Assalam mualaikum Sister Mariah,
Below is my testimony for the trip I went with you recently.
The silaturrahim trip through the Silk route was an enlightening and enriching experience for me, etched in my memory for many years to come. I never thought of going to China, but after reading about Sister Mariah's missionary work, I was awaken to the desire of going to China and experiencing it for myself.
The visits to the Orphanages and the Child Care Centres, brought many emotions from within. I understand and empatize with the plight of the Chinese Muslim orphans and the low-income group in Lanzhou and Linxia. I wish I were young again and would have wanted to do more than merely donating the material things and the money!! Listening to a 4-year old reciting beautifully the Quranic verses brought tears and humbled by these children's plight to keep their religion.
The journey from Xian, to Lanzhou, Linxia, then to Urumqi and Kashgar, was also a personal challenge to my physical ability. I had fears of how I could "conquer" this journey, as I was walking with a walking stick after my kneecap operation. But the climb to see the beauty of the lake at Urumqi overcame all apprehensions!! Today, I am walking straight, without the stick, upon returning from this trip. Thus, the Silaturrahim trip was not only memorable, it has become my jihad to help get donations for the orphans, and my personal jihad to overcome my physical disability as I age, it will be a continous journey. But with Allah's blessings, I know I am not alone!!
Thank you Sister Mariah for sharing the beauty of Islam and understanding my Muslim brothers and sisters from China.
Mas'amah Ruah, Silk Road Tour from 31st March to 12th April 2013