The Buckner Orphan Care International (BOCI) will host a mission trip to visit various orphanages in China in October of this year. There, the mission team plans to distribute much-needed shoes at orphanages. In addition, the team plans to bring other humanitarian supplies such as basic medical supplies and toiletries.
In the course of the trip, the group will stop in various orphanages in the cities of Changhai, Beijing, Urumqi, and Tianjin. The mission team plans to depart from Dallas, Texas on October 13. The team will stay in China until October 23.
“We hope that God will use our team to show his love,” says Eraina Larson, BOCI Director of Missions. Eraina explained that in past trips to China, BOCI mission teams had provided basic necessities such as pain-relievers, flu medication, soap, towels, toothbrushes, games, toys, and books to orphans.
In one instance, a BOCI team helped a local orphanage obtain a van after caretakers there requested one in order to help transport children to school.
This year’s team, Eraina says, will domestically purchase shoes using funds obtained through donations and contributions. The team plans to provide shoes for orphans at every stop.
Since 1999, BOCI has cooperated closely with local residents and authorities in aiding orphanages throughout China. Eraina shared that cooperation with local authorities have greatly benefited mission efforts there. On many occasions, she explained, local government authorities provided both material and labor in constructing new buildings for orphanages.
BOCI president, Dr. Kenneth Hall, has also in the past met with various government officials in China to improve working relationships in improving orphan- care.
In addition, Eraina shared, BOCI has worked extensively with various missions groups including one US-based organization that has close relations with the Hong Kong-based Amity Foundation.
As with past trips, BOCI plans to recruit specialists including trained medical personnel and teachers to accompany the team to mission sites. Last year, a BOCI team visiting the city of Tianjin was totally comprised of medical specialists. In the course of the trip, the team conducted basic medical services such as basic medical and dental checkups at orphanages.
Eraina said that the October 2005 team has recruited a few teachers, but is still looking for trained medical personnel such as doctors.
In the course of the whole trip, the team will make stops at various state-run Social Welfare Institutes in Changhai, Shihezi, Beijing, Tianjin, and Urumqi. In addition, the team will visit and attend to foster children during the whole trip.
“People returning from China have said that they have a gained a lot from working with children. Most before going [have] often prayed that they will show God’s love to the kid,” Eraina said.
Eraina, herself, has also made previous mission trips including one in China. “Every time I go [abroad], God has blessed and taught me,” she shared. “It makes us aware that there are other people in need.”
This year’s trip to China is part of the 2005 President’s Vision Trips. Besides dispatching a team to China in 2005, BOCI plans to send additional teams to Guatemala and Russia respectively in May and July.
BOCI traces its origins to the Buckner Orphan’s Home founded in 1879 in Dallas, Texas. Over the years, Buckner increased its services to childcare and restoration, and social services for families and senior citizens.
In 1995, Buckner expanded into international circles by working with Russian officials to address mounting problems in orphanages such as underfunding due to strains in the post-Cold War economy.
Currently, Buckner has responded to aiding survivors of the devastating tsunami that struck East Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia on Sunday, December 26, 2004. Presently, Buckner is continuing efforts in aiding tsunami-survivors as well as children orphaned by the tsunami.