hands of Hope
I n 2003, two wonderful adoptive China moms joined together to sponsor a project to raise funds to help children who were still in orphanages in China. Amy Eldridge (of Love Without Boundaries) and Kari Fillmore (of Angel Covers) started the Orphan Relief Fund by asking adoptive families to sponsor tiles dedicated to their Chinese children. The tiles would be assembled to build a Hands of Hope wall dedicated to Chinese children. The original plan was to build the wall on Shamian Island in Guangzhou. Unfortunately, that plan did not work out.
Just when it seemed unlikely that the wall would ever be built, the Philip Hayden Foundation stepped in and offered a permanent home for it at their new Shepherd's Field Children's Village in Langfang City. Langfang City is located about 35 miles southeast of Beijing. It is about halfway between Beijing and the port city of Tianjin (see map below).
We took advantage of a free afternoon to visit Shepherd's Field Children's Village (SFCV) and the Hands of Hope Wall. At the entrance, we were greeted warmly by Sara Zhou (Guest Relations Director) who took us directly to our tile. Hannah and Leah were delighted to see their names on the wall.
As you can see in the photos, the wall was in the final stages of construction during our visit. The buildings behind the wall will be new, family-centered homes for orphaned children. While the buildings were also in the final construction stages, the family theme was evident throughout the village. The children who come here will benefit by living in a home-like setting instead of a large institution.
After touring the village, we stopped at the Administration building to meet some of the staff. Christina Li (right) introduced herself to the girls. It turned out that Christina is from the same Chinese province as Hannah.
Before visiting, we thought that all of the tiles for the wall had been purchased. Christina, however, told us that tiles are still available. If you have an adopted child anywhere in your family and would like to dedicate a tile, please click on the link to the Philip Hayden Foundation for more information.
Most adoptive families try in many ways to give back something to the orphaned children that have been left behind. We encourage you to visit the websites of Love Without Boundaries, Angel Covers, and the Philip Hayden Foundation.
All three organizations do excellent work. At least one of them is likely to touch your heart and invite you to participate in helping these precious children.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27