One thing we consistently hear is that the air quality is horrible in the major cities in China. Well, I can show you proof that isn’t always the truth. Granted, the weather can have a huge impact on the air quality, but here is a photograph I took during my recent trip to Beijing, and it clearly shows the sky is beautiful, clear, and blue. Check out the helicopter inspecting the skyscraper under construction below it!

Interesting Sightings During China Trip

If you are into gadgets, I saw a new one in a taxi cab. It is not uncommon at all to see a device plugged into a cigarette lighter for charging a cell phone, but I saw one with more capabilities than simply charging a cell phone. This particular taxi had a cell phone charging device, and built into the device was an electrical outlet. If it looks odd to you, it is because some of the slot configurations in Chinese electrical outlets are shaped much differently than the ones we have in America. Do you want to see it?

Interesting Sightings During China Trip

By the way, the driver of this taxi loves the National Basketball Association. His two favorite teams are the LA Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is amazing how something like basketball can be the catalyst for a great conversation anywhere in the world!

Keep your eyes open when you are traveling, because you never know what you might see!

A Gold Medal for the USA

February 28, 2018 — Leave a comment

With the Winter Olympics on our minds, I must brag and say thank you to my countrymen! No, not for our athletic accomplishments, but for your generosity! According to Wikipedia’s research for 2016, if you look at these 3 questions — have you helped a stranger, have you given to a charity, and have you volunteered your time for an organization — the USA came in as the second most generous nation in the world. If you look at the amount given, America was in first place! Do you want to know who was near the bottom?

One of the reasons the work of Global Partners in Life is so important in China is because their culture hasn’t been very involved with charities for very long. Unfortunately, China came in as the 140th most generous nation, and the horrible earthquake in 2008 was the first large-scale giving to charities for China.

During a recent visit to the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life, we saw a representation of American’s generosity. See some amazing gifts from Americans below!

A Gold Medal for the USA

The wheelchair above was an amazing gift for the young lady you see with it. Her hand is on a joy stick, and the wheelchair is a battery operated one, which helps so much with the difficulties our young friend has. She has a VERY severe case of scoliosis and dwarfism, her hips joints are out of the socket, she has had knee and club feet surgery, and she has a metal rod in one of her legs, so this version of a wheelchair helps her so much with her walking.

A Gold Medal for the USA

This particular wheelchair was designed especially for cerebral palsy patients, which our young friend using it has. It has many adjustments on it which will enable the wheelchair to fit her as she grows, and it has a tray to help with feeding and many other activities. One of the best things about this wheelchair is that you can adjust it to hold a person in a sitting upright position, which is very difficult for many people with cerebral palsy.

I don’t know exactly who provided these wheelchairs for the special needs orphanage, but I was told they were Americans! So, as I think about the Americans that contribute to our work in China, and see how an American provided the desperately needed wheelchairs, I am thankful to see how our country responds to those in need. Thanks to all of you who help strangers, give to charities, and volunteer!

You will never know how much your resources can mean for someone who can’t provide for themselves!

In China, by far the largest holiday is the Lunar New Year, called the Spring Festival or Chun Jie in Chinese. It is based on the moon, so it doesn’t happen on the same day each year. It occurs at the end of January or the first of February. Some of the main customs surrounding Chun Jie are cleaning your home, eating jaozi (dumplings,) and parents giving a child a red envelope full of money. A couple of the lesser-known traditions involve getting a haircut and taking a shower to wash away anything bad.

As you would imagine, in China there will be lots of fireworks all day and night surrounding their holiday, or at least that is how it was in the past. Now there is a ban on fireworks, which is being done to improve the air quality. Honestly, that will be a hard ban to enforce!

Many people receive an extended vacation to celebrate this huge holiday. In fact, it is known as the largest annual migration of people, when all of the city workers travel back to their rural hometowns to visit their families.

This new year is called the year of the dog, and gou is how you say dog in Chinese. I will display a paper cut-out symbol for the year of the dog for you to enjoy.


Happy Spring Festival to all of my Chinese friends!


Do you have a day in your life that marks a dramatic change in your vision, focus, and direction? I do! My day is January 16, 2004, and I call it my Freedom Day. That was the last day I worked in the corporate world — and I was freed from my desire to have a more prestigious title at work, a job with a higher salary, more direct reports under me, and a better home and car. Yes, I am thankful to say that I have been freed from being self-centered and greedy. My thoughts are no longer all about me, me, me, and more for me; but now I am more focused on others and giving.

