Saturday, August 23, 2014

Summer Travels

I wrote about our trip to West Virginia and Virginia the middle of June.  We have covered a lot of ground since that time.   Some of the time, I have limited internet time and have to spend all of it on doing reports for sponsors and answering emails along with the normal work that Leigh Ann and I handle doing the orphan work.   Sometimes we go to a public library to work so I don’t always have time to post to the blog.
Since that time, we have reported to sponsors in Bowling Green, Benton, Pottsville and surrounding cities in Kentucky.   We spent three weeks parked in the Clark’s driveway in Benton, KY.  We had a wonderful time with them (as always). 

We returned to park at Rippavilla Plantation in Spring Hill, TN for another three-week stretch to visit sponsors in Ron’s hometown of Columbia, TN.   When we left Benton, we stopped off at Troy Church of Christ in Troy, TN.   We enjoyed a catfish dinner out with our dear friend, Judge Jimmy Smith (who won re-election).  We were happy about that.    We enjoyed a great meeting with the Pentecost family in Ashland City, TN a few weeks ago.
This week we arrived at the Red Bank Church of Christ in Red Bank (suburb of Chattanooga, TN).   They have a parking space for us near the house they own located in their back parking lot.   We have appointments this weekend in Chickamauga and Dunlap, TN.  

Next week, we plan to drive to Woodstock, GA to visit Leigh Ann (taking the car and leaving the RV here).  That is  going to feel weird…I have to pack clothes and all my office stuff.   Leigh Ann is my best friend and my "right arm."   She is so efficient and does well over half of the work due to our travels and my age.  She is happy to help and do as much as she can and she does it all extremely well.  I am very proud of her. 

We hope to see Tatum sometime during the week we are there.  She will be away over the Labor Day weekend.  She works two part-time jobs and goes to school at Kennesaw State University.  She is a busy girl.  She's also very beautiful, as you can see in the photograph.   It is hard for me to see her grown up when we loved this little girl when she saw growing up...always a delight. 

Judy Yang on the right at her sister's wedding in Shanghai.  We are happy to announce the arrival of Judy Yang to Texas on Monday.  She is re-joining our workforce in the U.S.   She will live in Lewisville and attend the Lewisville Church of Christ (our sponsoring congregation).   She will take over the accounting work and help with the medical patients.  This is probably just the start of her job descriptions.  Knowing Ron (and Judy’s capabilities) she will be doing much more in a very short time.  She was a great worker before and she will again be an asset to our work. 

Ronald and Gigi continue to work through all the legal requirements for the start of an orphanage in the Philippines.   We are talking to many others in order to secure funding for the work there.  We are awaiting one congregation’s decision about overseeing that work.  Ronald and Gigi have talked with many government officials and visited some orphanages and schools on other islands to find out how things are operating and to learn all they can. 
They are in Cebu now to talk with some men recommended highly by others to be possible board members for the newly formed non-profit corporation that will run the orphanage.  It is required that a certain percentage of Filipinos have to be on the board of directors.  Ronald is being very cautious about who he chooses.
They have enjoyed their little home and garden.   So far, it’s been a mild rainy season with fewer typhoon threats but he watches the weather news daily for anything that might form and come across the Philippines. 

Ronald loves plants so he has been propagating cuttings from trees and plants that he can transplant to the orphanage site once they have the location established.  He is still trying to get the government to donate land but that’s not been an easy task.   He is beginning to draw plans and layout for the building but much of that will depend on the site where they build.
Julia Ng is handling the work well, taking over Ronald’s job in China.  But, she’s had a full load.  Early in the year, two of our workers, traveling to another care center to take one of the men for a new position, had a front tire to blow and they hit the concrete center in the road bringing the car under control.  The concrete section actually moved to the other side of the road and caused a car to wreck.  The man in the other car was in the hospital a long time and is still injured.  So, there’s a law suit pending with them hoping to get much more money.   We paid the man’s hospital bills but the on-going debt we might owe the family for disability damages will be decided by the court.   Julia spent a lot of her time in regard to this accident.  

At the end of the school year, several of our directors resigned to pursue other careers.  It’s understandable that they would get burned out doing this work when it’s a 7 day per week commitment.   It is like being a parent to 100 kids so there’s no break.   Julia has been interviewing and trying to find good workers to take their places.  It’s been a very busy summer for her handling all of the many problems.  She’s made several trips back and from Hong Kong to China.   She sleeps with the girls and does not even get a hotel room.  As the CFO of Union Carbine – Asia, she was used to 5-star hotels and good restaurants in her business travels. We appreciate her dedication very much.
We had 10 students to graduate from universities this summer and we have many children moving on to high schools.  Since we’ve cared for some of these children 10 years, it’s understandable that many are getting older into the upper grade levels.  It’s also sad that many cannot pass the entrance test for high school and leave the centers to look for jobs.

In September, Ron will conduct a 3-day gospel meeting in Killen, AL.   We will again park our RV in the backyard of our friends, the Kennedys in Sheffield, AL.   We will visit Mars Hill in Florence and Mastin Lake in Huntsville during this time.  From there, we go back to park at Red Boiling Springs, TN while Ron holds a 3-day meeting at the Moss congregation.  
We will finish September by this time and start toward TX, stopping at several locations in MO (Springfield) and OK (McDill).    I think his last appointment is in McDill (right across the TX line) on October 22nd.   We will then drive back into Texas the last week of October.  

Julia has met a lady in Nanning, China who wants to do a TV telethon to raise money for our orphanages so she wants them to be there.  (I will stay in TX while they are gone on this trip.)   Julia is lining up various children from different care centers to come to be interviewed about how our helping them has changed their lives. 
One of these students will be King, the boy that came to the U.S. when he was 13 to have burn surgeries.  He lived with us for 19 months before he returned to live at the Neil Taylor Christian Care Center in Rongshui.   For the past two years, King has been enrolled in Four Seas Bible College in Singapore.  He’s had two years of intensive studies (in English) with professors from the U.S.  He’s done extremely well and loved it.  He’s been on mission trips to Malaysia and maybe other locations.  He will deliver the commencement address for his graduating class.  We are so proud of him.   We hope he will be interested in being employed by China Mission to teach at one of the care centers.   This is a great need to have someone to teach the children and help them learn English.   King is popular with the girls at the school because he is so kind and sweet.  When they had no water for a couple of days, he took buckets of water to the girls' dorm so they could bathe and wash their hair

This is Lily and George at their wedding.
Lily, who worked with us in the US for one year helping care for heart patients, went to Four Seas at the same time that King went so she could learn how to teach children.   She is the one that told me about King bringing the water to the girls.

Lily met George, one of the preaching students and they fell in love.  Lily quit the school after one year because George graduated and was returning to China.  They married in May and now live in Wuhan.

Our travels are so routine; I don’t have many interesting incidents to report.  We enjoy seeing people everywhere we go and renew friendships and make new ones each year.   Ron and I continue to be blessed with good health…not totally pain-free but still good health for our advancing ages.   

We are very concerned about our country and the turmoil and the future but we know who is in charge and when we can do so little to change the world, we still have to live in it but not be a part of it.   We will continue to do all we can to make it a better place for as many as we can and teach the Way to a better world to come someday when this one ends.
God bless my friends and family as you follow along on our journey and offer great encouragement.

1 comment:

Desiree Christopher said...

I found your blog via a google search. My oldest son was adopted from Zigong in 2012 at the age of 6-7. Would love to "talk" about your work there and see if you had known our son.