Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network

by The Mustard Seed Mission
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network
Sprout of Love! Care Children in Community Network

 "I hope that in the days to come, Yuriana can grow up in a stable environment." Said the great-grandmother of Yuriana, a child of Mustard Seed Mission's Children Sponsorship program, with tears in her eyes.

Her constantly trembling hands held ours tightly, telling the heart-wrenching story of skipped generation parenting.

In a rural tribe in northern Taiwan, an old house loosely fitted with metal eaves is the home of  Yuriana and her great-grandmother. Yuriana was born out of wedlock and her mother was unable to raise her. Leaving little Yuriana behind to be taken care of by her elderly 70-year-old great-grandmother, she left and hasnt been heard from since then.  

Couldn't bear to see her great-granddaughter being abandoned, the great-grandmother took on all the responsibilities of childcare. Due to her advanced age and the scarcity of jobs in a remote village, they only got by with the government's minimum monthly allowance. Knowing their hardship, neighbors would sometimes give them vegetables and fruits. The sweet-natured Yuriana never complains but cherishes and is content with what they have. 

Yuriana is 10 years old and a fourth grade elementary school pupil. Although her family is poorer than her classmates', it didn't dent her self-confidence. She has an outgoing and bubbly personality and is very good at dancing. She would sign up for every performance competition in the school. To share the burden of her great-grandmother, she would help with house chores every day when she came home from school. In the evening, she would take the schoolbooks to the living room on the first floor and accompany her great-grandmother while doing homework on the long table and chairs donated by kind people. Compared to other children her age, she is much mature.

Yuriana's room is on the second floor. Although every item in the room was polished clean and neatly placed, it was difficult to hide the fact that this is an old building desperately needs some tender loving care: the walls were cracked and molded, the windows were in disrepair, the ceiling was damaged, the roof also suffered from leaking that rainwater seeped through the cracks. To say it mildly, this is a living environment which needs to be improved.

It is a common sight in rural villages that poverty and despair in disadvantaged families and skipped generation household are evident. However, in the face of busy everyday life and the pressure of reality, they have no time for self-pity. Through the visit from social workers and the financial assistance from the Mustard Seed Mission, as well as the material provided by the food bank service, Yuriana and her great-grandmother received the help they needed. They are full of gratitude.

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 "As long as I can watch my kid grow up happily, it's worth of any hardship. "

This is the reason that keeps Lun Lun's mother strong.

Lun Lun is the youngest child with an older brother and an older sister in his family. For a long time, Lun Lun's mother suffered domestic violence in the hands of her husband and lived her every day in fear. Eventually she chose to divorce her husband to give her children a childhood with peace. Since the divorce, the father of the children simply vanished out of their life and paid nothing into child-support. As a result, the mother had to carry the financial burden of raising three children on her own. In order to meet Lun Lun's pick-up time at the nursery, his mother chose to work as a delivery worker. Although the working hours are more flexible, her choice of taking orders are limited to relatively unpopular times because she has three kids to look after at night and unavailable to work. Although life is hard, the family lives happily together and the older siblings also help to look after Lun Lun which makes their mother very pleased. 

After learning about Lun Lun's family situation, the Mustard Seed Mission's community partner helped Lun Lun to apply for the "Children Sponsorship" service. In addition to the monthly financial subsidy to relieve the financial pressure of Lun Lun's family, it also provides the youngster regular companionship. With support like this, it starts to show positive changes with Lun Lun's family. The Mustard Seed Mission responds to where we see the need is. Through our care and financial assistance, we help those less privileged to have a chance to grow and thrive so that the positive forces of goodness in the society flows to the families in need and fills every corner of the society.

Lun Lun likes to draw. Although he is still young and only able to draw some irregular lines, he always looks happier when he draws with his mother. Away from the fear and anxiety brought by his violent father, he smiles more and finally enjoys the sweet parent-child time he deserves. Even though life is still hard, for this little family their spirit is rich.

Lun Lun likes drawing with his mother

Raising three children on her own is an admirable task and the social workers pay their respect to Lun Lun's mother, but she said, " As long as I can watch my kids grow up happily, it's worth of any hardship."

