The New Heart of China
The New Heart of China
By Bill Dahl – All Rights Reserved – 2011
The heart speaks – it has a voice. Henri Nouwen once said, “Speaking from the heart is also speaking to the heart.” (1)
At the present time, my wife and I live with an 18 year old international exchange student from China. (We also live with a 17 year old high school student from Germany as well). Over the last six years, we have lived each year with students from Europe, Turkey, Afghanistan and various Asian countries.
We do this simply for the sake of sharing what we have with others and living and learning from those who come from different cultures that we do.
The following is an email from our Chinese student, whom I will refer to as “Amos” (that’s NOT his real name). I received it this morning. I have not edited the grammar. It is an outpouring of the heart from Amos and I’ll just let it speak for itself:
I really want to say thank you Bill. Not just for my ear pierced, also for recently your tolerance. I know I’ve been acted not myself lately, most time I am under the weather. In fact, I ‘ve been kinda going through a tough time now. Remember I told you that I want to join an organization to help people? Well, I did apply for the Peace Corp and Greenpeace, only GreenPeace replied me. And during this time, I organized a lot of my friends in China to join me for public volunteering service. Even though most of them gave me an expected response, but my teacher and my mom and my best friend are not agree with me. They told me that I can’t do such a thing at this moment at this age and I am choosing a wrong way in my life. Actually, I am lost, totally lost right before their answers.
They just made me more confused.
I spent hundreds nights to look for the reason I am alive, I always tyring to find an answer for myself to face to the world in a proper way. And meanwhile, I am expecting I can get the meaning of my future and my life. I really don’t know what I really want to do and what I am doing and what I’ve been doing.
Right now I feel like living in a proper way is living in a helpful way, I would like to give others a hand even give my life. I never feel anything else that good before. I thought that is exactly what I should do in my life: charity.
In my opinion, what people need is not just physical needs, also spiritual needs. I may never have such a huge amount of money to give to the others, but I got my own talent to cheer people up.
But my teacher said that is not the life, my mom also kinda disgree with me. I don’t want someday my life is like everbody else’s: marriage, children and income. For me, that feels like living in the space, I can’t breathe anymore.
I know I need to prove that even they just give me one shot, I will succeed whatsoever. But when I really working on that thing, I found is not that easy. I don’t want to give up this soon cause I got fifty people behind me I can’t let them down, but i got no moves to move forward.
Now I start with what Charlie (Charlie Wear) told me, believe in god, which is another form believe in yourself. I failed SAT and screwed so many other stuffs, I need this to help me to stand up one more time. Just one more time, I want to show this world my belief and I want to be a person who has the strong will to give a hand to others.
I’m really sorry for my behaviors lately, I just want to say I love you and really appreciate your tolerance and lead, thank you Bill, you really are a father to me, and I can’t find any better.
Like I said – it speaks for itself. From the new heart of China to yours.
Please pray for Amos…
(1) Nouwen, Henri J.M. The Genesee Diary – Report From A Trappist Monastery, An Image Book by Doubleday New York,NY Copyright © 1976 by Henri J.M. Nouwen. p.76.