Jan 21, 2021

The Spirit of Wheat Demonstrated by Rural Youths

In the Mustard Seed Youth Home, the annual bicycle riding camp is one of the most anticipated activities for teenagers. During the riding, the hot weather and physical strength are good challenges to hone their endurance; they can also build self-confidence, symbolizing a breakthrough the plight of life.  Since last year, a task that teenagers have never tried before has been added to the riding camp:  learning to serve.

Teenagers collaborated with students from tutoring class to accomplish the missions during the game plays
Teenagers collaborated with students from tutoring class to accomplish the missions during the game plays

Teenagers visited ShouFeng Presbyterian Church to serve a group of lively children, who are younger than themselves, from the tutoring class of elementary school. In this service event, the youngsters witnessed and learned the meaning of the phrase "the more mature and plump the wheat, the more it knows how to bend and stay humble."

Teenagers led the students of tutoring class for the group activities
Teenagers led the students of tutoring class for the group activities 

In the face of elementary school students younger than their age, the arrogant teenagers in the Youth Home became moderate team mates to drive morale, cordially and patiently led the naughty children to achieve the missions. If a team loses the game in the process, teenagers will reassure and persuade the team mates, just like the teacher patiently teaches them at the Youth Home. It turns out that what was taught a good character by the teachers was fully demonstrated when facing people who are weaker and disadvantaged. They learned to see the needs from disadvantaged people, and more importantly, are willing to serve. 

 Teenagers happily interacted with the elementary school children and accomplished the missions of games
 Teenagers happily interacted with the elementary school children and accomplished the missions of games
 
Teenagers encourage children younger than their age to successfully break through the game
Teenagers encourage children younger than their age to successfully break through the game

The Youth Home expects that in the process of serving the learning camp, the teenagers will learn to be humble and bend down just like mature wheat. They will be wholeheartedly devoting themselves and serve others. This will become an important nutrient for cultivating good character in life, furthermore in the future, help to build confidence and affirm oneself when facing difficulties.  This will allow to develop a strong foundation of confidence, not to be overthrown; to be inspired and break through one's life with a positive and optimistic attitude. 

Support disadvantaged youths through diversified positive courses to develop good character and break through life difficulties.

Thank you for being the strongest support! 

 

Jan 21, 2021

The Light of Hope is Alive Within 4 Bare Walls

"Granny, where is my mom? When will daddy be back and pick me up?" Those were the questions Jay, who is a kid of kindergarten age, often had in his heart, and the questions which his elderly granny was afraid to answer. 

The granny told the visiting social worker: Nobody knows the whereabouts of Jay's mother and his father has been serving a two-year jail sentence for some criminal offence and was just released last year. But as an ex-convict, it is hard for him to find a permanent job so he could only work as temporary air-conditioner installation worker, being paid a daily wage of merely $NTD1,100 (USD$37). Now that the winter is approaching, such air-con maintenance work is even harder to come by. 


Before she took upon herself the responsibility of looking after her grandson, Jay's granny was living in comfortable retirement. However, she couldn't bear to see that no one is there to take care of Jay so she decided to do it herself despite her old age and knee problem. She works hard as a temporary worker through government arrangement and has to rush to pick Jay up after finishing her job. 

Jay and other families living in the shared accommodation have to use the bathroom in turn by allocated time slot
Jay and other families living in the shared accommodation have to use the bathroom in turn by allocated time slot.

Due to the lack of money, the pair can only afford shared living arrangement with other elderly people, with cracking paint on the wall, humble kitchen and shared, bare bathroom. Nonetheless it is home to Jay and his granny where they depend on and share their lives with each other. For the daily 3 meals, they could only rely on the materials donated by the Mustard Seed Mission or other organizations for simple meals. For Jay’s granny, it is such a pity that she couldn't afford the nutrition a growing Jay needs but to share with her grandson such simple food. A while ago when the weather was hot, she had no alternative but to take the kid to nearby convenience stores sitting there until 8pm or 9pm in order to get through the summer heat. It is as if the pair lives in such a corner overlooked by our society, trying their best to survive. However, faced with the economic pressure and the challenges in life, the granny appears to show strain and a bit downcast.

The very primitive and humble kitchen in Jay's home 
The very primitive and humble kitchen in Jay's home

Through Mustard Seed Community Network, the Mustard Seed Mission offers prompt material aid so that Jay and his granny could receive temporary relief in their daily life. It is especially worth of mentioning that the emotional companionship and support offered by the Mustard Seed Mission helped Jay to grow into an optimistic kid who no longer feels being abandoned. Even as a little kid, he started to help his granny with house chores so granny can rest. With the help from kind-hearted people, granny expressed her gratitude in tears. She taught Jay to always be grateful and remembers to give back for what they received when he is able to do so one day, helping others in need. 

The Mustard Seed Community Network will continue to support more children like Jay. We hope that Jay grows into a person who faces life's challenges with courage and overcomes all obstacles fearlessly and become someone who is capable of sheltering and protecting others. 

There are still many families in Taiwan which need your help. We sincerely invite you to join this life-changing team to give a hand. 

Jan 20, 2021

Dining Together Surrounded by Many Warm Hugs

Unlike most of her peers, Chelsea is from skipped-generation family and raised by grandfather given her parents have been imprisoned on frequent basis. Chelsea, lack of idea about what a two-parent family should be like, has long been under absence of proper childcare.

Grandfather is getting old, suffering from stroke, and becomes disabled.  He is obliged to not only undertake financial responsibility for the family, but also take care of Chelsea as well as Chelsea's cousins. Only when his health condition permits, grandfather will engage some degree of agricultural works, to earn the keep by farming and selling the bamboo shoots.  Nevertheless, this produces trivial income. Under such financial distress situation, Chelsea and the cousins do not have excess cash to buy themselves new clothes; they can only rely on neighbors and the Mustard Seed Mission community service center for second hand clothes donation.

At the year end, the MSM community service center invited Chelsea and her family for reunion dinner party. To enjoy good amount of food has been such a luxury while unattainable for Chelsea, as there are just so many kids to be fed at home. Most of the time, Chelsea is craving for food as she is in the stage of growth. Hence, as soon as Chelsea learns there will be yearend dinner gathering supplied with hot pot and steak, she really looks forward to it. Social workers understand there is almost no chance for Chelsea to dine out. They expect this gathering is a great opportunity for Chelsea to learn table manners. Furthermore, such social event allows people living in the same community to get to know each other. Eating and chatting over the meal keep everyone warm and will strengthen the relationship from one family to another. 

Every year, the Mustard Seed Mission hosts year end reunion dinner party in community service centers, helping those from single parent and skipped generation families, as well as disadvantaged children get together.  Throughout the dinner, let them not feel alone but heartwarming and at ease.

 
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