them developmentally? I believe over 140 in full-time care and education plus thousands reached through our training program. Each kid has their own education plan. They range from blind and very high functioning (who will be independent in society), to having other needs such as autism. Where do you hope these kids will end up? What kind of future is there for them? Well, like any parent you want to kids to be the best they can be and achieve independence. But above all, I want them to feel good about themselves and have a fighting spirit since society will not make it easy on them. How did your nickname Faguo Baba, or “Father France,” start? The kids started calling me this, and we like it because it’s a little different from just “Papa and Mama.” They might get adopted later so we didn’t want to take that place in their hearts. What are some of the differences between helping orphans in China and your previous job helping drug addicts in Canada? Not that different. In the end, you just come alongside someone for a little while on their journey and try to show them that they have what it takes, that they are important and loved, so they can get on with their life. What were the main steps to get things started here? Any bureaucratic or official hurdles? I n t h e b e gi n n i n g, t h e re we re n o s te p s. Fo r foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs), everything is in the gray, no matter how many new so-called laws and regulations there are. What were Bethel’s biggest milestones over the past ten years? Opening our own school and moving to our own piece of land to design it the way we wanted. Right now you’re helping to deal with the recent disaster in the Philippines. How would Bethel China react in that type of situation? Like everything we do: We would think“children first.”Our staff is amazing and I know they would protect the children. Celebrate Bethel China’s ten-year anniversary on Dec 14 at the Regent Beijing.
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