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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Zhang Lufei Drowns in the Yangshuo Flood

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Zhang Lufei, one of our Blessing Hands primary students, drowned in the recent flood in Yangshuo. I am still in shock. Little girls are not suppose to die young. I don't have all the details. I just know that on the 13th of June she fell into a ditch of rushing water, and efforts made to save her were unsuccessful. I hope to find out more. She was 8 years old and attended Aishan (Love Mountain) Primary School.

Her sponsor, Nina Ottinger, visited her just last October and brought back the picture shown here. Nina picked Lufei to sponsor, because she was about the same age as Sarah, her own adopted daughter from China. Nina and I saw Zhang Lufei first at a gathering in Yangshuo of the Blessing Hands students. We loved her sweet face and nature, and asked her to come sit with us during the program. I am having a hard time accepting that her life of promise is gone, and Nina is too I am sure.

Lufei, like most of our children, came from a farm family that has two measures of land. Her grandparents are older and often ill. Her father is disabled. The family income is listed in our records as 200 yuan ($30). She was in the second grade

I got the news this morning before our Blessing Hands Board meeting. The board decided to help Lufei's family with the expense of her funeral or other expenses from the flood. We also want to establish a fund in her honor that would help other girls. In this way she would not be forgotten and could be a blessing to others. If you want to join in this fund, just send your gift to Blessing Hands, 106 Timber Lane, Morehead, KY, 40351 or donate with the Google checkout button on our blog.

Gloria Wei, our administrator there, is using a raft to get to and from her apartment building. She says she has little damage to her home on a higher floor. I have asked Gloria to make a survey of the needs of our Blessing Hands families and schools.

We are establishing a Yangshuo Flood Fund to help where we can. I invite you to contribute to this also. We don't know the needs yet, but I am sure that some families have been washed out and schools are damaged. There has not been a flood like this in 51 years in Yangshuo. School buildings in China are not always built to withstand floods or earthquakes. Join us in extending a Blessing Hand.