From Charity to Relationship

Here’s my testimony from tonight; a night where I saw the way God is continuing to use me and each of us for His glory. Some of you were there virtually on the Whatsapp group as it was happening, and thanks for the encouragement along the way. So here’s the detailed of my night with the Wu* family (an immigrant family that we have visited with the St. Barnabas homeless outreach.) Hope this will be a blessing to you.

After work tonight, I was rushing to a 6:15 doctors appointment in Sheung Wan from central. While in my hurry, I noticed the Wu family on the street near the Central Market. I was running late, and I was’t sure if it’s appropriate to approach them on the street, so I walked on. I felt a bit uneasy not saying hi, but on the other hand, I thought I dodged a possibly awkward moment. I thought I can just let it pass and carry on with my night, but God had other plans.

I made it to my appointment in Sheung Wan on time, and afterwards I left to looked for my dinner. I wondered further into Sheung Wan and ended up near the wet food market and walked passed Cafe De Coral. While I was walking away from Central, I was thinking there’s no chance for me to see the Wu family if they’re still back in Central. Then low and behold, I spotted Mrs. Wu inside the entrance of Cafe De Coral deciding what to get for dinner. So I knew I had to say hi since I missed my chance earlier. But before I went in I was thinking if I should offer to buy them dinner. I felt that it would be a nice thing to do, and a rare opportunity to dine with this family, so I said hi to the family and asked Mr. Wu if I can buy them their dinner. He graciously declined and I didn’t insist. It was a bit awkward and I didn’t want to embarrass Mr. Wu, so I went ahead first and ordered my dinner while Mr. Wu was still deciding.

I went and picked up my meal and asked to sit down at the table where Mrs. Wu sat with the older daughter Aurora and her younger sister. Aurora sat next to me and even gave me another sticker, this time a red Canadian maple leaf. Since Mr Wu was still buying the food, Mrs. Wu asked me to start eating first. I was ready to eat when Mrs. Wu asked me if I pray before meals. It was a good thing she reminded me, and even Aurora jumped in to show me to pray since she learned to pray for her meals at her Catholic school. I really need to change my bad habit and pray at each meal, it was a bit embarrassing to be reminded to pray by someone who don’t know God yet.

Since Mr. Wu have not brought the food over yet, I offered some of my food to Aurora and Mrs Wu. I asked them to try a taste, so I set aside a piece of pork chop for them which Mrs. Wu accepted. But later when Mr. Wu came back, he had gotten the same pork chop meal. We started eating and talking, and we were just chatting about different things. Somehow my Cantonese suffice tonight when talking with them, I don’t chitchat well, and really not well in Cantonese. But it was great to learn more about their background, and their life while breaking bread with them. At the end of the meal, that piece of pork chop I offered was still there, and the Aurora actually already had some from the meal that Mr. Wu got. So in the end, when I was trying to offer them some food, Aurora took a piece from her plate and gave it to me. It was again humbling to have that happen. I thought I had something material that I can offer them to help them, but in a way maybe I wasn’t treating them right by not seeing them as equal. In the end, I learned to really see this family at the same level, as fellow creations of God. It was definitely humbling and it brought me new awareness. It is not key for us to help provide a meal or some food for families in need, it may be necessary or right in some situations, but the best thing we can offer is the love and care that flows out from the love that God has given us in our hearts. I pray that this family can sense God’s love in the time I spent to talk to them as a friend, and to really show concern for them in the conversations. After all the food was gone, I continued talking a bit and encourage them to attend St. Barnabas services Saturday afternoon. They said they maybe busy earning a living on the streets, so will be hard to make it. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead them to Jesus and the Truth of the Gospel at the right time.

-Chung

*Names have been changed to protect our friend’s identities