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Made in China

August, 2009

What made this Chinese dinner particularly delicious was Yuan's own words when we asked him how it tasted: "Ummm, just like home." After 7,000 miles of travel by jet, four days of living in an unfamiliar country, in an unfamiliar culture, with an unfamiliar host-family, eating unfamiliar food, on a 13-hour time-difference schedule, breathing unfamiliar cooler air, walking among unfamiliar Anglo people, sleeping in an unfamiliar bed... it was time for something familiar. It was time for a little bit of "home." Yuan and Youkang, our two Chinese Host Students, asked if they could cook FOR US, since we had been cooking for them these last four days after arriving from China. “Sure!” (A night off, we naively thought.) MJ took them to Cub—first grocery store they had seen in the U.S. It was HUGE. But they loved the “Asian Aisle.” It was filled with just what they needed. MJ thought she should buy more pork—10 oz. would not nearly be enough! But Yuan was insistent. So, she bought only what they needed… some mushrooms, cabbage, pork slices, tomatoes, and "Chinese soy sauce"--none of that U.S.--type stuff. “The secret to Chinese cooking” Youkang told us “is high heat and plenty of oil.” MJ and I watched. “Hovered” I suppose you could say. But they did just fine, electric heat and all (electric burners are hard to control). We laughed and learned in the kitchen that night as they prepared and cooked the food. Fried eggs and stewed tomatoes mixed together, fried cabbage (yuummm!), fried pork in a special flour batter (yuummm!), and, of course, rice. It was delicious. No matter how hard we had tried to cook food that would be familiar to them with our best “Chinese” touches and knowledge, it just wasn’t quite the genuine thing. THIS meal was definitely MADE IN CHINA. I asked if I could pray for them… “bless them,” as we sat down to eat. This was our gift to them each evening over dinner. We are growing fond of our new friends. And we want them to experience the fullness of God’s love.

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