CHILD SPONSORSHIP | “How can a child you have never met before break your heart?”
Helen Harris shares her story of Hua, the girl who graces the cover of China’s Oasis, a book about ICC’s journey.
I will never forget the day I first met the girl I was to go on sponsoring from 2006 to the current day.
It was a wet spring morning and the road leading to the Hengyang Care Centre was muddy and rocky. The bus stopped outside a big iron gate and our leader warned us that the children we were about to visit would be very physical with us and would search our pockets and try and undo any zips on our clothing, looking for anything to eat.
I was very nervous and then as soon as we got off the bus we were literally surrounded by children and young adults trying to get near us. A young boy about eight years old clung on to me throughout the day and wouldn’t let me go. When the idea of sponsoring a child by donating a monthly fee was raised, this boy came to mind. The fact that I had met the child was a big motivation.
I asked ICC to look for this boy but he couldn’t be found. Occasionally, it was not unusual for children to run away or even pass away.
A year later, our daughter Chloe was working in the girls’ room and found her. She was actually a little girl called Hua. The boys and girls had the same haircuts and were dressed in the same clothes.
Helen Harris first met Hua in 2006 in Hengyang.
A Lasting Bond
I was able to visit Hua at least once a year as part of mission trips I went on. When she saw me she would say, “There’s my Momma”. She was always very shy but would take my hand and show me her bed and cupboards and walk around with me. A couple of times a year, I send her a card and a gift. My latest photo from Hengyang shows her playing with some crafts I had sent. I am able to find out what she likes and have been able to buy some of the crafts she has made. Any extra money means she can pay for a visit to the hairdresser and enjoy some treats.
Hua doing arts and crafts at ICC Care Centre.
My monthly donation helps with food and shelter and I get an informative update of her progress. She is now over 21 and helps with the younger children and loves to sing and dance in any celebrations. I have seen her change before my very eyes. On one visit we were guests of her group home and she helped cook a delicious lunch, making sure the guests were well cared for. What a contrast to her younger days when she would have had to fight for food.
Hua (left) dancing with a special education teacher.
“Sponsorship is a small connection with a child’s life, but it can have a big impact.”
Become a Child Sponsor and walk Hand-in-Hand with ICC’s children!