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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anna Liu Reports More on the Earthquake.

Anna Liu is our Blessing Hands administrator in Qinzhou China. She has sent this follow up report about the effect of the earthquake on China.

I wrote this while I was watching TV with tears. I cried sometimes. I watch TV whenever I am home these days after the earthquake. All the TV
stations in China are broadcasting live for 24 hours. Sometimes sobbing and whimpering, I told my students the latest news on TV at the beginning of my class in English, because I couldn't hold back my tears. -- Anna Liu

Sichuan Province:

The area is just like the capital letter “V”, the very high mountains with very deep valleys, at the bottom of the valleys, are the torrential rivers. I think you can imagine how strategically located and difficult the access to those areas are. Most of the villages, towns and cities are built in the valleys.

Landslides were everywhere after the earthquake.

So many impressive stories happened during these rescue days. People have never given up searching for the survivors. They use a kind of machine to explore to see if there are still people alive under the ruins. They found a very weak signal. Two women were rescued. One was in the ruins for 169 hours, the other is 150 hours. The one who was buried for 150 hours was pregnant. She gave birth to her child on the way to the clinic on a stretcher. Both of them are OK now. You can’t imagine how great the mothers are.

A boy is 11 years old. His mother was a teacher in the school where he studied.She died after she rescued 11 of her students. The boy was having his lesson when suddenly he felt a slit under his feet, and he felt into a hole. When he came back to his senses, he stood up, picked up a classmate who was still unconscious beside him and carried the classmate out on his back, walking out of the fallen building quickly and putting him in a safe place in the open air. He returned to that fallen classroom again to rescue another girl classmate who had been beside him. He wanted to save a third one, but that one’s leg was trapped by the fallen wall. How he regretted that he couldn’t save the third one.

A 9-year-old boy saved two of his classmates during the earthquake. He tried to dig up the bricks to find his classmates and then carried them one by one on his back to the safe place. When he went home, he couldn’t find his family any more. He was also slightly injured during rescuing his classmates. Can you imagine he saved two of his classmates the same age as he? When he was asked how he could carry his classmate the same size as himself, he said: “I don’t know. I just thought I wanted to save them”

During these days, after the 8.0 magnitude big earthquake, hundreds of small aftershocks happen every day. Most of them are under 6.5 but over 5.0 magnitudes. Each time, after the small aftershock, the rocks and stones roll down from the very high mountains. Some broken roads were blocked again by the huge rocks from the high mountains after they were open only a few days ago. 200 workers who tried to clear the stones away from a tunnel were buried by the rocks, stones and earth during the aftershocks. Many roads were blocked again.

The villages are scattered on many huge mountains in that area. Most of them are really far away from the cities. It took the People’s Liberation Army troops 21 hours to walk to one of the destinations to help those people.

Now all the roads to those far away villages are destroyed. A troop of PLA men walked there for over ten hours, but it took them over 15 hours to get out of those places, because all the roads they entered had been blocked by landslides during the aftershocks. They had to carry the young, the old, the weak, and the wounded villagers out of those places on their backs. Most of these villagers couldn’t walk because of starvation for many days, some even for 6 days.

Whenever the troops found a dead person, they would clean them and make them look much better. What they did was in respect for the dead and also to make their relatives feel better.

10 teachers and 175 students from a “Hope Project” village school came out of the mountain area. None of the students died or was badly wounded during the earthquake. Their teaching buildings were not as badly built as some of the old schools. They walked for two days towards the bigger towns. They were sure the rescuers would come to help them. They met the PLA men. They went across a big reservoir by rubber boats with the help of the PL Army men. Now they have been driven to a college in the capital of Sichuan Province and are taken good care of by the college students and teachers there. Those students can continue their studies now.

Most of the students and survivors became volunteers to help others after they survived the earthquake, because there were too many injuries and not enough doctors and nurses during the first two days. They loaded and unloaded the injured onto or off ambulances. Girls often stayed with the patients, wiping the blood away, helping with the cleaning of their bodies, talking to them and doing their best to ease their anxiety. Some of them took care of the injured for over 50 hours without a time to rest, and two of them lost their senses because of being too tired.

After this earthquake, it dawned on many of the students that life is fragile, and they think it is stupid of them to have wasted so much time in the past. Even most of the foreigners couldn’t understand how they could study for such long hours every day without a single day to rest. Now they think there are no difficulties in front of them any more compared to the students in Sichuan Province. They don’t complain about their overtime study any more. What they want to do is to study even harder.

From the 19th to the 21th of May was the Memorial Day. At 2:28 pm on the 19th of May, thousands of people gathered in Tiananmen Square and other places all over the country to mourn for the quake victims with flags at half-mast. After that, each pair of eyes was full of tears. They shouted aloud. “Come on, China. Come on, China. Never give up”. Everyone was moved to tears. Crying sometimes is not a weakness, but the expression of strength.

