So what does one do in the Summer?
That was one of the questions floating around the Home of Hope last week as the children were all preparing for their final test of the year and looking forward (beyond the test) to some fun times this summer.
Due to logistic difficulties, we will not be having the combined (all three Home of Hopes) youth camp this year. The GongYi Home of Hope and the PingYu Home of Hope will be joining up in PingYu for our 2015 camp. Normally, with all three Home of Hopes, it is necessary to hold the camp at our GongYi facility as it is the largest by way of physical facilities. This year with just the two, PingYu is just the right size and the PingYu kids are excited that they will be hosting this year!
Meantime… “What does one do in the Summer?” Well, you start out with an awesome ‘Hot Pot’ supper in Ye Ye’s back yard… At this particular “meal” we had a lot of the older kids for a night of fellowship which we don’t get to do as often anymore since they are all actively involved in work, planning an upcoming marriage, preparing for the birth of their first child or many other things that keep them very busy.
All of those who were in attendance are not shown in the photo above but those who are visible are – left to right: David Zhang Hai Tao, John Yao Shu Xing, Holly Hou San Juan, Logan Zhang Xin Zhuan, Moses Xiong En and Ruthie Xiong Shan.
We just had to include another photo of Happy and Sissy! Each time we write a “Thank You News” letter, we go through hundreds of photos trying to pick out those that will provide a good and clear picture of life at the Home of Hope.
Inevitably, we include pictures of Happy and Sissy (our two youngest babies) even though we know we featured them the previous month and the month prior to that and on and on… Anyway, Happy and Sissy are doing great… it is simply exciting to watch them and try to figure out what kind of new thing they will be into today!
Not long ago, Mosie went to the outdoor weekend market and when he returned home he had purchased a newborn kitten.
We just could not find it in our heart to tell him we couldn’t keep kittens at the Home of Hope because little kittens, like little puppies turn into big dogs, turn into big cats and if we allowed any child to have a kitten or a puppy, we had to allow all the children the same privilege… so to make a long story short… not too many months later the children came to us and excitedly told us the cat had kittens.
What’s a person to do? So now we have a large “Mama” cat with four little babies. We are already trying to line up people who would like to have a baby kitten but I’m sure most of you know how that goes! Sadly, we don’t have organizations here in rural China that care for homeless animals so it is up to us to find them a good home.
As much as we don’t wish to get too encumbered with things like pets and such, when the children give us those pleading looks, (“Ye Ye, can they stay? Please let them stay…”) it is impossible to maintain the old “Scrooge” attitude.
We are always into some small project or another at the Home of Hope. This summer we found need of a small utility trailer. Instead of going out and trying to find one, then spending time negotiating a reasonable price before purchasing it we decided to build our own. Ye Ye and the older children are presently into building this little trailer and we are all having a good time as well as having a great learning experience.
Since we already have all the necessary tools to do the work, the total cost is very cheap… We bought used steel from a steel salvage yard and two used wheels with spindles and bearings from a local junk yard. The one thing we could not get here in China is a trailer hitch and ball which we ordered from Taiwan.
We aren’t sure if we have been in China so long our perspective of things has changed or if the following snapshots are in fact really neat, unusual and hauntingly beautiful… These photos are of an abandoned fishing village in SouthEast China. We don’t know the story of why the fishermen moved away other than the fact that they did! So here is a small glimpse into some history of China…
This fishing village, sitting right on the edge of the ocean, was once teeming with life. Babies were born… the elderly passed away… weddings were conducted… funerals were held… professional mourners were busy… meetings were held… life decisions were made… couples fell in love and over the years the local culture developed everyday as people went about the business of gleaning their livelihood from the sea. Now that’s all gone. A little sad in a way. Makes one wonder what ever happened to everyone and if anyone even remembers…
As always, we are so grateful for your continuing to be part of the Home of Hope and the work here in China as together we work for the betterment of the physical and spiritual needs of these loving children.