In 2010, my family and I joined a service trip to serve orphans with disabilities in Central China through Rainbow Missions. This was my first trip to China and an orphanage; I was surprised to see the living conditions for the children. Baby cribs were placed end to end in very tight rows. Children lifted their little arms toward the ceiling as I walked by hoping to be held and loved. Older children slept in cribs too. They rolled themselves into balls to fit within the confines of the crib. Meals were sparse, children received a bowl of rice with just a few pieces of meat and vegetables. The children were merely survivors of the challenging living conditions. Furthermore, the children had no opportunity to grow mentally, socially or spiritually.
Many orphans had physical disabilities like cleft palate, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. We spent time playing with the children, teaching them stories, making crafts and teaching them social and personal hygiene skills. My wife and three children were profoundly impacted by the opportunity to interact with the orphans.
After we returned home, I decided to become more involved with Rainbow Missions encouraging others to participate in short-term missions. My daughter became interested in cerebral palsy and majored in neurobiology at her university because of her experiences on the service trip. She is currently obtaining her doctorate in Physical Therapy so she can help people with neurological disorders.
I joined Rainbow Missions Board of Directors over two years ago to help manage the organization. I helped develop an organization structure and created curriculum for a Pre-Career Development Program to help blind students consider multiple career opportunities not previously imagined.
I recently became the Interim Chairman of the Board of Rainbow Missions. We are continuing to support existing autism programs, blind student education and emergency medical support programs. Moving forward, I am working with the Board to team with an orphanage in Southern China. We are looking for an opportunity to replicate our autism program and look forward to sending short-term service teams and professionals to support children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities at the orphanage.
I am honored to be associated with Rainbow Missions and am humbled to see God’s work transforming people’s lives in China.
~~~ By Craig Walker ~~~
~~~ By Craig Walker ~~~