Since 2001, over 200 children have been internationally adopted from the Xining Children’s Home (XNCH) which Christian Action co-manages with the Chinese government in Qinghai Province. Many of the children who were adopted overseas are now adults. We continue to keep in touch with these adoptive families and have heard that many adoptees still miss their friends at XNCH – the first home they ever knew. In response to this, Christian Action began working to arrange a reunion of these friends with their loved ones in Qinghai.
About fifteen months ago, Christian Action Executive Director, Mrs. Cheung-Ang Siew Mei, was in touch with those who were adopted from Xining Children’s Home through the years.
Siew Mei’s request of those she contacted was that they would prayerfully consider coming back to Xining to become re-acquainted with their culture of origin, re-establish contact with the people living at XNCH and serve the children of the group homes nurtured by CA staff. This request aligned perfectly with some who were longing for re-connection with the Xining Children’s Home, as well as the Xining Social Welfare Institute (XNSWI) “Bridging Program” where those who are eighteen and over now reside.
Our first two “Returnees” are Abigail Wrynn Hu Yang Anderson and Liu Bingjie Turner (both are now 27), who were adopted by U.S. families in 2003 and returned this year to serve six months (from June through November) in Xining. Abigail and Bingjie came to Hong Kong in May to spend one month at Christian Action Headquarters for an introduction and orientation time.
Since June, Bingjie and Abigail have been doing great things in Qinghai: Helping to develop short-term programs, leading activities for children and youth, assisting with the training of local child welfare workers who serve at the five children’s homes Christian Action co-manages throughout Qinghai Province, helping short-term volunteer teams gain traction in their areas of service and providing tours for “Vision Trip” guests seeking to know how they can best support CA’s calling to rescue and serve the Kids of Qinghai.
After fourteen years in the U.S. Bingjie and Abigail both speak English and Mandarin so fluently that they are able to simultaneously translate from Mandarin to English and vice versa. Their amazing language skills have been an immense help in all the areas they have been asked to serve.
Along the way, Abigail and Bingjie have also had the great joy of spending time with many of their friends who lived in the Xining Children’s Home before they were adopted. The times they have spent interacting with their long-time friends and children’s home family members have been precious, resulting in mutual encouragement and affirmation.
All of us at Christian Action are so grateful for their sacrificial hearts of love for the children, youth and staff they have been serving. Bingjie and Abigail have enriched the lives of so many in such a short time!
Meanwhile, CA is looking to place four returnees in Qinghai in 2018. Like Bingjie and Abigail, they will receive an introduction to Christian Action and training in Hong Kong for one month, followed by service with CA in Qinghai for six months.
The budget for this program is $50,000; $12,500 per person. This includes international, regional and local travel, accommodations, food, orientation, training, debriefing and administrative costs.
The “Back to Serve” program is a vital and vibrant one because those who are returning to serve, like Abigail and Bingjie, will have a background, experience, knowledge and love which is unique to them. They will bring a depth of understanding and a great passion for the well-being of the children and youth CA is helping to rescue, nurture and empower. In addition, on the receiving end of things, they will be warmly welcomed and loved as brothers and sisters.
The “Back to Serve” Program is also extremely valuable to the participants, as it will help to bring greater context and insight to their life journey. In the future, Abigail and Bingjie will share their reflections with us about their time in Qinghai.
We would be very grateful for your support and partnership in this important program!