Sun Wu’s Thank-You Concert

Perseverance at work

A beautiful young woman in a fuchsia evening gown sits down at the milky white grand piano. The hall in front of her is packed—nearly all of the 200 white slip-covered chairs are filled. She touches the keys and melodies flow out: Auld Lang Syne, Dream Wedding, Laputa and others. 

Only friends in the front row might catch an occasional expression revealing if she has missed a note. However, 26-year-old Sun Wu perseveres with grace, and the pieces flow seamlessly. 

To the casual observer, this could be any young woman giving a piano concert to thank her friends and teachers. However, this concert is unique: Sun Wu has had to overcome the obstacles of both congenital clubfoot and spina bifida—as well as being abandoned by her parents at a young age due to her disability.
Sun Wu grew up at the welfare centre in Changsha, and has been in International China Concern’s care since she was nine years old. 

Over the years, Sun Wu has had many different surgeries to help her walk, each one with a recovery period of nearly half a year. Yet this determined young woman has completed a vocational training program with good academic standing, and is now a part-time special education assistant at ICC’s Lighthouse Centre in Changsha. 

Now, Sun Wu has organised this concert to say thank you—first to God, then to the “aunties,” caregivers and friends who have supported her along the way as she has overcome obstacles, moved into independent living at our Canaan Homes, and become partially self-supporting. 

Among her many caregivers in Changsha, these “aunties” have included long-term volunteers Darcie Inkpen and Lucy Chua, from Canada and Singapore, respectively. Darcie’s daughters also study piano with the same instructor
 as Sun Wu, and she and the Inkpen family have become friends, going on outings to art exhibits and to ICC’s Community Outreach Project summer camp together. 

Lucy has taken an interest in Sun Wu’s development as well. As they laugh and joke together, it is clear that there is a fondness between these two.
Studying piano for the last two and a half years has shown Sun Wu that she can accomplish what she sets out to do. 

“Previously, people around me thought that I do not persist on,” she says. However, with the support of the long-term volunteers and other caregivers, she has learned that she can persevere and become accomplished in something that she enjoys. 

In fact, Sun Wu recently completed her grade five piano level, and will take her grade eight level exam this summer. She hopes to complete the highest level, grade ten, by 2016 and then become a piano teacher herself. 

“I think my future is unendingly beautiful,” Sun Wu has said. “I thank every single person who cared for
me. Thank you for giving me unselfish love and sacrifice. It allowed my life to be filled with hope and opportunity.”