I had the opportunity on Christmas Eve to visit ‘Mr.Fang’ and his family. They live about an hour away from us in the mountains.
Mr.Fang and his wife foster two teenagers with severe cerebral palsy, a younger child who has been abused, and they have two children of their own. A very big family for China!
He is a lovely Christian man who loves the children and treats them all as his own. They have no front door, electricity, or heat, and all the kids sleep in one bed. (It was minus 7 degrees on the day I visited!)
Mr.Fang told me how the Lord has provided for his family through his job of cleaning an International school (which our boys attend) for two hours a day. The school DOES in fact have a front door, heat and electricity – not to mention computers a library and a canteen!
The two foster boys are completely dependent for all cares including feeding and dressing and toileting. They have outdoor toilets (remember, it is minus 7 degrees!) and he sits them on it after meals – it is the best he can do without plumbing!
After I got home and defrosted with a hot shower and multiple cups of hot water, I reflected on the fact that Mr.Fang is one of the true “heroes” of China. And I was reminded again that indeed it is “more blessed to give than receive.”
I am trying to organize a team to visit the family regularly and help with the kids. I have spoken to the school who are organizing a fundraiser to help the family, as we really want to help them and show how much we recognize his selfless devotion to the care of orphans.
Keep Mr.Fang and his (very tired) wife in your thoughts and prayers.
Things have happened so quickly here!! At this moment, Julie is in another province, 800km to the southeast of us, where 2 weeks ago an orphanage there discovered that 2 of their children have HIV, and via a British nurse working with them, a request for the care of these children went out across the country.
After some discussion, we gladly agreed to this, and spoke with the orphanage directors, who were just as keen for us to take care of these children.
So……probably later tonight, we will have 5 children under our roof!!! Thomas, James, Maggie and a 2 and a 3 year-old child. 1 boy. 1 girl. Julie and I are so excited to begin something that we have had on our hearts for so long (almost 18 months now!!)
We have already spoken with the HIV Professor here who is very willing to sign the prescription that allows them to have life-long anti-HIV medications supplied free.
Now we plan to care for them in our family until we can rent another apartment, and find a “mama” to live with and care for them.
From there, we will provide all medical care, social integration and education – with the hope that they will be adopted in the future, with the best possible chance to live a long and disease-controlled life.
We would so love to set up a model and standard for care of these children, that the community and other care facilities can then see that this is not a disease to panic over, but to still love and nurture these children. In doing this, perhaps those children when diagnosed in the future can actually remain with their biological families – ultimately a far better place with the proper medical care.
We are so grateful for the incredible response to our previous email for your assistance with this – not only was it rapid but extraordinarily generous.
What wonderful people we have – to be able to call ‘friends’, from around the world.
Today I feel like I have just had twins! (Although people who really have had twins may disagree!) I left home yesterday morning with a bag full of nappies and toys and returned at 2 am with 2 children!
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers for us and the kids . We had a great day and all went smoothly from multiple meetings with orphanage officials to flying with 2 kids!
They are cute, happy little things and have been happy and laughing with us all day. It looks like they haven’t been out of their “isolation” room since they were diagnosed in September so they are very interested in the outside world.
Zhang Jian Shi (” Peter “) is the boy – James wanted to call him R2 D2 but we thought Peter was better. He is about 3 and was found last year on the street. He looks pretty healthy and is a real “boy” – loves throwing balls in the house and anything that makes noise.
Zhang Qiu Ni – (“Chloe “) – looks a bit younger. She seems to have a lot of energy and was up until 3 am this morning watching play school with Sam! We hope she has a better night tonight.
The kids are fitting in well. Maggie is in her element having someone to boss around and has been busy teaching them her tricks on how to avoid the day time sleep! James and Thomas have also been great with them.
We continue to look for an apartment and a good carer for them who sees it as her passion rather than just a job.
Please pray that we will find the right person and place. Also for the kids who are mostly happy but sometimes get distressed for no reason – they have had so many changes in 6 months.
Attached are some photos – me trying to get them through the airport – and Maggie and them at rest time.
It is your heart, and your generosity that makes this thing possible. Without it, we simply could not give this love to these children.
Kids are not numbers. Statistics choose to represent them that way, but every child is an individual life. An undying soul.
Li Weng Xi is one such child. He came to camp this past summer in China, where we learned that he had Osteogenesis Imperfecta (or Brittle Bone Disease.) Because of a low production of collagen in his body, Li Weng Xi’s bones were very frail. Each step he took was chosen with caution, to protect his fragile body.
When asked how many times he has broken his bones, he told us that he had forgotten. The number was too great.
Camp ended, and Li Weng Xi returned to his orphanage. But he was no longer a number to us; he was a child we knew that needed help. So this past January, Hope, an experienced care-giver of children with special needs and a friend of Bring Me Hope, drove about twelve hours to check on him.
“He showed his legs to me, and they were really curved” Hope reported to us. “We told the orphanage that it seemed Li Weng Xi needed surgery based on our experience with children who have Brittle Bone Disease.”
So that same day, Hope took Li Weng Xi with her to a Foster Home in China who provides special care to children with Brittle Bone Disease. He has been living there since then.
“He is happy to be there,” Hope told us of Li Weng Xi’s experience in the Foster Home. “He likes the food there, and thinks his friends are nice. He’s really excited to have piano class, and he really likes to sing.”
In March, Li Weng Xi had surgery on both of his legs where he proved to be very brave. “I will be taller than before,” he said of his surgery.
Li Weng Xi will be getting his casts off of his legs any day now. Surgery and follow-up physical therapy will help his once bent legs to be straight, finally. He will be strong. And he will know that he is so much more than just a number.
Because of our care for Li Weng Xi, his orphanage has given us permission to send two other orphans, Obadiah and Peter John, to live in Foster Care!