2020 December Heartbeat
From the Founder
As we reach the end of our 25th year of serving China‘s orphaned and vulnerable children, we continue to wait for the next chapter to begin. Like most of the rest of the world, the coronavirus continues to affect our plans to move forward. None of us would have expected a year like 2020 and the challenges it has brought. It’s not to say that over the past 25 years we haven’t faced our fair share of challenging times, though. There have been many ups and downs. But looking back, we can see a beautiful collage of the lives that have been transformed by this mission of love and care. So many children have found their Forever Families around the world.
Care for Orphans
Children’s physical disabilities and conditions have been changed through medical care provided by our Medical Team and partner hospitals. Our mission remains the same – to care for orphans and vulnerable children wherever they are. Anyone who has been to our campus knows that James 1:27, “pure religion is to care for orphans and widows in their distress” is the driving value behind what we are here for. We look for more opportunities to serve many kids in the new year. We thank you for standing with us.
Leonard Is Seen
It’s a sad fact that more than 98% of the orphans in China have disabilities, and most never receive the therapy they need to enrich and expand their lives. Philip Hayden Foundation and the Bright Stars Therapy program have been forerunners in the country by helping more than 100 kids on our campus, as well as training scores of caregivers at orphanages throughout China in giving specialized care. One boy helped by Bright Stars Therapy is Leonard. Leonard has cerebral palsy, and has difficulty eating. Our Occupational Therapist patiently taught Leonard and his caregivers how to improve his ability to chew and swallow. Leonard was very excited to finally be able to eat something other than thin liquids or soup, and is thankful for this small change that has vastly improved his daily life. This is just one example of how we show love in a tangible way.
Preschool Boys Are Known and Loved
This particular preschool class was all boys all the time – full of energy and fun! Their teacher, Carm, noticed, and celebrated the quirks that make each child unique and valued. At Philip Hayden Foundation, these boys were seen, known and loved. In our safe, secure environment, each boy began to trust adults and started to thrive. Some, like Levi, needed long-term medical care. Others, like Anthony, needed therapy after medical care, just to participate in daily activities. And each one needed security and love, because transitions will always be hard for these kids.
Three years later, this energetic group of boys live all over world. Anthony and Levi still reside in China, waiting for their Forever Families. Three of the boys, Rocco, Shawn and Isaac are now with families in the United States. And two – Morris and Axel – were adopted by loving families in Europe.
Transition to Forever Family
Transitioning from PHF to a Forever Family in Europe was challenging for Morris, so his adoptive mom reached out to our staff, who gave her the encouragement and help she needed. His mom shared that with help, Morris has adapted to his new family and way of life, and learned to express his feelings in a healthy way. “He is kind to others, likes to help, and cuddles and talks all day.” Well done, Morris and family!
PHF has been blessed through 25 years of helping orphans, and getting a front row seat to so many changed lives – like Anthony, Levi and Morris. Never forget that You have made this help possible, and with your continued support, we look forward to helping a new group of orphans and vulnerable children as we move forward.
Known, Valued, Loved
Because there are orphans in need, our work is not done. Perhaps they’ve grown up in an institution, and need help with life and vocational skills that will help them to live independently and hold a job. Maybe they reside in an orphanage without access to skilled therapists. Or perhaps they need medical care. Wherever they are, we know that they need to be seen and known before they can be valued and loved.
What Love Looks Like
“The storage on my cell phone has been full for years now. Normal people would have taken the time to empty the needless things that fill it, but I can’t do that. That space is filled with an instant source of joy for me – thousands of images from time spent in a foreign land, that are sure to brighten any hazy day. Seeing the infectious smiles of kids that are so loved, reminiscing on relationships built over exceptionally American 4th of July celebrations, reminders of how far God’s beauty stretches around the globe. How could those things not cause one to overflow with happiness?
“That’s what Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) provides. I had the pleasure of assisting Naomi and the therapy staff in the summers of 2017 and 2018, along with my fellow physical therapy students. I wouldn’t trade the weeks I spent in that therapy gym with those kids for anything. Shepherd’s Field doesn’t just produce love with words, they produce love with action. That’s an example that I continue to follow as my PT journey around the country progresses. Thank you, SFCV for showing me what love looks like.” – Tyler Webb
Local Volunteers Are Valued
The staff of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) have been very kind to us through the years. HSBC bankers and executives have partnered with us on many projects, and have personally volunteered to help make life better for our children. For instance, they built our amazing Aquaponics Greenhouse. They also redid all of our on-campus sidewalks – which made them smoother and wider for our children using wheelchairs and walkers. The children enjoy fresh organic grapes from the grapevines planted along the south and west sides of the greenhouse . These gifts just keep on giving! We offer heartfelt thanks and gratitude to HSBC, and to all of the volunteers who have given time, money and talents to the children here. We love you!
The Faces of Orphans in China
In the decade since 2010, more than 160 children from Shepherd’s Field have joined their Forever Families. The busiest year was 2012, when 32 children were adopted by families in China, the U.S. and throughout the world.
Do you recognize any of these faces? While most of the children pictured here were adopted, some still live in institutions in China, and a few did not survive. All have disabilities, and your donations and support profoundly changed the lives of each child pictured here – as well as countless others not shown.
The faces of orphans in China are changing, as are their most pressing needs. Our decades-long commitment to orphans and vulnerable children is only increasing – and thanks to you, we’ll be able to change many more lives now and in the future. Thank you!