While I was working in the corporate world, I had been truly blessed to work with some great companies and wonderful people. In fact, I was surprised with the modest success I had and with my overall compensation. I really didn’t feel that I was worthy, and at the same time, I didn’t feel that what I was doing would matter in 10 years. So I thought about what would matter in 10 years, and my friends and experiences from a couple of trips to China kept coming to mind.

Celebrating My Freedom DaySo, with no knowledge or experience in the area, I decided to start a non-profit to assist children through young adults with their educational, humanitarian, and medical needs . . . in China! Since I was in my mid-forties at the time, I was told I should read a book by Bob Buford called Half Time. In his book, Bob discusses moving from success to significance, and I was hopeful that was what I was doing. Fortunately, I had some people much wiser than me agree to serve on the Board of Directors as I started Global Partners in Life.

Prior to starting the non-profit, when I donated money, it was only because it was the right thing to do . . . and my wife was modeling a giving lifestyle very well for me. Now, when I give, I get a great sense of joy because I personally know who I am helping. I know which special needs orphan will have an operation, because of the support GPiL has received and passed along to the orphans needs. I know the students who have received scholarships from GPiL based on their grades, being English majors, and whose families are financially challenged. I have met the students that became orphans because of a fire in an unregistered fireworks factory in rural China, and we paid their school fees to keep them in school every year until they graduated from high school.

All of this is to say that I am so thankful that I have had a Freedom Day, and that I can see how foolish my diligent pursuit of material things was. I am a much better person and a much happier person since I realized how much I already had and compared it to how little others have.

If you haven’t had your Freedom Day, what is stopping you?

I would encourage you to learn from my mistakes, and pursue what is on your heart! I will help you if I can!

Over the years and during my many trips to China (56, but who is counting?), I have seen an increase in the number of Christmas decorations. Initially, only hotels in larger cities with many foreign patrons would be sparsely decorated; but now restaurants, department stores, and especially hotels like to decorate for Christmas.

Would you like to see some of the Christmas decorations I recently saw in China?

Christmas Decorations in China

Christmas Decorations in China

These two photographs above were also taken in a hotel lobby. You can see how exhausted Santa’s Elf looks, so hopefully that means there were many children on the nice list! Also, you can see a street lamp with a snowy windmill scene in it. Did I mention I was in China?

Christmas Decorations in China

I like the color blue in the picture below, so I like the contrasting colors of red, green, and blue in this decoration. This was actually on the ceiling of a hotel lobby. I am not sure what the hot air balloon has to do with our traditional Christmas decorations, but I guess if Rudolph got sick, Santa could use the hot air balloon to deliver the toys to all of the children!

So there you have a quick tour of Christmas decorations in China. Don’t worry, I saw many traditional Christmas trees, snowflakes, and Santa too!

In an era when most children have an extremely long Christmas wish list filled with expensive electronics, it was extremely humbling to hear the leader of the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life say that all she wanted for the children’s Christmas was shoes — warm shoes. It was equally exciting to provide for this need!


Thanks so much to the donors of Global Partners in Life, who provided the funds for the warm shoes, as well as many other gifts for the children. It was a powerful moment for me to see a child that struggles to walk get excited about trying on their new shoes and walking in them!


It was amazing that some of the children even wrote and drew thank you notes, which you can see below. In my many years of going to the special needs orphanage and providing gifts, this may have been the first time the children created thank you notes!

A Special Request for Christmas

This request for warm shoes refreshed my memory on how much we have to be thankful for and how much we take for granted. I have often said that these children are my teachers, because they show me how to be happy and content in all situations. They have been abandoned by their parents, have physical disorders, and yet the smallest things make them very happy and content. I truly need to be more like them!

Thanks so much to the people that support my young teachers and the work of Global Partners in Life!

Today I wanted to share with you some scenes from my last trip to China. With China having the oldest culture on the planet, it is interesting how the Chinese hang on to some of their older items. I have been in a nicely renovated train station complete with a modern looking brick exterior, and some of the original touches remaining on the interior. Would you like to see an example?


The ceiling in this lobby area was extremely high, maybe fifty feet or more. The stained glass windows were absolutely gorgeous, so I can understand why this area was kept intact! The layers of crown molding were quite impressive as well!

