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October in Shenyang, 2010

Dear Folks,

As usual, sorry for the LONG silent period from me.  I’ve been alternatively puny and busy and sometimes both!  Between everything, I just don’t know where two whole months have gone!   Just a fast catch-up: I got back to Shenyang on August 29 after several months in the States during which either Migyeong and me together or me singly travelled literally from coast (Maine to visit MingGe and family and friends) to coast (SanDiego via train with Keith and her Mom and later to Oregon to visit B-school roomy, Norma) and several states in between: many friends in Austin, Ft. Worth, Allen (all in Texas) and Tulsa as well as Arkansas plus a short interlude in Colorado with Keith and my brother!  Don’t know how many miles were added to the old ‘bod but I enjoyed them all!  

As mentioned in the newsletter for September, the road to the orphanage was non-existent from sometime during the summer and is still quite rocky in places even now although great improvements have also occurred in sections.  This plus my puniness has resulted in me going out there only once during September and only a couple of times since then! 

Fortunately, there has been much happening here in town to keep me occupied.  Soon after I got back, there was a wonderful ladies retreat held at a beautiful and remote scenic spot that allowed us to really relax and luxuriate in the fabulous teaching and fellowship.  Next on my agenda was yet ANOTHER Chinese student wanting to get a student’s visa for the States!  This was Catherine who has a BA in Nursing but wanted to acquire a Masters in Health Care Administration at a school in Salt Lake City.  With a little extra confidence building and a lot of prayer from our little mid-week group (which is growing!), she was able to get through the interview at the US Consulate and she has been in SLC for a little over a week at this writing!  Her natural inclination toward “like-minded-ness” was also strengthened before she took off and she is plugged into a good “club” there already!  

Just about the time that Catherine entered our life, we were also graced by the visit from a volunteer from Michigan: Miranda.  She has been here for a month and a half and is actually taking off for home via Korea TODAY!  She has been braving the trip to the orphanage by bus with Migyeong almost every day and the kids there, as well as the three school boys that she has tutored almost every afternoon after school, have benefitted greatly from her visit!  We all even managed to participate in a “field day” exercise at the boy’s school!  The day was perfect and we really enjoyed being with the boys and their classmates and teachers!  We are all going to miss having her smiling face around!   During her stay, “Mid-Autumn” festival happened along with several “family” gatherings to which we were all invited.  Good food and good friends are a winning combination anywhere in the world you are blessed enough to encounter them!  We are folks that LOVE a good party ANY TIME! 

The last “happening” in September was me and many other foreigners in Shenyang receiving one type of annual award or another.  Mine was from the city of Shenyang.  It was fun to see some friends from Belfast there, too.    

October 1 is the start of the week long National Holiday in China.  We celebrated with more family eating with friends and/our school boys.  We also took advantage of the boys holiday from school to visit a giant book store with Wu Laoshi and another Chinese friend, Cindy.  Getting them to let us use the elevator to transport Sam in his wheelchair up to the fifth floor was a trick but we managed!  There was also a special friend in town from our early years in Shenyang, Pat, so we were able to visit with her over some pizza and also be the grateful recipients of some of her excellent teaching on the “Word” at a new small foreign fellowship here in town.    

Talking about “old” friends: one of our first volunteers from the first year I was here, Steffi, got back in touch to introduce a small team that was going to be here and wanted to visit the orphanage.  This was made up of three ladies from “No Boundaries Int’l” (hope I got that right, ladies).  These were three ladies with lots of professional medical expertise to offer and we are in hopes of seeing them along with other team members in the not too distant future!   

I have to say that almost everything thus far has to be said to “pale” compared to the goings on since Saturday a week ago, though.  That is the day that Leann, our wonderful PT friend from Wichita, and her sister, Danita (also wonderful), arrived to collect Leann’s new son, WenXi!!!  I know that you all remember WenXi and this whole miracle deal that has redefined what is possible in the adoption world in China!  It has been an eye-opener for everybody that has been involved from the official China Central Adoption Agency to the American adoption folks.  Leann has literally broken some molds in this process and illustrated the power of prayer, big time! 

On top of that, we’ve had a glorious week during which a kid was sprung permanently from the orphanage into a great and loving family.  We’ve seen them every day and have been included in all the fun as they wander through the night market and sample the local food.  We even went back to the orphanage yesterday to give gifts to caregivers and friends and say final goodbyes (final for the time being as they intend to return in a couple of years as a new volunteer team)!  Next week will be spent in GuangZhou winding up the process by getting a US Visa for the “boy” and then back to Shenyang for a couple of days before heading back to Kansas and a huge family reunion!  Wish I had the movie rights to that celebration!    

I think this catches you up on all the news from our part and portion of the world!  We love to hear from you and appreciate your prayers and financial support even more than ever in this atmosphere of “financial downturn”.  Please email me when you have a minute!

Elaine and Migyeong      


 ZhiLei WenXi

WenXi Leann & caregivers

WenXi Leann and boy youth


Chinese visitors with the kids

Retreat site

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