Teresa’s December 2 blog

Dec 2, 2013

The month of November has been a month of wonders and concern. Let’s start with the wonders:

First was a joyful harvest. The team of HHO was able to raise fund and partner with an eye clinic, a municipal government and a local church to provide free cataract surgery to an impoverished community three weeks ago. With exuberant joy, we saw 120 with their physical sight restored, and more than 30 of them with their spiritual eyes opened; they became new brethren. During the same period of time, and within the next two days, the care home administrator, her husband, the assistant administrator, the head nurse, a driver, and 10 residents in the care home also entered into the Abba’s family. Along with such remarkable breakthrough, we were able to testify and share the Good News with two young charity ministers, a TV news reporter, and the team of doctors and nurses that partnered with us. Some of them were impressed with the serving attitude of the team; they started to ask faith related questions. Some of us are keeping in touch with them. In the meantime, we anticipate greater harvest by December when we return there for follow up visits and for a Christmas program at the local church.

Second was a trip to Shanghai. The generosity of two couples, both my previous superiors at work in Vancouver made this happen. One of them sponsored me to the IAHSAH conference – an international conference on senior home and services. The other one paid for my extended stay. Because of their contribution I was able to: gain insights and make connections in the conference, visit care homes in Shanghai, meet and discuss with friends from Canada, USA, Hong Kong and Shanghai regarding ministry in China, and enjoy fellowship and leisure time together. I am thankful to the Father and to both of them. To top that rich experience, there was the joy of leading a senior to faith during one of the care home visits, and encountering a young nurse. She cared for the aging in China so much that she voluntarily risked her career; she left her job of 13 years in a top tier hospital to work in a privately owned senior day-care center with nursing services – a model of care service in a district where its concept has yet to be tested. Besides, the traffic jam of 40 minutes was turned into a blessing. It gave me the chance to share the Good News with a taxi driver. Had that jam lasted for another 5 minutes, he might have become a brother by then. Well, the Good Lord who had started this would bring it to completion in His own timing, so I leave it at that.

Third was the first ever Thanksgiving on-site. The preparation and promotion took three weeks. There were two parts to the day of celebration, one with the residents, and the other with the staff. The result was well worth the effort. Through a series of activities, including decoration, a group creation of veggie and fruit display, nomination of “Thanksgiving Stars”, and competition on “creating a motto for work”, the origin and meaning of “Thanksgiving” was effectively communicated, people’s attention was directed to the One above as well as people around them, the Good News was publicly shared in His Name, and joy and laughter filled the hearts of many throughout that day.

Now a concern – for HHO:

The contract was signed; the care home is already in operation under the responsibility of the organization. However, external and internal factors are intensifying anxiety among local leadership and staff. The positive momentum gained in October is seemingly reversing. Externally, the government ministers who were involved in the negotiation and signing of the contract were replaced. The change of hands has crippled the progress of registration and banking arrangement. Internally, the operational structure, system, and personnel policy were either non-existing or not being announced, the promised hardware improvement has not started, and full-time on- site leadership is yet to be recruited. Granted that it is an uphill spiritual battle – everyone involved, including me, has our own lessons to learn: blindness to be delivered, weakness to be sharpened and sins to repent from. Also without doubt that God’s hand is in this; He works even through human folly. As a matter of fact, new volunteers still keep coming from Australia, Canada, USA and other parts of China. However, if those external and internal factors are not settled well and soon enough, it is probable that the lives of the 250 residents and staff would negatively be affected, and it won’t be a good testimony. May our Father mercifully intervene to quicken the decision makers, both that of the government and the organization, and to sustain the transition and operation of the care-home.