Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy Birthday to our Nanning Girls

When we first returned to Nanning in October 2005, we met a wonderful group of girls. They all came from village homes around Nanning and all were struggling to remain at school. There were individual circumstances, but many were from farming families where there was just no money to pay for school fees, or food , books etc. They were the first group of girls sponsored by Hope4China, many of them at that time being sponsored by the fantastic fundraising efforts of Portree High School pupils in Scotland.

On that first visit, we first met for an evening banquet & passed round photos, letters and gifts from Scottish students. The girls then stayed overnight in a hotel nearby( paid for by Portree Students), met the next morning for a Trip to Nanning Zoo. After all this excitement we went to KFC in Nanning - the girls first ever visit- and it was their Birthday Party!

Since few of the girls had ever had a Birthday Party before we decided to have a celebration for everyone !!!!!

I said at the time that we would have a BirthdayParty there for them each year. I jokingly said I didn't think I would make it each year, but that Matthew could bring them without us each year:-)

Well, we made it in October 2006:-)

We made it June 2007, along with 8 Portree High School students who had supported them :-)

And we made it again in June 2008 :-)

Words cannot express the way in which this relationship has developed from these first shy days of 2005 with the older girls practicing their English with us. Over the years we have exchanged gifts, letters, photos and now emails with the girls. The older girls have become young women to be proud of, who email from university to keep in touch!
The younger ones are now blossoming & growing in confidence, writing of their feelings in such a wonderful way.
These girls have taught all who have been involved in their lives so much. My students here have been astounded at their capacity for hard work, lack of complaining & hope for the future in the face of many difficulties caused by poverty.

Last year on our visit back I was astounded to realise that one of our older girls, now at university in Guangdong had made a 13 hour journey back home for our Birthday party at KFC!
She and the other older girls this time took over at the party to give encouragement to the younger girls and to speak of the spiritual connection of love they felt from their sponsors. They spoke of the power of Love sharing between people from opposite sides of the world, showing that they understood the mission of GGEF & H4C - that sharing between people is of the most importance!
They concluded by singing "Mama Hao" to me as the representative of all our wonderful sponsors .
It was a moment which will live with me forever, and which was so humbling.....

There was not a dry eye in the house........and I thank God for that wonderul experience which seemed to me to encompass these wonderful girls in China and the wonderful sponsors who had made their hopes come to light. I was honoured to stand in the place between......
Thank you to all who have made this possible... You have changed the world!

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