Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Church at the centre of Old Nanning

Hidden away in the centre of old Nanning we came across the only "official" Christian church in Nanning - and can you believe..it was established over one hundred years ago by Scottish Missionaries!!!!!!!!!
                                                                     Connections :-)

The church looked very "tired" and yet it has all of the common elements one would expect to see.
Here is the chancel area done in lovely wood panelling

The seats are wooden and certainly not of the comfortable variety! You can see screens for power point presentations - so they are right up to date.
The service will last for anything up to two hours and this will be followed by hospitality and fellowship.

This is the view looking from the chancel into the main body of the church. The gentleman at the back is Mickie and like all good Presbyterians he likes to locate himself at the back of the church!

The box is there for people to give their freewill offering.

Still inside the church, this is the area used for hospitality. Below are pictures on a noticeboard depicting various aspects of the life of the church.

The Pastor with the Rev.
Two pastors meet. This lovely lady is part of a ministry team that leads the church.

An old lady who lived in the poor, dilapidated community around the church.
This old lady in her late 80's is in very poor health and has nobody in the world.
She lived below street level and allowed Matthew to photograph her home.
Matthew and his camera - an extension of his arm!!!!!!!!

Below are two pictures of the inside of her one-roomed home.

The three pictures below show an old market area. One of the sadnesses of what is happening in Nanning is that the massive redevelopment will simply bulldoze rather than preserve areas like this.

Here is the irony of an area like this.
Two ladies are slaughtering, gutting and preparing chickens on the ground [this is below street level with very poor sanitation!] and beside these ladies, men are busy fabricating a metal structure.

An old world disappearing
in what will create better living conditions for all concerned,
yet the loss of a sense of history in old Nanning.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

June 1st Hope4China'sChildren's Day

Now that June is over, a time to reflect...............

June 1st is traditionally the day in China when children are celebrated.
Two years ago on this special day in China when we first met our Siona, the hotels were full of happy families, children’s entertainers, balloons and great excitement.
However as we know, life is not so much fun for many children in China who have no families, no money and no hope of a future. Bringing together the joy of the day for many children in China, our happiness at meeting our daughter in China and the great needs that still exist, it was simple to decide to bring all these elements together and join to celebrate Hope4China’sChildren’s Day around the world.

The idea had been bubbling in my head for a while….but began to take shape when eating out with friends to celebrate Chinese New Year…Sky Lanterns were mentioned….and the idea of friends of Hope4China around the world setting off Sky Lanterns took shape. Matthew entered the picture and before we knew it, we had 100 Sky Lanterns destined for the skies with good wishes for the children in China who still need our help.

The Internet and Facebook are wonderful springboards and before we knew it all 100 Lanterns were sold to friends around the world. Matthew started off in China with a group of our  Guangxi girls. The girls were so excited to be taking part and set off their Lanterns with many wishes for their future. They followed in USA, Netherlands, Finland, and all over the UK.

In Dunfermline, St Margaret’s Church rallied around as always and we arranged a Sponsored Walk around Townhill Loch for members and friends of all ages, from Siona our youngest, age 3 to some “recycled teenagers” in their eighties!!!!!!!!
The reward at the end was of course the BBQ sizzling away under the watchful eye of our Hope4China Chef, Robert, ably assisted by Moira. The Manse garden quickly filled up with the walkers and the supporters.........

                                        And everyone settled down to enjoy the food and banter.

           At the end of a lovely day we set off the Sky Lanterns, some lighting more easily than others :-)

Eventually they all floated off into the Sky with our prayers and good wishes for our young people in China, joining with all the others around the world.

The good folk of St Margaret’s have so far raised the magnificent sum of £830…and counting…..This will help to make such a HUGE difference for so many children…there are no words to express our thanks for their friendship and support.

Families around the world who bought the Sky Lanterns have contributed over £600 and had special days, events with families and friends sending their own special thoughts and wishes to China.We have had Graduations, Births, Adoptions, Holidays, Tai Chi and just Celebrations of Life with friends old and new....................

A Puppet show was even held in Finland raisng 300 euros........no photos yet.......

I just love some of the magical expressions on these little faces

So many wonderful photos expressing the joy and excitement of our special connections.......

The Bath Ladies hosted a special evening of Sky Lanterns raising lots of money and more sponsors......

                           Buckhaven High School held a wonderful Celebration, raising £250

                                       Strathaven Academy celebrated and raised over £400......

And of course, to complete the circle around the world, our Guangxi Girls met together in Nanning to Celebrate with Matthew

The Circle of Celebrations complete,...........
having raised over £2000 to help children in China......
building Connections
we look forward to the year ahead........
when we plan to have a Hope4China'sChildren'sMonth
beginning June 1st........
( start getting your ideas ready now :-)

      Thank you to all who have Celebrated and Connected in 2010!

You have helped make a BIG Difference:-)