Thursday, April 16, 2009

Humanitarian - Page 2

Thought we should take a short break from our Hong Kong report and finish what we started nearly a month ago, reporting on the humanitarian efforts of the Church here in Mongolia.

The Church manufacturers a simple but very effective wheelchair and ships thousands of them all around the world. A few hundred of them make there way here to Mongolia.

It is heart wrenching to see the plight of some of the people here. The number of birth defects is higher than we see in the U.S. In addition, men will become intoxicated during the cold winter, and a few of them will pass out while walking around town afterward and they will lay there in the cold. Sometimes, before anyone finds them, one or more of their limbs will be frozen and require amputation.

The results are a higher than usual demand for wheelchairs. But even local hospitals often have a shortage of wheelchairs. It is not unusual for patients who are discharged from a hospital, to be carried out fireman style to a waiting vehicle because the hospital has no wheelchair with which to help them to that vehicle.

The Church has assisted in many of these circumstances by donating wheelchairs to individuals as well as to local hospitals.

These pictures are of some of the individuals who have received those wheelchairs.

You can see the difference it made in the first individual pictured. Having little or no mobility and being totally dependent on someone else to carry you, can be disheartening. You can see his countenance as he came to see if he could have a wheelchair. He had an old racers wheelchair which someone had thrown away and which no longer had any tires and did not work very well at all. Then you can see the difference when he received one. He choose to dress and clean himself up as shown in the second picture.

The next gentleman's reaction tends to tell it's own story. He is, obviously, an older gentleman and the men here do not often show much emotion. But even this older gentleman could not hold back the emotions. What you can not see, is that the front of his Dell (i.e. the purplish robe) is wet with his tears.

The third and fourth pictures sort of speaks for itself, we think. These people are very grateful for what the Church is doing here. We are very grateful that we have the opportunity to be part of it. Our assignment is not directly with these humanitarian projects, but we help whenever we can and are grateful to be part of a team which helps in so many ways. The Church is becoming quite well known here as programs such as these continue to lift and bless lives.

The Church also drills fresh water wells in areas where they are needed. People in some outlying areas use whatever water supply they have available. Some of those sources you and I would never consider using for anything, let alone for drinking.

Any given well that is dug will supply water for a large number of people living in gers in the area. They then use containers (usually five gallon jugs) to carry water back to their ger for the family to use. Some have carts, others make their way back the best way they can.

Such are just some of the uses made of our fast offering funds. It is very gratifying to see so many people be helped here by the efforts made by members of this Church.

Some parts of our mission experience are particularly satisfying.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hong Kong - Part 3

We were fortunate enough to be able to see a few of the sights while we visited Hong Kong. This is a Buddhist Temple we found not too far from patron housing. We had noticed it as we traveled from housing to a nearby shopping center. And, since the temple was the purpose of our visit to Hong Kong, we thought we might include this one!

This temple, like the one we visited in Korea, is not particularly large but is quite ornate. We have been amazed at the artistry that we see in some of these places. It is really beautiful.

We don't know much about this structure. No one was there to answer questions. But it appeared that it is a temple which is still in use in prayer by Buddhist Monk's. And it is well cared for and in good condition.

It sits on the side of a hill, overlooking a couple of apartment buildings and the shopping area we frequented for food and supplies called Lok Fu. The hillside area

it is located on is a park, of which there are quite a few in Hong Kong. Though crowded for space, they seem to be committed to maintaining quite of bit of 'green' space through out the city, even to the point of planting trees and shrubs on top of many of the buildings.

There are a number of these kinds of temples around Hong Kong but this is the only one we were able to visit.