Today was an exciting day for us because we were going to be able to visit with Kourtnie, a young lady we have known from her childhood. The morning was first spent taking a ride on the world’s only magnetic levitated train (no wheels-it rides on air) where we reached a top speed on 264 mph. Later, we visited a silk worm exhibition center to see the production of this fiber from beginning to end. The Chinese lead the world in silk production and already, in ancient times, cultivated a special mulberry tree with larger leaves and no fruit that gave them an edge in both quantity and quality in their silk products. Later, we visited the Shanghai Urban Planning Center to learn of the vision for this city that is the site of the largest building program in world history. (To get to this part of the city, our tour bus needed to climb a multi-lane spiral highway to reach a massive bridge over a river that cuts through the city.) We then went to the Chinese Cultural Museum where we were to also meet Kourtnie.
Our time with Kourtnie was blessed. We eagerly heard of her ministry with children with disabilities. These are “throw away” children. Because of the strict and enforced family planning in China, a high value is placed on having “perfect” children, and kids with disabilities are often not acceptable, and thus handicapped children are left in dumpsters or abandoned in parks, etc. Kourtnie and the ministry with which she is associated take in these children and, with great sacrifice, take care of them and raise them. There is no hope for adoption. Amazingly, the children are being raised to speak three languages so that they can get a job later in translation or in the service sector, i.e., hotel industry where knowledge of English is highly prized and rarely available. Thank God for people like Kourtnie! We had a delightful time eating an extended and somewhat late lunch and walking in the expansive and beautiful park at People’s Square. We were surrounded with tranquility, beautiful flowers, stands of bamboo and lily pad-covered ponds as we meandered a beautifully tiled walkway. High above us, however, were skyscrapers with amazing architecture. Kourtnie took us back to our hotel on the spotlessly clean subway, after which we said farewell. Oh, yes, we delivered gifts to Kourtnie from her parents. She was a happy girl. WEG