I returned this week from leading a small team of donors on a trip to Maria’s Big House of Hope, and wanted to give an update on my time there. The team consisted of two amazing families (the Ashburns from Nashville and the Barnards from the Tulsa area) who love the children at MBHOH and have seen firsthand how this wonderful facility and staff cares for the children. We had a wonderful time enjoying the culture and people of this very unique country. We flew into Beijing two weekends ago, did some sightseeing and then went down to Luoyang and MBHOH.
It was fun getting to know the nurses and nannies, and it was especially great to play with the children. These kids are so full of life and are so well loved by the staff. I am proud of the work being done, and am excited about future growth opportunities to help more children in China who have special needs. I was reminded on this trip that it really is a miracle that we are receiving partnership opportunities with the Chinese people. Everything was amazing…except the lamb some of us had for lunch early in the trip!
One thing we did on our trip was to build a deck on the roof of MBHOH. There are five nurses who live at MBHOH, and they each have their own apartment on the floor that they oversee. Their place to “get away” in the evenings is up on the roof. As roofs go, it is nice and safe, but we wanted to really make it a special space for them. Earlier in the week, Mikey (our do-it-all guy on staff at MBHOH), James Barnard, and I went to the local lumber yard to find materials to build a rooftop deck. If you are picturing an indoor lumber yard like Home Depot or Lowes, think again! We went to an alleyway market area where everyone sold building materials of some sort. I love home remodeling, so this was a fun experience for me!
To my surprise, we actually found treated lumber to build the deck. Then we went to the “tool store”…a 10′ x 10′ store just down the street, to purchase saw blades, tape measures (metric, of course) and a speed square. We found this last tool to be the most necessary, as nothing was actually square! When we got back to MBHOH, the lumber would not fit on the elevators. Carrying it up 7 flights of stairs while battling the heat and extremely high HUMIDITY was a job in itself. Then, after working into the evening up on the roof, the bad lamb kicked in. Wow…welcome to China!
We stayed up all night on the last evening we were in Luoyang to finish the deck. The nurses are amazing young women who love the children at MBHOH, and I’m excited to give them a place that will make their time a little nicer as they relax, laugh, pray and enjoy cool nights on the roof…I just wish they had warned me about the lamb!!