This is a conversation I had with our Chinese friend Milissa. Let me know what you think. Give me some constructive criticism. What do you think about her responses?
Milissa - Fasting 12.7.11 10:00 AM
Milissa - Fasting 12.7.11 10:00 AM
Stan: Hey... Did I ever tell you about 'fasting'?
Milissa: Not yet ~~ tell me :)
Stan: QQ? *1
Stan: ok... 'fasting'
Stan: do you know what the word means?
Milissa: fasting ...
Milissa: i think so ;)
Stan: tell me about it
Milissa: so what's the fasting ?
Stan: it's something from the bible... so is it ok for me to use a story to explain it?
Milissa: of course
Stan: k... just a sec while i find it
Milissa: haha~ ok
Stan: i'm just gonna tell you the story in my own words, cause I think the story has too many other things in it that are difficult to understand
Stan: ce yi ma? *2
Milissa: ke yi !
Stan: ha ha... sorry
Stan: so there was this lady...
Stan: she lived in a town with no indoor plumbing
Stan: if she was thirsty, she had to get her bucket and walk to the well that was just outside of town
Stan: do you know 'well'?
Milissa: go on
Stan: ok... so the only place to get water was in a hole in the ground and the only way to get there was to walk
Milissa: en *3
Stan: she couldn't take a taxi or a bus, cause... well, there were none
Milissa: haha~ ok
Stan: they had not been invented yet
Stan: hao *4
Stan: oh one more thing about her living conditions
Stan: it was really hot where she lived
Stan: and she was going to get water in the hottest part of the day
Stan: got it?
Milissa: yes sir
Stan: : )
Stan: so... she went out to get some water one day and she met a man at the well
Stan: the man was Jesus but she did not know it
Milissa: oh~ really '
Stan: she had heard of a man named Jesus and she had heard lots of amazing things that he had been doing
Stan: but she had never seen him before, so she didn't know who he was
Stan: got it?
Milissa: y *5
Stan: so... she walks up to the well and he asks her for some water
Stan: that's where the conversation starts
Stan: and they talk for a while and their conversation gets deeper and deeper
Stan: she keeps talking to him and she realizes that He knows her
Stan: they have never met, but Jesus tells her things about her life that nobody else knows
Stan: she starts to wonder if he is the man called Jesus, but she doesn't ask him
Stan: Jesus tells her that there are exciting times coming soon for people who believe in God
Stan: she leaves her bucket at the well and goes back down to the town to ask anyone if the man that she just met is the man that they call Jesus
Stan: she tells the people in the town that this man told her things about herself that no one could know
Stan: the people that hear her talking can see that she is so excited about meeting him
Stan: and they want to meet him too
Stan: so they start walking out of the town, to the well
Stan: other people in the town see the unusual number of people walking and come out to see what is happening
Stan: by the time the people get to the well to see if this man is Jesus, it is the whole town
Stan: like the first lady, most of the people in the town had heard something about a man named Jesus and how he could do amazing things, but they had never met him
Stan: got it?
Stan: fasting takes many forms to different people
Stan: it is always a decision to do without something that you want or enjoy for a period of time
Stan: in the bible there are instances where people are fasting and it means they have made the decision to not eat any food for a period of time
Stan: i think always in the bible if the word 'fasting' is used it is about a decision to not eat for a period of time
Stan: got it?
Milissa: so you gonna fasting today
Stan: ok... now I’m gonna ask you something...
Stan: why do you think i use that story to explain fasting?
Milissa: for remember the day they saw Jesus?
Stan: oh... good answer
Milissa: right answer?
Stan: that was not my answer, but it will help me today
Milissa: what's your answer?
Stan: it is a right answer, but it is not the direction i was thinking
Stan: the reason i used this story to tell you about fasting concerns the mindset of the woman
Stan: when i read the story for myself it seems to me that the woman does something really cool
Stan: she went to the well b/c she was thirsty right
Stan: and she gave Jesus a drink cause he asked her... right?
Stan: but then they started talking and talking
Stan: and talking
Stan: and then what happened?
Milissa: they became friends
Stan: yeah and she left her bucket and went back to the town
Stan: it never says in the story that she got a drink for herself
Stan: it seems to me that she forgot she was thirsty
Milissa: oh~ haha
Stan: it seems to me that Jesus is the kind of man that can make people so excited about God that they can forget the most important thing they need to live
Milissa: you read carefully
Stan: there was no market she could go to when she got back in the town
Stan: there was no extra water for her to stop along the way
Milissa: good point
Stan: she went to get water cause it was really hot and she was really thirsty, but she found Jesus instead
Milissa: yeah~ amazing
Stan: think of a time when you were really thirsty
Stan: what would it take to make you completely forget??
