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Wonderful Summer Camp for Kids from Quake-affected Area

From: China 四川(si chuan) 绵阳(mian yang ) @mina Time : 2010-07-26 11:18:09
Let me share with you the wonderful summer camp organized here in quake-affected area by the volunteer group "Seedling Project".

Two churches in the Texas, one mainly consisting of White people, the other of Chinese American, got to know the volunteer group. And they funded and sent a group of 11 to help hold "English Summer Camp" starting from July 18 to 23 for kids from quake-affected area. The kids aged from 12 to 18. Altogether there were 77 kids.

The Seedling Project has been doing amazing job there in that area. Immediately after the earthquake (May 12, 2008), a group of Christians came to spread relief stuff and rescue quake victims. Later they set up a temporary kindergarten for kids. What is marvelous is they decided to stay there for a longer term. They planned to stay there for three years. Their work today is mainly about keeping libraries, setting up Sunday school, training character of the youth, helping those in need and spreading gospel.

I worked as a volunteer interpreter for a visiting group of American Christians last year, so the lady in charge of Seedling Project contacted me and asked if I would like to help them this year. Sure, I am more than willing to say yes. On one hand, I am happy to be of little help to the kids; on the other hand, it is great to have fellowship with Christians from outside world. But both of us didn't expect half of them could speak Chinese. Initially, It gave me some hard time to get rid of the feeling of being out of place, but later I adjusted myself, besides being an interpreter, I can be an active participant.

The American group were really well prepared. Compared with last year's camp, their teaching plan was better organized. Every morning, they led kids to sing English songs and dance so as to have enough warm-up. Then kids were evenly split into 5 classes. They have English class, outdoor game, arts and crafts. In the afternoon, the teachers and kids worked together for skit. In the evening, they may watch movie, dance, games, thoughts sharing. In the last evening, kids put on their skit. That is really wonderful. Kids prepared their own props and had impressive performance. Everyone, both performers and audience enjoyed themselves a lot!

Some kids really touched us. A girl, named Ruth, was especially sweet. She first lost her mum in the earthquake and soon, her dad died of some disease. But we cannot feel any bitterness and sadness from her cheerful face. And once when her playmate complained that his mother was too mean to him, Ruth told him, "You should cherish your mum more. At least you have a mum to complain about." What an angelic little girl! A boy, who was more mature than his age, made everyone of us (the group + me) a personalized thank-you card. To be around kids was really good for us. Seemed we were pure-hearted too.

Another amazing thing was as Christians, we can share our life story and some deep conversation very easily. I felt very close to each one of them. It was really hard for me to say "goodbye" to them. We hugged each other and cried a lot on the departure day.

May God always guard our heart!
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From: China 浙江(zhe jiang) 杭州(hang zhou ) @JohnAbbot Time : 2010-07-27 00:32:58 #1
Hi Mina. This is a great thread and I'd like to complete it for you as it was cut off at 800 letters. If you'll send me the end that didn't make it into the thread I'll add it for you. Plus I'd like to chat with you anyway after reading this. Just send it to me at service@ChinaLoveMatch.net and put "Attn: John Abbot" in the email title or subject line. Thanks
From: China 江苏(jiang su) 苏州(su zhou ) @coscoazul Time : 2010-07-27 09:57:10 #2
Mina,
Thank you for posting this story. It's wonderful that people outside of China are concerned enough about the needs of the quake victims to organize this summer camp.

It also discredits the western assumption of religious persecution here in China. I've lived here two years, near Shanghai, and have seen none. If it's happening elsewhere in the country, I am unaware of it.

In many western countries, Christians are sometimes scorned because of their beliefs and practices. But as your post shows, they are often among the first responders to disaster, sometimes at sacrifice to their own comfort.

Thanks again for this great post.

Greg
From: United States Arizona Tucson @woaizhongguo Time : 2010-08-22 01:30:15 #3
Thanks for this. With everything going on in the world, people seem to have forgotten about the Sichuan Quake. I was living and working in Chengdu when it occurred and went back just a few months ago. There is still much work to be done and funds are still needed. One excellent group still working in this area is [a href=http://sichuan-quake-relief.org]Sichuan Quake Relief[/a].
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