Ji came to the Xining Children's Home when he was a tiny baby, struggling to survive. He was born with congenital heart disease and his condition was so serious that the doctors in Qinghai did not know just how to treat him.
When he came to CA, much prayer and several introductions provided an opportunity for Ji to have heart surgery in Shanghai. After that, he spent the next year in Beijing having post-operative care to build up his strength and stamina. Then he returned to Xining Children’s Home where his ‘mama’s’ (the childcare workers) looked after him. They followed a very specialized regimen without which Ji would not have survived. He was a very sick little boy indeed!
A year later, there was another significant step forward for Ji. He was strong enough to be placed in foster care. The next two years were very difficult for his foster mama - Ji didn’t sleep well, and neither did she. But because of her dedication and meticulous care, Ji's health gradually improved. Once when Ji had to go to the hospital with a fever she went to the hospital every morning and evening in case he cried. During that time, we really missed him because he was an important part of the CA family!"
This year Ji went to Hong Kong for additional surgery which will improve his mobility. He is a tough, independent little boy who rarely admits he needs help, or that he is in pain. This surgery should take him to a new level of independence.
Ji has a friend named Mark MacAlpine, a marathon runner who took up the challenge to raise money for Ji. This would be the sixth year that Mark undertook this grueling challenge. The goal was to raise over $19,000 for Ji. But then we received the shocking news that Mark had been rushed into the hospital for emergency surgery. He was diagnosed with a tumor that could burst at any moment, resulting in dire consequences. While we were still trying to absorb the shocking news, Mark and Elinor were facing their second dilemma of the day as they tried to figure out what would become of Mark’s planned run for Ji.
And then divine intervention: Hong a fireman and his wife Denise, who attend our congregation, heard the news about Mark's surgery and the race he was to run for Ji. Hong, who was not on duty that Sunday, offered to be a substitute runner for Mark. What was even more remarkable was the fact that Hong has been particularly focused on cross country training lately, so the Mt. Butler race would be manageable for him - that is, as manageable as a marathon race can be!
Remember when you sponsor a child your gift helps us care and nurture hundreds of abandoned children just like Ji.
Praise God! Mark and Hong’s marathon run on March 2013 raised US$10,853; and has another US$3,876 in outstanding pledges! All these donations pay for eight-year-old Ji, from Xining Children’s Home’s surgery and care in Hong Kong. Pray that more people will follow their example.