Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Breaking One's Limitations

Sharing of small story by sisters working at the Ricci Social Service center for people affected by leprosy.

On Christmas and New Year's Day, the nuns planned one month ahead of schedule to rehearse programs for the rehabilitated ones, because every year the Hanzhong Central Centre provides a variety of programs, and the rehabilitated are rarely involved. This year the sisters advocated the personal participation of the rehabilitated people in the celebration of cultural activities. Sisters took the Yangko, Square Dance, Allegro, comic and comedy information, and went out to find suitable candidates. However, their excitement was greeted with cool response as they either escaped or looked for a variety of reasons to reject the invitation. The sisters came back with disappointment.




We also understand that since they have been diagnosed with leprosy, they have been abandoned by their families and discriminated against by society. This has become a lingering shadow of their lingering mind. In order to allow them to build self-confidence and eliminate their fears, the sisters mustered courage to go out and find the potential actors again. When the sisters went into the sick patient area, there was a group of young people. The sisters went to each door to invite, giving them mental support and arranged the   rehearsal program to be hosted in their hospital. In fact, their lonely heart is eager to sympathy, friendship and affection. The sisters went to accompany, support, appreciate and encourage them every afternoon from 3 to 6 o'clock for the middle-aged yangko dance rehearsal, and 7 to 9 pm for the young people rehearsing square dance. The rehabilitated people were all in high spirits, and the program was smoothly carried out.








Applauses and cheers added to their self-confidence, so that they broke through the deep self-limitations set in their hearts, lifted the chains tying them, and regained the inner freedom and joy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Below are the reflections of Sr. Liu


Seeing the road in front of our door today, brought back my memory of seeing the same road in December 21, 2003.




At that time the road is amidst the river. With Yunnan spring weather all year round, the flowers and trees along the roadside grow lushly, making it difficult to find the road. Walking along often have scraping clothes, with long worms, mice, birds, crickets as the companion. In rainy days, the small ditches from the mountains gather water into the river, and walking is like a boat against the current, making it very difficult, and sometimes there is no way out. I remember one time our house guests (including a priest) had to go back early, but the river water was up to the thighs.  Fortunately the dumb son of a rehabilitation person carried us on his back to go across the river, sending the guests to the car. We usually travel in and out of the rehabilitation center by walk, for example buying vegetables for the rehabilitation people. There is no road, no car, no phone, we have to walk 15 Km to the road to catch a public transport. Road is for the people to walk, and everyone has no choice but walking.



In January 2014, we saw the road being built along the hillside, a winding winding narrow road, but you can ride a car. I am surprised there are roads here now, thanks to God, and also to Ricci Social Service (RSS) which supplies the rehabilitation center with a car. Now we can help the rehabilitation people to buy food, send them to see a doctor, do a lot of things they need, all thanks to the contribution by the benefactors of RSS. Every two weeks we will take the rehabilitation people to Shiping to buy food, meat and daily necessities, because there are 30 people in the center that cannot take care of themselves, including eating, drinking, and toiletting. There are 46 people that can do their daily necessities, every time when we go out these old people will give 2 yuan, 5 yuan to buy things for them. I was using a book to write all the things that need to buy, and running the city non-stop to get them till sunset. Every time we fill the car full. There are several times we bought too much and overloaded the car. Traveling on the public road is fine, but on the winding path at the steepest place, the car suddenly turn off and started to slide back down. I was frightened , I shouted loudly asking God to save us, the car slowly stopped. I started up again fiercely added the throttle finally came up, thanked be to God. Sometimes the elderly have to get down car so I can drive the car up the slope, because the road is narrow and slippery during raining days, hence difficult to travel especially with debris flow down the hillside.




On one occasion when I picked up the priest, he said, "When you see the director, tell him that the priest says, “Fr. Fu said that the road was becoming narrower and narrower.”  I replied: “When the director came, Fr. Fu said the road is getting more and more narrow, and what to do?”. The Director promised "We repair."

Today we are so happy to see the white cement road in front of our door! The elders are sitting in a wheelchair every day to play on the road, watching the mountains, watching the water… there are walking exercise, leisure walk etc., they are so much happier. We get more convenient access, and are not afraid of landslides, not to mention shopping, we can drive those rehab people who would like to go out to buy their own needs. They can also feel good to have a road, and experience that they are not abandoned, but live in the moment to be taken care of, really feel alive in the happiness and thanksgiving.






Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Smiling faces


This is written by a RSS collaborator that saw the scene at the rehabilitation centre one day and felt in the bottom of her heart 




This place is either out of water or out of power, there was no water just the day before yesterday and then no power again last night!

It's the weekend, two collaborators began the work of the day after breakfast: drag the hose to water the vegetables; and cook for the elderly as usual.

When the power is out, cooking has to be done using wood fire: one would have to watch the fire/add firewood, select the vegetable, wash the vege, wash the rice, boiled rice etc…….busy enough. Upon finishing the cleaning of the compound, instead of sewing a few sandbags for the kids, decided to go to help the elderly due to laziness.

