A joint project between Chinese Christians in the United States and Hong Kong brings new hope to orphans in Mainland China.
On Dec. 3, the San Ming Gratia Children Village in the city of San Ming, Fujian Province, has held its grand opening ceremony. The construction of the village is sponsored by the U.S.-based mission group Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC) and the Christian charity Gratia Foundation in Hong Kong.
The aim of the children village is to provide a home for the children whose parents are imprisoned, so that they can receive love and proper care for the growth of their body, soul and spirit.
The joint project has proved to be successful as it has been welcomed by local government officials in Fujian Province, representatives from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Council.
The two Christian organizations have been working closely with the Prison ministry of the Judicial Department of the Fujian Province. According to Gratia Foundation Hong Kong, the province government has offered them the land for free to build the children village shortly after they presented their vision. In addition, the officials have even given them a fast track to go through all the complicated legal process.
As a result, just within the last 18 months, the two organizations have successfully gathered funds and built the dormitory, activities hall, cafeteria, as well as sending staff to the children village in the city of San Ming. The first group of 30 children has already lived in the village since October.
Many supporters from U.S. CCHC and Gratia Foundation Hong Kong have participated in the opening ceremony this time, including the Chief Director of CCHC Rev. Pak Cheung Lo.
"When we were having a meal, the driver who drove us to the children village told us that all the children were very joyful," Lo shared with the Gospel Post reporter.
"All the others who joined the opening ceremony also had the same comments. Because usually the children do what the teacher has told them to do during the performance, however, you can see that these children are really eager to express their joy. After two to three months, their lives have truly changed."
Lo added that now the policy in China has opened greatly, therefore it has provided them a lot of good opportunities. For instance, as the Fujian province government knows that the organizations they are working with are Christian, it has allowed them to say prayers and give testimony during the opening ceremony. Moreover, Lo has also openly delivered a speech using the identity of a reverend.
CCHC’s Chairman of the Board of Directors highlighted the spirit of the children village is to "express love" and "respect life", allowing those who lack family care to receive the love of the Lord.
According to the religious law in China, evangelism to children under 18 years old is strictly prohibited. However, the CCHC Chairman believes that compared to the word of God directly spoken by the mouth, the living testimony is even more powerful and will change the children’s lives.
Meanwhile, the organizations are still raising the operating funds for the first three years of the Children Village. Another similar children village project is ready to begin in the city of Long Yan in the same province of Fujian as well.
[Editor’s Note: Christina Song contributed reporting from San Francisco for this article.]