Dear Friends and Supporters,
As we write this newsletter, we are in the midst of Chinese New Year celebrations here in China. As most of you likely know, celebrating Chinese New Year in China is the equivalent of celebrating Christmas in most Western countries. This year we welcome the Year of the Rooster. We are very grateful for yet another year to continue the work God is allowing us to do here. As you can see from the photos in the sidebar, our preschoolers have been getting in on the fun and learning a lot about this special Chinese holiday.
We really want to thank all of you that regularly donate to the work we do here in China. You enable us to make an amazing difference in the lives of the little ones that God entrusts us with. You may have heard that there are new laws in China that affect all non-government organizations (NGO's) working here. We are really excited to tell you that New Hope Foundation was among the first NGO's to be officially registered under the new laws 2 weeks ago. Praise God! He seems to want us to be here for some time to come. God has provided for this work amazingly over the last 18 years and as we go into the New Year we look forward to the plans that He has for us. Financial support for the Henan care centers and also our Beijing center is still needed for us to continue looking after the babies in our care; we ask you to respond from your hearts as to how this may apply to you.
This month, we've welcomed two volunteers who will be with us for two months. Annie was with us this same time last year during her winter break from Dartmouth College. We are very glad to have her back. We are also very pleased to have her classmate Jessica also here helping us. In addition to helping with our preschool classes, Jessica has already accompanied two children, Art and Leaf, to Hong Kong this month.
Jessica & Annie
Earlier this month our Medical Director, Dr. Steve, sent a very touching message of hope to our staff. As we reflect on the past year and welcome a new one, we wanted to also share this wonderful message of hope with you:
Years ago we lost a little girl soon after her heart surgery. Her name was Metta, and she was such a beautiful girl. She had Down syndrome and a heart problem. We had another girl named Nathalie with Down syndrome from the same orphanage and with the same kind of condition affecting her heart. Nathalie had survived her heart surgery, so we had expected Metta to do well at the same hospital. That hospital was and still is one of the best in the country for that type of defect. But when Metta died, we were suddenly and profoundly reminded of the tenuous hold we have on life and the complexity of these children's medical needs. Nathalie stayed with us longer and longer as we hoped for her to go for adoption. Families wanted her, but for some reason she stayed with us. Then separately another little girl named Jessica-Hope came with three significant medical complications that in the past had proved fatal or at least a very difficult and prolonged treatment course for other children. Yet she had no time to wait. Her physical condition was unstable, and the Henan Provincial Hospital agreed to take her. She was rushed to the hospital where she had lifesaving surgery. She blazed the trail for children after her so that now that hospital is a key part of our care for children with certain combinations of conditions... (Continued below)
With Love and Gratitude,
Robin, Joyce and the New Hope Staff