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July and August in Shenyang

Dear Friends,

As you all probably remember, of our three boys that live near us with Wu Laoshi and his family, the most at risk is Sam (aka DaPing or YongEn).  He was born with spina bifida, a dislocated hip and club feet.  Because of all of this, he has always gotten around by using a wheelchair while LuPing and LiangLiang are able to walk, one of the minimum requirements to attend school here.  Because schools in China rarely have elevators OR administrators that are willing to take a chance on such a kid getting hurt, Sam was always refused the right to go to school UNTIL he was 14 and Migyeong pleaded for him to a compassionate principal near our apartment complex who allowed him to enter school at that time even though it meant that Sam was forced to climb four flights of stairs to reach his classroom!  Because of his late start, he has always been way behind due to his weakness in the fundamentals.  Once he graduated from middle school, we wondered where he would be allowed to do high school which depended on his scores on the standardized test taken by all middle school graduates!  He studied, we and others prayed but the results were too low for him to attend any public schools near where we live.  One of his teachers suggested we consider a private school that, while far away, is a very good school (not cheap, though) and might accept him.  We took a trip out to check this place out and were pleasantly surprised at the reception we were given and the quality of the school and the teachers!  Before he starts school and is living there, they will install a “western” toilet and ramps to allow him to enter his dorm and the classroom building in his wheelchair.  He will still need help but they are arranging for that!  He will live in the dorm where he and seven other guys will share a room with 4 bunk beds.  The schedule is pretty arduous starting about 6:30am starting with breakfast served to him in the classroom and ending around 8pm when he will return to the dorm for the night.  We have met several of his teachers and some of the administrators, too, who seem happy to have him there.  He will be able to return home every Friday for a weekend with his buddies, LuPing and LiangLiang and the Wu family!  We are encouraging him to do the very best he can do since he needs to be able to attend some place for further training since manual labor is definitely out for him!  Please remember Sam in your prs. 

During July and August, we’ve seen quite a bit of the “boys” since they are out of school for the summer.  Their favorite thing is still playing computer games ‘til they drop at our house and then they chomp down on “Mama’s” home cooking!

One Saturday, a kind Korean invited all of us including the caregivers at the orphanage with a few of our little kids, the “boys” and Migyeong and me to come to his self-styled Korean “village” a two hour bus ride away in Fushun.  He provided a nice lunch for everybody and a good time was had by all.  There was even a kitten for me to play with, and later a place for a nap!  It doesn’t get any better than that!.

Another Saturday, we took the three “boys” and their friend, Alex, who happens to be our next door neighbor’s son to Beiling Park, a famous park that contains a large tomb of some Emperor of some dynasty or another (you can tell that I need some work on “tomb” lore).  The neighbor is our “raven” who cared so diligently for Migyeong after her accident last July.  We took a picnic lunch to eat there.  We were surprised when a huge cadre of folks of varying ages came by walking very briskly, ostensibly for exercise!  I estimated the size of each group to be about 100 people and there were at least 6 or 7 groups!  We found out later that they were a “walker” club and that they met regularly at the park to do what they were doing: walking briskly from the entrance of the park to some destination and back several times!  Quite a sight! 

The little kids at the orphanage have continued to go outside with visitors when the weather permits.  ZhiLei has a new summer haircut and continues to charm everybody he meets!  LiangLiang went with Migyeong to the orphanage the other day and spent lots of time playing with ZhiLei.  You know that ZhiLei’s got some special qualities when he can hold the interest of a seventeen year old guy!  Actually, he seems to get along with everyone from old folks like me to the much younger set equally!

The weather all over China has been pretty dramatic this summer with several typhoons affecting not only the south but our area as well with heavy rains and lots of flooding.  I was reminded of my early years on Galveston Island during hurricane season a couple of times!  They tell me that the typhoon season lasts until December but I’m praying that it is about over for this season ‘cuz I don’t know how much more this part of the country can take, much less the south! 

We send a special “thank you” to all of our supporters who are so faithful with their prayers as well as their financial help!  We’ve been scrambling to make ends meet with the usual expenses on top of the hefty school bill for Sam.  But, we know who our provider is and we are thankful we can rest in Him!  Please keep all of us in your prayers as school starts and the weather starts into winter.

Migyeong and Elaine

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