(Minghui.org) I have never thought that I would run a food stall on the street, nor did I expect that I would do it for more than ten years.
I believe in Falun Dafa, a meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. To avoid being illegally arrested for my faith again, I left my home more than 10 years ago and moved to another city. I invested all my saving in a store and worked very hard. However, I was forced to close the store because I refused to give up my faith. At that time, I really had nothing. I could only afford spoiled vegetables and fruit.
In order to survive, I tried many things, like selling corn and sugar gourds and riding a bicycle all over the city to run sales. No matter how hard I worked, I could only make enough to make ends meet. I always wanted to find a job or business where I could make enough money to support myself and still have time to practice.
The Beginning of My Food Stall
One day when my husband was having dinner with one of our neighbors, the neighbor mentioned that he had made a snack cart, but had never gotten the chance to use it. If we wanted it, we could have it my husband told me after he came home.
Actually, I always wanted to have a food cart, because I could set it up at night and be free in the daytime. However, I knew my hands-on abilities were poor, and the prep work scared me away. When we went to see the snack cart, the design was exactly what I wanted—it would save me all the complicated prep work. I was very happy and started my own business.
I took the snack cart very seriously and am very strict about purchasing quality ingredients. A friend who owned a restaurant once told me that he got meat at a very cheap price and recommended the supplier to me. I placed an order. But when the meat was delivered, I noticed that it was somewhat red. Although it was not bad, it was definitely inferior. I returned it.
The food I sell is priced based on weight. I always give a little bit extra to my customers. Some customers said, “When I spend the same amount at other similar food stalls, I won't get as much.”
Once when I collected money from a customer, I saw his hands were dusty. It was clear that he did hard labor, so I gave him an extra big egg and added more food to his plate.
I’ve done many things like that. Those things may seem insignificant and my customers may not even notice them, but it doesn't matter because I do them out of the goodness of my heart. As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I never ask for others’ gratitude for what I do.
Whenever I get a chance, I talk with my customers about everything they care about, such as housing prices, education, the medical system, retirement, and internet censorship. If possible, I talk about Falun Dafa and the persecution and how evil the Chinese Communist Party is. I try to persuade them to quit the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and its associated organizations.
The Customer from Far Away
While one customer was eating my food, she told me that she lived in another city and her sister was in my city. Her sister told her that my food was clean and delicious, so she wanted to learn from me and pay me a franchise fee.
Before practicing Falun Dafa, I was very conservative and jealous. I wouldn't give anyone my recipes, not even my relative, let alone a stranger. But as a practitioner I realized that I should get rid of those attachments. And, most importantly, I believe that everyone I come into contact is here to hear about Falun Dafa and learn about the persecution.
So I told her, “Sure, but I won't charge for it.” She was surprised. I continued, “What I do is very simple. But no one will point it out for you. It is not easy to run a business. Who would tell you their secrets and create a competitor?” She couldn't agree with me more.
I said, “Have you heard of Falun Dafa? I am a Falun Dafa practitioner. Don't believe the propaganda, the CCP lies all the time to deceive people. The Tiananmen self-immolation was a hoax. If I didn't practice Falun Dafa, I would not teach you anything, even if you paid me.” I told her how wonderful Falun Dafa is and why she should quit the CCP and its organizations, and she agreed. I also told her to remember “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” in times of crisis.
She left very happy and satisfied. She said she would come back to learn how I made my food, but she never returned. I believe that she had come just to hear about Falun Dafa.
My Injured Leg
Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V: “we cultivate divinity, so of course miracles have indeed happened.”
One summer afternoon about 4 p.m., after I had set up my stall and was cleaning the area, two drunk guys came over and sat on the ground about three meters away from me. One of them threw a glass bottle on the ground. It shattered, and glass went everywhere, some of it into my legs. There was a big cut on my right leg. It started to bleed a little and then the blood just gushed out. It didn't hurt as I tried to stop the bleeding by pressing on it as hard as I could.
A witness called an ambulance and I told my husband, “Wait for me. I'll be back after I get stitched up.”
The doctor found more pieces of glass inside the cut and said I would have to have surgery to get them all out. When I came out of the operating room, it was already 10 p.m. The cut on my leg was 10 centimeters long and they had to take about 15 stitches to close it.
The doctor told me that the tendon in my right leg was broken and the cut was very deep. They put a cast on me on to prevent the tendon from stretching. If I exerted myself while the tendon was healing, it might break again and I would have to have another operation. It would be a painful experience and cost me more money. The doctor told me not to stand on that leg for a month. If I had to stand, I had to use crutches and hold my right leg up completely, “Do you know that the cut was only half a centimeter away from the nerve. If a glass fragment had hit a nerve, you would have been permanently disabled.”
