20-year-old Lei Cola, heard the "God's guide" told her to go to Taiwan, when she thought it was a corner of Thailand, will not Chinese she in order to "come to Taiwan", determined to set foot on the unknown land.
Q1: Coke responded to God's call 14 years ago, saying that Chinese would never have come to Taiwan with determination, when Coke was 20 years old, how could it have had such an experience?
In fact, I went to other countries with my father a long time ago as a missionary, and when I returned to Canada, I wanted to say that I wanted to be a normal person, get a good job, and live in Canada. After a while, I really found a good job, living with my sister, and having a car and everything.
But why one day, I suddenly have a "not satisfied" feeling. It feels like God is telling me that He wants me to do something else. I don't know why I did this, because when I left Tanzania, I thought I wouldn't go back.
But this "unsatisfying" feeling continued until one night I prayed in my bed and said, "God, why do I always feel this way?" Is that you? Do you want me to do something else?
This is the first time I've heard God say to me very clearly, "Kara (Cola), I want you to go to Taiwan. "
I had no idea where Taiwan was at the time, I thought it was somewhere in Thailand. The next day I checked the Internet and found that Taiwan was next to China, and everyone was talking about Chinese, and I thought, "Ah, I don't want it." But then, when I was working every day, I would hear the words, "I want you to go to Taiwan, I want you to go to Taiwan."
So I decided to respond to this and get up and go to Taiwan.
At first, I didn't expect to come to Taiwan for so long, thinking that I would only stay for a year to see if I could find an institution to help there, and that I would have been able to find teaching assistants from the Taiwan Youth Mission, but because the visa relationship arrived in Taiwan later than expected, I couldn't cooperate on the schedule.
So they asked me to learn a little Chinese, I went to the street every day to meet local Taiwanese, such as breakfast shop owners, girls selling clothes, etc. , chat with them every day to practice Chinese, and therefore more and more like Taiwanese.
Picture | provided by the author
Q2: Looking back now, do you feel like you're responding to your mission in the 14 years since you came to Taiwan?
I think so.
But when you do, you don't feel like you're responding to a mission right now.
Looking back, when I came to Taiwan, in fact, after I had my own choice, I could choose not to stay in Taiwan. But every time I have difficulties here, such as when I didn't graduate from college, when many people know that I didn't graduate from college, they advise me to go back to Canada to go to college. But I chose to stay.
At that time, I want to thank my parents, they told me, if you really decided to come to Taiwan, and God also wants me to stay in Taiwan, then don't listen to what others say, do not care how high their education, but see where God wants to take you.
Looking back, these 14 years have been arranged. Had it not been for my time in Taiwan to study Chinese and familiarity with culture, and if my husband had been studying English and Western culture in Australia for a while, we would not have been married together.
And if we hadn't married the right-hand man, we wouldn't have had the chance to launch "Old Shoes" together if we didn't have a chance to find out that we all happened to be sensitive to the issues of African children. Life-saving activities have continued to operate the association until now.
Q3: Whether it's starting an NGO or raising four children, Coke mentions the need to "be brave and ask for help" in stepping out of comfort zones. How did Coke want to have four children? And can you share your experience of "bravely asking for help"?
Why would I have four children? In fact, the fourth one is not in the plan.
I am a person who wants a big family because I have four sisters in my own family. But when I spoke to Rensheng, right, he said to me, "I think three should be enough, not that I don't like kids, but that I think you're someone who likes to do a lot of things out there, maybe not that much time." But did not expect more than a month later, on the pregnancy!
It's not planned, but I'm really happy to have her here now. Many people will find it difficult to have children, but I think it's just as important for everyone to be a mother and consciously train their children to know that they are not "first" but that we are "family".
However, there are many difficulties in the process. Like when I was pregnant with Maya (the fourth child), I was really worried about who could help me if I was going to have a baby, but I was afraid of bothering people. But then it occurred to me that a friend of mine, when I was suddenly about to give birth, had the courage to call her and ask if she would like to help me.
I didn't expect that she would come to my house to help me after I was born. One year on my birthday, she wrote me a letter, which moved me very much. "Coke, I really appreciate you giving me this opportunity to help you take care of the kids, " she said. I thought it was strange how she helped me but she thanked me.
But it turned out that this opportunity allowed her to learn how to take care of the children and see the real family. Many times, we think we are in trouble with others, but more often than not, helpers can also have a lot of gains.
Picture | provided by the author
Postscript to the interview:
Coke's life, brave enough to accept God's guidance, led her to a completely strange country, Taiwan, and thus opened up her relationship with her husband, and the non-profit program she and her husband worked with to help African children.
The voice of God in the heart of Coke is very much like our own "inner voice", which will not always be heard by you, but always whisper to you at some critical moment, or some quiet night.
And do we have the courage to follow this voice and take risks like Coke? Even though you have no idea what lies ahead of the journey?
On 2020/12/5, Coke will be at the Global Women's Impact Forum to share more of her stories with you, and you may also have the opportunity to interact with her face-to-face, talk about your life, talk about family, talk about the beliefs in life.
I think you'll get a lot of "listening to your inner voice" as I did when I heard her story.