Travelling around a city with over 21 million residents can have it's challenges. While walking down the street from our hotel in Beijing recently, we found alternatives to the usual cars and bicycles we normally see around the city.
No doubt these vehicles (except for the push-bike & cart) are handy and zippy for busy, city life. And of course great for parking in tight spots!
Sacrifice. That's what the February Challenge is for Paul and I. A month to give up and go without, so that we can help to provide nourishment or surgeries for orphans who desperately need it.
It's a challenge for us, as we don't spend regularly on coffees, lunches, going out. But as we discovered last year when we decided to participate in the February Challenge, there are treats we can do without.
So this February, we are doing similar .... giving up on the little treats we allow ourselves throughout the year. That means a month with no chocolate, wine, takeaways, special cheeses - and to challenge ourselves even more this year we are giving up meat a few times as well. At the end of February, we will donate what we haven't spent on these luxuries over the month.
So what will your Challenge be this February?
It doesn't have to be a month; perhaps you could sacrifice for a week or two. Alternatively do something different to raise funds rather than go without. Every little bit helps so whatever you do, remember that you are helping to provide for children that have no way of providing for themselves. You can easily make a difference.
On our recent trip to visit, we were fortunate enough to have extra luggage allowance with the airline. This enabled us to pack and take a bag full of goodies for the children, without compromising on our own luggage requirements.
So after travelling 16 hours 25 minutes in the air and 6 hours 20 minutes on a train (plus a number of taxi rides) the black bag finally arrived at it's final destination.
The really cute things is that each child chose a particular jumper and insisted on wearing it, even though the temperature was approximately 26deg that day. (Sorry we aren't able to post pictures).
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In just a few short weeks, we will be heading up for another visit. It's been two years since our last trip, and there has been a lot of changes during that time.
Some of the children have been adopted and new children have come into the Home. The beds are never empty for long. Also a few of our dear friends have left the country and moved on to new ventures.
And there is a whole new Foster Home to visit. Last time we visited, the Home was set up and ready but empty of children. We were taken on a tour of the new facilities, and sat in the lounge with the Directors discussing their plans for this new Home. Then together we prayed into their vision, for the children and for the key staff that were still required.
A few months after we arrived back in Auckland, the staff were found and the first of the children arrived. It will be exciting to see this new Home full of love, laughter and children waiting for their forever families to find them.
So it will again be a trip full of newness ... meeting new children, and making new friends with the staff and volunteers. And no doubt there will be other new things to discover once we arrive.
We are excited!
We are looking for good quality, pre-loved items to sell at Garage Sales or Online. Email email@example.com if you have unwanted goods you'd like to donate to us.
One of the most enjoyable experiences of being in Beijing is the food - Paul and I particularly like to wander through hutongs (alleyways) and find tiny eating places with tasty, enjoyable foods.
Back in Auckland, we've found a restaurant that reminds us of the delicious local food we have eaten in Beijing, and we'd love to share this dining experience with you. The Chef at this restaurant learnt his trade at the prestigious Quanjude restaurant in Beijing - a famous Peking Duck restaurant.
Included in the price are a buffet of delicious Chinese dishes, and endless chai (tea). Soft drinks will be available for purchase, and you are welcome to BYO wine or beer.
And as usual, funds raised will be donated to help an orphan with medical needs. Bookings close on 12 August, and you can book here.
Below is a story from one of our supporters, Rebecca:
I have always felt a connection to the nation of China. I was raised in a multi ethnic family, being second youngest of 10 children - 8 of whom were adopted. Among us were several part Chinese children including myself.
One of my biological parents was born in China and fled to NZ in their young adult years. Of course I didn’t know the story till years later so in the meantime I was curious about my Chinese heritage and eyed up every Asian wondering if they were relatives of mine.
Anything to do with China and I was instantly drawn, I just felt a connection. I also learned about the one child policy and was filled with sorrow. Had I been born in China itself and a few years later, being female things could have been very different for me. I understood that there were many “orphans” in China who were discarded for being the wrong gender or something wrong with them in the eyes of their parents. For some it came down to a financial decision. They simply could not afford the care of special needs children or they did not want the stigma. A healthy male child was the desired offspring!
I did start sponsoring children through aid agencies but somehow a Chinese child never came up, and it was always at the back of my mind that there is where my heart truly lay. I was fortunate to have a wonderful upbringing in NZ, there must be something I can do to help the lives of little ones in China.
When I met Paul and Julie and heard about their stories visiting Orphans in China though James Orphan Care International, it really struck a chord with me and I wanted to be a part of the kiwi team helping children in China.
My monthly sponsorship isn’t great but I know it all helps and that it gets to the right place. My donations will benefit and improve the quality of life for orphans in Asia. Many of them have medical needs that would otherwise go uncared for. I am kept up to date with emails and by following the Facebook page.
I feel blessed to be able to help in this small way, with something that is close to my heart. Rebecca
We love to hear from our sponsors, so if you have a special story related to James OCI you'd like to share with us, email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
The weekend before Mother's Day, we hosted a fundraiser High Tea at a local cafe. It was a fun morning, drinking tea in delicate tea cups and eating delicious goodies, while enjoying the setting of an old, historic house. Below are some photos from the event.
Thanks to everyone who attended this fun morning, and on the day we raised $421 towards surgery needs for a young child in Asia.
Yes; our February Challenge started with Cheese!
Also with a family, and a night out for dinner. Like most families with young children, Steve & Gillian occasionally eat takeaways, or go out for dinner as a family. At times, the children choose what the family will eat that night.
On one of their regular 'no-cook' nights, one of the children was given the option of what and where to eat. It was going to be a fun night for all the family; no cooking for mum or dad and a yummy meal - especially for the one who chose the venue. However there was a problem ... to hear their story & to find out more about how our February Challenge started, click on their photo.
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Paul & Julie Averes are passionate about helping Orphans. They travel yearly to visit orphans and to assist and encourage those who care for orphans.