Jan 21, 2008

Friends and Neighbors


There is a little lady who lives in our apartment complex. She doesn't actually live in one of the apartments; instead her home is in one of the small garages available for rent. It is a small space; maybe 10 foot by 10 foot. In the front, she operates a little "convenience shop" where you can buy a few necessities like ginger, garlic, noodles, soda, and beer. She's the one who taught me how to say the word for potato. The back shelf of her little shop serves as a dividing wall between the public area of her house and the private area. Behind the shelf, she has a small cot and a little radio. That's home. She is an incredibly sweet woman, always waving and smiling at us.

At Christmas time, we were given some fish as a gift from the foster home. Not just one package of fish -- but eight! We had no place to put them, and we knew we couldn't cook them quickly enough, so we gave them to this lady. She was so thankful. In addition to that, when my parents visited, they gave her a new blanket for the winter. She really loved my mom; still stopping me on the street and to ask about my "Mama." She points to the sky and asks if she flew away and if she'll be coming back. Somehow we manage to communicate...

With this as background information, I wanted to share how she blessed us. It was shortly before New Year's Eve. Jacob and I have two bikes (which we hardly ever ride), and they are locked up outside of our apartment. As we walked into the gate one afternoon, she stopped us and started chattering rapidly. We had no idea what she was saying, so we called a Chinese friend who could translate for us. It turned out that she was very worried about our bicycles. Evidently one of our neighbors had his bike stolen the night before, and she was worried that ours would be next. She asked if she could watch them for us. We honestly weren't that worried about our bikes, but our Chinese friend told us that it would be good to let her watch them, so that she could do something for us since we'd done things for her. So that afternoon, we drove our bikes over to her house. She put them out front, locking them with an extra lock. We noticed the next morning that she had moved them inside of her small house during the night to ensure they were well-guarded. We let her keep them for about a week, and then we brought them back, since we didn't want her to be troubled by them... and also, the New Year was over, which seemed to be when she thought they were most at risk.

Needless to say, we were incredibly touched by her gesture and her concern for us. We are so blessed by our friends and neighbors; I don't think I've ever met a friendlier group of people than the Chinese.

1 comment:

The Byrd Family said...

Oh, I agree with you Carrie. Everyone in China was so nice to us...such polite people.

What a wonderful testimony of that woman, she reminds me of He wants us to be to everyone. I love her already!

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