After the Catholic Church, the team traveled to a wonderful restaurant where we ordered a ton of food. Every time you eat in China, there is a ton of food. And the food is all so strange…
What is it? You mean you eat the whole thing? What’s that black slimy thing with horns?
If you are an American, the trick is this if you don’t want to eat an unidentifiable dead object: Say you are full from breakfast. If your host insists that you at least try the item, eat it and swallow fast, breathing only when you drink the Coca-Cola to wash it down. Or turn your head to the side quickly, and subtly spit into your napkin—if you get one. Always try to resist making fun of your food with other team members who are trying to swallow their food without gagging.
The Chinese eat everything on an animal; that’s just life there. Since it is a poor country, no part of the animal is wasted. That’s why you always get the head on your plate.
And the feet. And the entrails. And whatever else doesn’t make it to the serving dish gets thrown into a soup.
But we were thankful to eat.
Since discovering our newfound freedom to be a witness for Christ in China, I gave John the Evangelist one of my American witnessing tips: “John… when you bless the food, pray loudly. That way everyone in the immediate vicinity will hear you thanking Jesus. They might even come over and talk with you about Him.”
Taking my advice, John prayed for the food in Chinese.
“DEAR LORD!!! THANK-YOU FOR THIS FOOD AND THANK-YOU FOR SENDING JESUS TO DIE ON A CROSS!!! WE KNOW THAT EVERYTHING COMES FROM YOUR HAND AND THAT YOU WANT EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE TO COME AND KNOW YOUR SON!!! OH LORD, WE THANK-YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE!!! THANK-YOU FOR RISING FROM THE DEAD!!! AMEN!!!
The entire place went silent. You could hear a gnat burp. We all kept our eyes shut an extra five seconds; that was the loudest prayer anyone had ever prayed. Even the strange item on the hors’ d’ oevres plate quivered and covered its ears. I opened one eye and looked around. Everyone in the restaurant was smiling. The locals had never heard anything like it either, at least since the government cleared the streets by shouting into loudspeakers to make way for tanks in ’49.
The din of the restaurant picked up. Conversations started again. We all agreed that John was very zealous—and maybe a little crazy. We all laughed and began to eat.
I turned my head to the side quickly and subtly spit into my napkin.