Cinderella grown up in a Caring Atmosphere
A long lasting and sister-like caring was an important factor encouraging Katie to pass through her rebellious years of adolescence. The “carer” of Katie was a 3-son Christian who was pursuing studies of Counseling.
Like other constant companions of our children, Carrie understood more about ECH by being one of our sponsors, then she joined our Donors’ activities and contacted our children and youth. When Carrie became a regular volunteer later, she shared to our former Chaplain about her aspiration of accompanying youth in their adolescent years.
Transfer Unhappiness to Driving Force
Carrie grew up in a broken family – she felt her mother treated her not very well. “I spent 4 years in a UK boarding school, I understood the restrictions of a collective living environment. If I can accompany some of the youth, share my struggles in my adolescence, maybe I managed to lessen their negative emotions.”
Before the start of being a companion of ECH youth, Carrie thought that she was a “Type 3 – The Achiever” in the Theory of Enneagram. She used to be guided by her rational thinking rather than by feelings, and achieving objective was her top priority. When she prayed to God for having a caring heart, she was overwhelmed by sentiments of love, and became specially empathizing with children of similar upbringing background.
With the introduction of former Chaplain, Carrie was assigned to care a junior secondary girl Katie. Apart from bringing Katie to church, Carrie would sometimes be her tutor. Later when they got closer, Carrie invited her to sleep at her home at weekends, let her enjoy the relaxation of being at home. Carrie mentioned, “When I was pregnant, I wasn’t always at good condition, Katie would do her own work and I didn’t do much for her.”
Narrative Therapy instead of Preachy
Despite Carrie is extremely busy at taking care of 3 sons and her husband, she pursued the study of Counseling at a Master degree level, then currently a doctoral degree. Among many counseling theories, Carrie was fond of “Narrative Therapy“ - help clients view their problems within the context of social, political, and cultural storylines that influence the way they view ourselves and their personal stories. Carrie admitted she was contradictory in caring Katie,” Sometimes I have the tendency to advise her from my perspective. But I remind myself that the mentee has her responsibility to choose. I would try hard to strike a balance between supporting and advising the mentee.”
Carrie walked along with Katie for 7 years but their interactions were not always smooth. However, Carrie was aware that a caring greeting and a little tutorial assistance can be significant encouragement for the mentee. So she insisted in accompanying Katie in her secondary school years despite conflicts arose at times.
Diversified Supports Help Attaining Good Results
Apart from the caring of Carrie, there were other factors favoring the breakthrough of Katie. The Incorporated Trustees of Yuk Ching Charity has been sponsoring tutorials of some youth – Katie was one of the beneficiaries.
External tutorial sponsorship played some part in encouraging Katie to attain good results whereas support from house parents and social worker were very important encouragement – the bedding time of youth is 10pm, but Katie was working hard and do revisions till 1am and accompanied by our ECH staff......All these passed and Katie has left ECH. She is now studying a Associate Degree course. When she looked backed the years of living in ECH, she was grateful for all the people who supported and encouraged her. Especially, Carrie’s love and care touched her so much, “She invited me to join her family gatherings…..” when Katie talked about such touching memories, she was welling up with tears.
Patience and Love breaks the Ice
A businessman comes to ECH almost every Thursday to visit our boys of primary schools. He plays basketballs, Chinese chess with the boys and buys them soft-drinks – they sweat and enjoy the time. But our boys did not express such welcoming attitude when the volunteer came at the very beginning.
The “initially unpopular” volunteer is called Jerry whose wife organized a Charity Sale for ECH in 2013 with a few church-mates. When Jerry’s couple came to ECH to receive certificates of appreciation afterwards, our Superintendent Ms Law invited Jerry to be a “Big Brother” for our boys. He responded by a joking tone, “You can let me take care of 2 boys who are most disobedient and naughty.”
Like an Idiot at Initial Months
The invitation was forgotten when both Ms Law and Jerry were busy, until Ms Law had another chance to meet the Charity Sale organizing friends again. Jerry recalled his memory about the invitation to be companion of boys – he started his regular visits to ECH around mid of 2013.
Our children were admitted to ECH because of different family problems, they do not trust people easily and Jerry felt being ignored , “I was like a fool at the first few months. Later I played basketball with them and drank soft-drinks after playing, they finally accepted me.”
Children were melted by God’s Love
After building a close relationship with the small boys, Jerry invited some of his friends like Victor to bring our boys for outings. He was very touched in an occasion,” a boy of very junior form called Siu Nam was a new comer- he was irritated after feeling excluded. Another young one challenged him further and the 2 kids were nearly fighting. The older boys tried to separate the 2 young ones and apologized to Siu Nam. When Nam resumed calmness, I invited all boys to pray together. The Holy Spirit worked in the heart of Nam and he cried. He also accepted other boys’ apology.”
Jerry invited his friends to bring our boys for outings about once per quarter. Jerry and friends are busy businessmen, but they are enthusiastic in serving God in different places. However, Jerry did not think he was worthy for compliments, ”ECH teaches children well by Christian education. I was not very different from the children here in my childhood, also brought up in a grass-root family. But I was lucky to have more education and brought up with parents’ love. In the process of caring ECH children, I gain more than I give. Thanks God for letting me serve His beloved children.”