An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The red thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break.
-Ancient Chinese Legend
What an amazing blessing I was able to have last week! It was definitely one of those Chinese red thread moments! My roommate Tabitha and I went up to Beijing over a week ago. Tabitha left on Thursday and we had some things we wanted to do before she went. One of those things on our agenda was to meet up with a mutual Chinese friend of ours, Lily. I met Lily two years ago as our guide to Jiangjin Social Welfare Institute (aka orphanage). Tabitha also met her on her last trip to China. I have not heard from Lily in over a year and tried to contact her while I was in China during my last trip. God was saving it up for this day!
We met Lily at Hong Chou. It is also known as the Pearl Market. ANYTHING you can think of is here! Everywhere you turn there is another vendor trying to convince you they have the best price for you! Each of them will insist that their product is the real thing. They will tell you everyone else would sell it to you at this price but since you are their friend they will give it to you for a different, lower price. Welcome to bartering land! Four floors of this and row after row of your new Chinese best friend! Fortunately, we were able to find Lily in all of this! She could only sneak away from her tour group for about 45 minutes but it was so worth it. She is older than I am but I am convinced she looks younger than the last time I saw her! Lily convinced a man at one of the booths to give me a job painting. I can do scripture on scrolls and add flowers to them for 5 kuai a scroll. That is equivalent to $.75 in US money per scroll. She was very excited about that for me. We will have to wait and see. I’ll keep you posted on this. She was amazed to watch Tabitha barter! She is very good and has an amazing poker face. Tabitha and I bought the same thing and she got a better deal. Lily told me that next time I needed to wait until Tabitha was done bartering before I bought anything. Lily and I talked about getting together again while I am here. She told me I could teach her about His word and I in turn asked her to teach me to do calligraphy. (His word is even more beautiful written in Chinese characters!) I do hope that we are able to do that. I am just so glad that this Chinese red thread never breaks!