Amy and Tim Hedden, graduates of Bethany, moved to Kunming, China, with their six children in 2008 to serve China’s orphan population. Although it’s difficult to determine just how many orphans are in China, the reality is that there are thousands of children housed in state run orphanages all over the country.
At one time, girls were abandoned at a much higher rate than boys by parents who were trying to comply with China’s One-Child Policy. They wanted a boy to carry on the family name as well as to provide for them as they grew old. In response to an increasing awareness of western ideas of human rights and the equality of the sexes, that trend has shifted in the last few years and the value of baby girls has slowly risen in the eyes of the Chinese people.
Sadly, however, orphanages throughout China are increasingly being filled with disabled children who are considered a burden to their families and society as a whole. Abandoned by their families, these children live lives of brokenness and hopelessness within a system that is ill-equipped to meet anything but their most basic needs.
Living in China has given Tim and Amy, the opportunity to develop relationships with orphanage personnel and gain their permission to run weeklong camps for these handicapped children. Through an organization called Bring Me Hope, they host Chinese orphans at camps especially designed to serve them.
Tim and Amy love and serve the kids through trust-building activities such as singing, swimming, and playing games together. They also teach lessons on character building. The camps are designed to help the children build healthy emotional connections with others, and, most important, to bring a message of hope and help them see themselves as irreplaceable objects of God’s unconditional love.
When camp is over, Tim and Amy and their colleagues become advocates for adoption for the children. As a result, caring families have adopted many of them.
The cost for a child to attend camp is $150. With your help, we can make it possible for more children to have a life-changing experience.
Alec D. Brooks, President