A Dong father has just signed up his daughter for a summer English class with a foreigner, and he and his daughter are now standing around and talking. He never seems to leave, always asking more questions, which, interpreted, either means he is just a "sit around and talk" kind of Dong guy, or he still wishes to find something out.
The day before class, he shows back up, unannounced. He starts back into mundane conversation, when out comes a very telling comment: "I wanted to make sure there was really a class and you were not going to take our money."
Dong people, much like Chinese, do not know what to think of strangers. Many of these Dong have moved from the villages to the larger Han Chinese towns, and learn quickly to give out their trust sparingly. Everybody knows everybody in the village. Outsiders, from the point of view of a typical Dong villager, do not fit into any category of trust.
But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? (Rom 10:14)
"I do not know who you are. How can I trust what you say?" If other Dong, like this man, cannot trust in such a small matter, how then can they distinguish the truth of the gospel from a lie?
It is impossible to say how many Dong men and women would react the same way as this man, but it is an issue about which we can pray, both for him personally and for others as the Dong are exposed to the truth of the gospel. May the Truth himself reveal to them who he is, his loving and perfect nature, that they may be able to understand and discern truth from lie.