Child Sponsorship: Overflowing with Thankfulness
Dan is a 21-year-old young lady with cerebral palsy who used to live in International China Concern’s (ICC) Lighthouse in Changsha. She felt at home in the Lighthouse and was grateful for all the love, hope and opportunity she had found there.
A talented and diligent girl, Dan worked at ICC’s “Flowers in the Desert” craft room where she produced different kinds of bead crafts. Before that, she and her buddies had attended special education classes to learn different things, including how to use a computer – which allowed sensitive Dan to express herself and communicate with the world.
“The Beautiful Garden of Eden” drawn by Dan using her computer in 2014.
Dan’s first and award-winning cross-stitch that took her almost a year to finish. It was literally a work of “blood, sweat and tears”.
A few years ago, she typed up a long letter in Chinese to her sponsor parents in the UK when she turned eighteen. Here is a translated excerpt of that letter:
When I was small, every time I saw children with their parents, I would wonder why I didn’t have parents, and if there was something wrong with me. But as I grew, I gradually realised that even though I don’t have parents, I do have a family.
At the Lighthouse, there are many people who love and care about me. I am very happy here. Every day there is something to do and enjoy: education classes (Chinese and Maths), computer class, therapy and many other fun activities. The aunties (caregivers) who look after me are like my parents. I want to take some time to give thanks!
First, I want to thank God my creator. Though I never met my biological parents, I still want to praise God for bringing me to this world, to experience family love at ICC and from you.
Second, I want to thank all the aunties. They have raised me and have done many wonderful things for and with me – washing my clothes, helping me to stand, taking me to parks and so much more. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without my aunties. Would I be as happy as I am now? Although at times I don’t like their mothering, I know they want what is best for me.
Third, I want to thank my therapists. When I was little, I was unable to walk and could neither sit up nor feed myself. I remember when I first started therapy I would cry and throw tantrums during each session. But you didn’t quit on me. With the dedicated assistance from my therapists, I am now able to walk using a walking ladder and can handle most of the daily basics myself.
Fourth, I want to thank my special education teachers who have taught me with patience. Before, I couldn’t read, couldn’t do maths and couldn’t use a computer. Not only can I read now, I can also write and draw with a computer. I even keep a diary!
Lastly, I want to thank my foreign friends who set up ICC to take care of me. They have brought joy, peace and love into my life.
Thank you all for caring for me. I hope I will be able to get a job and have my own family one day!
Grow in Love, Persevere in Hope, Fly in Opportunity
Dan and all other children and young people with special needs are a blessing to us at ICC. Their presence is a vivid reminder of the preciousness and possibilities of life despite its fragility. Together we celebrate every small progress they make in their lives as we walk hand in hand with them.
Become a child sponsor to walk Hand-in-Hand with ICC’s children!