversation did not last long. Then I saw a couple of girls and I thought, “this is it”. I grabbed Ash’s hand and ran after the girls. They were a bit frightened but they talked to us none the less. But that too did not produce any results.
We ran into two of our guys and we excitedly told them about the money we collected on the road and that is the moment we found out that we stole from the dead. There was a funeral earlier that day and the Asian custom is for the mourners to throw money on the ground so that the dead person could have money for the afterlife. Needless to say we felt like we made a horrible cultural error even though we knew that their beliefs were untrue.
After that revelation we went to McDonald’s (yeah) and that is where we made the most amazing contacts. We found these 2 girls who were just going to be starting college on Monday. We asked if we could hang out with them and they were soo excited. The girl I
connected with had the English name Edith. She was shy at first but opened up the more we talked. After about a half hour she asked me what my major was in college. I got very exited because I knew the answer to this question would open the door to talk about God. I told her I majored in the Bible. Her face lit up and she was soo excited because she was a Christian too! We got to talking about the Lord and I asked her if her family believed. She said no and she told me that they did not want her to believe and they did not want her to go to church. I was so struck by the fact of how hard it is for some people to be Christians in Asia. Throughout the conversation I got to encourage her about her studies and let her know that God has a great plan for her life. We exchanged emails and I can’t wait to contact her again.
I came away from the friendship Olympics feeling very excited and desiring to get to C-town so I could meet more Asian students and develop close relationships with them. We are leaving tomorrow for our town and I am soo pumped.
Please continue to stand with me that my year would be marked with God reliance. I am realizing how weak I am and I need to totally depend on my Father. I can’t do it in my own strength and I don’t want to. Stand with me that I don’t rely on myself. God’s reliance is what I need and desire.
I have so much more that I could share with you especially how I swam with the dead that same night. I will explain more about that cultural belief in a later email.
PS. I am developing a blister on my one finger from using chopsticks:)