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The Importance of Dinners

By Hannah Varberg – HCC Communications Coordinator

“The most important thing to remember is that we are passing on the faith. With that in your heart, you will find opportunity… even when serving food or driving a van.”

These are the words of Ailin Lai. She and her husband, Pastor Yueta serve in the Taiwanese church known as Evangelical Formosan Church of the Twin Cities. Both of them moved to Minnesota in August, and because of their evangelical lifestyle, they immediately became involved with HCC. Their first volunteer event was the apple orchard in September.

Ailin and Yueta volunteered to help drive. They had six seats in their car, so it was a perfect fit for Skye, her husband Todd (name concealed for safety), their two kids, and her in laws. Skye had already had some encounter with the gospel (you may remember her story from last newsletter), so Ailin enjoyed conversing with her as they strolled between the lines of apple trees. Ailin expressed that Skye was very close to accepting Christ at the time. Meanwhile Yueta struck up a conversation with Todd about American education. The event ended, but the Lais weren’t satisfied with where they left off with this family.

So the Lais invited them over for dinner. The apple event was on a Saturday. By the next Thursday, Skye and Todd’s family were dining with the church leaders.

The dinner conversation flowed naturally into the spiritual. Todd seemed interested, and the Lais explained how even when the conversation shifted, it would always lead back to the concept of God.

Todd’s parents eventually went back to China, but the Lais continued their relationship with Todd and Skye. Around December, they invited the family over for dinner again. This time, Skye had a date for her baptism. Todd was supportive of his wife in every way but hadn’t accepted Christ himself. Yueta acknowledged Todd’s interest and capitalized on it. Yueta invited Todd to his Christmas service, which would be very evangelical. Skye could not make this service, but Todd was so curious that he borrowed a car to drive himself.

At the service,  Pastor Yueta made an altar call. Yueta confessed that no one came up. No one except Todd.

After one last dinner with the Lais, both Skye and Todd departed for China. Their salvation stories were finished in America; Todd received true revitalization days before they left.

The family now lives in Beijing, and now all the Lais can do for them is pray.

But the Lais’ evangelic mission isn’t over, and their work continues. At the recent Friendship Meal in April, the Lais’ church volunteered, and Ailin connected with a few women. She asked for their WeChat and tried her best to delve deeper with them. Only one woman accepted her WeChat request, so Ailin asked the woman to come over for dinner. To Ailin’s surprise, the woman accepted. Just a week after the April Friendship Meal, a volunteer and student were connected over a family meal at home.

Ailin and Yueta have volunteered at only a few HCC events. In volunteering, they grabbed the opportunity to nurture relationships and ultimately share the gospel. Their dinners are the way to true revitalization. We saw it in Todd, and another story has already bloomed from their service at the Friendship Meal. Like Ailin stated, they have the mindset of sharing the faith.

It shows.

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