The Middle Kingdom, a Land of Extraordinary Dreams
CRRS Vision Trip Member (May 2012)
China, the land of my ancestors, steeped in history, with its beauty and ruggedness, is truly a land to behold. It was here where I witnessed the power and strength of extraordinary dreams. With his sleeves rolled up and a straw hat, I saw a man working tirelessly in the rice fields and terraces. In the villages, I heard the laughter of children playing and chasing chickens and little pigs in the courtyards. When we sat together, there was communion as the many sad stories were told. Here is where the real story begins.
As we travelled from school to school, village to village and city to city, our hearts were warmed with the smiles and cheers from little children, young men and young women. We met with them, dined with them and chatted with them. In excitement, they spoke of becoming teachers, doctors, engineers and even movie stars. These are their hopes and their dreams. In our quiet times, they remembered their lost loved ones and the desperate times they had endured. Yet, they all shared their gratitude for the love they have come to know. As I listened to each of them speak, I cannot help but feel their pain. Tears rolled down my cheeks, not a manly thing to do, but then, it was not about me. Through their pain they spoke of hope, a ‘Hope’ that can only be justified through the ‘Truth of Humanity’.
I left Toronto in early May to join up with the CRRS Vision Trip team to visit Guangxi, China. Like many before me, not knowing what to expect but eager to behold, I boldly travelled to China. With minimal knowledge of the Middle Kingdom, I brought with me my spectacles and expectations of the modern world. Before long, my spectacles were replaced with a new set of goggles and my expectations were replaced with a sense of gratitude. Where there was judgment, only encouragement remains. Spending the precious time with the farm families and the children, I have experienced true humility through their strength and courage.
Real mission is about LOVE; a love that is overflowing. A love that cuts across all political divisions, knows no geography and brings together all cultures. This is the unconditional love that we so desperately need and yearn to have and yet, it is with us and in us when we truly and sincerely learn to reach out to others. This is the same love that the students have come to know and experience which in response, gave them hope. Isn’t this wonderful?! We have been given an opportunity to share this love with others who only days before were strangers to us. Through the experience of this journey, I have been blessed. No doubt the pains and the sufferings will continue in China, but there is HOPE. I have seen it. There is still much to do – for the fields and terraces in China are ready for harvest. Are we ready to roll up our sleeves and lend a hand?
Living in the West, we are blessed with much and I know much will be required of us – for Love compels us. Come with me to that special place, a place where it can only be revealed through the full measure of our hearts. I came back to Canada with wonderful memories. As I look back at the many pictures I have taken and the warm messages written on my favourite Yellow T-Shirt, I wondered how each of them is doing?
Peace and Love be with you all.