Success stories come from children who have grown up under the care of Living Hope International and have now entered higher education or the workforce. These children represent the fulfillment of the mission of LHI, as they function in society at a level previously thought unattainable.
Today the personal stories of several young adults are available, excerpted and linked to below.
I still remember the day when I was on my way home after school (I was in 6th grade elementary) and I saw a car parked in front of my home. When I went into the house, I met Auntie Li for the first time. There was another auntie and two uncles who were the drivers in the house as well. At that time, I didn’t think it was anything important for me and my family to meet them, so I wasn’t nervous at all. My family told me to do whatever I was asked. Auntie Li and the other auntie were very kind and we were taking pictures together. At that time, I was just a silly boy and really knew nothing.
When I was nine years old, LHI came to our hometown to look for orphans and poor children in need. I attended the interview. Meeting the standards in all respects, I was lucky to come to Boai School founded by LHI. In school, I got to know so many brothers and sisters who suffered a similar loss as I did. So we were getting along very well. In Boai, we received all kinds of art trainings, in addition to academic subjects. I remembered we started practicing our skills at every dawn.
In October 2003, my parents died in a tragic accident and my family was in dire straits. The turning point took place in October 2005, when LHI came to my hometown to visit the poor children of solitary. Luckily, I met the conditions and came to the Boai (Angel) school. In here, I met brothers and sisters who suffered similar loss as I had. In here, we no longer needed to worry about starvation and coldness, and we started enjoying normal life just like others. In here, I received a good education, including dancing, art training, and cultural courses.
On Feb. 20, 2006, I was chosen to attend the Angel Training School. I lived with more than 40 students who were just like me. When we first met, we were strangers. Now, we support and love each other, just like brothers and sisters. At the training school, we saw so many things we had never seen before, and ate food that we had never eaten before. There was so much athletic equipment like ping pong tables, footballs, basketballs, etc. There was just so much, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Most importantly, my family no longer had to worry about how I would receive my education or what my next meal would be. There are simply no words to describe the joy I felt.
In 2009, I stepped out of China for the first time. I went to different churches and performed there. I was deeply touched everyday. In the end, all this love I received was not by chance, it was from God who’s been planning and caring about me all the time. With all the love I received here, I realized that I want to help those who suffered what I’ve experienced before, and I want to bring a little hope and light into their lives.
Before I was born, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She worried everyday about the day she would leave this world and leave me behind. When I was 5 years old, my mother’s health began to deteriorate. Soon after, she passed away and I remained in the care of my old grandparents. My grandmother had cataracts, so working in the field was very difficult for her. She worked very hard to support me and even gave me a small allowance, but our lives got increasingly harder. My aunt felt bad letting my old grandparents care for me, so she offered to take care of me, but my grandfather always shook his head and said, “Let’s talk about this later.”
In 2002, my aunt found out about an orphanage and sent me there. There were many other children who were like me. However, I still had an inferiority complex because I felt I was not like the other normal children. I had no sense of security. I felt I was stupid and couldn’t open myself up easily. I didn’t like talking to others. After coming to the orphanage, there was an American family who sponsored me. They loved me as I was. They considered me as part of their family. They sent me gifts during holiday seasons and on my birthday. It was the first time when I received gift. I was so moved. This family came to visit me all the way from America which also touched my heart deeply. Even though we are not of the same nationality, nor are we related by blood, yet our hearts bonded together because of God’s love.
After coming to Angel Training School, when I saw my bed, clothes, and so on, all the lifestyle products are new, I was so glad. I finally got something that would belong to me. There are also many aunts and uncles loving us and caring for us. Here I felt a kind of love that I have never felt before. In the training school, I experienced my first birthday in my life, I was very touched. They made me feel the feeling of people caring about me. I had something that my village kids never had. I saw something they never seen. We also had very rich extracurricular activities; we got to see different people in society, and visited many different places.