|The Boy By The Bus|
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I read an article this week about a blind Chinese activist named Chen Guangcheng. Chen, 40, is a legal activist from Shandong province who campaigned against forced abortions under China's "one-child" policy.
On April 22, he escaped 19 months of house arrest, during which he and his family faced beatings and threats.
It has been estimated that the world has nearly 170 million orphans. A staggering number. In China alone, there are now more than two million abandonments happening every year (mostly girls). A few years ago, Nancy and I travelled to China to adopt our beautiful daughter Nina. It was a common occurrence on out trip for a Chinese national to approach Nancy and I, look at Nina and say in broken english, "lucky baby." There's good reason for that. Of those two million abandonments, many will die. Left out in the barren wilderness, a dumpster or gutter . . . some of these babies are even physically killed by family members. The rest will end up in and orphanage, with the vast majority of them never being adopted staying there until they are old enough to work and fend for themselves.
Because of China's one child per family laws that levies a heavy fine and tax burden on families that choose to have more than one child and the fact that the average annual income in China is hovering just above $3000 per year (USD), most families simply can't afford two children. Traditional Chinese values place heavy dominance on having boys because they grow up to be men who stay close to the parents, watching after them in their old age.
So what happens to all the children who don't get adopted? Stats say 75 percent end up in drug-addiction, organized crime and prostitution. But what about the orphans who never end up inane orphanage? There is an alternative to life in the orphanage or being adopted for orphans in China. It's not a pleasant one. Nancy and I witnessed if first hand.
On our last day in Beijing, our adoption travel group had just finished a small shopping time that afternoon. As we were climbing onto the bus, several beggars and street vendors began to approach the bus. They stopped very quickly as we quickly boarded. Right as we were boarding, we heard some terrible screaming
It was gut wrenching what we saw.
A little boy, no older that six. Dirty from head to toe and dressed in rags. The woman yelling at him was ripping a small deck of playing cards out of his hand and verbally lashing out at him in an extreme way. Then I remembered the boy. He had been on the street a few minutes earlier playing with his cards as we went by. He was crying in despair and getting a severe emotional beating a few feet away for failing to produce enough when we walked by. He had nowhere to turn. It was almost unbearable to watch. The boy reminded me so much of our son Clay.
You're probably thinking what Nancy and I did, "just give the lady 10 Yuan so she'll lay off." Tried to, but Rosa (our guide) physically held me back stopped me. She said it would solve the immediate need but add to the longer term problem. At that point I'm thinking, "Rosa, I'm into immediate needs." Moments later the police showed up to break up the crowd, but they did nothing about the child's plight.
In China, many orphans are created when children like this little boy are exploited. A person like the woman with him comes to the rural village where he lives and promises the parents that if they let her take him to the city, she will give him a better life. After a few years of exploitation and abuse, the child is discarded and picked up by an orphanage if lucky.
No happy ending on this one. We pulled away watching the boy in incredible emotional and physical suffering. We prayed together on the bus for this child and for the woman. They are both somewhere at this very moment. Please pray for them as well.
Jesus turn a light on in their life. Break the cycle. Help them come to know the freedom and hope that exists in you.
Isaiah 1:17 admonishes every person to "speak up for the poor and helps and see that they get justice."
What is God calling you to do?
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