Jannene Wall, ICC’s Chief Operating Officer, reflects on the recent festivities in Hengyang and what she believes is the true difference in the lives of the children over the past 10 years.

As I witnessed the opening of the Hengyang Children’s Centre this past May, I saw the children perform, heard the appreciative applause and was thrilled by the balloon drop over everyone. It was a fitting tribute in a day that was truly all about the children. 

I looked around and I saw pure joy—joy on the faces of children, joy on the faces of their carers and joy in the smiles of the international volunteers that call China home. 

In that moment, I thought back to October 2005 when I came to Hengyang for the very first time. On that trip I saw the stark reality for myself—the lives of abandoned and disabled children hanging between life and death. 

Then I thought about what I was seeing today, and I instantly knew what the difference was: people. 

It was the commitment of international volunteers over many years that had led to today. These are the incredible people who have left their homes, their families and careers to step into the challenges of culture, language, sorrow and heartache. It is the sacrifice of those coming to stay long term and be part of a child’s daily life that has taken hundreds of children from forgotten to favoured. 

We are inviting people to come and be the next influencers of change. There is so much more that we can do in China, but we need YOU. 

If you have felt the call of God tugging at you, then you can be part of bringing the fullness of life to so many children. Join our community of believers, saving lives and influencing a nation. 

Start the journey to China today as a long term volunteer