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Bridging Friendships

As the saying goes, a true friend is one who treats you like family. Every time I have the opportunity to visit the children's homes in Qinghai, my heart melts at the sight of our children treating each other as brothers and sisters. It is evident that the children love each other. It sometimes gives the extra bit of help needed on the journey through their difficulties.

Nana is one of those children. She has cerebral palsy, and has been in our care ever since our ministry to children began in Qinghai. Nana is part of the Bridge Programme, our preparatory programme helping teens and young adults to transition into adulthood at the Xining Social Welfare Institute. Typically, her day is filled with activities that address her condition.

To everyone at the Bridge Programme, Nana is their "big sister" with a caring eye. She makes sure your bed is made, and that you do your daily therapy exercise. While Nana threads shiny red beads into a basket shape, which is a part of her daily workshop programme, she speaks to our social workers about each of her "siblings" and their situation, showing that she deeply cares about their wellbeing.

Nana has a particularly close relationship with Yulong, who also has cerebral palsy. More often than not, Yulong's speech is hard to understand because of his slurred words. Nana is one of the few able to fully understand Yulong because they grew up together. Every workshop session, Yulong sits next to her as he works on the wooden blocks, and stacks them up, one at a time. At the end of every workshop day, Nana finds it difficult to move around as her walker cannot fit between the table and the shelf, so Yulong happily helps her punch her time-card and clean up.

Recently, Yulong has taken more responsibilities, some of which were once part of Nana's responsibilities. Nana never fails to help Yulong with his new tasks. They form a great team and it ensures the smoothness of their workshop.

Aside from attending to their physical needs, I am overjoyed that the relationship between these two clearly shows that our ministry in China fosters a sense of family love. I pray for more blessings upon Nana, Yulong and all the children we serve. May they continue to enjoy love and peace as we serve them.

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