May 20 back to Shanghai

By Kaylee:
Today we left the New Hope Foundation and it was bittersweet. I wish we would have been able to spend more time there, but it was time to move on to the rest of our trip. After that, we went to the Great Wall and the Beijing Olympic Park. Out of the whole day, I would say the Great Wall was my favorite. Even though it felt like I was hiking for many hours, it was worth seeing something that most individuals will never get to see in their lifetime.

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Great Wall

By Kimberly:

Today we left the New Hope Foundation and it was bittersweet. I wish we would have been able to spend more time there, but it was time to move on to the rest of our trip. After that, we went to the Great Wall and the Beijing Olympic Park. Out of the whole day, I would say the Great Wall was my favorite. Even though it felt like I was hiking for many hours, it was worth seeing something that most individuals will never get to see in their lifetime.

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Living in the Yurt: Hope Foster Home

Possible titles:
Cold shower
Count your blessings

Ever willingly take a cold shower? Probably not, after all why would you? When you can take a hot one instead. Much more comfortable.

When we arrived in the yurts yesterday, we tried out the hot water to no avail. I decided to skip my daily shower to avoid the discomfort. I experienced said discomfort while in Guatemala, and wanted to hold off on reliving that moment. The girls who did brave the cold shivered the night away in the frigid yurt. There is nothing quite like a cold shower.

We spent our day playing with kids today at an orphanage. One in particular caught my heart. Shroger. If I wasn’t living off an intern salary and living with two other college girls, that little guy would be on the flight home with me. I absolutely fell in love.

After spending the day with my little buddy I certainly needed a shower. He took me into the sand box so I had sand everywhere. I couldn’t skip a shower another day, for my sake and the sake of those around me.

I got myself mentally prepared to take another cold shower. I could do it. I’d done it before. I could do it!!!!!

I gathered my things from the yurt and made my way to the Arctic shower everyone was talking about. Here goes nothing.

I turned the lever. Sure enough, cold.

But wait…..it was getting warmer!

It’s crazy how much we take something for granted, like hot water. Every time I turn on the water back home I never wonder if it will hot. I know it will be.

Remember just how blessed you truly are. And if you ever feel yourself forgetting, simply take a cold shower.

Love,

Casey

Sent from my iPhone

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May 13 taking the kids to the Shanghai Zoo

By Kelsey:

May 13, 2014
We all had a beautiful day today visiting the zoo with the children we met earlier at Shining Star. Each child seems to have found a place in our hearts which made parting with them rather difficult.
I found myself growing quite attached to the oldest boy of our group, a boy aged nine named TaoTao. Within a few minutes of our trip he informed me that today was Elephant’s birthday and there would be a party for him at the zoo. TaoTao knows such things and we don’t question him as about it-we just take him for his word. As a result when we showed up elephant had a full group of us singing him happy birthday. I think it was TaoTao’s favorite part of the trip. For the rest of us our highlight was seeing the zoo’s pandas. What an experience.
I have been very impressed so far with Shining Star and their attitude towards the children. Rather than coddling the kids and making them dependent, Shining Star is focused on teaching them to adapt to their surroundings despite vision impairment. As a result, when we were helping clean a few days ago TaoTao, much to his excitement joined us in the work. It gave him a sense of purpose and pleasure to be working among us. He was, however a little confused by our sudden appearance.
“Why are you here?” he asked Reina and &
I.
“To see you.”
He scrunched up his face as if trying to comprehend.
“To see me?”
“Yes,” we answered “and to clean the leaves out of your sandbox.
This last sentiment was truly curious; anyone could pick the mottled leaves out of the sandbox. Why did a team of Americans come to do it from so far away? It is one of the more humbling realizations one makes on a service learning trip. We leave with puffed up pride about all the good things we will accomplish-really in the end what your doing is quite small, humble, work. This is often how it really is to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
It made me realize that even though I don’t have a visual disability TaoTao and I still have a lot in common; we want to be of use. He helps clean and I pick leaves out of his sandbox. God provides these small ways for us to be of service and we do what we can.
Praise him who through all blessings flow.
-Kelsey Case

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Monday May 12

By Dr. Welling:

Dear family and friends,

The mission of Malone University states in part that we prepare our students to serve “the church, community, and world.” Our students surely embodied Malone’s mission as they served Mifan Mama at the organization’s warehouse today. Mifan Mama collects clothing, furniture, and other goods on behalf of regional orphanages. Today we sorted new and used clothes and moved boxes and other items at the warehouse for nearly 6 hours. We were well synchronized as we sorted, counted, and packaged hundreds of items.  Dr. Chen and I were very pleased with our students’ efforts, as was our service partner. Our eight team members would certainly have kept working had our ride to the subway station not arrived.

