Friday, September 9, 2011

believe in me

This has been an exciting week.

Not only have I been able to look upon our boy in a fresh light, but I learned about an amazing thing happening in James' orphanage and several others around China.

It's called Believe in Me schools.

And James (aka 'Sheng') will be attending!  Our little guy is going to attend what would be like our preschools in America.  Little cutie-patootie.

Read this about Believe in Me:

LOVE WITHOUT BOUNDARIES’  “In Orphanage” Schools in China
Many people do not realize that children born with special needs in China often cannot attend public school.  Orphaned children are especially vulnerable, as they do not have a mother or father to be their strong advocate. In 2004, after visiting many orphanages where children born with medical needs spent the majority of their days in a single room, we began asking why these older children were not in school.  We were told again and again that they could not be admitted to public school, due to having conditions such as heart conditions or missing limbs or Hepatitis B.   It was then that we asked the question, “If these children cannot go to school, why can’t we bring school to them?”
In May of 2004, LWB opened its first in-orphanage school, which we called “Believe in Me.”  The transformation in the orphanage was so profound that we realized how essential these schools could be to the children.  Children who had once spent the majority of their day staring at the wall were now engaged in the joy of learning.  Their days were now filled with books, music, and art – and we began to see a change in the orphanage as a whole.  Orphanage staff members were so encouraged by the children’s progress that they then agreed to file adoption paperwork on many children whom they felt could never find a family.  Over the last 7 years, hundreds of children from our school program have now found permanent homes.
Our “Believe in Me” schools are based off the Montessori model, and the teachers we employ received special Montessori training in Beijing.   Each day begins with a morning meeting welcoming the children to their school. Fun and meaningful activities fill their day, engaging both mind and body.   Our dedicated teaching staff  are committed to the development of these children as they wait for their own families, as well as helping them acquire skill sets to live in society as they reach adulthood.  Field trips are scheduled to allow the children to leave the walls of the orphanage, to participate in activities that teach the important skill sets of money management, cooking, cooperation, and teamwork.  
Many children from our Believe in Me schools have “graduated” to the Chinese public school system after proving that they can excel in a school environment.  
We currently have schools at the following locations:
  • Changde, Hunan
  • Changzhi, Shanxi 
  • Huainan, Anhui
  • Jingzhou, Hubei
  • Jinjiang, Fujian
  • Shantou, Guangdong
We have been approached by many other orphanages who have visited our schools and wish to have similar programs inside their institutions.  We believe this is a highly replicable model which could serve orphaned children throughout China.
The initial start up costs for a Believe in Me school average $10,000 for classroom renovation, materials, and teacher training.  Ongoing costs average $15,000 per year per school – a small investment overall for such amazing and profound results.

I never imagined that school-age children don't attend school!?  Because they're not 'whole enough'?  
Lord, have mercy.  
I don't know if you caught it, but it says that children are being adopted by orphanage staff because they've seen the children's potential simply because they're attending school and learning!  (Oh, the things we take for granted here in America!).  Prior to attending school, these children were perceived as being unable to learn and therefore unable to thrive in society.  
What a travesty.
Get this?  At James' orphanage, there are five new children to enroll in the Believe in Me school, but need sponsorship.  You won't believe how much it costs.
Just twenty bucks.
Yep, we get to sponsor our James.  JD and I talked about sponsoring all of them, but I felt like the Lord was nudging me to blog about this to build awareness, but also so that JD and I don't hoard the blessing of sponsoring these kids. 
Anyone else wanna get in on this awesome chance to bless a little cutie?
Here's what I received back in an email when I said we want to provide sponsorship for James and other children as well:
I would love to talk to you about sponsorship.  We do have five new students we just enrolled this fall, and they all need sponsors.  There are three boys and two girls.  The boys ages are 1 1/2, 5 and 2.  The girls are 5 and 8.  I can send you a little introduction on any of them that includes some photos.  They really are cuties.  Please let me know your thoughts!
I have a strong hunch that if more than five folks want to sponsor children to attend Believe in Me schools that Love Without Boundaries will be glad to spread the love around to other orphanages!
If you want to advocate for a child and sponsor him/her to attend school, please shoot me an email at  
Let's blow the top off this thing!

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