The doctor said that it would be at least 15 days before the stitches could be removed and I could be discharged. But I healed much faster than the doctor expected. I took a taxi home on the third day. The next day I took off the cast and started to do the Falun Dafa exercises. I never got any injections or took any medication, but the wound didn't become inflamed or swollen. It just gradually dried up and scabbed over. It was unbelievable. I believe it is because I practiceFalun Dafa.
Ten days later, I returned to my food stall. Fifteen days later, I went back to the hospital by myself. My doctor was shocked: “How can you walk without crutches? If the cut has opened up, you’ll be in big trouble.” I replied, “I practice Falun Dafa, I will be fine.” But the doctor didn't believe me and kept repeating the possible serious consequences.
The doctor also asked me several times how much compensation I got. I told him, “I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, I didn't ask for any compensation.” He scoffed. I gave him a flash drive with Falun Gong information. He refused to take it.
A month later, I went back to the hospital again because I wanted to show the doctor how I had recovered and how amazing Falun Dafa is. Although he didn't say anything, when I handed him the flash drive again, he took it without hesitation.
Not only the doctor, but also many people I knew and my customers often asked, “How much compensation did you get?” I replied the same, “I didn't ask for any compensation, I am a Falun Dafa practitioner.”
“Why?” one person asked. He couldn't understand. “Why are you doing this? You could not do business after you were hurt, and you had to pay your medical bill, too. It is normal and reasonable to ask for compensation, right?” I didn't reply but gave him a pamphlet about Falun Dafa. Although he didn't agree with what I did, he understood what kind of people were practicing Falun Dafa. Master taught us to always put ourselves in other people's shoes, to be a good person and a better person.
I told the man who injured my leg who I was and why I didn't ask for any compensation, “If I didn’t practice Falun Dafa, I would definitely have dealt with you differently.” His family was very appreciative and often gave me the vegetables they grew. She repeatedly told my kid, “You mother is the best! Your mother is such as wonderful person!”
A Miracle Happened to My Husband
My food stall encountered many difficulties, and several times I thought I might have to close the business.
Several years ago, people from the local 610 Office (an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong) were searching for me and threatened to take me away simply because I am a Falun Gong practitioner. It really upset my family. When I was later arrested, I thought my food stall would really close. To my surprise, however, my husband took it over.
My husband has many health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure and the aftereffects of a stroke. The most obvious symptom is that he is very slow. He can't find things right in front of him; when it’s cold, he doesn't know to put on more layers; when it is warm, he won't take off his jacket.
For a while he couldn't speak clearly. Then I read Zhuan Falun with him, one paragraph a day. In a month, he got much better. But no matter how busy I was, I never asked for his help because he couldn't even figure out how to pack the food.
But during the one month the police held me, he managed to run the food stall. Although his sister offered to help, I can still hardly believe what he did. It was indeed a miracle!
After I was released, my husband gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun. “Here, I hid it and saved it for you to read at home. I hid all the other Falun Dafa books somewhere else.” I think he has been blessed. Cardiovascular disease is incurable. It is even hard to keep it from developing. However, my husband's older brother said, “How come my little brother is getting more and more clear minded in recent years?” My husband told me, “Next time I will remember to tell him that it is because Falun Dafa’s Master is protecting me.”
My Business Keeps Growing
My food stall started from a snack cart a neighbor gave us and developed into a larger, customized vending cart. Now I have a new, fully-enclosed food cart. I no longer need to worry about bad weather.
When I bought this new cart, the vendor next to me bought an even bigger and nicer one that almost blocked me completely. I was unhappy at first, but then I realized that I was fighting, which a practitioner should not do. I felt ashamed of my improper thoughts and eliminated them.
But it was as if I was still being tested to see if I had really gotten it over. Someone told me, “Your cart is too far back.” I replied, “It is fine. The place doesn't matter.” A few days later, another one said, “The next cart totally blocks yours. It’s very unfair to you.” I just smiled, “If it is my money, no one can stop it.”
Indeed, business in all areas is not easy, especially after the outbreak of the pandemic. Business has gotten slow, including for the vendor next to me. However, business at my food stall has not only been unaffected but is getting better and better, even when the city was locked down. Many vendors closed their businesses because they were afraid of the virus. I was not afraid at all. Some were surprised and asked me, “Aren't you afraid of being infected?” I replied, “I believe the plague has eyes, and it is under the control of the God of Plague.” This led to the topic of the CCP virus, etc.
In fact, the location of my stall is neither in the downtown area, nor on a popular street, but in a not densely populated neighborhood. And many residents have moved out because of relocation. In addition, there are food stalls everywhere. However, many of my customers skip the food stalls nearby and come to mine. Many are return customers. People often drive to my stall.
I have run my food stall for over ten years and endured many difficulties. Things changed a lot. My financial situation improved a lot. At first I was afraid to let people know that I practice Dafa, now I often openly tell people, “I am a Falun Dafa practitioner.” I can't express my gratitude to Master enough. I also hope more and more people will be aware of the persecution and experience the beauty of Falun Dafa for themselves.
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