Every year, on Lunar New Year’s Eve, we put on a dinner at the Pearl Family Garden. Although Lunar New Year’s Eve is a day for family reunions, some people are estranged from their families. Some have no relatives. Others have families but choose to be with us.
When we ask women, “How do you feel about Lunar New Year?” Most of them find it stressful because they are unable to afford nice gifts or give red envelopes with money. Married or divorced women are not supposed to show up at their parents’ home on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
This year, over 25 women came to wei lu (which means, “gathering around the stove”). The meal was catered by a Christian from the Wanhua Bread of Life church. This is the second year that she’s prepared the meal for us, saving us the trouble of cooking or re-heating food. Because of Covid, we decided to be careful. Everyone had to wear masks and avoid talking when they came to the front for food. We also had people serving food instead of a free-for-all buffet. Everyone was cooperative and the food was distributed in an orderly manner.
After eating, we played some games prepared by Rixin (seminary student). Passing marbles using chopsticks. Looking at a photo of a tray of objects for 10 seconds and then recalling as many objects as possible. Rixin led a short time of reflection, asking the ladies what they were thankful for in the past year, what they wanted to give up, and what new goals they had for 2021.
I was touched to see Apple and her son, Guo, at the dinner. Apple is a single mother with a cognitive impairment. We have known her for many years but she was not very friendly towards us until the end of last year. She’s been attending our meetings on Thursdays. Guo is four years old and has developmental issues. But that day, he had fun playing a simple game that our co-worker, Edna, had prepared for him and the Niederberger girls.
– Sinee Teo, Pearl Family Garden (PFG) Ministry
(Taipei, Northern Taiwan)