The Special Door

June 30, 2020 — Leave a comment

If you recall, in a previous blog I sang the praises of the orphanage Global Partners in Life has started supporting in Lima, Peru, called New Life Children’s Home.  I was extremely impressed with the facility’s cleanliness, the adult to children ratio, the staff, the number of children being adopted, and the leadership of the children’s home.  There is one more thing that truly sets this children’s home above others; would you like to know what it is?

In the building where the offices and maintenance area are, this door is very impressive to me.  Not the physical door itself, but what happens behind the door.  You see, behind this door is an office where the counselors, psychologists, and government officials that care for the orphans spend time with the children.  I think it is fantastic that there are so many different levels of care given to the children at New Life Children’s Home!  Some of these children may have been sold to work for others at a very young age, some come from families where drugs and alcohol were problematic, and some come from abusive situations, so you can see why the counseling is so important.  Honestly, I wish there were more of these types of services available for orphans globally. 

If I understand the process for adoption correctly, if the government case workers don’t feel a child is emotionally ready to be adopted and moved into a new environment, they can place the adoption on hold until there is a better chance for the child’s transition to be a great one for them.  I applaud this effort of the Peruvian government! 

I am very thankful for the people that invest in Global Partners in Life. Their generosity enables us to provide for the children that need more time behind the special door!

As you know Global Partners in Life is assisting widows in a rural area of India called Gumma. In fact, the first building we have provided is being built to house 20 elderly widows with health problems. Obviously, these ladies can’t provide for themselves, so the Coronavirus was especially cruel to them.

Another Negative Impact of the Coronavirus

With no resources for food, shelter, or medical attention, some of the ladies we are assisting live in and around buildings like the one in the photo above, which was severely damaged by a cyclone and abandoned. With these widows’ poor health, age, and living in an area where there aren’t many jobs, they can’t provide for themselves so they may beg or depend on food given to them by someone passing by.

During the Coronavirus, I was contacted by our partner in India, Biswajit Pani. Biswajit told me India was going through a mandatory 3 week stay at home order, so there is nobody passing by on the streets, and the ladies have nobody to beg a few small coins from or receive food. Biswajit asked if Global Partners in Life could please send money to provide food for the widows during this desperate time. I am very thankful to report that through the generous contributions of Global Partners in Life’s donors, we were able to send funds for food to assist these widows.

I will never be able to thank those that provide gifts for Global Partners in Life enough for enabling us to have a positive impact globally!

On my last full day in Peru, I was at a Starbucks near a shopping mall.  The parking lot for the shopping area was blocked off and they had live music and dancing, and this was in the morning. Would you like to see someone I met that was participating in the celebration?

I have no idea what the music and dancing was about, but I did like this little girl’s outfit. The girl was facing away from me, and I approached the mother and asked for permission to take her daughter’s picture.  Immediately, the little girl turned around and gave me a big smile.  The lady, whom I assume was her mother, said it would be okay for me to take the picture, and the photo above was taken. I have another photo that will give you a better appreciation of her hair. Would you like to see it?

Since I am bald, I would have no idea of how long it would take to style her hair like this, but I would imagine it was a lengthy process. I doubt this was done every day!

I am happy to say that the Peruvian people were very pleasant, kind, and understanding that I hadn’t mastered their language or culture. By the way, for those of you that know I also go to China and India, the flight to Peru is much shorter!

It will be wonderful for all of the travel restrictions to be removed and we can all travel freely!

Sweet 16!

April 30, 2020 — Leave a comment

Recently we have been hearing a tremendous amount of unpleasant stories on the news, but now we have something to celebrate with you. Global Partners in Life turned 16 years old today! Please check out some of our amazing growth and impact, thanks to your contributions!

It has been both an honor and a blessing to be on this journey with you! I am extremely thankful for the people we have been led to that are providing an amazing service for people that can’t help themselves or provide for themselves. Obviously, I am thankful for the recipients of this service, like the orphans and widows, and grateful for how our donors continue to meet their needs. Additionally, I am inspired by the people we support who face physical and emotional challenges of a magnitude most of us can’t imagine!

If you look at the graphic above, you will see the ever-increasing impact you are having through your gifts to Global Partners in Life! To say I am thrilled by our growth would be a huge understatement! To say I am extremely excited about our future would be yet another understatement! 

