Rainbow Missions helps children with cerebral palsy in China. This is a story about a boy named Xiao-Wen whose parents are identified as ethnic minorities.
Six years ago, my wife and I first met Xiao-Wen and his parents at Angel House. It was the first day Xiao-Wen received his services. The floor was covered with colorful puzzle mats, and Xiao-Wen lay on a cushion while his parents sat next to him. When his parents teased him he opened his eyes and smiled. At a glance, he looked like a typical four-month-old baby. But while his mother kept playing with him, his father sat there deep in thought. By the time Xiao-Wen was nine months old, he still could not turn his head. Like most of the children at Angel House, he came for his cerebral palsy training and rehabilitation services.
請 按此閱讀中文版 (幫助腦癱孩子) .
Director Fan at Angel House referred this family to Rainbow Missions because of their difficult financial situation. As we chatted, we learned that Xiao-Wen’s parents were members of an ethnic minority from Guangxi’s mountainous countryside. It took them a whole day of travel to reach the city. In the previous two days, they completed Xiao-Wen’s evaluation and registration, and had found a place to stay. Both parents were peasants with minimal education and skills. The father wasted no time in job hunting while the mother remained as the primary care giver to Xiao-Wen. They brought a small amount of money with them from the countryside, but found the cost of living in the big city to be much higher than they expected. They could not afford the cost of services for Xiao-Wen. They hoped that Rainbow Missions could help them financially.
We did not have much information on Xiao-Wen’s cerebral palsy condition. His parents had a tough time upon learning about the doctor’s diagnosis. Their parents tried persuading them to give up Xiao-Wen, but how could a young couple give up their first baby when he is only nine months old?
After doing much research, they heard the success stories of the cerebral palsy training and rehabilitation services offered by Angel House. Going against their parents’ will, the young couple arrived at the big city with little cash and a faint hope.
Rainbow Missions strives to be accountable to the US and Hong Kong donors that all donations are going to those with real needs. We made an appointment to visit Xiao-Wen’s home to understand more about their situation. On a clear day, we met with the parents and started walking to their home from Angel House. After passing by busy roads, a bus terminal, old buildings, lanes and alleys, we finally arrived at the eight-storey building. We could easily have gotten lost many times without them.
At the end of the stairs we arrived at the rooftop where this family lived. After talking to his landlord, Xiao-Wen’s father led us into their room. The landlord provided two stools for us. I looked around the room, hoping to know more about this family. For those living in the US and Hong Kong, it is difficult to imagine a “home with nothing but four walls”. Other than the two stools borrowed from the landlord, on the cement floor there was only an old Angel House mat, a blanket and a small pillow. This was all the furniture we saw for a family of three.
I asked the father about his work situation. He told me he waited for work every morning at a construction site, being the last one in the workers’ pool. He worked only two days per week. He made about seven hundred dollars per month. But with rent costing one hundred eighty dollars each month, they could hardly make ends meet. There was no way for them to pay one thousand two hundred dollars for the monthly cerebral palsy training and rehabilitation services. Most of the time the father kept his head down. He lacked confidence, had low self-esteem and was hopeless beyond comprehension.
Xiao-Wen’s mother shared her money saving tips such as going to the market around 7pm hoping to get a good bargain on vegetables at closing time. Sometimes she could get free vegetables from the vendor’s “unwanted” bins. They don’t mind the rotten vegetables as most of them are still edible. As I scanned the bathroom and kitchen I realized there were no utensils other than an electric rice cooker.
I was crying in my heart after witnessing their living environment and their helpless situation. At that moment, I told them Rainbow Missions would support Xiao-Wen for his services at Angel House, the full amount of one thousand two hundred dollars per month. They said “Thank You!” many times. They then requested only nine hundred dollars of financial aid every month, saying that they could contribute the remaining three hundred dollars due each month for their son’s training and rehabilitation costs. We gladly honored their proposal as they would have the pride and dignity associated with fulfilling their parental responsibilities.
Three years later Xiao-Wen attended kindergarten. As a child, he might not be able to run as fast as other kids, but he can play and run around with his classmates. After Xiao-Wen could walk independently, his mother was able to work. The family’s financial situation has improved. We are happy and thankful that Rainbow Missions can support this family during their most difficult times. We have kept in contact with them, talked with them often, supported them spiritually, and helped them find true peace and joy.
On April 9 – 15, 2017 Rainbow Missions has organized a one-week short term service trip to the orphanage operated by Angel House to bring love and joy to the children with cerebral palsy.