Over the holidays four Year 11 students, Jess Cunnold, Timothy Cusens, Christian Knapp and Rhys Pottinger, embarked on a journey to China to work with our Oblate missionaries in Beijing. I was lucky enough to score a spot on the trip along with Mr Payne. Most times, I was in a state of opposite emotions – it was overwhelming and I felt helpless, but at the same time inspired and filled with hope.
Father Luc coordinated our immersion experience. Together, with Father Giovani, they have linked up with an organization called China Little Flower that has set up a ‘Baby Home’ in Beijing. The mission of Little Flower is to provide children with professional nursing care, foster care, and medical services to help them grow up in a positive, loving environment. The ultimate goal is to have these children, many of whom were abandoned, be able to lead healthy, happy, productive lives. They provide care for babies who are abandoned and cannot go to an orphanage because they have a disability, a deformity or are born premature and their parents cannot afford medical care. The Oblates are not directly involved with China Little Flower but will go and assist when possible and spend time nurturing the babies. They will take groups there to spend time with the babies and promote the work of China Little Flower. At a guess, there would have been about 40 babies living at the baby home when we visited. There were many there with cleft palates, heart disorders, Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, digestive system problems and babies who were born premature.
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