Christmas is coming soon! Streets are decorated with Christmas trimmings and we see twinkling lights everywhere. While we look forward to celebrating Christmas and enjoying delicious Christmas meals, some children with disabilities living on the other side of the world may not have a chance to celebrate or even know the true meaning of Christmas.
Mary lost her father at a young age. When she was seven years old, her eyes were affected by a rare, inherited disease, retinitis pigmentosa. The visibility in her eyes worsened over time to such an extent that she could only see a small shade of light. In 2002, her mother found out about a school for the visually impaired in a city in southwestern China. After entrusting Mary’s sister to be looked after by the grandparents, Mary’s mother moved to that city with Mary and enrolled her in the school. They lived in a small flat. Mary’s mom eked a living by collecting trash from the streets. The money which was not much and very inconsistent, went primarily towards Mary’s younger sister’s living expenses and Mary’s education. Life was very hard.
Unlike life in the United States, it is uncommon for people in China to celebrate Christmas. From the perspective of one who lived below the poverty line, Mary thought of Christmas as a “western festival” that was totally unrelated to her.
Nevertheless, Mary had an opportunity to learn about the true meaning of Christmas while she attended the school for the visually impaired. Although she has not yet believed in Jesus, she now has a new understanding of Christmas:
“Since childhood, I have received gifts from my friends and family during different holiday seasons. However, Christmas is my favorite. Because of my impairment, I studied at a school for the visually impaired when I was in a first grade. Almost every student had to live in the school where the living conditions were very bad and we didn’t have enough to eat. However, Christmas is a festival which we longed to celebrate because Rainbows Missions’ aunties and uncles visited us from Seattle. They bought us chicken drumsticks and burgers, and we sang Christmas carols together. Years later, after having enrolled in university, RM’s aunties and uncles still keep in touch with me and blessed me greatly. There is no doubt that Lunar New Year is the most important festival in China; however, Christmas is now a significant festival to me. Thank you RM’s aunties and uncles for your visits and Christmas gifts. Your warm hugs and encouragement are my best Christmas gift!”
In the past seven years, RM has organized annual trips to this school to spend time to celebrate Christmas with visually impaired students.Through singing of Christmas carols, presenting Christmas gifts, and hosting delicious meals of chicken drumsticks and burgers, we have shared about the birth of Jesus Christ and have manifested God’s love to them.
The value of a gift is not measured by money. From Mary’s point of view, a warm hug and encouragement has been her best Christmas gift. Just as God sent His Son, Jesus, to live amongst us and to give His life as a sacrifice for us, we invite you to join us in sharing this love and Christmas message to children with disabilities and their caregivers in China. Together, we can remind them that they are loved and cared for. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to bless them with a simple gift and a Christmas meal, to provide local organizational support in the form of training and purchase of resources, and to provide a crisis fund for medical emergencies and unforeseen hardship.
- (Item 1&2) A Christmas gift & meal for disabled children or youth and their special education teachers
- (Item 3) A Christmas gift to provide training & resources to teachers and volunteers
- (Item 4) Crisis fund for medical emergencies and unforeseen hardship
If you would like to be part of this effort to bless these children with disabilities and their caregivers, please indicate how you would like to bless them and make your donation online at https://www.therainbows.org/christmas-giving-2017/. Alternatively, you can mail your check to Rainbow Missions, PO Box 1526, Renton, WA 98058. Please state “Christmas Giving: Item (no.)” in the memo line. Thank you!
若你願意在這個普天同慶的日子為他們傳遞關愛和祝福， 歡迎你們到https://www.therainbows.org/christmas-giving-2017/選擇捐獻禮物的項目並作出捐獻，或把支票寄往Rainbow Missions, PO BOX 1526, Renton, WA 98057。支票抬頭請寫Rainbow Missions，並註明「Christmas Giving: 項目(號碼)」。謝謝！