Our news is often very different from the news in the States and yet on the other hand we seem to find out about fads and such things very quickly. Thus it wasn’t very long until about the time I was wondering if the “Ice Bucket Challenge” craze could ever hit china, a young man came to our gate and said he wanted to do the challenge and have everyone donate to the Home of Hope.
It sounded like an interesting idea and who knows…. it might even bring some well needed funds (it’s back to school time right now..) into the orphanage, depending of course on how many took the challenge and how many actually did donate.
We agreed and surprisingly enough, this young man along with five or six other friends of his showed up and began to set up for the challenge.. I kept looking for the ice since I am fully aware that ice for general public consumption is just something that is not there.. One can’t run down to the local ice house or Quick Stop and buy a bag of ice. I was right.. there was no ice..
Of course in my house there is a normal refrigerator with an awesome ice maker so it wasn’t long and to the chagrin of the young men… they had ice! It was quite fun to watch and the children enjoyed it immensely since the year before we had an “almost” similar game at our Summer Youth Camp where everyone got to dump cold water on the three Home of Hope Administrator’s heads… (Bob Sayre, Ben Godard and Nathan Bell).
With trembling lips and his whole body ringing wet the young man came over to me and said he would be back the next day with many more friends… but they were curious whether or not I would join the challenge… Uh Oh!…
So, not wanting to seem like the coward I really am, I took up the challenge and in doing so I in turn challenged the Mayor of GongYi and the head of the Civil Affairs Bureau of GongYi to the challenge… Man!… it was cold!
I really didn’t mean to let out such a yell but then I guess I deserved it since I didn’t let things just take their natural course when I interfered and went and got some ice to make it legit! Cold water would have been so much better than “ice water”! But oh how the children loved the show!
Oh… and the young men did not show up the next day and so far we are still waiting for the donations from those who did not take up the challenge.. including the Mayor and the leader of the Civil Affairs Bureau.
Besides the end of Summer and the start of the new school year, we had some other ‘long awaited’ business to take care of.
Many of you will remember Moses Xiong En… the little guy who actually set things in motion for our taking in throw away babies (left) at the Home of Hope. He was abandoned one cold winter night and the police brought him to us. It was obvious they didn’t know what to do with him and I often think it was their lack of interest that has made much of this possible..
He had a terrible cleft lip and cleft palate condition and required many surgeries over the years. The doctor kept telling us that when he reached about thirteen or fourteen years old we would have to do some extensive orthodontic work and it has indeed started.
Of course, Mosie is not the only one with this situation. Autumn Xiong Duo is also going to start this month with her orthodontic work as well and right behind her will be several other children with the same condition that will require orthodontic work to correct their speech and other issues that are “left overs” from the cleft lip cleft palate condition.
We have asked for and tried to find businesses and other means in China to help defray the costs of these treatments but with little to no success. What ever you might be able to do to help in this regard would be so appreciated!
In other news we have closed our “in house” school. The children were needing more and more advanced teaching as they progressed from grade to grade and also the costs involved were becoming more and more prohibitive. We are so happy for the years we were able to teach the children here at the Home of Hope as each of the children who attended here in lieu of the public school are doing exceptionally well especially in their English and Math. English is a required subject here and these children who are now in Middle School come home telling me how their teachers are so amazed at their English proficiency.
As it has turned out, the main teacher at our school had a baby a few months ago and with the closing of the school she was not looking forward to finding work elsewhere. We have hired her to be our study hall teacher on Saturdays and week nights. She comes in at 6:00 PM and watches over the study hall, checking the children’s work and making sure they do their work and stays until 10:00 PM.
On Saturdays she again keeps the study hall open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Each child must stay and study until their assigned home work is finished. We have also set it up so our teacher – study hall monitor is in close contact with each child’s actual teacher so we can quickly circumvent any problems that may begin to develop in a child’s scholastic work.
We were so happy to hear from Linda Wei Ling Yu who came into the Home of Hope in 2000. A couple of years ago, a total surprise to us.. she announced that she was going to get married. We tried to get her to wait and let us council her and her fiancé but she was determined to go ahead, which she did. She and her husband then moved to south China.
She sent us the picture (shown at left) of her and her baby and told us how good she is doing. She assured me her husband and his family treat her very well. All is well that ends well! Faithful is faithful!