After a brief respite, we finished the day with a time of debriefing over a Chinese meal — shared family style — and Magnum ice cream bars. Although imported from Belgium, I first enjoyed this sweet treat when Dr. Chen and I last co-led a trip to China in 2009. Although now available at my local Canton grocery store, Magnums seem to taste even better over here!

Many thanks for your prayers as we continue our journey in China

Blessings,
Jacci Welling

Sunday, May 11

Moore Memorial Church

By Kate:

Hello friends and family,

Amidst the rain and smog, so far we have all been finding Shanghai to be an amazing and exciting city. Much to our amusement, we have discovered that the natives feel the same way towards us. Before leaving for this trip, Dong-hai and Jacci had warned Casey and I that we would be an instant hit because of her being blonde, and me being a red-head. They were absolutely correct! Today our group visited the Pearl Tower in Pudong province and found ourselves to be the targets of their many cameras. I now have a fonder appreciation for the lives that zoo animals live in their display cages… Nevertheless, we all thoroughly enjoyed our moments as celebrities today. With every line we waited in we were gleefully beckoned to join people for their keep-sake photos of a random westerner. I kid you not, Casey and I probably posed for about 75+ pictures that were not our own. It was a fun and memorable experience, but I am now most certainly content to never be a celebrity.

Later in the day we made our way to the People’s Park to discover yet another culture-shocking scene. As we walked through the rainy sea of people in search of a dry place to rest, we had to weave through a maze of umbrellas situated on the ground serving as a bulletin board for a small handmade poster. Once we found a dry overhang to duck under, Dr. Chen informed the group that we were witnessing a “meeting corner,” where parents (mostly mothers) post their adult children’s basic information on these mini posters and circulate through all of the umbrellas to find a suitable date for their children. Arranged marriages may have grown extinct in this culture, but arranged dating is apparently a popular and accepted practice. Parents, we kindly ask that you do not get any ideas from this story…

To close off the day we made our way to a cozy yet large church in the city where we able to worship in spirit, though lacking the language, together with the Chinese church. It was a perfectly cultured end to a wonderfully culture-shocking day. I am looking forward to our future experiences during our last days in Shanghai.

 We wish all of our mothers a Happy Mother’s Day, and send our love to everyone else as well. Thank you for your continuing prayers!

 

Kate:)

Day two: a day for relax and rest

The first day in Shanghai

By Ezra

Hello from Shanghai,

Today’s events have helped better develop our appreciation  for cross cultural experiences. The adventure began with a delectable breakfast buffet in our hotel that included but was not limited to, a plethora of colorful deep fired greens, hard boiled eggs, puff rolls and much more. We then gathered ourselves together for the days events. The director of Mifan Mama, Terry met up with us at our hotel and then traveled with us on the Metro to the Shining Star Home. Upon our arrival at the Shining Star we were greeted by some of the cutest children in all of South East Asia. 

We had the honorable pleasure of hearing the history of  the Shining Stars journey over the last few years. Currently there are seven partially to fully blind children, ranging in ages from one to nine years old at Shining Star. We had the chance to play with some of the children and even eat lunch with them while at the home. After our meal we were able to help out by cleaning the play areas outside and disinfecting the sandbox toys for the kids. We deeply cherished our time visiting with the children and getting to hear their stories, fears and hopes. The day passed quickly and before we knew it it was time for us to depart. We left Shining Star in a rather run down taxi van, to say the least. Before we even pulled out of the driveway one of the bench seats collapsed giving several members of our team a startling shock. However,  the driver was able to fix the seat in short order by placing two empty plastic bottles underneath the seat and then we were on our way back to the Metro station. We arrived safe and sound to the Metro station with no physical injuries.

We then traveled to downtown Shanghai to People’s Square. It was a breath taking skyline to see. The City of Shanghai gives visitors feelings of both awe at the ingenuity of man and the natural creativity of God! While taking a group photo by the river front, we attracted a multitude of Chinese who began photo bombing our group. Dozens of people began running over to us and taking photos with us as though we were some type of celebrities. It was a pretty funny experience! As we walked back towards the Metro station we stopped in the Shanghai Mall for dinner. We ate at a lovely restaurant that served many traditional Chinese dishes. We all enjoyed our meals there and had a delightful time of fellowship during our dinner. We then made our way back to our hotel and settled in for the night. We were all pretty exhausted from the days events and were all ready for bed by the time we arrived back at the hotel. 

We send you our love, thoughts and prayers from the Far East! Keep smiling and have a great day. 


Arrived in Shanghai on Time

From Cleveland

The China Service-Learning Trip Team arrived in Shanghai safely and on time (5/8): We are going to visit the Shingstar tomorrow.

 

Malone Service learning China trip final fundraiser-bake sale

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Malone University China trip held its final fundraiser on April 26. The group will leave to China on May 7.

 

 

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