Last semester, I was informed that our United Methodist Women’s Division had graciously made a gift of $3,200 for “Connie’s work inChina.” The funds were transferred to the Amity Foundation inNanjingwho then sent it on to me in Longzhou.
Such a generous amount was immediately put to good use — copying photos for students, buying candy for special events and getting a few needed items for ourEnglish Center, like a wall clock, pens and English study materials found in Nanning book stores.
But what I was truly excited about with this amount had to do with this semester.
Some of you might remember that I prepare and compile my own textbook for use in our classrooms. These materials I have collected over the years and also created myself specifically for use with Chinese college students. One textbook is for the first year students, entitled “In the Classroom with my Foreign Language Teacher.” The second textbook is for my 2nd year English Education majors, “Talking and Learning About Teaching.”
After putting together my two 100-page books, I drop them off at the small family-run copy store across the street from the school. There, Ms. Chen and her husband run off what I need. In the past, I usually covered half the price of the copied book and my students paid me the difference, which ended up being about $1.25 (10 yuan) for them.
The Announcement “They’re Free!” Brings Cheers and Gratitude
This year, however, not only were our textbooks free for the students but free for me as well. I had 95 books copied for the 2nd year students, coming to 1,450 yuan ($230) and 145 books for the 1st year students, coming to 2,030 yuan ($322).
When I announced to the students in each class that their books were free, due to the generosity of Americans who wanted to help them, they were overwhelmed. Their cheers and shouts of excitement were heard in next door classrooms whose teachers later asked me what all the fuss was about.
“Free textbooks,” I told them, “courtesy of my American sending agency.”
Even my colleagues were moved by this display of care and concern shown to others across the world.
My dean, Liang Ling, remarked, “Oh, how wonderful! Please thank your sending agency for this gift to our students. We appreciate this kindness so much.”
A Hearty “Thank You” to the United Methodist Women’s Division
So from Dean Liang Ling, and myself as well, I pass along a big thank you to those of you who support our Women’s Division through your giving and support. This has meant a lot to all of us, and the great thing is that there’s still plenty of money yet for next year’s book as well!
Enjoy the photos of your gift to us. As you can see, it’s a pretty happy moment for everyone, including Ms. Chen whose copy shop made a tidy sum which I’m sure she definitely needed.
Until the next report, most likely afterChina’s National Day holidays, here’s Ping An (peace) for your weekend.