In my books, Lessons From China and Unseen Tears, I talk about a tragic event. When I was teaching at a university in China, there was a fire in an unregistered fireworks factory in a rural area slightly over an hour’s drive from the campus. Unfortunately several people died in the fire, so many children became orphans that day.
Several people affiliated with the university got together and decided we wanted to help the children. We had heard there was no orphanage in the area to house the children, so distant family members and local villagers took the children into their homes. The group I was with was comprised of foreign teachers and a local retired former school employee, and we wanted to ensure the children they would have their school fees paid through high school, so we all donated money to assist. We also purchased hats and coats each year to keep them warm.
Well over a year after we had started giving money to keep the children in school, some of the foreign teachers and I were in town, so the Ladies Auxiliary group that was coordinating everything for the children, including our contributions, wanted to take us to meet the children.
The plan was to have a ceremony at the school in town, but we never knew how big of a deal this would become. The roads in this town were dirt, and as we drove near the school, we saw people lining the streets. Below you will see the dirt roads, people lining the streets, and we even had a band playing for us! It was extremely hot that day, so I felt sorry for the people wearing the band uniforms!
We were truly shocked at how we were being honored, and we didn’t feel worthy! It seemed unimaginable to us to receive a rock star’s welcome, when all we had done was donate some money to help some of the students stay in school and stay warm.
To be continued…