David Huang – a student volunteer
During this time of welcoming the New Year, holiday spirit is everywhere. Agape Way is hosting three different New Year luncheons for the sponsored students and their families so they enjoy the feast and fellowship with each other experiencing the love of God.
We took a taxi to Jie Township of Longchang County. The streets were packed as it happened to be one of the local Market days. We went to the restaurant directly. After simple preparations, Agape Way staff and volunteers started to receive guests. While waiting for others to come, volunteers took pictures of the students and asked them to use the time to write thank-you notes to the donors.
A small group of volunteer journalists visited with the students and their parents and asking them questions. The journalists are two former Agape Way students and came back home from college for vacation.
The luncheon started at 11:20 am. A total of 82 students and their family members were able to come. Some of them live pretty far away, 3 to 4 hours by bus. The first program was the sponsorship ceremony. Thirty-four students received their quarterly stipends from Agape Way. Cameras captured their smiling faces but not their grateful hearts.
Ming, a college student volunteer, read a letter from Frank Li, President of Agape Way. He sent greetings on behalf of the Agape Way supporters in the US and encouraged that everyone, every family to come a blessing.
Li, also a former Agape Way student, offered words of encouragement to the younger students, “Agape Way started to support me when I was in 5th grade all the way through high school. With their help, I was able to get into the best class in No.1 High School. Then I was admitted to a key university (North University of China). Their support gave me the chance to go to university. They are helping you right now, so you should grasp the opportunity and not worry too much. Do you best to study so you may have a good future. Also, I hope you can learn to be thankful.”
The lunch was a big feast with many dishes of meat, fish, duck, chicken and other special delicacies of the New Year. Everyone ate with a grateful heart. Although some of the students were just getting to know each other, they were very polite and shared very well. After everyone was finished, there were enough leftovers for every family to take home.
Some newly sponsored children got to buy new clothes and shoes at the stores.
Today’s New Year’s gathering was very simple and ordinary without fancy programs or VIPs. They were simple country folks without much education. But they understood the meaning of unconditional love and were grateful for the New Year gathering.
Agape Way, P.O.Box 518, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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