Yes, I love helping people living in deplorable conditions and situations, providing medical attention for orphans and widows, and supporting people that are serving others at a very high level of care! 

Without our donors, our ongoing support of orphans and widows would simply not happen. In fact, without them, Global Partners in Life would not have seen our 16th birthday, so thanks again to our donors. I appreciate your generous hearts more than I can say, and our success is directly based on your support!

I look forward to our future of impacting the globe by meeting the needs of orphans and widows! Also, I am excited about continuing our relationships both foreign and domestic!

Trust in the Driver

April 15, 2020 — Leave a comment

During my last trip to India, while traveling on the roads, I saw a few alarming things that truly caught my eye. One thing in particular really took risk to an extreme level. Would you like to see what it was?

Seeing multiple people on a motorcycle is common, and seeing children on a motorcycle in China did not prepare me for this. Here you see a family of 5 on one motorcycle in HEAVY traffic! The only person with a helmet is the driver, so maybe that should have given his passengers a reason not ride with him! It looks like the child on the front is blindfolded, which may keep him from being scared!

For safety reasons, my parents didn’t want me riding a motorcycle, and I understand why. So, I don’t know if it was because I was taught to not ride motorcycles, or because I am a tenderfoot, but riding a scooter in the crazy traffic in a large city in India is not a good idea to me. I must give this person credit for their bravery, and also for their toenail polish matching their pants!

Another interesting sight I saw going down a road in India was the truck above. Not only did it have an oversized load, but it was also leaning. If I could have taken a picture from directly behind the truck, you could tell with more clarity how far the truck’s load was leaning. I don’t think I would want to pass on the driver’s side of this transport truck if I was on a motorcycle! Yes, I did trust my driver to steer clear of potential problems like this!

Can you imagine how tired someone with over 60 years of age would be, after 24 years of providing care for as many as 33 special needs orphans in her 3-bedroom apartment? Wow, I know that is a lot to take in, but that is the case for our friend who leads the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life.  Would you like to meet her?

Care Provider at Chinese Orphanage

The photograph above shows one of the few times I have seen the director of the special needs orphanage sitting down. As you can see, bunk beds are a big help to her and the children, because they can hold many children and they save space. These bunk beds were actually donated to the orphanage after the leader played a huge role in a successful Special Needs Olympic event held in the city. The event grows annually as more and more people volunteer and participate! I am very thankful for all of the assistance she can receive! 

If my words about her being over 60 years old made you think she had some limitations on her due to her age, nothing could be farther from the truth. This photo was taken during my last trip to China in the first week of December — but during several of my warm weather trips, I have seen her jumping rope with the best of the rope-jumping children! Also, I have to give her credit for keeping her energy level up with not much sleep. She gets up several times during the night to check on the children.

To me, it is an honor to be affiliated with this loving special needs orphanage, and I am extremely thankful for everyone that contributes to Global Partners in Life, so we can meet the needs of these children that can’t provide for themselves! 

I had been traveling for about 30 hours when I saw this ramp going to a jet in India. Perhaps it was my lack of sleep, but I thought this advertisement was really funny.  By the way, I was using an airline called Spice Jet. It makes me wonder where they got their name!

Speaking of advertising, how about this for a jingle to remember! I can’t remember the last time I saw a Lucky Strike cigarette, so this display really caught my eye.

I like the guilt trip this message places on smokers. If you don’t care about harming yourself, think about those around you! 

Are L&Ms more harmful than other cigarettes?  It seemed interesting to me that this brand had each type of warning message on it. Talk about buyer beware!

When I saw this sign, I thought, is the leader of this department called an Air Head? To me the irony was overwhelming, but I had been traveling for about 33 hours straight at this point of my trip!

When you are traveling, please keep your head up, eyes open, and camera ready. You never know when you will see something amazing, beautiful, or in this case, funny. 

Enjoy your travels!

After traveling for about 33 hours, on my last trip to India, I was with my friends and we went to a leper colony somewhere a little north of Vishakhapatnam, India. Technically, I am told, the caste system has been removed from the constitution of India–but in many ways, it is still in practice. Would you like to know one of the ways?

The people with leprosy in India would be considered even a lower group of people than the lowest group in the caste system. Even the family members of people with leprosy are discriminated against, and their opportunities in life are extremely limited. Above is a photo of a leper colony we visited soon after I arrived in India.

