Challenges LHCH House Parents Face

RobertLiving Hope International values and advocates family model orphan care to provide the orphaned children with family like care. In the small family setting, children can enjoy love from the house parents and experience family life. For more than 20 years, Living Hope International provides more than housing and food, but also education, medical, and spiritual care to the orphaned children. Our goal is to offer love, opportunity and hope to the children in need, and give them the tools they need to become educated, mature and independent adults.

In Fuzhou Living Hope Children’s Home (LHCH), there are three family units raising 11 children. There are also those over 16-year-old who are away for study and return to LHCH on weekends and holidays. The three couples live with the children in LHCH all year round, day and night. Recently, LHCH house parents had a sincere discussion on challenges they face in their work. The biggest challenge for them is neither how to take care of the children, nor the hard work, but how to position themselves in building relationship with the children. What role are they playing in the children’s life? Parent, nurse, or teacher? Maybe all of these. The house parents stated that they put their hearts to the children as biological parents do. Some house parents shared when the children make mistakes, they always feel hesitated to discipline them like biological parents. They reported the younger children who came to LHCH’s care at 2 or 3 years old do regard them as parents, while many older children become rebellious once being disciplined, because they know that house parents are not their “real” parents.

Another big challenge is when house parents see children leave. Many children at Fuzhou LHCH were rescued from trafficking, and are not cleared for adoption according to the Chinese government’s policy. That is to say, these children cannot be adopted. In order to best help these unadoptable children, LHCH provide them with family like care—with small family units and longer-term committed house parents. However sometimes the government decided to place the children into local foster homes, so the children have to leave LHCH. When this happened, house parents always felt sad to see them leave. What they can do is to sincerely pray children are placed with a suitable long-term family, if a forever family is not possible.

 

Climb the Qianfu Mountain

 Here is a diary from a caregiver from our Guangling Home, writing about their experience of climbing the Qianfu Mountain last week–

On a clear day with comfortable sunshine, we decided to do some hiking–climb the Qianfu Mountain.  Accompanied by Mr. Chu and the parents, the children set off in long lines! It was the first time we’ve ever climbed the mountain together, so all of us were full of joy.

Chatting happily all the way, we came to the foot of the mountain soon. As expected, the mountain was very high, but fortunately, the road condition was nice. We were heading to the top of mountain! With such goal, everyone was very excited, especially the boys. One of the boys rushed ahead of the team.climb mountain 2

In the early spring here, there was boisterous wind whistling all the way, which seemed to block us from moving forward. The children, of course, were not to be outdone. They accompanied with each other, encouraged each other, and helped each other to go towards the top of mountain step by step. The path close to the top of mountain was very steep and difficult. The older children helped the younger ones, hand in hand, going forward together. The words “Don’t be afraid, I’ll pull you along” moved all of us.

Both the whistling wind and the steep road had to submit to the children’s bravery and impetus to go forward! At the top of the mountain, looking down at the blocks of small buildings, everyone laughed and cheered happily. All of them were enjoying the joy of victory.

We turned many bends, and climbed up the Qianfu Mountain. Then we passed through the road, and went down the mountain. The joy of conquering the mountain diluted the tiredness and exhaustion. Everyone went back with delight!

climb mountain 1

 

Thank You Letter From Charity

Charity, a lovely girl has been living in Living Hope Children’s Home for 3 years.  We are sad to see her leave our program due to some medical condition.  We pray for her good health physically, emotionally, and spiritually.   We will definitely miss her!

 

Dear Aunts and Uncles:Charity 1

I came to Living Hope Angel Training School in March 2012. It’s been three years since then. I am very thankful for your love and care in these three years.

I was in 1st grade three years ago. Back to that time, I lived with my grandma. One day after school, my teacher came to me and said, “Your grandma will be here shortly.”  I waited and waited but grandma did not come.  Then I saw some black cars came. Later I learned they belonged to Angel Training School.  I remembered later Headmaster Li came to talk to me.

Then I went to Beijing with Headmaster Li and began living in Angel Training School.  In the days before I left my hometown to Beijing, I asked grandma, “Are you okay with my leaving? Will you miss me? ” Grandma always answered, “I am okay to let you go. You are going to a much better place.”

In the Angel School, I shared a room with older girls who were very nice to me and taught me dance.  I made friends with Amber because she was the first girl who gave me a gift.  Later I became friends with two other older sisters.  They were Claire and Hou Li Na.

A few days later, one morning when I walked into the cafeteria, an uncle said to me, “Hurry up, Emma! You’ll be late for school! ” He thought I am Emma. This was a little thing but somehow I remembered it very well.  I was happy every day in the big family in Angel School because there were many aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters.  We studied together, danced together and did everything together.

Last year, Angel School moved to my hometown Guangling so I came back with all the kids.  But, I will have to leave Angel School this semester.  My ear canal infection has been getting worse. In the end of 2004 I had to leave Angel School to stay at my grandma’s house for a week to rest because when I was in public school, I couldn’t bear the loud noises that caused me a terrible headache.  I had to leave the classroom to find a quiet place until the headache was gone.  During the week I stayed at home and rested.  My ear hurt a lot. Then it got a little better.  Grandma felt it would be too much trouble if I go back to Angel School and have to be taken back home again because of my ear problem and headache.  So she decided to let me stay home with her and find ways to get my ear treated. It’d be easier for her to take care of me this way.  It is such a pity that I have to leave Angel School, but I understand grandma’s decision in order to find a better treatment for my ear problem so it can be completely healed.

Charity (Bai Lu)