Over 100 psychologists from all over the country have now come to the disaster area to treat the people who lost their relatives, the injured, and those who experienced this disaster. The government is trying its best to find relatives of the orphans, old people, and disabled people after this earthquake. If there are no relatives any more, the government will support these kinds of people with 600 yuan per month ($87US). People can adopt these orphans after they fill out some forms seriously.

A last physical education class saved them from the quake.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Daolin is Safe- Earthquake News


A Chinese friend in Lexington sent a brochure of how to help. It contained these pictures from the New York Times.

The first two pictures are
aerial views of Wenchuan City before and after the earthquake. Wenchuan County is where James knows children he taught. He suggests donations to Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org) and World Vision (http://www.worldvision.org)



Another Chinese friend in Louisville intends to collect money there to help. Many hearts are moved for China.

I am relieved to get news of Daolin and again from James. They are safe. The internet is a wonderful way to keep up with everyone. Various of our students have been writing me from their schools all over. All are united to help the victims of the earthquake. James'letter is below.

Daolin is safe now. Today we began to attend classes. This weekend I will go to be a volunteer. Many articles have been transported to Chengdu. The army and strong people have been to Wenchuan and Beichuan. They need a lot of people to unload cargo.

James

Daolin himself wrote to thank us for our concern.

Everyone,
We are very well now. From the 12th of May until now, there have been 4 days. On the night of the 13th I got in touch with James. Even though there are aftershocks, so far we are safe. Thank you for your concern.

Daolin

Joy wrote from Yulin Normal University in Northern Guangxi Province.

Thank you for your news, I was scared deeply when I heard the earthquake news that day when it took place. I'm terrible sorrowful about it. There are a great many people who lose their homes, their family, their relatives, and even their lives. I'm also worry about our Blessing Hands students who are in Sichuan Province. Let's pray for them. Best wishes for them and all the Blessing Hands students.

Joy (Yuexiang)

Bamboo wrote a complete article for our newsletter. It is quoted below. I think she has a journalist in her.

Earthquake registered 7.8 on the Richter scale - We are together.

An Earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale happened in Sichuan Province, China, on 12th of May. It was reported that more than 23000 people have died and about 30,000 people were still missing till this morning. Our heats hurt a lot these days. It is time for Chinese to show patriotism.

After the earthquake, the government assigned soldiers to rescue people. With tears, the soldier told the leaders that roads had been ruined in, and they couldn't move on them. Then the government assigned two helicopters to the earthquake center. With tears, the rescuer told their leader that they could see a lot of people, but few moved.

The whole nation has taken action. Here, I want to tell you our actions. The second day of the earthquake, our school organized students to donate money. The third day, our class organized donations, and we stood in silent tribute after class. Today, you can see a lot of pictures and news about the earthquake on our campus, and we are going to donate blood. In response to the proposal of the university student union, we will stand in silent tribute with students of other universities tonight. Then we'll turn off the lamps of our dormitories. We hope our actions can encourage the victims, and they will stand up.

Our love will go on.

Bamboo – from Nanning

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake Report



Some of you have asked about our students and the earthquake in China.

We have two college students, James and Daolin in Chengdu, which is very near the quake center. I have been concerned for them. Daolin is at Southwest University of Nationalities, and James is at Sichuan University of Nuclear Engineering and Technology. They are both first year students. I am sure that there probably is not e-mail there now. Please do pray for the two students in Chengdu. The quake was in Southwestern Sichuan province.

The rest of our students are in Southern China far away for the earthquake. I understand they felt it in Vietnam, so they probably felt it in Yangshuo also. I don't have plans to go to China soon. Right now we don't know of any needs in our service area connected to the earthquake. If you want to help I can recommend World Vision and Operation Blessing which are both American charities serving children and emergencies. They are both very active in China.

World Vision


http://donate.wvus.org/OA_HTML/xxwvibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?lid=20101&item=406&lpos=emg_chinaQuake_donate&section=10025&


News of the earthquake from World Vision.


http://www.worldvision.org/news.nsf/news/china-earthquake-20080512?Open&lpos=erdm_chinaquake_learnmore


Operation Blessing


http://www.ob.org/_programs/recent_news.asp

Thank you for your great heart and concern for our kids,


Betty Cutts

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Newspaper Article for Morehead News



Nancy Sartor created this middle school “Pick Me!” poster.





Blessing Hands Conducts “Pick Me!” Campaign on MSU Campus

Blessing Hands, a Morehead charity that gives school aid to students in Morehead’s Sister City of Yangshuo, China, recently completed their “pick me!” campaign to encourage student sponsorship. Blessing Hands supports over 400 Chinese students ranging in age from primary to college.

