December in Shenyang
Here’s hoping that YOUR December and Christmas were full of the Spirit of the season and that your hearts were warmed even if the weather was chilly! For us here in Shenyang, it was a season filled with visitors! As you can see from the pictures, the International Club ladies came to the orphanage and put on a Christmas party complete with a show that gladdened our hearts and those of our kids! Later, an old friend came with some of her students and they made a huge impact on the kids and the caregivers as they proceeded to help feed the children their lunch and spend some meaningful time with each one!
This is the time of year when some Chinese guys that MUST own a bakery appear with the most amazing birthday cake to help everyone, not only those with December birthdays, share the birthday of the MOST important December baby: Jesus Christ! Since our three school boys either had just turned sixteen or would soon in the new year, they were invited to be special guests, too! As you can see, the cake was an extravaganza and was accompanied by an equally amazing assortment of other baked goods AND fruit of every kind!
Of course, what would Christmas be without our traditional Christmas party for our Chinese friends that shower us with love all year long? Again, it was a “pitch in” with folks bringing food that could be enjoyed by everyone! This is a great idea that results in much less leftovers! Some kind folks even brought me special food that was prepared without sugar! We were all blessed by Migyeong telling the REAL meaning behind the holiday.
One special group at the party was Cindy’s parents and GrandMa. Not only that but they also brought Cindy’s niece, Barbara! Cindy was so proud of this niece because, in spite of being handicapped (maybe as the result of having Polio?), has managed to earn a college degree and had a good job to boot! She is 26 years old and a bright and outgoing young woman. We have struck up an email correspondence and hope to be able to get together in person one of these days. She yearns to travel and see the world so I have told her the encouraging story of my friend in Texas, Carolyn who didn’t let her physical difficulties keep her from coming to Shenyang with me for two months in 2005! She even realized her lifelong dream of walking on the Great Wall of China! I am hoping that Barbara will be encouraged by Carolyn’s story and know that “where there’s a will, there’s a way” with God’s help!
To bring you up to date on the ongoing saga of Zhilei: again, the pictures tell the story better than I ever could! Monika, Jon’s wife came to visit him at the orphanage a couple of times and then took him home with her for an overnight stay! The original plan was to take him to a local department store that has a playscape and a petting zoo! PTL for flexibility among the troops! When ZhiLei proceeded to “barf” on himself in the taxi on the way into town, he decided that he would just as well stay “home” at Monika’s and Jon’s apartment and play on the computer, do craft stuff, just hang out! Because of the busyness of the holidays, they haven’t been able to get together lately but everyone is ready for the next convenient timeframe to occur for this nifty group! You WILL be kept updated as this divine encounter progresses!
WenXi had a small surgical procedure and FINALLY got some benefit from having spina bifida: he didn’t feel any pain since it was below the surgical site that corrected the spina bifida! His first comment when out of anesthesia: I’m HUNGRY! What a guy!
JiaHao is having hip reconstruction surgery on one hip next week so we would sure appreciate your prayers for the usual good things to happen during that time: divine wisdom on the part of the surgeon and surgical team; rapid and complete healing with NO complications for JiaHao; “salt” and “light” being shown by Julia, Brett and Mark (JiaHao’s brother) to all that they are in contact with during this time and PEACE and JOY to reign overall!
MingGe is enjoying all that life in Maine has to offer and growing like a week according to her parents, Danelle and John.
Migyeong and I are starting to make preparations to come to the States for our annual visit starting the end of March. It will be a truncated trip for Migyeong as she has to be back in China by the end of April so she will be leaving to go back April 22 way before she can see very many people outside of the Austin, Texas area. I, on the other hand, will be in the States until the middle of June! Without the constraints of cataract surgery this year, I hope to see many of you during my stay!
Thanks for all your prayers and financial support in 2011! We are looking forward to a very special 2012 with your help!
Love, Elaine and Migyeong
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