Saturday, January 10, 2009

Negotiations in Yibin fell through

After weeks and weeks of negotiating with government officials in Chengsha, Yibin and a village located about an hour from Yibin on the way to Yongshan, Ron has scrapped plans to build the Jackson Family Foundation in the province of Sichuan. Each time they came close to signing an agreement they would decide they needed more proof of our work in other areas and further discussions. Ron supplied everything they needed and they got references from government officials in other areas. Ron returned to each of these cities with the hope of finalizing any remaining questions they might have and then get a contract signed. Getting approval to do anything in China is like the President of the U.S. getting something passed in congress. No matter how good the program may be, there's much negotiation, compromise and changes that need to be made, but if there are people against it, there will be unresolved problems. It just seems that it was not meant to be for us to build in Sichuan. One by one, these three areas turned us down. With government officials this suspicious and uncooperative, we don't know what the future relationship with them would be like anyway.

They seem to be "old time," compared to progressive, officials wanting to hold on to their control and suspicious of anyone who wants to give them something for free. They said that they didn't understand anyone paying this much money and not wanting something in return. They feel that "down the road" we will put some kind of demands on them. The other comment was they are afraid we will sell the orphans. That is an unbelievable statement. Even if we wanted to adopt the children out of China, there is so much red tape to go through to do it, it would be impossible. No one in China wants the poor children so we could not adopt them to Chinese families. They already have more than they can care for and they think we are foolish caring for poor, worthless orphans. They feel that Americans are so wealthy they don't know how to spend the money and throw it away on these wayward, unimportant poor children.

I told Ron one excuse is as good as any other when you simply don't want to do something. It does not have to make sense to anyone and the true reason is usually not known. Underlying everything is usually a selfish motive.

There are so many homeless children in this area due to the earthquake and it made sense to built an orphanage there to care for them. Instead, we will build one in Xi'an where the goverment welcomes us. We can still bring earthquake victims to Xi'an, but it's a further distance.

We believe that if we put forth our best effort to accomplish something and then it fails, that perhaps it's God's will and for the best. We cannot know the future results of where it is best for the orphanage to be be built. We do know that there are still at least a million orphans who need care and no matter when we go, there are children who need us. We must work where we can accomplish the most good without constant interference from the government.

In contrast to the thinking of these officials, there were 20 carloads of government workers from Nanning that drove to Pingguo the day after Christmas to shower the children at Wesley's House with gifts and well-wishes for a happy holiday season. They reported that everything was run well, the children were clean, happy and well-cared for. These are the type of people we need to associate with so we can accomplish the good for the most children. Being turned away in Sichuan may end up being a good thing. I didn't classify this as one of the bad things that happened this week because it might not be. The bad things are in the next segment, unfortunately.

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