Absolutely amazing how things come together…
New Friends, More McDonalds, Longing to Visit
Last night, 13 days after arriving in Shanghai, the three Chinese kids from way out in rural Sichuan province and the adults that accompanied them to Shanghai, left to go home. It has been amazing helping these kids. You can grow to love children so much, even when you don’t speak their language, even when they probably don’t even remember your name, even if they are from a place that is worlds away from anything you have ever experienced.
I can’t put to words what a joy the opportunity to help these kid was to me. Sometimes I didn’t feel like I contributed much, I did my best to organize things during the week when I wasn’t busy at work, I generated emails requesting help, coordinating volunteers and updating volunteers. I hung out with Lan Jinmei the most, but still was able to visit the other two in the hospital. But I didn’t put a lot of money into the cause, I didn’t provide for any of their immediate needs, I just hung out. I couldn’t really communicate, but I laughed and smiled and loved.
Today, it was wonderful to see little Lu Guomin laughing out loud. The little shy girl, who hardly smiled it seemed. The last few times I saw her, she was in the hospital. Waiting for surgery, scared, just out of surgery in pain, being discharged from the hospital, exhausted, bandaged and still in pain I’m sure. Today she was a sweet little girl, still shy but laughing, giggling, sneaking looks at me from behind her father, keeling over in laughter when I tickled her.
Her eye is still healing, her new prosthetic eye that is, as is the boy’s, Gu Xin Quan. But today they picked up the plate that will go over the eye ball, in about a month they will be able to put it in. Then they will both have two beautiful brown eyes again.
The other two played a PlayStation game on the big TV in Esther’s office and then they all ate their last meal in Shanghai, McDonalds, before heading to the airport.
I know they have to go home, that is where they belong – where their families are, where their schools are, where they will continue to grow up. But I will miss those sweet smiles. I hope to one day travel out to Sichuan province and see what life is like where they grow up.
Three little kids, with eye issues that probably could have been prevented if they had access to medical care, brought together a bunch of loving volunteers from around the world and funds to take care of their medical and travel needs for two weeks in Shanghai, two surgeries, several days in the hospital, as well as books, clothes and entertainment. My heart goes out to them and their families. My gratitude goes to God and everyone else that contributed to this cause.