Stories from the Field – Silver Lining Orphanage Xiao
My name is Xiao Yu and in 2011, when I was 12 years old, I arrived at the orphanage in Da Hua, China. I come from a very small village where I lived with my three younger siblings, parents, and grandpa.
Growing up we did not have electricity and our main source of income was acquired from selling vegetables. As a child I didn’t know we were poor because we were a happy family. Everything changed when my dad suddenly passed away when I was 9. I didn’t have much time to grieve because all the farm work had to be done by my brother and I. We would always cry while working and when my mom saw us, she would come hug us and then we would all cry together. I envied others who had a father because their farm work would be done much quicker.
While other families were taking breaks with their work, my brother and I would still have half of the farm field left. My mom remarried shortly after and abandoned the four of us.
I understand why she left. Our home was too poor and she had been through a rough time.
I just hope she’s happy and that her husband treats her well. Things got worse after that because I had to wake up much earlier than before to find wild vegetables and feed pigs before taking my siblings to school. My brother was 7, my sister was 3 and my youngest brother was only a couple months old. Before waking them up I would cry alone because I was so tired but I kept telling myself that as the oldest sister I should carry the burden alone.
I think my hard work paid off because when I was 12, aunties and uncles from Silver Lining brought me to the orphanage in Da Hua. It was crazy how technologically advanced city-life was and life at Silver Lining was so much better because the aunties would cook for me and even help me with my schoolwork. The hardest part for me though was being away from my siblings. I missed them so much and was so happy when they arrived at Silver Lining a year later!
Fast-forward 6 years and I’m now a senior in high school preparing to be the first person from my family’s history to attend a university. My dream is to go back to Silver Lining in the future so that uncle and aunty Yeung can go to other places to help children in need.
by Joshua Yeung, International worker with Silver Lining
Stories from the Field highlight the ministries that the Women of the Alliance have chosen to support. For more info visit https://www.greatcommissionwomen.org/resource/more2/