Archives For Global Partners in Life

If you recall, a few years ago in China there was a fire in an independent, non-governmental orphanage fire and unfortunately multiple children perished. Shortly after that, the government said any province that had an orphan in an independent orphanage could bring the orphans back to their home orphanage where they are registered. This proved the government had a plan and were taking action.

So, the government workers and police came to the independent orphanages around the country, interviewed workers to make sure the level of care needed for the children was being met, and eventually removed some of the children from what was potentially the only home they had ever known. Unfortunately, the special needs orphanage we support had eleven children taken during this period, if my memory serves me correctly.

Currently, the environment in China is one where all rules and laws are being enforced. So, once again, some of the provinces are removing children from the independent orphanages, like the one supported by Global Partners in Life.

History Has Repeated Itself

If you remember Lei Zi, pictured here, he is a VERY active 4 year old boy that is full of life. He has been removed by his home province and placed in a government orphanage. Five other children from around the country were brought in with him. We have a friend that works in this orphanage, and the friend sent a video of Lei Zi, which was shown to me. He was wearing a shirt and a diaper and no pants. In the video, he was crying and saying “my mom,” meaning the leader of the special needs orphanage we support, “has pants for me.” For some reason, the new orphanage is making him wear a diaper and no pants. He is potty trained, so we don’t understand this.

As I said, history has repeated itself.  We have weathered this storm before, and we intend to persevere again.

As Global Partners in Life celebrates our fourteenth anniversary, we have many wonderful accomplishments to celebrate! Moving forward, we will need to be wise and informed as we serve the people we have been led to in China. 

During my recent visit to the special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life, we delivered Christmas gifts, and I received a nice surprise. There was a lady working there whom I had never seen before, so I asked the lady that leads the orphanage who she was. Her answer was a wonderful surprise for me to hear.

A new worker has been hired, and her name is Li. Her salary is paid by the very generous donors supporting Global Partners in Life, and I am so thankful the children have another worker there to care for them. We have been supporting the orphanage for 11 years, and I have always felt more workers were needed, so this was a wonderful surprise for me. Would you like to meet Li?

What Do You Find Worthy of a Celebration?

Li had gone to the hospital many times to take Fei Bi, the 4 year old girl with cerebral palsy, for medical attention and therapy. After observing the physical therapy, Li decided she could replicate the therapy for Fei Bi at the orphanage. Would you like to see Li in action?

What Do You Find Worthy of a Celebration?

This is one of the many exercises Li does with Fei Bi, and Fei Bi seems to enjoy them. In the past, Fei Bi would scream out randomly, and on this visit I never heard her screaming at all. Here is some huge news regarding the progress of Fei Bi. She can now hold her head up for a few seconds by herself! Previously, she could never hold her head up at all. This may not sound like much progress for most of you — but believe me, it is worthy of a celebration when you work with the children daily!

As you can see, your donations to Global Partners in Life are having life changing results in China!

 

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!

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!

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!

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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!

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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!

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?

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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!

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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!

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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 www.globalpartnersinlife.org!

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!

hope

 

Learn more about the orphans and orphanage at GlobalPartnersinLife.org!

Caution: Wet Paint!

September 29, 2017 — Leave a comment

Having recently returned from a trip to China, there is so much good news to report! At the special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life we were able to see the impact of a special contribution we received. The support we received enabled us to wire money to the orphanage for having the interior walls painted. The lady that leads the orphanage was so excited that she had a painter lined up right away!

To my knowledge these walls haven`t been painted since it was initially built! With as many as 33 children living there at one time, you can imagine how many smudges and hand prints were on the walls. Also, before the walls were painted, if you touched one with your hand, you would have a chalky residue on your hand — but now the walls don`t leave any residue when you touch them.

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Here are some during and after photos. The day I was there it was raining and no lights were turned on, but I could tell as soon as I walked in that the walls were brighter. Since we have remodeled the bathroom and the kitchen, those walls having a fresh coat of paint on them made the rest of the house look that much worse, but at least now they are clean and bright!

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I feel so fortunate to know people that give generously to the work Global Partners in Life is doing in China, and I feel so thankful that together we can provide a better life for the children in so many ways. Yes, we provide for the children’s medical needs, food, care, education, and even a cleaner home to live in!

Want to help provide paint and other needed supplies? Visit Global Partners in Life to learn more!

Everyone knows you have to maintain your home to retain the value and beauty… not to mention functionality. The same can also be said for your car. To enable your car to serve you at its highest level, you must do maintenance on it from time to time. As Global Partners in Life supports the children at the special needs orphanage in China, can you think of some things we need to maintain?  Yes, maintenance is required for the home and van, but things most of us don’t consider require maintenance also. Do you see anything in this photograph that may need repair?

Even Crutches Need Repairs

Not only did Global Partners in Life help this young lady in the pink get her crutches, but we also help her maintain them. This is a special type of crutch that has a cuff that goes around her forearm, which enables her to have more stability when she walks. She has used these crutches so much that the rubber tip which touches the floor had ripped and was torn. When you have spina bifada with a tethered spine syndrome, you don’t want the exposed metal end of the crutch you depend on to hit a tile floor and slip, causing you to fall!

Through the help of an American who has volunteered at this special needs orphanage, we were able to get replacement parts from the manufacturer. Also, I purchased a different type of tip in case the other parts didn’t work. I am happy to report that the crutches are now fully operational, and this young lady is able to use her crutches again without worrying about having them slip out from under her.

Thanks to all of you that donate to help us meet the needs of these truly dependent children! To learn more about the ways we serve children at the special needs orphanage in China, please visit our website at GlobalPartnersinLife.org.

Since the weather is so warm here, I thought I would share with you a story about how Global Partners in Life has tried to protect orphans from the cold. The story starts when I was teaching at a university in China. I learned of a fire in an illegal fireworks factory in a rural area about an hour from the university. Unfortunately, many people were trapped inside the burning building, and several children became orphans that day.

The village was in such a rural area that there was no orphanage to receive the children that had tragically just become orphans. To give credit to the people of China, local villagers welcomed the children into their homes, as did distant family members. A group of foreign teachers from the university decided we must assist the children, so we pooled our financial resources, and we kept the 20 orphans in school that year.

A Change in Seasons and Life

Since that fatal fire, Global Partners in Life was formed — but we never forgot our young friends. In fact, through your generous contributions, we continued to pay for the school fees, school supplies, coats, hats, gloves, and even gave some financial support to the families providing a home for the orphans. As you can see in the photograph above, they did receive new winter clothes!

Over the years and through your donations to Global Partners in Life, we met many of the educational and humanitarian needs of these children. Learning about these children’s situation was one of the many factors that changed my life from being self-focused into one that feels great joy and happiness in helping my new young friends.

Thank you so much for investing in the work of Global Partners in Life as we try to meet the needs of those than can’t provide for themselves.

Please visit our website at www.globalpartnersinlife.org to learn more!