As we were boarding our train, I noticed other trains on their designated tracks. One of the trains I noticed had a yellow and red engine pulling the train. As old as they are, these older-style engines are still a fairly common sight on the tracks in China. Just beyond the older engine, you can see the green boxcar. This represents a fairly old train, but from my experience, I can say it is the most commonly used type of train. The newer trains are white and much more aerodynamically designed. Would you like to see a couple of generations of trains in China?


If you are traveling in China and you have an opportunity to take a train, I would encourage you to travel on the train system. They are very reliable, cost less than flying, and my experiences have been that you will always meet some very welcoming people!

Have you ever taken the train in China?

For many years, I have been afraid that some of the old furniture at the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life had lead-based paint on some of the furnishings. When I would ask about it, I was told they did not — but I still had my suspicions. Take a look below at some of the cribs, and tell me if you would you agree?


I am very thankful to report that, through the very generous contributions of our supporters, Global Partners in Life has been able to provide new furniture for these needy children. The leader of the special needs orphanage likes the new furniture very much, and she says it is very high quality furniture made in Shanghai. Have a look for yourself and see if you think this is an improvement!


The wood was strong and sturdy, and these cribs have storage right under the mattress. Believe me, storage at an orphanage is a great thing to have!


These new high chairs are also constructed of strong wood, and they were designed to serve more than one purpose. With various options for folding the high chairs, they can also become a table or a bench. Options are always wonderful!

We at Global Partners in Life are very thankful for your donations which enable us to provide for the special needs orphans and meet their many needs.

Please consider contributing to our work in China at!

Perhaps you have heard that the bicycle rental industry is doing amazingly well in China. In fact, in Beijing, the citizens are getting frustrated by some of the bike rental companies that display their bicycles at a narrow location in the sidewalk. This greatly reduces the amount of space for the pedestrians and, yes, even cars. Yes, cars and motorcycles do drive on the sidewalks in China! Oh, and they park on the sidewalks also, so you must always be on the lookout for moving objects of various sizes and speeds headed your way!


Although the rental bikes are very popular, I have found a potential problem, as you can see in the photograph above. The bicycle rental companies have an app for their clients to download, and this app does many things. It will locate the nearest bike for you, accept your payment, and give you the code to unlock the bike. Well, I am not sure that the app has a contingency plan for when your rental bike has a flat tire. Does anyone know how to resolve this issue as a client using the app?


China has done a wonderful job of putting signs in travel locations, like the airports, in Chinese and English. During my last trip I noticed a sign that caught my eye. I used a smaller railroad station this time, and it is called the Beijing East Station. Unfortunately, the sign in the photograph above doesn’t quite give all of the information needed if you wanted to use this station’s name again. The word “dong” in Chinese means east, so if you didn’t know that, you wouldn’t know that the name of this train station was Beijing East. That one word may make a huge difference in your next trip or having someone pick you up at the station! Hopefully all of the signs will be completely translated very soon!

Enjoy your traveling!


A Girl Named Hope

October 31, 2017 — Leave a comment

Hope is a wonderful word for many reasons, and it is also a fantastic name. My time today will be spent telling about a young lady named Hope. She was legally adopted by the lady who runs the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life. Would you like to know some of her story?

Hope received a scholarship to go to a high school in America, where her English improved tremendously. I visited with her while she was in the States, and she told me she missed the children at the Home of Joy special needs orphanage. It was touching to me that a high-schooler in a foreign country would think about younger children back at her home.

After Hope graduated from high school, she returned to China, where the plan was for to find another scholarship so she would be able to attend college. Unfortunately, after much searching, there wasn’t a scholarship available for Hope. She was living at the Home of Joy helping with the children, when Grace, the lady who leads the special needs orphanage, asked her if she would be willing to become an employee, since they needed another worker to help with the children. Hope asked for 3 days to consider the offer, and I am sure she realized she would be a great candidate since she already knew the children and how to provide for them.

After one day, Hope told Grace she was ready to make a full time commitment to providing care for the children! Grace was happy — she didn’t have to train a new employee, and Hope could help the children with their school work.

One of the first things I saw when I walked into the Home of Joy during my last trip was Hope teaching some of the children vocabulary words! I was thrilled to see this, and I knew it was very beneficial for the children. Also, I was thankful to see the financial contributions Global Partners in Life receives from our fantastic donors was being put to such good use, as Hope was caring for and educating the children. In the photograph below, you will see in picture several aspects of what Global Partners in Life does for the special needs orphans we support. We provide for their care, the workers that meet the children’s needs, and the children’s education!



Learn more about the orphans and orphanage at!