Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Warm Winter Mission 2008

After returning to China, Matthew has been busy preparing for this year's Warm Winter Mission. Last year we were all so concerned to hear about the conditions when the unexpected "freeze" hit China. We were able to help in some orphanages, but mostly we were too late to really help.

This year, we are ready!

Lots of warm quilts have been bought to deliver to each girl supported by GGEF.

Also warm jackets, hot water bottles .....

Matthew's staff in Nanning getting everything ready.....

Letters, Christmas cards from sponsors, toiletries, books.....

...and some soft cuddly toys!

Matthew and his team have arranged this with around $2 500, donated by sponsors of GGEF girls around the world, friends of Hope4China who have bought Christmas Gift Certificates as presents for friends & family, a major donation from AFAC in Spain, and groups in China.

A truly Global Enterprise..which warms the heart,

and will hopefully "warm" our girls in China in more ways than one.

Through this we hope they will know that people around the world care about them and will have the strength to rise above their difficult circumstances and SHINE :-)

Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped... and watch this space for photos of the girls receiving their gifts when Matthew & his team have completed their visits around Guangxi.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Magnolia Shop now open!!!!!!

Our new shop is now open!!!!

Magnolia & Friends
Known as "The Little Doll of Love", Magnolia was inspired by adoptionof three baby girls from China, and has travelled around the world bringing love and hope to children in many countries.

Magnolia & Friends is a corporate fund-raising sponsor for Hope4China.

Please visit at this link , or from the link on the website

We have lots of lovely gifts with a Chinese flavour.

Commission on all sales to Hope4China to further help our work for children in need.

Happy Shopping :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Matthew visits from China

Four years ago , on the day in June 2004 that changed our lives - along with meeting our daughter in China, we met an amazing man who has become over the years a very special friend.

Matthew Xu from Nanning!

Little did we know at that time, that in the next few years we would be communicating regularly, working together to change the lives of countless girls in Guangxi Province, through GGEF and Hope4China

We had often talked of a visit to Scotland but were delighted when it was finally made possible this year in October

So Matthew arrived in Edinburgh on a dreich night October 13th, with his trusty bike all the way from China! It was so good to see him! And we set to welcoming him to our Scotland.
It was a strange role reversal as Matthew has been our guide each time we have visited China, arranging everything from where to sleep, shop, visit... as he calls himself our "Gofor"

He was a hard act to follow!

Now it was our turn.

Downtown Dunfermline the next day, seeing all our historic buildings and....

....Haggis & Neeps for lunch

Then some special girls came to visit

and Uncle Matthew was busy looking out "China things" for them all.

People in our church had heard of the work Matthew has been doing in China and were very excited to come and hear him speak about his experiences in China. A very informal meeting where much was learned about life in China and Matthew's work with abandoned children in China.

Then, hard as it is for a good Glasgow girl to say, we had to visit Edinburgh , where we nearly lost Matthew , so engrossed was he in taking photos of the castle and other beautiful buildings against a brilliant Autumn sky

He loved the bagpipes!

We were meeting friends there from Finland who have a daughter from the same beginnings as our Eilidh, and we thought we should greet them in true Scottish style?

Scary sight, I know!!!!!!

and a wonderful picture of two little girls whose lives began together thousands of miles away in China, one now in Finland, here together in Scotland with their families and "Uncle Matthew"

We could do not "do Scotland" without a trip back to Skye, where Hope4China began with the help & support of many friends there.

On the way we visited castles....

...and Loch Ness monsters......

Spot the Monsters??????

And of course, when we got to Skye, we had to have an Aros Scone :-)

and a traditional Scottish Breakfast( Thank you Barbara & Angie!)

Back Home again, Matthew did manage to escape the Greenshields Choas & cycle off into the unknown in peace & quiet. He made it to "our Bridge" - we can see it from our windows :-)

and only had to phone home "lost" once :-) !!!!!

It was actually so nice to have Matthew feel so "at home" in our crazy house!

He even got in to " Partick Thistle" and went along to all the games - a real education!!!

Iain & Matthew now communicate each Saturday to check the scores & Matthew is running the Nanning Thistle Supporters Club:-)

We also spent several nights discussing the "deep & meaningfuls".

Translating together some of the wonderful letters written by some of the girls we are privileged to have got to know over the years

Matthew also made it out with new friends cycling over new parts of Scotland

But when he got back, we made him work hard again. This time taking classes in Dunfermline High School.

