Yang Wenyin is keeping the doors open and meals ready while the crowds pour in.


How your gifts can transform lives in Shanghai

Issue 21

September 2023

Growing in confidence

'Superhero' graduate keeps center open at crucial time

You’d be amazed to see what a small gift can do. The annual “summer slump” can put vital programs at risk, but friends like you are keeping the doors open as you continue to give at this crucial time.

We’ve noticed a recent rise in the number of homeless guests, so every yuan and dollar really count right now. Also, you might already know that Hanson and Jimmy are working towards opening an agricultural program for Renewal trainees in Yunnan province.

This means they’ve both been away, but you’ll be relieved to know that our Renewal is in good hands. A super graduate named Yang Wenyin has been cooking up a storm and marshalling volunteers to keep our drop-in center welcoming more and more guests.

A man of few words, Yang Wenyin often simply replies, “En” or “Uh-huh.” But then watch him go! We have never felt so confident leaving the drop-in center in someone else’s hands, even at a time when money is very tight.

We are grateful for you. Every gift is crucial as we strive to keep the drop-in center open, and work to start agricultural training for people who won’t thrive in high-pressure city jobs.

The sad plight of the homeless retired

Weary but thankful, Xie Lu’de was overjoyed to receive clean, new clothes.

Forced to retire because of a stroke, Xie Lu’de and her husband now live on the streets and sleep every night in the train station. It’s the only place they feel safe and protected from the weather. They say it takes them an hour to reach the Renewal Center each week, but they drop in as often as they can.

“There is always such a warm welcome,” says Xie Lu’de. “Friends at the Renewal Center can help you resolve the difficulties you face, and offer a place to shower, have something to eat and change into clean clothes.”

Xie Lu’de grew up in Jiangsu province bordering Shanghai, where her Christian grandmother named her Lu’de after Martin Luther. As a young woman, she worked in manufacturing assembly until the factory she worked in shut down. To make matters worse, she and her husband lost their home and money when the savings and loan they trusted with their investments collapsed. He now struggles with mental health problems.

Their only son was recently married, but despite having a tiny income, Xie Lu’de and her husband can’t afford a place to live because rents have drastically increased since the COVID-19 lockdown finally came to an end. They are also still repaying a loan they took out when all their investments were lost.

Anyone hearing her story for the first time would wonder how she faces each new day, but Xie Lu’de remains optimistic – and extremely grateful. “The winter is cold, and all you can do is cover up with a thicker blanket. But the Renewal Center is so warm and cozy. I want to thank you and your supporters for all your love, help and guidance.”

Weary but thankful, Xie Lu’de was overjoyed to receive clean, new clothes.