to meet our old friends,
The Nanning Girls
They are of course not all from Nanning, but they are the girls who have travelled here to meet us each year since 2005 from their rural homes and now from universities and colleges even outside of Guangxi.
It is such an honour that they still come to meet us, even those who are now working!
And then Matthew's great idea to get to our "spot" in the park....
But a scary thought to try and get all these girls, children babies, and things safely to the other side!
I certainly did NOT have it covered in the Risk Assessment:-)
But we made it!
And time to settle down to The Teddy Bear's Picnic!
The highlight ( and relief) for me is always to be able to finally share with the girls,
those precious gifts from their sponsors....
There was so much excitement as we passes them out
Over one year later,
it is still hard for me to find the words to express the joy that these teddies brought to our girls...
Relationships which had been built slowly over the years...just seemed to come together in these moments when the girls hugged their teddies close.
We have since received sooo many letters from the girls, telling us the names of their teddies, and sharing how much they have meant to them,
especially when they are finding things tough!
We even have a Teddy for our own dear Helen ;-)
who does so much for our New Hope Children.
Letters and communications from sponsors and Buckhaven students who had learned all about rural
al China and the girls' lives before writing these letters.
It has been fantastic to have replies from so many of the girls to the students here in Scotland.
Then we had two of the artists from Ten Blazing Suns share the stage
and pass out copies of the book to each girl
What a wonderful achievement...thanks to so many wonderful artists who share their talents, and of course Pauliina who put it all together for us
It was wonderful also to share in her new artwork she has done for us,
Fan has been one of our very special girls,
originally from Yizhou where she had a wonderful band of faithful friends to help her in every way,
now studying in Nanning.
She shared with us last year, her dreams of becoming a writer.
This year we were honoured to bring her special gifts of a beautiful pen from her sponsor
to encourage her in her writing
Ellen shared her Special Hopes and Dreams with our girls...
It was touching to see how much Ellen's words meant to the girls,
knowing the heartbreak of many of their stories.....
..and we hope and pray that these words can offer some help and support when things are difficult for them.
....the screechy balloons the girls LOVE!
Wow...I am exhausted just reflecting on that beautiful day at the park...and we haven't even got to KFC yet?
We were all so hot and tired at this point, that we did suggest just having an easy lunch in the park together..but when we gave the girls the choice, there was no contest...
It was worth the extra hassle to get us all to KFC in Nanning for our annual KFC party...a tradition begun in 2005 and continued EVERY year since!
Next Blog ;-)