Walk into the homes for the elderly, the collaborator saw several elderly people in the room doing their own thing, and she greeted them and walked directly towards the end of the house guō tái (stove), what's in sight is Ma Jian-Gan the elder reclining near the stove adding firewood, laughing loud "he he" upon seeing her. “You're here", he says hello to her. “Yeah, I come and see you, you are helping to add fire ah!" "Oh, adding the fire, my personal favor." Walked into the kitchen, the collaborator started cutting the vegetables, her face filled with nice looking smiles…that was a natural, unconscious smile. I asked her :”What are you laughing at? Let me see the beauty of what's your smile, so that makes me laugh too." She just said: “I didn’t laugh, did I?" then laugh again as she spoke.

Smiling faces of the elderly, coupled with the smiling faces of the collaborator, what on earth is more beautiful picture than the smiles from the bottom of the hearts!

Who would've thought they were disjointed strangers before, and separated far and wide? However, at this very moment this is definitely a father and daughter in deep love affection, in the enjoyment of the time, enjoying the gift of family warmth.  This happens because of common humanity, our common father -- God. He gave each and every one his share of the purest, most noble emotions - love.

“Love one another, so that people can recognize you as my disciples.” Jesus ordered: this is the driving force of our life, source of our strength, and the root of our smiles.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Angel of the Elderly - Yang Xiaoyun




Commonly known as the angel of the elderly, Yang Xiaoyun is an ordinary Yi tribe old man. The reason for his name is that although he was suffering from leprosy but he never complain. He is happy to lend a helping hand no matter who is in trouble.



At the beginning of the rehabilitation center, traffic is very inconvenient. Daily necessities of rehabilitation center basically rely on manual carrying up the mountain. Since Yang Xiaoyun came to the rehabilitation center, there was an extra bodily figure carrying a big bamboo basket following the nuns traveling to and from the mountain.




Meigu rehabilitation center is located in the mountains of Rama. Even though at late stage a stone pathway has constructed, still the vehicles cannot go up the mountain.  For various reasons the nuns previously serving at this center left. So there is no one serving at the rehabilitation center, and the elderly homes here are very helpless. Under the arrangements of Ricci Social Services , Yang Xiaoyun came to the Meigu rehabilitation center to help the old people cooking. After he came here, in addition to cooking for the elderly he also help them to wash clothes, bath and cleaning. Yang Xiaoyun never complains: not too dirty too tired. He just hope that the old people here can have a comfortable environment to spend the last moments of their life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Corrective Footwear for Leprosy Patients



In order to improve the deformity of the feet of lepers in the Chinese mainland (with nuns), this can also serve as a cure for ulcers in the feet. Casa Ricci Social Services, in cooperation with Fr. Roberto Tonetto of Ya-Xi Marynoll center, designed a special protective footwear in 2007, contacted a company for manufacturing, and distributed to the center of the relevant patients until now. Expenditure so far is about 300,000 yuan, covering 6 provinces, the number of shoes over 6000 pairs, serving about 500 to 600 patients. This shoe is constantly improving, so that patients can fell more confortable.




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Prosthesis Service





Since 2010, Casa Ricci Social Services has been cooperating with Fr. Roberto Tonetto of Ya-Xi Marynoll, centre to give the leprosy centers (that we have connection with) in China a prosthesis service. This service provides wheelchairs, handrails and their maintenance, hand and leg prosthesis installation and maintenance.





Casa Ricci Social Services is responsible for the trip expenses including meals and labour expenditure. During the year 2010 to 2014, this service have provided 130 prosthesis services in 14 different centers in 6 provinces, with a total of 50 people benefited.










Wednesday, August 3, 2016

5to. Anniversary of the death of our beloved founder Father Luis Ruiz S. J.





Remembering our dear Father Luis Ruiz, who began his work in Macau when he was 37 years, the work of Fr. Ruiz primarily began in China when he was 80 years old. I believe the Chinese government has been marveled by a man of his age worried and investing so much effort and money on people who were not worth for the society and almost did not exist. People affected by leprosy were not a priority for the society and P. Ruiz transformed them on his priority. By giving them access to electricity, building road, worrying about their food, sending religious to heal their wounds, giving education to the youth, etc. thousands of patients affected by leprosy regained their dignity as persons. The work of Fr. Ruiz allowed these people to overcome their isolation, tearing down the wall that discrimination had built. They were able to approach the society, but also the society dared to get closer to them. In a way, he started a movement that nowadays enable individuals and groups, including people in government, to approach and be able to get closer to people affected by leprosy.

Father Luis Ruiz, shared with us many gifts, but the most important is their mission to serve those in need. With your help Casa Ricci continue with this mission to help and bring hope and joy to the poorest in China in the same way he has taught us to be near them, to serve and to learn from them.

You can also find the documentary we made of Father Luis some years ago in the following links:

Part I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irw7rqtp8HQ
Part II:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8AIDuWIRi0
Part III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPbHBSx6_Oo