Hope your March doesn’t feel like it is blowing away already like it is for me! Thanks for all your comments – they are precious to me! It helps knowing that people are reading and taking time to comment!
ORPHAN CARE Recently I, along with a couple of family medicine faculty from Macao took a trip to Beijing to visit some orphan care homes to learn more about the network of help there is for orphan children as well to look for more opportunities to expand and develop pediatric training for our resident doctors. Since I’m now the director of pediatric training for the programs in Shenyang and Macao, I need more children! The problem isn’t the lack of children, however, it is the lack of access to their clinical care. The two places we visited are Philip Hayden Foundation’s Shepherd’s Field Village and Hope Foster Home of New Hope Foundation. Both facilities give excellent care to children with some of the most serious medical problems. Often, through their work, the children survive, thrive, and are able to be adopted out. On a medical note, the clinical pathology at these places is quite interesting and poses some interesting challenges to care for these children in not the friendliest medical environment. There is some potential that partnerships may be established where we train local docs in the context of service.
Over the last month, I’ve been privileged to get to know many more orphan babies through the weekly orphanage visits. I have also gotten to know more and more people who foster children, most of whom have serious and chronic problems. It is amazing, but no surprise, to see how well the children do just by being in a home setting, with someone patient enough to feed them, bathe them and hold them. Through the LIGHT charitable work, we are able to get all medical tests done, medicines prescribed and given apppropriately, and watch them grow and thrive. It is a small part that I play, and every foster parent I know wishes they could handle many more children, but we are learning to stay faithful to the tasks before us.
Look for more stories about individual children and how you can get involved!
LENTEN SEASON Do you do anything special for Lent? Do you fast from something, or participate in a special religious activity? I read one of two books that help bring my heart in a proper attitude for the season. I alternate between Henri Nouwen’s Show Me The Way and Reflecting The Glory by N.T. Wright, which is this year’s selection. Both are excellent books anytime of the year, in case you can’t wait until next year to start.
One of the devotional readings from Reflecting was from 2 Cor 4:16-18. Father is preparing for us “an eternal weight of glory” (v.17). Wright offers a translation: “For the temporary insignificance of our suffereing is accomplishing in us an eternal weight of glory from one extraordinary degree to another”. He writes a little later: “Ultimately, God is going to make his people truly human… God’s people will be more truly themselves… expressing not only what we are at the moment… but what we shall be…”
When I consider this, the ongoing and already present work of God, I’m challenged to see the glory of God in certain others, and that they are also being changed “one extraordinary degree to another“, just like me. I’m also challenged to not use my humanity as an excuse, as if God is going to change me into something else . We are going to be made more fully human – as we are made in his image. Jesus certainly didn’t use his humanity as an excuse.
I can’t help but wonder about how much more the weight of glory will be revealed in the orphans – the disfigured and malformed, the mentally impaired and stunted growth, the abused. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is that will be fulfilled in and through them as their weight of glory rises in them.