In the society where we live, there are children who do not have enough to eat, cannot get basic education, or traumatized by being mistreated for a long time. . . Through the Children Sponsorship program with monthly financial subsidies, regular home visits and telephone contacts to monitor the youngster's life and needs, these young people can obtain the support they need despite being in such poor environment. They will have the love and care to accompany them to overcome the difficulties they may face.

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It all started with a conversation between the social worker and a sponsor.

The Sponsor" My sponsored child, Ben, is about to graduate. I want to give him a pair of sneakers. How shall I do? Or, if Ben has any needs, please just let me know. " So, the social worker conveyed his message to Ben's family...

Ben's mother not only has to take care of his grandfather who is disabled due to illness, but also his cousins who are elementary school kids. The five of them were cramped into a small rented suite, very crowded and harsh. They all rely on Ben's mother who is working in the factory, earning a meager wage barely enough to support five mouths. In order to save money, the whole family shares the same space. As such, there is not enough space on the only bed for all of them to sleep in the suite.

When Ben was asked by the social worker, "What do you do now that there is not enough space to sleep?"

Ben replied, "I can sleep on the floor!!" The very considerate Ben chose to sleep on a puzzle floor mat topped with a quilt placed over it every night.

His mother told the social worker that although Ben did not say anything, she could feel that Ben wanted to sleep in the same bed with his family. However, he knows it's not easy for his mother so he never mentioned it. 

When she was asked by the social worker what she needs, she plucked up the courage and said, "If I may, I would like to request a bed." Ben's mother shared her wish with MSM community partner and then through the Mustard Seed Mission sponsorship program, Ben's sponsor decided to donate a bed to the family. 

When Ben learned that the sponsor is going to give them a mattress, he looks forward to the arrival of the mattress every day. The usually quiet kid sits on the bed happily when he sees the mattress and the sheet, and records a video to express his gratitude to the sponsor. Ben's mother also sent a message to the social worker, "Ben is so happy. Thanks very much for the loving care of the sponsor^^."

In addition to delivering practical assistance to the families in needs through MSM community network, the sponsorship program of the Mustard Seed Mission also provides the opportunity for those sponsors who have love in their hearts and willing to give, to send their good will to each underprivileged family. While seeing Ben's family filled with the joy of grace, the social worker who serves to pass such blessings are also deeply moved and filled with happiness.

Thanks for the love of sponsors. We believe that such blessing will continue to sprout in Ben's heart which one day will grow into a big tree to shelter others when his life turns around.

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Wendy, one of the children from our sponsorship program, 11-year-old, lives in a remote tribe. She is the youngest child of the four siblings in the family. Due to alcohol addiction, her mother simply is not capable of taking care of them and she rarely stays at home.  The father's job is relatively labor intensive, the location of where he works at is distant from home while the income he earns is meager and unstable.  Needless to say, the family has been living a life beyond making ends meet for a long time. Under such financially difficult situation, Wendy's father remains physically and mentally exhausted.  Fortunately, Wendy's elder brothers and sisters share the work load to help take care of Wendy.  Her aunt who lives nearby will also come to help take care of the four children from time to time, so that Wendy's father does not have to worry children alone at home when he is at work.

A Hidden Wish in Wendy's Heart

Wendy's home is about 20 minutes by walk from the school. In order to spend more time studying with less commuting time, Wendy has always envied classmates who have bicycles to commute. Understanding her father's daily long-hour heavy work load, coupled with the recent epidemic, her father's income has been negatively impacted.  Wanting to own a bicycle is undoubtedly a luxury wish, Wendy can only hide the thought from sharing it to her family.  But when talking with MSM community partner, Wendy accidentally disclosed her wish.

