Monday, July 28, 2008


Today, our youngest son, Aaron Burns is starting his second week in helping with recovery efforts in one of the China cities hit by the earthquake back in May, 08. Below are some "answers" to some media questions a local newspaper reporter asked Aaron in an Email. Please notice some of Aaron's thoughts about this mission trip after his first week there with 18 other volunteers.

"We are in the city of Du Jiang Yan (about 45 minutes from Chengdu in the Sichuan province) and we are mainly working with a local school which is holding an English summer camp. They have brought in some students who have been affected by the earthquake. Through teaching, playing games, and spending time with the students we're able to encourage them and most importantly make them happy and see some smiles. We have been able to see a lot of the damage of the city and were told that 70-80% of the buildings within the city will have to be rebuilt. In the afternoons, we are able to go to a Styrofoam camp and tent city where the homeless will be living for the next 2-3 years as the city is cleaned up and rebuilt. Last week we experience 2 aftershocks and it really scared the locals as it brings back the memories of May 12 and the 10,000 people that died in this city alone. My personal prayer for this trip for me as well as the team that I am with is that we can simply "encourage."

"In the last 4 years that I've been in is very clear that not a lot of emotion is shown on the outside. I have seen many tears and know the people are hurting inside...I can't even imagine what all they've been going through and seen with their own eyes images that can never be erased. My heart definitely goes out to each person I have come in contact with here.

My favorite times have been teaching and getting to know the people in the tent city. We've been able to go there on occasion and eat supper with locals there and play games of simply talk to people. This is so important so they have somebody to share the things they are holding inside. These people are so precious and such a personal inspiration to me. It's been heartbreaking to see middle school and high school students with tears in their eyes. One night a new friend from the tent city camp to visit us at the school we are working at...I'll never forget walking him down this dark road and then to where all the tents are. I started to cry later on that evening thinking about him living in a tent or Styrofoam home for the next 3 years...I can't even imagine that...but daily as I am spending time hear I am starting to understand and realize what so many people here are going through."

Please pray for Aaron and his team's safety. I'm Jim Burns, Aaron's Dad. That's something to think about.