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The theme of the summer camp this year was “My home, My future”.summer camp 2013 Six members of the Gospel Community Church (GCC) in Hong Kong flew over and taught in our summer camp this year. It was the third time that Wai came to help us. He and our part-time coworker Joy designed the logo of the camp T-shirt. By learning English, playing team games, watching videos, and crafting, the children learned to appreciate their family and to claim their ownership of this city they live in. They were divided in four teams and drew their summer camp 2013ideal neighborhood. In the drawings of each team, there are always a park and a hospital. From their letters to the mayor of the Changping County, we were delighted to find that the children care about their neighborhood and have brilliant ideas to make it a better place. On the fourth day, as a way to encourage the children to dream their future, we taught them about different vocations in English and even made a skit out of the lesson. On the last day when they performed the skit at the celebration party, their parents were amazed that their kids can actually act in an English skit.

Thirty two children from the local village joined the camp. On the last day, we invited their parents to go with the children to the Beijing City Seaview Water Park. Edith and other teachers taught those kids who wanted to learn swimming. Toward the end of the day, Sunny and two other kids could already float and swim by holding their breath. It was such a joy for us and a happy surprise for their mothers sitting beneath umbrellas at the shore.

2013年春节过后,我们从燕丹村中街道二楼的旧址搬到了现在独立的小院。这里不仅房租便宜了,而且距离打工子弟小学更近,就在孩子们放学的必经之路边上。我们花了近一个月整理和布置。搬家虽然劳累,但也是清理和重整的好机会。中心于3月16日正式开放。我们调整了开放时间,添置了一些幼儿游戏的设施。很快住在周围简易楼里的妈妈们就开始带着宝宝来玩来。我们很希望中心白天的时间也可以被利用起来,祝福更多有小孩子的打工家庭。我们的美术专业老师江月这段时间一直在外墙上作画。但愿我们的中心不仅成为寄居者的精神家园,也在这个尘土飞扬,垃圾遍地,臭水沟横流,没有一草一木的地方成为一片绿洲,为他们提供舒展身心的空间。

This summer, fifteen members of the Evangelical Community Church (ECC) in Hong Kong flew over and taught in our summer camp this year. As they poured out our hearts to serve migrant children living in the outskirt of Beijing, they became such a blessing to everyone they encountered.

The theme of the summer camp was “I want to grow up”. Each day, we had two lessons, one focusing on the “growth of the body”, the other on “spiritual growth”. For “growth of the body”, we taught the children to love cleanliness, to eat healthily, and to develop good habits. Every lesson was wrapped up by an activity. In particular, we made dumplings with the children after the lesson on healthy diet. Knowing that many children only ate instant noodles for lunch as their parents had to work, we thought that it would be a great idea to eat dumplings with them because dumplings, which were made of starch, vegetables and meat, were one of the healthiest Chinese food. The children finished up all the dumplings during break-time hastily, which was a huge encouragement to us.

For “Spiritual growth”, we used interactive methods, such as drama, story-telling and videos, to teach the children to have a positive self-image and to respect one another. We were amazed to see that the lessons have an impact on the children’s behavior. On the first day, some children were snatching colour pencils from other students when they were painting, but towards the end of the programme, the students became much more willing to share. We also saw that some students were becoming happier day after day. Wang Hao, who was seven, came to Beijing from his hometown for the summer. Not knowing any of the other children, we looked upset on the first day and refused to play with others. As such, we spent time talking to him individually, trying to encourage him. By the end of the programme, he has made many friends and became much happier. His smile brought us great comfort and satisfaction.

In addition to the lessons, we also prepared exciting activities for the camp. In the afternoon, we did face painting, T-shirt painting, Kaleidoscope-making and puzzle-making with the children. These were activities that the children have not done before, and we were very glad to see them enjoying the process!

On the last day, we invited the parents to bring the children to the Beijing City Seaview Water Park. It was a real joy for us to see parents and children spending time with each other. The purpose of the Summer Camp was not just to enrich the children’s life during the summer, but also to serve the families.

The programme was concluded by a graduation ceremony in the last evening. The children were divided into five groups, each of which performed a play in front of parents and other students. We were pleasantly surprised to see many fathers attending the ceremony and taking pictures as their children performed, demonstrating how much they cared for the children. As the show was over, the Hong Kong team bided farewell to the children – some of them shed tears for we could not bear the thought that they would not see the children for some time, maybe at least until next summer!

Moon Festival 2011—Let’s celebrate together!

This year, we celebrate the Moon Festival with migrant families again. Besides having performances, we added a quiz time on how to lead a healthy life. Over 20 families attended the event. We were so thrilled to see not only mothers and their children but also quite a few fathers as well. Their participation added a lot to the party.

 

We divided all the families to four teams to compete with each other. “What kinds of food are more likely to cause cancer?” “When is the best timing to add salt during cooking a dish?” They all fought for the opportunities to answer these questions. “What kind of beverage is most healthy?” “What snacks are healthy snacks?” Parents and children eagerly picked among the samples we prepared for the questions. From the laughter bursting out again and again from their tables, you could tell they were having fun while learning.

We also prepared a question on the connection between temperaments and illness. Every team found it a hard question. “We as Chinese have a saying that “one needs to have workouts to strengthen the body as well as to build his character”. But in everyday life, we all find that it is almost impossible to control our temper or change our temperament. So what shall we do?” As the hostess announced the correct answer to the question, she also shared about her personal experience that her insomnia and stomachache gradually disappeared after she became a Christian. “In fact, the source of illness and death is sin. We cannot get rid of sin unless we put our faith in Christ. He died on the cross for our sin so that we as believers are set free from the bondage of sin. I hope you will get to know Him as well so that you may be healthy both physically and spiritually.” Most fathers and mothers in the audience listened carefully, with some nodding smilingly.

At the end of the party, Joshua and Steven performed a cross talk and took the evening to its climax. The children all squeezed forward to them as close as possible. Joshua and Steven devoted entirely to the show as if they became a different person. Quite a few fathers were touched by their daring performance. They probably never dreamed that they could have an opportunity to express themselves like this. Maybe next year we will see some of them on the stage as well!

 


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