Portion for Orphans Newsletter
November 27, 2005
Jesus said to Israel, "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,
with all your mind and with all your strength." This is the first commandment.
And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:13
What a challenge! This verse has been on my mind lately as I consider the little
children here and what it means to care for them.
The little girl in the picture is my new little friend Gui Jing (pronounced Gway
Jing). She is 5 months old today. She came to China Care in August from a Social
Welfare Institution. That is what state run orphanages are called in China. These
same institutions also care for the elderly. Gui Jing is the smallest baby here
and I have really enjoyed spending time holding her and ... telling her all of
the things that she will one day be able to do now that she is recovering from
club feet. China Care casted her feet and then clipped one tendon that was keeping
her foot from forming correctly. At night she wears shoes that are connected
by a medal bar that are helping her feet to heal properly after surgery. Many
of the children here have a pair of shoes like this. For those who expressed
interest in adopting a baby, Gui Jing can be adopted. I wish I could bring her
home in my backpack. She's one of many that I would put inside if I thought
I could sneak them through.
Gui Jing lives in the baby room here, with 10 other babies between 5 months
and a few years of age. China Care has rented out a number of apartments in
one complex. Two are offices, two are dorms for volunteers, one is a warehouse.
Then two have 10 children each. Two others are set up as Foster families, each
with 5 children. We are now preparing a new ICU room for children who have
more serious medical needs. There are over 60 staff who watch over these babies
in 3 different shifts. China Care has a couple other orphanages in China, one
that I will be able to visit for a few days this coming week. They also help
with medical needs of children who are in other orphanages as well. If anyone
is interested in volunteering at an orphanage. This is a great place!
This week we spent time preparing the new apartment for babies to be moved
in. We spent a few hours each day with the children, a few of whom went for
surgery this week. The little girl I mentioned in the last update had heart
surgery today. I'll let you know when we have an update on that. We also
have been working in the warehouse, sorting donated items, preparing some
to be sent to other orphanages. Today we made birthday cards and crowns for
two who have upcoming birthdays.
For Safety, Faith and Joy
- For this opportunity to learn first hand how China Care has been so successful
- For Christian friends and a church that we will 'legally' attend this
- For the babies here who had surgery last week.
- For the caregiver who had a heart attack this morning.
- For safety, growth and focus this week.
As you read our updates, please feel free to ask questions. I will be answering
the questions at the end of updates starting with this one.
"I thought church was outlawed in China?? How is that President Bush went
to a church? I thought they had underground churches and that Bibles were illegal
there? what's your take on that?"
Church is not outlawed in China. I'm not sure what it was like here before
1982, but in that year the Government granted freedom of religion in China,
although some say that was only an effort to improve international relations.
So, there are churches here, and they can congregate openly if they are under
control of the government. Some say it is like a bird in cage... limited freedom.
There is still an underground church, it seems to include any congregation
that is not registered with and abiding by government policy. From what I've
read, conditions vary depending mainly on location. In some cases the Underground
Church has quite a bit of freedom, in others they are highly persecuted, even
to the point of death.
This Sunday, we will be able to 'legally' attend church at Beijing International
Christian Fellowship. :) However, no Chinese people will be there. It is for
foreigners only and a passport is required for admission. It is illegal to
proselytize (convert) a Chinese person to Christianity in China. I've heard
that some missionaries are allowed by the government to come and minister to
the Chinese but I'm not sure. The foreign Christian would most likely only
be told to leave the country, but I've heard that the punishment for the Chinese
convert could be severe.
In China today, the 3 main streams of thought are Taoism, Confucianism and
Buddhism. There are also significant groups of Muslims, Catholics, Protestants,
and Chinese Jews. Ancient animist beliefs and Astrology are highly interwined
in Chinese beliefs as well. If you're like me, you are asking, "What is
Taoism began in China when a normal guy named Laotzu was asked to leave a record
of his beliefs. His essay on peace, harmony and order has evolved into Taoism.
Buddhism was founded by Guatama who later became known as Buddha after meditating
for quite some time during which he became enlightened. Buddhism came to China
from India. Its view is that all of life is sufferring caused by our desires,
and happiness is achieved when those desires are overcome.
Confucianism, which seems more like a philosophy than a religion, was founded
by Confucius. It mainly defines patterns of obedience and codes of conduct
for each social class. It is highly integrated into Chinese thinking.
And Islam was founded by Muhammed, a descendant of Abraham and Ishmael, who
said there is only one God - Allah. A person who follows Islamic beliefs are
called a Muslim. To me, this is very interesting. Please feel free to add,
correct or make any suggestions in response to what I've written here.