Last week I told you I’d share a letter written by one of the KGV students following their visit to our Children’s Home in Xining with the Vice-Principal, Arnett Edwards. Hsu Wei Chang has the makings of a born writer, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading her letter.
The eleven of us who went to the Xining Children’s Home probably learnt more about human relationships than we would ever learn about the rich biodiversity of China’s wildlife.
We were each asked to take care of one child for one whole day. The day was roughly divided into three phases: getting to know the child; trying to get the child to do what you wanted him/her to do, and finally giving up from utter exhaustion. The last one we unanimously achieved. The extent to which the first two were accomplished depended on the child we were responsible for. One looked like innocence personified, but he ran off in all directions, ignored instructions, and generally displayed his abilities at annoying everybody. Most photographs only showed his cute face staring innocently into the camera! Other children were less mischievous, but those who had physical and/or mental disabilities had trouble walking and they had to be carried for a while. The child I was in charge of was a taciturn yet adorable little boy with a perpetual look of confusion on his face and a tendency to grab and hold on to objects.
Although everybody was worn out—either from talking to kids who did not respond or responded by doing the opposite of what we told them to do— somehow, after the trip, this was one of the occasions that became the most memorable. Perhaps it was because the whole day was spent bonding with one child only. We really got a chance to know our child. The panda, monkey, and bird exhibits simply served as a pretty backdrop to this.
This is only a glimpse of what we experienced in Xining. Like an impressionist painter swiping a single dash of colour to solidify a water lily, mingled with brushstrokes of different hues, and with elements of contrast harmonised in, so everyone’s unique personal experiences; the flowers of welcome presented to us by the village; the puddle of tears we left as we said our farewells to the Home--all this makes a Monet masterpiece – actually an Arnett Edwards masterpiece!
We can list all the other singular moments that touched us, but, as often happens in life, the sum is far, far greater than its parts, and perhaps the only way to truly understand the Xining experience is to go there yourself!
Let me know when you can get your group of friends together and come up!
Arnett Edwards, Vice-Principal of King George V (KGV) School, didn’t want birthday gifts. Instead, he wanted his 50th Birthday celebrations to be a gift from him! So he asked his friends to make donations before having a boat party and he also placed a donation box at KGV. A total of HK$15,000 was raised from friends and students, all of which Arnett has donated to our Xining Children’s Home.
But his gift wasn’t just the money.
Arnett’s thoughtfulness resulted in the article below appearing in the popular newspapers South China Morning Post, with a readership of 296,000, and the Chinese language paper, Sing Tao Daily, with a readership of 339,000.
Imagine it - that’s a total of 635,000 people hearing about our children in Qinghai!
Publicity is very valuable! Making many more people aware of Christian Action’s work with the orphans of Qinghai can result in many more people supporting this compassionate work.
Will you pray and think about what you can do in the year ahead to raise awareness of the needs of the children on the Tibetan Plateau? Arnett’s many small acts have added up to a great contribution. What small thing can YOU do this year for this great cause?
In the Press :
When we say Happy New Year, it’s tempting to think that the accomplishment of some great success in the year ahead will bring us happiness. But real success is when some small things we do results in bringing change and happiness in someone’s life.
On December 24
In 1987, I became the Project Officer of HK Christian Aid to Refugees, and I focused my efforts on training and finding office positions for young Vietnamese who would have worked exclusively in blue-collar or factory jobs. I concentrated on teenagers who showed great enthusiasm and drive once given some encouragement.
One of those young men was Siman Luong Thu Dan, also known as “Dan”. He was about 17 when I found him his first job at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile – which he quit after one day because someone called him a “yuet lam chai”, a mildly derogatory term meaning `Vietnamese boy’! One day, Siman was faced with a particularly difficult challenge and he rang my doorbell asking if he could stay at our home. He stayed for six months! But he worked well at my husband Marlon’s company as an admin assistant, picking up many skills in the process and widening his horizons. He then made his own way to the UK, did some study, and he now owns his own travel business, and his own home—in which he once cooked a good Sunday roast for me! Dan still calls me Ma, and when I visited him in Leicester, he booked me into the Hilton Hotel and paid my bill! By anyone’s standards, he can be called a successful man.
I wonder now what would have happened to Dan if I hadn’t opened the door into our home that day. It was a small thing to do – just opening the door. But that year saw the start of a change in Dan’s life.
I pray that this year we can together do many small things for the little children in our care which will result in making it a happy new year for them—and a real success for us!
P.S. From the archives: two scans of 1988 newspaper articles about the boys who were in my program back in 1988 (when CA was known as Hong Kong Christian Aid to Refugees!)
A year ago I wrote to you about Douge, the 14-year-old Tibetan girl who had a brain tumour which was life threatening and required immediate surgery. You responded so generously and prayerfully; the medical team was so caring and dedicated, and the end result was that Douge's surgery was completely successful. It was certainly a happy new year 2010 for Douge and for us as we rejoiced at her amazing recovery!
So once again I send you all my best wishes for a New Year filled with praise as together we move ahead with accomplishing all that God gives us to do in 2011.
On 25 November our staff from the Children's Home took Douge to the Red Cross Hospital in Xining for an MRI, which Dr Zhu says she should have yearly for 5 years for post-surgery observation. Her report showed that her condition is stable. Earlier in the year, Dr Ray Chan's mission team from the US checked on Douge and the children in the Home, together with the children from the Yushu earthquake disaster zone.
Douge appreciates her doctors so much and insisted that we take some photographs of her with Dr. Zhu and Dr. Wong when they visited in May. She was glad to tell them that she never gets headaches now!
Douge also told our staff member, Natalie, that every moment and everything has become more precious for her now, even though she is simply living a normal life like everyone else.
What a lesson for all of us! Life is a gift! Let's be thankful for the precious year ahead, whatever it might bring!
This year, please join us in rescuing and restoring more children like Douge by becoming a monthly donor. Thank you!
As we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing the suffering He would later endure for our sake, we are filled with gratitude for God’s gracious gift to us of His Son.
In our work through Christian Action, and in your giving and prayer support, we can all be glad together that because of His compassionate love, God continually gives us the opportunity to care for suffering children today. The pictures here are of two such children, badly injured in the Yushu earthquake, who have just come to our attention. A tractor flipped over on Deji Bamo during the earthquake. She may never walk again. The other injured girl has the potential to walk again. The girls are 7 and 8 years old.
I know it’s a busy time for you so I’ll tell you more about this wonderful rescue effort after Christmas.
I pray you and yours will have a blessed and peaceful time of celebration!