Local artists Linda Brewer, Nancy Sartor, Meg Glancy, Betty Cutts, and Carolyn Boyd made ten posters for the “Pick Me!” campaign. Chi Omega Sorority volunteers helped with the table display at Adron Doran University Center. Hongyu Mai, Charlotte Chen, Penny Ye, and Sophia Yao, visiting Chinese scholars from Guangxi University, also manned the tables and shared Chinese information.

Sponsors were able to “pick” students from a giving tree of blooming students. The event was specialized for the campus of Morehead State University and recruited 172 new pen pals while 150 people were added to their newsletter list. More than 60 students received new sponsors and five college scholarships were either pledged or given. The total of pledges and donations was over four thousand dollars. All the primary students received sponsors.

Blessing Hands now has a reconditioned webpage at http://www.blessing-hands.org. Dr. Scott Wymer’s information technology class students, especially Jessica Garrish, have worked on the page for a year as a senior project. The webpage shows students who need sponsors, locations of schools on Google Earth, student art work, and information about water and library projects that Blessing Hands is promoting in our sister city. A database works with the page to furnish student pictures and school locations. Blessing Hands invites you to view the new page and select a student to support with their “Pick Me!” button. Blessing Hands also has an internet blog or journal that tells all the news of Blessing Hands. It is located at http://blessinghands.blogspot.com.


If you would like to sponsor a child in our sister city, you can contact Betty Cutts at 606 784 4785 or write to Blessing Hands, 106 Timber Lane, Morehead, KY. 40351. Middle school students need $50 a year in support while high school students require $160 a year, since they are boarding students and must pay their own tuition after the age of 15. Blessing Hands gives $500 yearly college scholarships and currently has twenty-two college students enrolled. Over 25 new college scholarships will be needed for graduating seniors this year.


Left to right: University students Abby Oney and Danielle Caudill volunteered at the Blessing Hands “Pick Me!” table on campus.


Carolyn Boyd with her “Pick Me!” poster

Chinese visiting scholar, Sophia Yao, volunteered during the “Pick Me!” campaign.



Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ava's letter


Hello

I am a Blessing Hands student, who studies in grade 3 of Qinzhou No.1 High School, China.My name is Lu Zhitao, Ava is my English name.

I enjoy learning, but when I was a senior 2 student, my family fell into trouble. My grandpa was too old to work. My mother was ill and had no job. My young brother and two younger sisters all needed money to pay our tuitions. My father can't find a good job to support the cost of learning and living. When I would have to leave school and give up my dream, Blessing Hands gave me a warm hand. I appreciate what you have done very much. Thank you.

Now, my family has gotten better. My father does a good job, which can support the cost of learning and living. So I'm happy that I have given my chance to others who need help more imperatively. Although I will study in university and will need more money, I think I can do a job after school for earning more money. So I don't plan to apply for the Blessing Hands scholarship.

Fortunately, I can grow up with Blessing Hands. It gives me many things. Thank you for teaching me to make my will stronger and braver to face difficulties, then settle it. Thank you for giving me a blessing hand. I will pass blessing because I am a Blessing Hands' student. Best wishes to you.

Blessings,

Ava

祝福之手

一封来自Ava 的感谢信

我是蒙祝福之手恩典的学生。 我在中国广西省钦州第一中学读高中三年级。

我的名字叫吕志涛,Ava是 我的英文名字。我非常热爱学习,但是在我读高中二年级的时候,我的家庭陷入了困境。我的爷爷年迈不能工作。我的母亲因为重病也没有工作。我的弟弟和两个妹 妹也都需要学费完成学业。我的父亲没有找到一个好的工作维持家庭开支和供给我们读书。当我不得已决定离开学校,暂时放弃自己的梦想的时候,祝福之手给予我 热情的帮助。 我非常感谢你们给我的所有帮助。谢谢你们。

现在,我的家庭情况开始好转。我的父亲找到了一个好的工作,可以维持家庭生活和负担我们的学费。所以,我很高兴能把机会给那些更加需要帮助的同学们。虽然我即将进入大学生活,也需要学费。但是我相信自己在大学毕业后能挣更多的钱。因此我决定不再继续申请祝福之手的奖学金。

在祝福之手中成长,我感到非常幸运。它给予了我很多的东西。谢谢你们教我如何勇敢的面对和解决困难,并让我的意志变得更加坚强。谢谢你们给予我祝福之手。我愿意将祝福之手传递给更需要帮助的同学,因为我是蒙祝福之手恩典的学生。衷心祝福你们。

此致

敬礼

Ava