Bethel Foster Home
March 4, 2009

Reflections from a Volunteer Experience

‘The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”  ~Zephaniah 3:17

During a recent trip to China I was able to spend some time volunteering at Bethel Foster Home. This ministry is a foster home and training center for orphans in China who are blind or visually impaired.

Bethel 1  Bethel 2                                                                                                                           

Children are referred from orphanages all over China and while some have paperwork ready for adoption, others may never be adopted or are already too old to be adopted. China’s adoption law does not allow children over the age of 14 years be adopted.  The founders of Bethel are working on plans to provide long term care for children who will never be adopted, including job training and permanent housing.

Bethel 3  Bethel 4

As a volunteer I spent time with the children participating in a variety of activities such as taking walks and riding bikes. I assisted with some English and reading lessons for the older children. As it was the Chinese New Year holiday, there was lots of time to play games, sing songs and have dance parties. The older children are in a choir and all of the children love music and enjoy singing for visitors. Also during the holiday, the children enjoyed outings to McDonald’s to celebrate and eat some ice cream!

Bethel 5  Bethel 6

The home is located on farm property and supervised by a family from France who moved to China to start this ministry. They continue to partner with their staff and other organizations to expand the home and provide for more children. To find out more about these children, their stories and the mission and vision of Bethel, go to the Bethel Training Center website: http://www.bethelchina.org/english/indexen.htm

Sincerely,
Melissa Blauvelt
Assistant Asia Program Director

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