Dingbian Orphanage for Teens
A plea for help in time of need. Thirty minutes later God sent Harmony.
In 2008, I was in Sichuan province working on water well projects. I needed information on pumps, so I called my friend Mike and asked for advice. During that conversation, I mentioned that we were on the lookout for Chinese Christian-run orphanages that needed help.
Mike was amazed. Just 30 minutes earlier, he had received a frantic call from brother Zheng, a Christian businessman who operates an orphanage in the city of Dingbian. He called asking Mike for help, saying they had an electrical fire that damaged the orphanage and destroyed clothing, beds and appliances. Mike didn’t know how he could help but said he would pray. And then, just 30 minutes later, I called!
Mr. Zheng had a heart for orphans, and he and his wife would take them in and raise them as their own. At the time of our first contact he had 36, mostly teenage, orphans in his care. Because he was supporting them out of his own resources, the conditions were spartan. One bunk bed was used by four teenagers—each having their head on opposite ends. Can you imagine sleeping every night with someone’s feet in your face?
Shortly thereafter, I traveled to Dingbian to meet Mr. Zheng, see his work and meet the children. Near the Gobi desert, Dingbian is located in a bleak landscape, but the experience meeting Mr. Zheng and the kids caused it to be a beautiful experience. I asked him to prepare a “wish list” of all the items they needed to replace because of the fire. We ran an article about the Dingbian orphanage fire in our Christmas 2008 newsletter. Shortly thereafter we received a large donation. It was enough to meet every need on that wish list—new appliances, clothing for 32 orphans, new bedding, 8 new bunk beds and school supplies—with enough left over to buy the kids, just in time for Christmas, a big new TV! Harmony continued to support the Dingbian orphanage for years, providing monthly support and funding special projects.