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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Eye Glass Dedication Ceremony in Yangshuo

While I was in Yangshuo China for an eye glass clinic many teachers also received glasses.These tachers in Yangshuo County received new eye glasses through the sponsorship of Morehead Sister Cities, Blessing Hands, Founding Family Charitable Foundation, and the Yangshuo's People's Hospital. Mayor Brad Collins of Morehead (in the beard on the back row) traveled with us to Yangshuo to present the glasses and arrange for other joint Sister Cities projects with Yangshuo in the future. Perhaps there will be other medical exchanges in the future. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yangshuo Middle School

The Blessing Hands/Sister Cities Delegation that went to Yangshuo August 1-14th got a lot done. We did a three day eyeglass clinic for the Blessing Hands children, visited schools, visited with government leaders, and toured Yangshuo.

Yangshuo Middle School was one of the most outstanding schools I have seen in Yangshuo County. Blessing Hands is presently giving tuition for the 23 students show here. Their campus is spacious, well maintained, and large.

I was delighted to share this trip with my daughter-in-law Cindy Cutts and her mother Jan Weeks. Jan is a third grade teacher and could understand the Yangshuo schools and teacher's needs and problems. Cindy was touched by the children that she met and wants to correspond with some of them. Cindy is pictured here on my right while Jan is on my left.

Thank You Gifts from the Students in Yangshuo

On this trip to Yangshuo I got to personally see a lot of the students at our eye clinic. They were eager to see us also and brought thank you cards and gifts. The gifts were creative, inexpensive, and home made.

One of the girls from the Teacher Training Middle School, Lu Xiu Yun, sewed a little colorful purse and put paper cranes inside with a personal note wishing luck and everything to go well. She is wearing the red shirt in the picture shown here.

Qin Min put folded cranes inside a glass jar with a little note. I was touched by the handmade cards they brought personally. The girl pictured here with me stayed up all night to make paper cranes to glue into the word "Thanks". Qin Ling Zhu, who had the operation in February, made a little basket from a plastic water bottle and filled it with folded paper shapes.

Lynn Chen Jianhua

While I was in Yangshuo recently, I got to see Lynn, our scholarship student from Guangxi Normal University. She needed new glasses, so I invited her to the eyeglass clinic we were having at the Yangshuo Hospital this August. We all had a great dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken after the clinic was over for the day.

She comes from a large rural family and sets an example for her village concerning hard work and preserverance.


When I was in Xi'an Nina Ottinger and I got to visit the fostor home of Amanda de Lange. Amanda is from South Africa and speaks Chinese.

She has been entrusted with 13 special needs babies and is doing a wonderful job. She gets them needed corrective surgeries and sees them through to adoption. She calls the ministry Starfish after the story of a man picking up starfish stranded on the beach and throwing them back into the ocean. Someone asked him why he bothered, and he said that at least those starfish would have life.

She has her own blog at http://www.chinesestarfish.blogspot.com. Several Chinese nannie help her along with volunteers from many countries. What a difference a life of compassion can make. I really think compassion is a gift and gives ability beyond our own to reach out to others.

The Blessing Hands Board recently voted to support this worthy ministry to handicapped children with a small grant each semester. You can also give money directly on her website.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Eyeglass Clinic

Blessing Hands was a partner with Sister Cities of Morehead in a eyeglass clinic serving Blessing Hands children and teachers from Yangshuo.

It was wonderful to see some of the students in person after having seen their pictures and read their thank you letters.

Carolyn Franzini and Tami Kaskulski were trained to use a refractor to exam the children. It made the exams go much faster.

The children came with their teachers on the local buses and stayed for a simple noodle or rice lunch. 350 teachers had their eyeglass clinic earlier in July.

Blessing Hands cooperated with the Yangshuo Hospital and Kendall Optometry Ministry, Inc. to conduct this clinic. The hospital contributed $4.50 for the price of each pair of glasses while Blessing Hands gave $7.50 per pair. With the hospital joining together with us, the teachers and students got better quality of glasses. Kendall Optometry Ministry supplied equipment and training to our clinic team.

Nina Ottinger Gave Physicals

Nina Ottinger from the Founding Family Charitable Foundation was able to use her nursing ability to give the Blessing Hands children physicals after their eye exam. The students were also invited to select a small gift like a beanie baby or baseball hat. Nina was a great addition to the group of eight people who went to Yangshuo as a Sister Cities Delegation.

Chinese Eye Doctor

The Chinese eye doctor at Yangshuo Hospital

Qin Ling Zhu Report

Unfortunately Qin Ling Zhu's tumor has grown back worse in six months since her operation. Sadly Dr. He, her doctor, sent word that her case could not treated in China and was beyond his skill.

Through a series of coincidences, while I was in China I was able to get her medical records to the Chinese Agape Foundation, a medical ministry that helps Chinese children receive medical care from American doctors who come to China. They also send children to America to get treatment. They are evaluating her case now to see if she can be helped in America.

Delta Airline allows donations of skymiles to help with the transportation of such children. If you want to donate spare skymiles, you can get more information at: http://www.china-mission.org.

Gaotian Anding Primary School

While we were in Yangshuo, we visited Gaotian Anding Primary School. It is a rural school with many needs and dedicated teachers. Blessing Hands has 6 students receiving textbook and school supplies there. The children had drawn us pictures to greet us.

School Needs

We were all touched by their stories and the needs of the school. They had constructed a new bathroom building, but they lacked enough money to finish the necessary water tower to flush the waste.

Nina Ottinger offered the assistance of Founding Family Charitable Foundation to finish that project and make other needed repairs to floors, electrical fixtures, and the classrooms. The new stalls in the bathroom are pictured.

Mr. Liu's Room

Later we saw the Anding children at the eye clinic with their teacher Mr. Liu. Mr. Liu lives at the school during the week and goes home on weekends. He let me take a picture of him in his room at the school. Many teachers live at their schools. Mr. Liu was recently named one of the outstanding teachers of Yangshuo County.

Eighteen teachers serve as volunteers for Blessing Hands among 39 schools. They maintain contact with the Blessing Hands children in their area and keep track of their status, grades, families, and needs.

Blessing Hands Administrators

Malan Cai (left) was with us in Yangshuo as a translator and co-administrator. Anna Liu (center), administrator in Qinzhou, also came to Yangshuo with her family. I was glad for my two good friends to meet for the first time. They are both dedicated to children as teachers and have my heart for the children.

Gloria Wei (right) is the excellent Blessing Hands administrator in Yangshuo. She managed the plans for the eyeglass clinic making everything run beautifully. She and her family gave us a lovely supper this time.

Three Scholarships Awarded

Anna top and Jenny bottom

We also got the pleasure of interviewing students for college scholarships while we were in Yangshuo. We were able to give three $500 freshmen scholarships to three girls, Liu Raodong (Lilly), Zhang Ji Yun (Jenny), and Liang Fudi (Anna).

All three girls did well on their national exams and have been accepted into various colleges. Jenny wants to be an architect, and Anna is going to a transportation college. Lilly will go to the Guangxi Ethnic College. Blessing Hands will help them for the first year until they can take the test to qualify for government scholarships. They will continue to receive aid in proportion to their need even after they get a government scholarship until they graduate.