When I was doing research into some of the issues facing children in southeast Asia, I came across a book written by Robert Spires, Ph.D., on the prevention of human trafficking. Dr. Spires is a professor at Valdosta State University, and much of his research has been done in this region of the world. He was kind enough to set up a video conference with me to answer many of my questions, and thankfully as our call was ending he said, “Do you mind if I tell you about some truly incredible work being done for children in Cambodia?” And that is how I found myself being introduced to Sokleng In, a young man living in Cambodia, who is one of the most impressive individuals I have ever met in my life.
I have to admit that when the Love Without Boundaries’ Board of Directors first decided to expand our work outside the borders of China, another location in Asia seemed like a natural progression. Same continent, right? (Despite every country being completely unique, of course.) But exactly where in Asia was the biggest question we faced, which I spent months carefully researching. Last week I found myself walking barefoot down a muddy road to one of several rural villages in Cambodia, where the hundreds of children I met there completely stole my heart.
Recently our Changzhi Believe in Me students did a unit of study centered on the delightful children’s book, Diary of a Worm.
The book features a series of diary entries of a young worm, accompanied by “photos” of life from his ground- level perspective. Our innovative Changzhi Believe in Me teachers recently used this creative concept of a unique point of view to engage the students in taking photos and documenting life from their own perspectives. Read more.
LWB’s Chief Administrative Executive Kelly Wolfe recently got to do something that many of us dream about: she visited Heartbridge Healing Home in person for a session of baby-cuddling!
Since most of us won’t get the opportunity to do the same, we thought we’d take all of you on a little tour of Heartbridge and catch up with some of the darling children there. Read more.
In honor of going back to school, the teachers at our Believe in Me orphanage school in Jinjiang recently gave the students back to school haircuts. They allowed these boys — Will Harrison, Howard, and Henry — to choose their own individual styles which made for some creative clipping. Read more.
Today in China, families and children are celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The festival is a time spent reuniting with family and loved ones, eating a nice meal and special treats, and sharing stories under the moon. Gratitude is the spirit of this holiday. The festival is very much like holidays found all around the world focused on giving thanks for the abundance of gifts nature brings, togetherness, and celebrating the changing of the season. Read more.
In August, seven-month-old Andrew became a graduate. Not a graduate of a school, but a graduate of our Anhui Healing Home where he had been a resident for five months. Andrew was born with a cleft lip and palate and lived at our healing home while preparing for his surgery and for several months after his cleft repair. We are thankful that Andrew was able to go from the nannies’ care directly into the arms of a loving foster family in Fuyang! Read more.
On August 26 and 27, I had the pleasure of accompanying my mother to Littleton, Colorado to run the second annual “Bekah’s Watermelon Run.” This run is in memory of a little girl named Bekah who had once lived at LWB’s Heartbridge Healing Home, which is how my mother knew her (she volunteers as coordinator for the home). Read more.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know the children from Karukoba village in Uganda a bit more, although I am sure you are like me in finding it difficult to know they are facing so many challenges. You might also be thinking that you are happy this blog series is now done, since I know I write far too much each time. (Hence my difficulty with Twitter!)
On my final night in the village, I asked some of the local people why they feel the region has remained in a cycle of poverty. Read more.
Have you had a drink of water yet today? Or how about a long shower? Did you even give it a second thought as you turned on the tap and watched the H2O pour out? I will admit with great remorse that before my trip to Africa, I absolutely took water for granted. If you take nothing else away from this short blog series, I hope you will give a prayer of thanks tonight for the abundance of available water with which most of us are blessed.
From the first moment I drove into Uganda, there was one constant sight no matter where you looked – yellow plastic jugs called jerry cans. You don’t go anywhere without one, as they hold the one thing our bodies need the most: WATER. Read more.