In 13 days, I get to visit about 40 kids in an orphanage near my home here in Shangrao. I wanted to give something to help me with the spirit of Christmas. Many shops here in Shangrao are putting up Christmas trees and a few decorations. One bakery even has a giant faux gingerbread house. But, China focuses in on the GDP version of Christmas. I am almost certain that it has been adopted to keep people buying things in support of the GDP. It has nothing to do with the real purpose of the holiday.
I am excited about this opportunity to visit these kids. And, I am a bit apprehensive. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I have no idea what I will discover there. I know some have disabilities. And, there are three middle school aged kids there. I am not envisioning a Charles Dicken’s version of a run down, state run orphanage. Nor am I thinking it to be anything like an Oliver Twist orphanage. But, I am doubtful that it has any resemblance to a family full of love and nurturing for these kids either. So, I am having mixed feelings about my visit.
I have all the best intentions for my visit. I just want to go and share a little love and affection to these kids. I hope to make this a monthly visit. There is a danger in my plan though. If they get too attached to me, and I them, what happens when I have to move from here? Will they cherish the times we will have together? Will they have resentment when I have to go? After all, their parents did not even want them. And, I surely have no intention of adopting any of them. I merely want to try to make their life a little better. Oh, I know I can not change the world. I know I can not change China. But, maybe I can change the lives of a few children that were cast away with little hope of discovering what family is like in China. I will let God direct me in my endeavor with these kids.
So, back to the books. I have a total of 29 books I think. Many are classics that my mother shared with me when I was a child. I found the complete Narnia chronicles. Classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Tom Sawyer are in the mix too. Peter Pan, Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Day, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, and Winnie the Pooh are all titles in these books. I saw a children’s book in Chinese about Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but I passed on that one. If the books are being read by the kids, I will buy more for each visit I go. Maybe I can develop a small library for them.
I still have more shopping to do. Toy shopping for the kids will be fun. The books cost me about $50 USD in total. The toys will be another $100 USD perhaps. In all, I hope to be able to provide them with hours of entertainment. This is my Christmas gift to myself. I feel the spirit of Christmas within me as I choose each book and future toy with the intention of providing a little live and happiness in a place that can not be much fun.
To all my Christian brothers and sisters who read this blog, pray for the acceptance of these tokens of affection and love by these children. May they be a blessing to each child that uses these gifts. I personally do not ask for prayer in my dealing with these kids. I know God is leading the way in this adventure. I do ask for prayer for the guardians of these children at the orphanage. And, I am asking for prayer for these children to find their way into a bright and successful future.
Merry Christmas my friends. I hope the season of giving and goodwill is infecting your lives this year. Many blessings to you and your families.