Yesterday I met another person of note who was eating breakfast at Waffle House. During our couple years living at the high school, we have often prayed that we would be able to meet some in the neighborhood who were believers. We have thought there must be some house churches in the neighborhood, but we really have never heard of anyone in our neighborhood that is a believer even. This changed through an encounter at Waffle House with Brother Ma.
I was near the end of my shift at Waffle House when an older man asked me to sit down with him and chat, which is not too uncommon. Like many Chinese, he asked me why I did not open a private English school to make more money. So I thought that was all he wanted to talk to me about. But after some basic chitchat I realized that he’d gone to school in Hong Kong. But he didn’t just go to a normal school in Hong Kong, he went to a ‘shenxueyuan’, which is a seminary. I was completely amazed.
Then he told me that he is not only a believer, but also he and his wife lead a house church in our neighborhood. I couldn’t believe it! He also owns a local business that helps pay for the house church’s needs. I can confidently say that I never would have met this Brother Ma if not for my working at Waffle House. It just allows me a presence in the community, as all kinds of people are daily walking through the market and eating at Waffle House. Sometimes I get impatient thinking that I am not connecting enough with the Waffle House customers. But I must be patient and the Lord will put people in my path.
Now I’ve been volunteering at the local Chinese breakfast place here [which I call ‘Waffle House’] for over six months.
My customer friend Mr. Gao doesn’t come every day like he was before, but now we have lunch together once a week, which is even better than his daily trips to Waffle House. We still spend much time talking about God, Jesus, & the Bible. He continues to have many doubts and sin that are keeping his heart hardened towards God. I’m daily praying for his salvation.
Two weeks ago for Easter week I gave four Chinese Bibles to the four Waffle House workers. I wrapped each one in a gift bag and my wife prepared Brownies and a flower to put in each bag with the Bible. One of the four Waffle House workers, Mary Wu, was particularly excited about the gift. I told her to start reading in Matthew. I haven’t been able to talk to her any more about it since then. She’s been the most open to spiritual things of the workers. I’m praying for more spiritual conversations with the four of them. Also praying for their salvations.
“Now is the time of God’s favor. Now is the day of salvation!” (2 Cor. 6:2)
As of yesterday I’ve been volunteering at Waffle House — the Chinese breakfast place nearby — for two months.
I’ve been working about 6-7 hours per week at Waffle House.
The main relationship of note continues to be Mr. Gao, the 48 year old customer who comes in every day. He’s been living in Calgary for 8 years so we mostly speak in English. He’s back in China just for a year to help take care of his sick dad. My relationship with Mr. Gao is deepening each day. He’s excited to come to our home for a small Christmas party very soon. I hope to be able to share more about Jesus with him through the party & maybe give him a Chinese/English NT.
Waffle House has also helped me make friends with a guy Will Zhang who works in our high school’s office. He & his girlfriend Avril go to Waffle House every day, so I’m able to chat with them a bit each day. Both of them came to our home a couple weeks ago for a small TGiving party.
Still praying that the Lord would be opening the hearts of these people to see the light…
Now I’ve been working at the [Chinese] Waffle House for nearly a month.
I try to work there about ten hours per week. My job includes wiping off tables and wiping off plates. It’s not too glamorous, but they give me free Chinese breakfast for my labor & it seems I’ve helped them a bit by attracting some curious customers to their restaurant.
As I prayed for previously, I’ve met lots of folks through this job. I’ve also gotten to practice lots of Chinese speaking as I’m constantly speaking to customers & my co-workers.
The funniest part has been seeing some of my [very rich] students’ fathers eating at Waffle House. It’s priceless to see the look on their face when they see me bussing tables, & then through conversation they realize that I’m their kid’s teacher.
As my main purpose in working at Waffle House is to be able to share with people about Jesus Christ, I had that opportunity last week. There’s a 53 year old Chinese man named Mr. Gao who has been living in Canada for eight years & now is back in our city in China to take care of his sick dad. Mr. Gao comes to Waffle House every morning & likes to talk with me in English [maybe to practice his English]. Last week I was able to share with him how I’m in China because God sent me to China long ago. Mr. Gao said he was interested in various religions but didn’t believe in anything. I said that as all religions are contradicting, either all of them are totally false or only one of them is correct. It’s impossible that all of them are correct. He said, “So you really believe that you must believe in Jesus to go to heaven?” And I said, “Yeah, that’s what I believe.” Mr. Gao was shocked at this statement. Pray I may be able to share with him more. Pray the Lord may give him greater curiosity & may open his heart to believe.
This morning was my first day at work at my new job – cleaning tables & cleaning plates at a local Chinese breakfast place. I call the place ‘Waffle House’. Certainly they don’t serve waffles.
I’ve been itching to be around Chinese people more & to make more relationships & to practice Chinese more. Since I already eat breakfast at this place about every day, my wife suggested I may as well just start working there.
So a couple days ago I asked the boss if I could do it. I said I’d work about ten hours per week & wouldn’t need any pay. He was up for the challenge. So my first day of work at Waffle House was today. It was incredibly enjoyable & the workers there seemed very excited to have me.
The purpose in doing this is: to help my Chinese language; to actually help the store; and most importantly, to make deeper relationships with locals & in the future hopefully have many opportunities to share the Good News with Chinese through this job.
This restaurant serves the following: tofu custard [personal favorite]; hard-boiled egg; hot soy milk; funnel cake; funnel cake with filling; black rice porridge; small rice porridge [personal favorite].
I did do something like this before during my first year in China in December ’05. I started volunteering at a Chinese restaurant in my old city across from my former school. I ended up working about 15 hrs/wk for a little over a year. It was a sweet way to meet folks, though I couldn’t communicate with them much at that time. Glad to get back into the Chinese restaurant industry!