Stan: i don't know what it would take for me
Milissa: but if i can talk to the man liked God, i think i will too excited to forget anything
Stan: this woman did not make the decision to 'fast' like people in other stories in the bible, but the mindset is what is important to me
Milissa: when the really amazing big things happen , you will be shocked right
Stan: people in the bible will fast for many different reasons
Milissa: for example ..
Stan: for example...
Stan: if someone needs to make a big decision about something in their life sometimes they will fast
Stan: there is a story about Jesus fasting for 40 days!
Stan: 40 days with no food
Milissa: still alive >
Stan: I know... it is hard for me to go 40 minutes
Milissa: haha ~ na
Stan: yeah... hungry, but still alive
Milissa: but i still confuse the why ppl did that
Milissa: God allow us to hurt ourself >
Stan: 'hurt' is an interesting word
Milissa: as far as i know God ,to be sons or daughters of God ,we should to be good ,love each other course we are bro and sis , and love ourself ..
Stan: do you think the woman at the well was hurting?
Milissa: no...but the "fasting"
Milissa: what do you think?
Stan: i think it doesn't hurt to skip a meal
Milissa: that's ok , i have no breakfast for almost 4 years
Stan: HA HA
Stan: how are you so funny : )
Milissa: thanks ~
Stan: that's an interesting example you use
Stan: do you know the origin of the word... "breakfast"
Milissa: so ..what you do the fasting for?
Milissa: no...you dont teach me yet ...teacher Stan
Stan: ha ha... break fast
Milissa: oh~~yes! huh
Stan: you eat at dinner, then you have the longest period of time before the next meal...
Milissa: cool~ good explain
Stan: but, the meaning of 'fast' in 'breakfast' is not about
God... just a word created to explain the first meal time.
Milissa: hey~ what's the "lunch" mean?
Stan: ha ha... idk about lunch
Milissa: i'll tell you when you in China :)
Stan: so... back to your question, "so ..what you do the fasting for?"
Stan: for me, today, i want to be more like the woman who met Jesus
Stan: I don't know what she was thinking exactly, but it seems to me that she realized that God was more important than the things (water) that seem to be the MOST important for living
Stan: but also...
Stan: when I asked you... "why do you think i use that story to explain fasting?" you said, "for remember the day they saw Jesus?"
Milissa: so you did for this reason too ?
Stan: I haven't thought about the reason you said... but I will today
Milissa: haha ~ thanks :)
Milissa: i'm happy it seems i helped ! :)
Stan: ha ha... no no no. Thank you, you helped me understand what I was trying to help you understand
Milissa: i'll take it ~ btw i have been study Bible and try to know God for more than a month
Stan: any luck?
Milissa: yep~ i told you
Milissa: what are you doing now? had break fast ?
Stan: nope... no food for me today, anytime I get hongry today i'm gonna think about how exciting it would be to meet Jesus
Milissa: oh~ you mean whole day ?!
Stan: yep : )
Stan: do you think I can make it?
Milissa: i thought you gonna fasting for one meal when you said you will do it today
Stan: it seemed easy for the woman to get excited, I want to be like her
Milissa: yeah!! you can made it!
Milissa: maybe you will see God today !!
Stan: maybe... I will let you know
Milissa: family :)
Stan: thanks for talking to me
Milissa: thank YA for talking to me
Milissa: hey~ will Julihua does the "fasting "?
Stan: sometimes... not today
Stan: sometimes I will tell her that I am going to and she will do it too
Stan: but she does it for herself some too
Milissa: ok~ :)
12.7.11 11:55:11 am
12.7.11 8:24 pm
Milissa: How you feel the fasting now ?
Stan: Fasting is not too hard with the right motivation
Milissa: Good job ! Stan :)
Stan: For me... It's not about not eating, it's more about realizing that God is in control of my life and nothing is more important.
Milissa: But I'm just a little worried about you ... I was thinking last day if I did the fasting maybe it's hard for me ...
Stan: It is something that is easy for me to forget. Fasting really helps me remember.
Maybe I can try next time w/ ya :)
Milissa: Yeah! I can understand !
Stan: Yeah... But there are no rules... You can fast for a day or a meal or a week. No rules
Milissa: Really ? For what ?
Stan: Just do it for the right reasons
Milissa: Ok! :)
Milissa: I mean what the fasting make you remember something that you forget ?
Stan: Oh... Sometimes I forget that God is in control of my life. And when I forget I try to do it myself.
Milissa: Yeah! :)
Stan: But my life is never as good when I try to do what's best for me as it is when I try to do what God wants me to do
Milissa: I think so :)
*1 'QQ' is a program similliar to Skype or any instant messaging program.
*2 'ce yi ma' is a miss spelling of the chinese phrase 'ke yi ma?' It means 'Is that ok?' 'ke yi' means 'okay'
*3 'En' is the chinese phonetic spelling of a nonverbal communication that is equivalent to an understanding head nod
*4 'Hao' means 'ok, good'
*5 'y' abbreviation of 'yes'... I think :)