The people from the leper colony are not allowed to use public transportation, so this tricycle is a good option for them when they need to move around. Apparently a local doctor prefers to do amputations for the people with leprosy, and that is why there are hand cranks to use on this tricycle. While at this leper colony, I saw many people missing limbs and using crutches. 

The people in the leper colony are not allowed to use the same water as people without leprosy, so this is the community water pump. While we were there, we gave them words of encouragement and provided them with clothes and food! This village had a very sweet and humble vibe to it.

I am very thankful for everyone that invests in Global Partners in Life, so we can continue to meet the needs of people that–through no fault of their own–can no longer provide for themselves!

SARS and the Coronavirus

February 14, 2020 — Leave a comment

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, it has brought back many memories of when I was teaching at a university in China in 2003. If you recall, that was when SARS broke out. I am going to share a photograph with you from the end of the SARS outbreak.

People were truly frightened by SARS, and rightfully so. For anyone who hasn’t been to China and witnessed the population density, well, you just can’t imagine how many people live in close proximity to one another. That is how a virus can spread so quickly in China.

To help you understand, I will share with you what the director of the special needs orphanage told me when she shared with me that the main thing she wanted when we remodeled the kitchen was a dishwasher.  Believe me, there were several pressing needs to be addressed when we remodeled the kitchen; but she told me that the reason she wanted a dishwasher so badly was that, when one child got sick, they all got sick. She had no way to sterilize the dishes, so what she told me made perfect sense! Does that help you understand how quickly a virus can spread in China?

At the university, I truly felt sorry for the freshmen. They were all at a different campus outside of town, and nobody was allowed to leave. So, these were 18 year old students away from home for the first time, and they couldn’t go home or leave the campus. For me, if I wanted to leave the campus, which was in the city, I had to wear a badge; and I had to wear the badge to return to the campus. Honestly, back then the air quality was so ugly that many people were wearing masks before the SARS virus infected so many people. The university did all they could to protect everyone. The classrooms, offices, and apartments for the teachers were all sprayed with a liquid designed to kill germs. I think the local TV station sent a crew to film this, so everyone would know the government was doing all it could, and so the parents of the students could have fewer worries.

When the semester was over, which ended a week early because a holiday had been canceled due to the travel restrictions, I took a bus from my small city to Shanghai. Before we left the small city, our temperature was taken. A Chinese cardiologist was sitting near me who spoke English very well, and I became very thankful for him. As we approached Shanghai, the bus pulled off the road by a large tent. The doctor told me we were going to walk through the tent and have our temperature taken. At the end of the tent was a large opening, and if we were told to go to the left, that meant we didn’t have a temperature and we could get back on the bus. If we were told to go to the right, that meant we had a temperature, and we would be taken to some unknown location for at least 2 weeks, and nobody would be able to communicate with us. Yes, that got my attention, and I knew I didn’t want to be put into a quarantine facility! 

I am thankful to say that I survived SARS! Hopefully this story will help you to have compassion for those in the Coronavirus prone areas. Please remember the population density is a huge factor there, and like my friend said — if one child gets sick, they all get sick!

During my recent trip to India, I visited the Baby Adoption Center, which is an orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life.  As always, the orphanage that specializes in getting infants adopted was amazingly clean and orderly. 

One of the ways success is measured for them is by working through the proper agencies and finding adoptive families for the babies.  Would you like to hear some of their unique stories?

Baby Adoption Center in India

The little girl in this photo is one of the children that has been adopted by a family from another country.  Her new forever home is in Italy!

Baby Adoption Center in India

The little girl in the photo above loves to be put in the cradle that swings.  From what I am told, she will go to sleep in about 2 minutes if she isn’t hungry!  She was found abandoned on the side of a road.  There were ants biting her on her cheek and one ear.  Thankfully, all of those marks have gone away!

Baby Adoption Center in India

This baby was abandoned, and she may have had a premature birth.  If I remember correctly, she only weighed about 3 pounds when she was discovered.  Now she is healthy and looking for a forever home!

There was one special needs baby at the orphanage during this visit, and to my knowledge, this is the first special needs baby they have had.  She has partial development of one hand and one arm, and one of her ears seems to lay flat against her head, but other than that, she appears to be healthy.

Thanks so much to the people supporting Global Partners in Life!  As you can see, our donors are having life changing impact on the lives of orphans around the world!