After an arduous six-hour drive by SUV from Yichang, I arrived for my first visit to Baihe Village. Located in the heart of Caihua region that produces the exquisite Caihua Maojian green tea and Yihongcha black tea, the village lives out the tea culture that has been passed down for generations. At the same time, most of the villagers are Catholic, a living testament to the work of the Belgian Franciscans once active here.


The village elder, second to my left in the photo, was baptized by Belgian priests. He remarked how I was the first foreigner he has seen since the Belgians left in the early 1950s. Although we come from completely different backgrounds, we all connected as members of the same spiritual family, celebrating in this spiritual reunion. We prayed that this connection fortify us as we continue this journey to grow tea and the Church.