Friday, March 21, 2014

Old Man, Little Girl






 The following is an e-mail I sent to family and friends during my 25 day stay at a Christian orphanage in rural Hunan Province, China on July 10, 2010. The pictures tell the story:

Good morning! Sorry I have been out of touch but the internet is spotty. This is our sixth day here and they have seen power and water outages as well as heavy rain. My room flooded once. There is no AC and I don't have a fan, but I am hopeful I can get one soon. I sleep under a mosquito net and have slept well. The food is excellent and no sickness problems, but Lavender is convinced I drank a bottle of impure water yesterday. It is hard to get used to not being able to shower and clean clothes are a luxury. I end the day with a mixture of sweat and OFF repellent covering me but we can adapt to anything. I teach a 40 minute lesson from the Word each morning and we work with the kids on their English twice a day. The kids are wonderful, but like all kids in these settings, they face difficulties. The day begins and ends with a devotional; 6AM and 8:30 PM. They really try to set a spiritual tone for the kids.

We have had several adventures off the orphanage. On Thursday, we awoke to find an abandoned child left at the gate. She would not, or could not, speak and is crippled. The director thinks she is four or five. The girl was terrified but the kids here surrounded her with love. The police came and told him to take her to a facility in town. I rode in the car and held her. When we got there, the men in charge did not want to take her, saying we did not have the correct permit. The police came again and I witnessed an animated discussion I could not understand, holding the child and often being the only one from our group in the office. You think US bureaucracy is bad! Finally, they got the paperwork right and took the child. At the end, we made her laugh which made me feel a little better. Her hands looked like she was seventy years, already wrinkled and her skin was aged terribly. I will send pictures later.

On Friday, Lavender, a little boy who is my shadow, and me walked to a nearby 'store' to buy some water. There was an old man sitting on the couch in the living room of this home business. He was so excited when he woke up and saw me! Through Lavender, we talked for half an hour and he told us all about his clan. He speaks some dialect and it is not written in the official language, but in a script that looks like Arabic. He is almost deaf so everything Lavender said, his wife yelled in his ear. We took pictures and will try to develop one and take it back to him. I have seen no other westerners since we left the capital, except for a girl volunteer from the US. People come out of their stores to look at me. I am a curiosity! Thanks for remembering me and I love e-mails.

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Jenny Parish said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Thank God for you and the lives you have touched both here and there. God bless.