Following the special needs manual training, we were able to visit the main orphanage in Jinjiang. It has a history of 160 years. It was explained to us that most people don't even know that the orphanage is there as there is just a simple door in the middle of a busy street that leads up the steps to the orphanage floors.
As we entered the orphanage, we were met by over a dozen beautiful children with medical needs, who eagerly called out "hello!" and who held out their arms to be held. We had time to offer them a quick snack of little cakes and to play peek-a-boo, and then we began checking on all the children LWB has sponsored for medical children here.
The list was long, and it was so great to be able to see the beautiful children who once had heart disease or cleft now looking so much more healthy. One darling little girl that we helped with cataract surgery had on her new glasses, and the babies who had come to our cleft mission in Anhui last year were looking oh so cute.
We also got to meet the children who will be attending our new Believe in Me school, which is just in its beginning stages. These great kids have never attended school before, and they are so excited by the idea of finally getting a chance to go. We learned that one of the older boys is a great singer, and it was so wonderful to think of him getting a chance to have music class in the future. We were all so excited thinking about coming back on a return trip one day and hearing the stories of what they have learned.
Following our visit, we went to the construction site of the new orphanage. It was absolutely amazing...with so many great details which will improve the lives of the children. The baby rooms have wonderful picture windows and a balcony so that the babies will be able to sit outside for fresh air. The rooms we are being given for our school are large and bright, with a big bathroom and nice rooms for bunkbeds. It was easy to picture them in the future, with colorful murals and school tables and chairs. Our one concern was that people might look at the fancy building and think the children don't need any additional outside help. While the building itself is wonderful and is so very needed, support will still be required for the actual programs inside. The orphanage is so grateful for our upcoming help with setting up a school, as they have never done anything like that before. They are in the process of hiring teachers whom we will send to Beijing for Montessori training, and they asked for any and all advice on ways to improve the lives of the older kids with medical needs. Stay tuned for much more news on this important new educational program. We all know it is going to bring so much joy to some very special kids.