Imagine growing up without a mother, father, or loving family. Imagine being abandoned and labeled as a social outcast because of your disability or physical deformity. Imagine not being able to find a job because of your limited education, lack of life skills, and simply because you cannot do a job due to your disability. And because of this, imagine having to survive on the streets through homelessness and unemployment. These are the lives of orphans and disabled adults in Shanghai, China.
Believe it or not, there are 576,00 of these individuals in China and only 100,000 of these orphans are in full-time care of the state. In addition to that, 98 percent of these orphans have disabilities! There are hundreds of thousands of abandoned people who are left on the streets unable to take care of themselves!
In 2014, I met my friend David Pat at our church in San Diego. For the last ten years, he has been leading teams to Shanghai, China on missions trips as a mission's mobilizer. Through his past trips, he has had the opportunity to work with orphan and disabled children who once grew up in Shanghai orphanages.
In 2015, I volunteered on two missions trips to China with David's nonprofit organization, Renewal Missions Inc. to provide, equip, and evangelize to those in the underprivileged communities of Shanghai. I was also able to travel to small town, Gao Yao where many of the orphans grew up at. It taught me to appreciate the things we take for granted here in America. Being able to work hands-on with our orphan and disabled friends while being able to witness their hardships and their different lifestyle allowed me to a grow a heart for these individuals. It was sad to see how these individuals were being treated among their own community and how they could not work certain jobs because of their physical or mental limitations and their lack of personal development. Earlier this year, David and I decided to start Renewal Cards, which would partner with an organization in Shanghai to teach life skills and provide employment for these orphan and disabled adults in Shanghai. After receiving Chinese paper-cut artwork last year as a gift, we believed that the combination of Chinese paper-cut art and cards were the perfect product to make. The cards were beautiful, a symbolization of our culture, and were feasible for the disabled to craft with their hands. The cards would also be a great way to show appreciation and love to anyone who received them!
Through Renewal Missions Inc. and our partnership with Home Sweet Home in Shanghai, China, we are able to reach out to those who are homeless, underprivileged, and abandoned. We are able to provide these individuals with basic care, internship programs, and vocational programs to focus on personal development, vocational skills, and basic life skill training. We are able to provide these individuals with employment and the opportunity to earn sustainable income for themselves. And through all of this, we are able to change the lives of those who need the most help!