04 Nov LCA Reaches Out to China
[Adapted from original article written by senior Ali Forbush]
In summer 2014, a group of 14 LCA students and teachers embarked on a life-changing, two-week mission trip to Beijing, China. For most, it was their first time being immersed in Chinese culture.
A Purpose and a Plan
The purpose of the trip was to show God’s love by serving the people of China, and also inform the people of Beijing of the existence of migrant communities and their desperate need for equality.
During the two weeks, the group traveled throughout Beijing, hosted a week-long English camp for migrant children [think “VBS”], volunteered for a non-profit organization called Included founded by American Jonathan Hursh, visited New Day Foster Home in rural Beijing for special needs Chinese orphans who need life-saving surgery, experienced Chinese culture, and even climbed the Great Wall in 90-degree heat.
Early in 2014, the team began meeting at Mr. and Mrs. Ricker’s home to plan a week-long English camp for the migrant children of the Zhufang Community Center. The camp centered around teaching about the fruits of the Spirit. During the meetings, the team determined which activities the camp would include, and also learned about China’s religious and communist history and current culture.
With five months of prep and 15 hours of travel behind them, the group arrived in Beijing. They spent a few days getting their bearings and experiencing the culture, and then began their week of ministry to the migrant community.
Some of the daily themes included respect, patience, self-control, and love. On the last day of camp the team provided dinner in the courtyard for all the families in the community. Almost 300 people came, and got a glimpse of some of the activities the kids participated in throughout the week. The night was filled with laughter, conversation, singing, and goodbyes.
Katy Ricker shared, “My favorite day of the entire trip was the last day of camp. We got to hang out and eat dinner with all the kids. It was also the hardest day, saying goodbye. It really is life-changing seeing how the migrants live. I’m very grateful.”
Most evenings, the team traveled by bus to local Chinese restaurants. Each meal was eaten around a round table with a lazy Susan to pass the food. These dinners were a good opportunity to unify the team while experiencing authentic Chinese food.
Following the camp, the group did some essential sightseeing, including the Great Wall and a Chinese acrobat show. They ended the trip with a. The group spent time playing with the children, touring the facilities, and learning about the home.
Impressions of the trip? “Rewarding.” “Life changing.” “Unforgettable.”
Junior Carli Ricker was deeply impacted by her second visit to Beijing: “The kids are just amazing and so full of love. The trip reminded me how blessed I am and how God can bring so many people together. Even though we don’t speak the same language, we knew we loved each other.”
Cole Curry shared, “It was so fun having those kids run up to us every day. I think about it every day. No doubt I would go again! I can’t wait for next time!”
LCA Beijing Outreach 2016