One day, when MSM community partner visited Wendy's house, as he arrived, he moved the bicycle off from the truck, Wendy stared at the bicycle with wide eyes, curious and wondering how could there be a bicycle?  The partner said to her, "Wendy, this bicycle belongs to you!".  Wendy was surprised and extremely pleasant that she can't stop smiling and expressed, "Is this really for me?" After many times of confirmation that the bicycle is truly a gift for her, Wendy immediately hopped on the bicycle to ride and shouted happily, "Yeah~ great! I really thank God, He really listened to my prayers, and I will cherish this gift which comes out of expectation.  This is a hard-won gift!" Wendy's cheerfully praised while riding.  Together, the friends and people around her were sharing the joy with Wendy.

Through the donation of kind-hearted donors and the collaboration with community common-good network service, the Mustard Seed Mission helps Wendy achieve her dream
 Through the donation of kind-hearted donors and the collaboration with community common-good network service, the Mustard Seed Mission helps Wendy achieve her dream.  

An individual’s power to change things may be limited; however, the united power from collaboration of a group of people is stronger enough to change the world.

An individual's power to change things may be limited; however, the united power from collaboration of a group of people is stronger enough to change the world. 

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Due to family financial difficulties, 10-year-old Hulk has been receiving subsidy through the Mustard Seed Mission's Sponsor-A-Child program. To support him and his little sister, his mother has been working day and night. As a result of years of such physical strain, the warning bell to her health began to ring.  Coupled with the impact of the pandemic which reduced her working hours, her monthly salary has been adjusted to daily wage. This sudden and drastic reduction of working hours made the family unable to make ends meet and eventually she was laid off. On the suggestion of a friend, Hulk's mother decided to relocate the whole family to southern Taiwan and started afresh which on one hand could reduce their daily expenses slightly and on the other hand, to give her a chance to recuperate.

Before moving to the south, Hulk was a child easy to smile. Losing his former classmates and friends all of a sudden, he couldn't cope with the change and smiled less and less. His sister was still very young and needed lots of adult attention. As such, slowly but surely, he started to display signs of behavioral disorders because of the combination of several factors: the loss of focus in his daily life, the lack of the attention from his mother, and the limited play-time options available to him of either staying at home or going to nearby convenient stores after school.

On the phone, the social worker heard Hulk's mother saying worriedly, "Hulk recently stole toys from a convenience store, and the manager called me to warn...".

She went on "Hulk wasn't like this before. He didn't say anything when I asked him why. I don't know what to do with him...".

The social worker comforted her and said, "Hulk may not know how to express his emotions because of his young age. So, he tried to misbehave in order to attract adults' attention. I remember you once said that Hulk liked participating in MSM community service center activities. If you permit, I would like to bring teacher Chen from our community service center to visit you. They offer a lot of activities there. I think it would be worth trying to let Hulk participate, to divert his attention and make new friends. There might be some changes."

On the day of the visit, Teacher Chen took the initiative to talk with Hulk, learned about his hobbies and praised his academic performance in a timely manner. Soon Hulk opened his heart. Teacher Chen seized this opportunity and asked him "Hulk, we have a children's camp every Saturday. Would you like to join us? You can make many friends of your age." Without hesitation, Hulk agreed to accept Teacher Chen's invitation.

Hulk makes new friends during the community center activities
Hulk makes new friends during the community center activities

By participating in the children's camp, Hulk gradually displayed smiles one hadn't seen for a long time. After making new friends, every weekend is his happiest time. He eagerly looks forward to seeing friends and participating in many activities. The teachers in the community service center inquire about Hulk's life every week. As time goes by, Hulk has become more and more mature and well-behaved, and he received recognition and praise from the teachers. In addition to learning to play drums for free, he also recently performed on stage at events to build self-confidence. The love, care and companionship from the teachers not only helped correcting Hulk's misbehavior and bringing out his smile again, it also warms his heart and turns an original "foreign place" into a real sweet home for Hulk after the move.

Through the community service center, Hulk learns performing drumbeat and gains self-confidence
Through the community service center, Hulk learns performing drumbeat and gains self-confidence
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The Mustard Seed Mission

Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan - Taiwan
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Twitter: @MustardSeedTW
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Mustard Seed Mission Taiwan
New Taipei City, Taiwan
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