Here he is with my 4th Yr Class (with a Chinese class in the background) who have been studying China with me since last year.

This class don't like "studying" much at school, but have really enjoyed learning about China. We followed the lives of the Huang family we have been helping for years. Their life has been hard.

I was amazed when one of my pupils interrupted Matthew straight away to see what had happened to the Huang sisters. As a result of that conversation Matthew emailed home & within days we had news of the girls to share with the class.

A true Lesson in Global Citizenship!

Matthew was also able to go to London and visit there. We are so thankful to members of the UK adoption community who also opened their homes to Matthew and enjoyed time with him

However the highlight of this whole trip for me was our Celebration of the Birthday & Baptism of the newest member of our family, Our Siona Rui Rui on October 19th

Our family has been so blessed by her addition to our family.

It was more than wonderful to be able to share it with our dear friend from China. other families with Chinese daughters who had travelled far to be with us. and those who were near, along with family, friends and members of our church family

One world, One Dream.

The Legend of the Red Thread....

....which connects us to all the people who will be important in our lives......

" Sisters" who grew up together in China and are still connected by the Red Thread.....

While we know that we have so much to be thankful for, we are at the same time aware of the many children who have not found their families yet, and so a major part of Matthew's work & our Celebrations, was raising funds to help the children in China still in great need.

One of the many things we loved about Matthew's visit , was that friends & sponsors got to meet the man they had heard so much about. It was wonderful to see sponsors being able to give directly to him, to take back to help the children in China

It was quite surreal to get up in the morning, when I often communicate with Matthew about what is happening in China, to find him sitting at my computer instead!

I did miss those emails:-)))

So many other things happened ...but if I wait any longer to add this blog.. we will be on our next visit! So I hope this gives you , friends & sponsors of Hope4China, a flavour of Matthew's Trip to Scotland

On our last night together we had friends round for an evening of Scottish Celebration, including beautiful Scottish singing( Thank you Alison & Rachael)., Haggis, Neeps, Shortbread, the works.....

Matthew even wore a tie!
It was Partick Thistle Tartan:-)

In fact, everyone, even our littlies wore tartan

and we ended the night singing Matthew's favourite...

...Should Auld Aquaintance be forgot.......

Well they definitely won't!

( I think we are already arranging the next trip?)

And just to make sure things continue as before...just before Matthew was leaving for the airport, Last Minute Linda was getting gifts & letters ready for our girls in the

Warm Winter Mission...

more on that later.....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Website at last!

It has been almost 4 years since Hope4China'sChildren began as a little seed...............

Little did we know how it would grow!!!!!

At last we have our Logo, courtesy of two wonderful young girls in the US, Michela & Alexis of SendingLoveChina.

I am so thankful to them for helping us to create a logo which finally expresses our Hope & Love for China'sChildren. We hope you will visit their website and see the wonderful work they do to help China's children!

Here they are with their lovely sisters from China.

And we now have our Website
/...after years of me saying.. "We need a website" & getting nowhere, I got in touch with Marcia of Magnolia dolls .

TWO YEARS later, I got round to replying to her email:-)))))))).

Just ONE WEEK later after getting in touch with Marcia's brother Jon........

.......we had our Website!

He is a man who gets things done & has amazing patience with crazy ladies who say - lines too thin , wrong colour, more of this & more of that, can you add this...and take out these crazy American/ OK, Canadian words:))))( he even added some Scottish!) ...and still smiles!

I just LOVE the result! - it is bright, colourful, child centred - shows the needs we encountered, but also the pride and dignity of some of the wonderful Chinese children we have been privileged to meet.

If you need a Website - he is your man!

Eilidh with her friend, Magnolia

Magnolia came to us as a gift from an unknown "friend of a friend" when we adopted our first daughter from China in 2004. We loved her, & in turn gave her as a gift to our daughter's SWI friends and she soon became part of our lives!

Soon Hope4China will be setting up a Magnolia shop linked to the website - more later....

It only remains to say... Thank you the wonderful group of Sponsors who are friends & have become friends over the years who have made all of this possible...changing the lives of so many precious children in China.

Also to our wonderful friends & co-workers in China in Grace & Hope and GGEF

Without you, none of this would be here!!!!!!!!

( But my house might be a bit cleaner & tidier:-))))

Now I have a backlog of years of photos & wonderful experiences in China, many wonderful moments with sponsors raising money & relationships being built up in China... to add to the blog...

Watch this space

Linda :-)