- December 14, 2016
- Posted by: Ed Wu
- Category: Exchange Students, Host Family
Dear PREP Host Families,
Wow – time flies. I can’t believe we are done with the first school semester already!
I remember the orientation meeting we had on August 6th when we all got together and shared our burden for these precious Chinese children who you barely knew – apart from perhaps a video call.
I remember the airport pick-ups. Some of you had to go to the airport a couple of times or had to wait very late into the evening. Then, when your students magically appeared, you and your family gave them a big hug with smile and tears all at the same time.
I remember the Host Family appreciation night hosted by the Trotters. We all shared some great stories and laughter while enjoying some food and drinks.
I remember numerous discussion on Slack, on video calls and in face-to-face meetings – at home or at school, with the parents and/or us, when we got together to discuss, to debate and to pray for the children you host, to celebrate their progress and to brainstorm how we can help them further.
This is “heart” work. And this is “hard” work.
I get it and I truly understand the challenges you go through, day in and day out, to not only provide a safe environment, but a loving home for these “parachute kids”. It’s unique. I don’t know anybody has done something similar to what we are doing.
I get it when you feel tired, and when you feel unappreciated for all of your love and efforts, even when you feel hurt or rejected when your student(s) just didn’t show respect, or appreciation, or just didn’t apply themselves…
I get it when you ask yourself, or your spouse, the question, “Are we crazy? Why are we doing this?”
You might have struck up a nice conversation in English with your student who always seems to want to speak Mandarin,
You might have heard them start to call you “dad” or “mom”,
You might have seen how they enjoy being around your family and your kids,
You might have seen they start to understand more about what it means to be a Christian,
Or you might have heard them say a simple prayer in English.
It is in those moments that everything you go through, all of your efforts and sacrifice, seem to be worthwhile. As Mother Teresa said, “at the end of day it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”
When we started PREP three years ago, I had no idea where it would end up. Amidst the many trials and tribulations that we have experienced this year, we are still here, stronger than ever and trust God even more. Our incredible Host Families are the reason that we can keep going. We hope that you will partner with us for years to come.
In this special time of year, I wanted to personally say ‘thank you’ and wish each of you a Merry Christmas. I hope you have a great time with your family and friends, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Founder & CEO