I thought I would say “hello” as we are continuing on our great American adventure. We were just in Texas:
We have met with Kara in Oregon who use to be on Bethel’s board, and are staying now with Joan who also use to be o n the board of directors. While in Colorado we stayed with the Linne family who have adopted Wen Jun from Bethel, it was great to see how much she blossomed in her family.
We got to spend some time with Tina and her family who heads Bethel USA (on t op of caring for her 4 children “+ a husband...” :-) and met Jessica who helps with accounting.
We meet so many friends on the way who have either volunteered, donated, sponsored, visited or adopted from Bethel in the last 10 years, it’s fun to see it from the other side of the fence.
I heard the renovations of the Lighthouse Center are done. I am excited that Bethel opens this new center. We are going to need all the support we can get to sustain all these projects but we believe in what Bethel does. What Bethel is doing is not optional, it is essential. These children, no matter what, have the right to be cared for, educated and loved. So thank you for supporting this vision.
Delphine has had an amazing tim e at Rock which is Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding, and Equine Facilitated Learning Center and Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Clinic.
We want to thank Nancy who is the founder, Priscilla who has trained Delphine while in China with Sarah, Heidi, Francesca, Taylor and Jennifer for teaching Delphine and making her feel so welcome. No doubt this will be an incredible tool for what’s ahead in Cebu.
News from China: October Holiday Corn Harvest
In the months of September and October, Bethel’s farm is in its harvest season. We grow and harvest 2 large fields of corn, as well as many vegetables including beans, eggplant, carrots, lettuce, turnips. We also have some fruit trees and dry foods including peanuts and red beans.
As there is a lot of work to do on the farm, we often invite a lot of visitors to help us. It is a great time of year to be outside, and many Beijing residents love to spend a day in the country.
During the October holiday, our children who study at the Blind School came to Bethel’s Doudian project. They all used to live here but they now live in apartments in Beijing and attend the Beijing School for the Blind. They loved coming back for the day! They all helped to harvest the corn together, and the children taught the visitors how to do it.
The produce from the farm helps Bethel towards its goal of being more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We sell some of the crops in order to raise extra income for our projects.
Project 555 provides training
Part of Bethel’s mission is to equip people across China so that they can support visually impaired children to learn and grow. Our Nationwide training program is called ‘Project 555’
Last week Bethel held a 5-day workshop for 20 orphanage workers and parents of children with visual impairments. The focus of the workshop was on how to care for and educate children with visual impairments so that they can reach their potential.
Topics included infant and preschool intervention, daily living skills, orientation & mobility, sensory integration, behavior management, and how to make tactile books.
Many pare nts of blind children have shown interest in accessing Bethel's resources and we were happy to welcome them and offer some tools to help them face their challenges. 4 of the participants brought their children to the workshop so that the Bethel staff could observe and assess them individually. Participants expressed much appreciation for this chance to write a tailor-made plan for each child. We believe this is a valuable component we would like to continue and expand!
Our participants are always eager to learn and we are excited that they will go back to their homes and orphanages and make a real difference!
Last week the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visited us at our Doudian site. They picked the best day possible for their visit. The sun was out, the sky was blue and our Beijing kids were on the scene. McDonalds delivered and had a nice picn ic outside. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China is headed by Ray Yip, a doctor and former Chief of Health at Unicef. So while his team was outside, helping us harvest corn, he performed medical checks for our kids. He must have had 20 kids on his lap in 2 hours!
Well, that’s it folks! In a couple weeks we’ll be in Boston area and we ‘ll be talking with the maker of the movie “Love is Blind” which is being sent to movie Festivals as we speak. I h ope to have a copy in my hands soon to organize showings around the world to start a well needed fundraising for our ever expanding and wonderful projects. So stay tuned!
Wishing you a good week,
Guillaume & Delphine