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November 27, 2009

Dear folks,

Yesterday, we were able to spend a fun-filled Thanksgiving Day with our youth of Dream Home. Some Chinese friends were able to “sneak” in to help with the festivities and everybody was VERY happy to have them join us!
Migyeong started off with sharing about the “first” Thanksgiving in the USA. Later, the two teachers added their 2 cents about what they had to be thankful for this day. The youth were all ready with their reflections on what made this a special day for them, too. The real payoff came when lunch was served by the visitors, though! Just like in America, many in the world are most grateful for something to eat even if it is not quite enough! This year, especially, that seems to be true. Our youth, however, ALWAYS have enough BUT it isn’t always delicious! This was definitely NOT the case yesterday! They had everything from shrimp (a big favorite) and smoked turkey to veggies and fruit and bread and they ate until their sides stuck out!

A special birthday was also celebrated by the group. Hua Che is now sweet 16! He helped demolish a beautiful birthday cake and seemed pleased to be the guest of honor with special attention paid him by the visitors. He is always such a pleasant boy so we were happy to celebrate his birthday along with Thanksgiving!

Migyeong and I have an additional reason to be thankful this year: toward the end of October, DaPing, one of our “originals” from 1999 rejoined our group! It turns out that his official name is Yong En and he has acquired a new English name: Sam, so we’re getting used to all three again! Those of you that will remember “DaPing” will be happy to know that he’s the same handsome, sweet and intelligent fellow that we remember. While he was away from us, he learned how to play the saxophone (about $400) and other instruments that, unfortunately, did not return with him, so we are asking you all to think about contributing to this purchase so he doesn’t forget how to play! He wears glasses and needs a new pair of them, too.

The most involved of needs of Sam (I think he prefers this name so I’m going to try to switch!), is his physical condition. He was born with spina bifida, a dislocated hip and club feet. Because of the surgery to correct the spina bifida, done when he was a baby, he is unable to feel from his knees down. Neither his dislocated hip nor his club feet have not been corrected but I’ve been corresponding with a group in the States that offer corrective surgery for club feet. Unfortunately, they insist that his dislocated hip be corrected prior to surgery on his feet and they specialize in feet only. They’ve asked for a medical assessment of his hip and feet and that will require an MRI ($500) and maybe other tests. He is now fourteen years old and too old to be adopted so he will be living in China where being in a wheel chair is not an easy thing in the general outside world. We feel that we would be selling him short if we didn’t pursue every avenue to help him enjoy a decent life and that is why I am asking you to consider helping us financially to see what is possible for him physically. At the same time, we are investigating all avenues to see that his education is not neglected. He is taking an online assessment test to determine where he is in Math and English so we can start home schooling with him. I appreciate the advice I’ve already gotten on this subject. Thanks to everyone that has responded to my urgent pleas for help!

Thanks also to all of you that have so generously responded to our request for various items including cold and cough meds and Christmas presents and cards for the youth! I know that there hasn’t been enough time for all of you to get the stuff in the mail but for what has already arrived: PTL!!!
You, our faithful friends, are what Migyeong and I give thanks for continually, not just on Thanksgiving! We are SO aware that we just couldn’t make it without your prayers and financial help. We try to be blessings not only to our children who, of course, are our primary reason to be here, but to our staff that gives above and beyond to make our work possible. The staff of the orphanage has received a raise this year and we feel that we need to reciprocate. It isn’t that much on the surface (about $20 a month per staff member, less than $300 a month in all) but it will really push us toward the edge of our available finances. We appreciate your prayers about this situation.
We wish all of you a blessed and happy holiday season and don’t lose sight of the “reason for the season”! A special birthday, indeed! HBBTY, JC!


Elaine and Migyeong

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