Shoes for Chinese souls in China

By November 3, 2005

China (MNN) — According to official statistics there are nearly 700,000 orphans in China. Many of these children are abandoned under China’s one child per family policy, because their either girls or they’re mentally or physically challenged. That’s presenting a challenge to China’s child care system.

In 2000, Buckner Orphan Care International traveled to China to see if they could help. Buckner’s President and CEO Ken Hall and Mike Douris, Buckner’s vice president traveled there and decided that they could help and began a relationship with five orphanages.

Hall and 17 others just returned from one of their Shoes for Orphan Souls trips, where they deliver shoes to needy children in these orphanages. Hall says they do this for several reasons. “We’re here to love children. We also come to encourage the workers, who love these children. We want to build relationships with the group (of orphanages) and to earn credibility for our program. But, we also come here to improve the conditions of these orphanages,” says Hall.

While most of the children in these orphanages suffer from either physical and mental disabilities, it doesn’t diminish them in God’s sight. And, these Shoes for Orphan Souls trips to China can have an eternal impact. Hall says, “We are in a country in transition. We are trying in a quiet, gentle way to represent what it means to follow Christ. We don’t have a long-term strategy, but simply to be faithful and see how things develop.”

The program has also provided Buckner with positive exposure to China’s child-care leaders. Their connection has allowed them to conduct a major training conference for child-care workers from throughout the nation.

Pray for more of these opportunities for this type of work. Pray too that many more people would join a Shoes for Orphan Souls trip to China and that more people would get involved in collecting shoes for the program.

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