that's mandarin for "to pray."
i was examining a patient last nite for surgery today. she has terminal cancer but looked surprisingly cheerful. while explaining what she would undergo, i noticed she has a bible by her bedside. i asked her if she was a believer, to which she replied she was. then unwittingly, i asked if i could say a prayer for her before the operation, to which she happily consented.
that's when i realised she is mandarin-educated & i've never gone beyond a smattering of mandarin in my everyday life. i decided to call up the mandarin-church pastor to ask for some pointers & interpretation. as i recited the prayer with him, he mentioned that i was not all that ready but i told him i just needed to do it.
so, i've never dǎo gào till today. & it wasn't fluent, some words had the wrong intonation but it was obvious she was pleased that i managed to say a few words of encouragement for her. that's the least i could do for someone who seemed to face her future with the confidence of God.
after surgery, my parting words to her was zǎo rì kāng fù.*