Chinese New Year is a very special day for all children in China. Red packets called laisee are given out. Days leading up to the celebrations are like Christmas morning in other countries, full of excitement, as everyone looks forward to being with family and friends and the kids wonder about what will be received and what to do when the laisee packets are opened – each one stuffed with money!
Ziao Jin Niu, whose English name is Mark, is a disabled youth from Christian Action’s Bridging Program in Qinghai, which was created to help the youth who are aged out of the Xining Children’s Home, but are able, through this program, to still be a part of the only family they have ever known.
Mark is a remarkable person with a big heart for others. After Chinese New Year, Mark gave Agnes (CA staff) who is his mentor, a crumpled sheet of paper that was wrapped around a small bundle of cash. Agnes unfolded the paper and found that it contained all the laisee money given to Mark for Chinese New Year. He wanted to give all of it to Christian Action to help the orphans.
Here is what Mark wrote:
Mom, I would like to ask you to help me to donate my laisee (red packet money) to CA. I think if I just donated one year, there wouldn't be a significant meaning. I want to donate to help other children fulfill my desire to attend university. Although I do not have several million dollars, nor even the money to buy a pair of socks, I have learned from you to be grateful in life. Thank you, Mom. I love you. – Mark
Mark had donated all his laisee money which equaled $15! This is the second year in a row that he has donated his entire laisee money so that Christian Action could help other children who are abandoned and disabled like Mark.
Mark represents the children and youth who haven't been adopted because of their disabilities, but has been given a chance through the care and support of people from all over the world to live a life that is nurtured and safely guided into their unique place and purpose in life. Mark is a very special person and has given back to help those like him. We pray that God helps Mark in fulfilling his potential through the Bridging Program in equipping him with vocational skills needed to live that life.
MATCH MARK CAMPAIGN!
All of us at Christian Action in Hong Kong and Christian Action Asia here in the U.S. have been deeply moved by Mark’s heart of sacrifice and thanksgiving and would like to show him what an impact he has made with his giving. We are beginning a “Match Mark!” campaign and would like to invite you to match Mark’s laisee gift by finding creative ways to spread the word to your friends. If 15 people each give $1.00 or 3 people each give $5.00; anyway you get the idea.
Feel free to be creative with your own “Match Mark!” campaign at your school, club, bible study, church, service organization, business, etc. Our goal is to let Mark know how he has inspired us with his story of giving back and paying it forward, while seeking to help rescue and serve the 8,000 orphans and 28,000 “at risk” children and youth in Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau; one of China’s most needy regions. This campaign begins April 18th and ends May 2nd, so please join us and have fun getting involved in the “Match Mark!” campaign.
One last thing: A very dear friend of Christian Action Asia has committed to match every dollar raised in the “Match Mark!” campaign, so let’s go for it!