Year in Review: What 2014 Looked Like to All Girls Allowed

“For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

 

Every year, in the days leading up to Christmas, these familiar words of Prophet Isaiah are read from churches to churches as huge numbers of believers gather to celebrate the birth of our Messiah. The passage, which so powerfully declares the sovereignty of Jesus, can mean a lot to the nation of China, home to approximately one fifth of the world’s population. Though it may seem strong and prosperous on the outside, China is in desperate need of a “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” to fill the spiritual and moral void that is deep within the fabric of its society.

 

The One-Child Policy and gendercide has perpetuated the culture of death and oppression in China for 34 years by claiming the lives of the unborn, trampling upon the value of girls, and removing the God-given dignity from mothers. Amidst all this brokenness and pain, is there still a reason for us to hope for the better?

 

Since 2010, our team at All Girls Allowed has dedicated all effort into serving families in the world’s most populous nation. Yet, before this whole journey even began, we had recognized that we would not be able to achieve anything unless we seek God's kingdom and righteousness first in all that we do (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, as we reflect on this past year, we are grateful that the Lord has sustained our ministry in mighty ways so that we can continue to be a blessing to others.

 

One important victory in 2014 is that all but one Chinese provinces have eased the One-Child Policy, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent has no siblings. While All Girls Allowed welcomes this change, we have been, and will always be, calling for an immediate and complete end to all coercive family planning measures in China. Recently, there have been speculations that the Chinese government indeed has plans to abolish the One-Child Policy in the near future.

 

So yes, there is a reason for us to hope for the better, but the reason is not that any human endeavor alone can make a real difference. Instead, the reason is that we have Christ the King who is just and righteous, and it is His desire to spread the good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and to release the prisoners from darkness (Isaiah 61:1). In the last four years, All Girls Allowed have witnessed the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, and the prisoners in China crying out to God in their suffering. The Chinese leadership should realize this and allow the justice and righteousness of Jesus to guide the nation’s path, in order that the culture of death and oppression can turn into a culture of life and freedom. We look forward to the day when the One-Child Policy and gendercide cease to exist, because we believe that ultimately, “the zeal of the Lord Almighty”—not of the government, or of us—will accomplish this.

 

And now, as the year comes to a close, let us look back at some of the important events in 2014:

 

WINTER 2014 

  • January 1 -- All Girls Allowed’s new year began with a blessing from 21-year-old Heather Miller, who wrote a guest article on our blog about her life journey through abuse, adoption, forgiveness, and restoration. Her testimony was a profound reminder of Christ’s power to heal the deepest wounds in one’s heart and to shine light on the darkest areas of one’s life. (Read here.)
  • January 9 -- Renowned film director Zhang Yimou faced the largest fine ever given to violators of the One-Child Policy: 7.48 million yuan ($1.2 million). In China, such violations can result in monetary penalties, loss of jobs, and forced abortions or sterilizations. (Read here.)
  • January 14 -- A doctor in Shaanxi province was sentenced to death for selling seven newborns to child traffickers. Each year, more than 70,000 precious children suffer the same fate under China’s One-Child Policy. (Read here.)
  • January 17 -- BBC published the heartbreaking story of Zhang Rundong, a 3-year-old boy who essentially does not exist. As the second child of her parents, Rundong is deemed “over-quota” by the One-Child Policy. Consequently, the government has denied him his identity papers, which, among other things, permits citizens to attend school, travel between cities, and receive medical care.  There are an estimated 13 million “over-quota” children like Rundong living in China today. (Read here.)
  • January 17 -- Zhengjiang became the first Chinese province to relax the One-Child Policy, a change that would lead to approximately 100,000 additional births within the next five years, according to population authorities. (Read here.)
  • January 20 -- Nine-year-old “left-behind” child Xiao Chuang committed suicide upon knowing that he would be spending yet another Chinese New Year by himself.  Xiao Chuang’s lonely life and unexpected death exemplified the hardship of China’s 61 million children who grow up without one or both of their migrant worker parents. (Read here.)
  • January 21 -- A Chinese man was executed for imprisoning six women in a dungeon as sex slaves for as long as 21 months. Apart from raping his victims repeatedly, Li Hao also forced them to engage in sexual activities with customers, to perform in pornographic web shows, and to murder two of their fellow captives. In 2013, the U.S. Department of State named China as one of the worst countries for human trafficking. (Read here.)
  • January 29 -- Kim Lee, in a New York Times article entitled “Abuse, Fear, and Shame in China”, described her experience of being abused by her ex-husband Li Yang, a Chinese entrepreneur famous for his language program, “Crazy English”. The American mother was granted a divorce back in February 2013 after an 18-month legal battle. Official statistics suggest that 25% of Chinese women have suffered domestic violence in their marriage. (Read here.)
  • February 11 -- A man in Henan province received an 8-month prison term for providing sex-selective abortions to pregnant mothers. The court decision was part of the government’s year-long campaign targeting illicit medical practices in China. In the first three months of the crackdown, over 5,000 illegal clinics were forced to shut down. (Read here.)

 

SPRING 2014

  • March 3 -- A desperate father ended his life after the local government denied education to his “over-quota” children. The news was reminiscent of the death of Ai Guangdong, a 45-year-old farmer who drank pesticide in December 2013 because he was unable to pay the hefty One-Child Policy fines. (Read here.)
  • March 8 -- On International Women’s Day, Chai Ling and All Girls Allowed urged a swift end to the decades-old One-Child Policy. The Chinese government’s outlawing of multiple children, combined with a cultural preference for boys, has resulted in the systematic elimination of girls by means of sex-selective abortion, female infanticide, child abandonment, and other forms of gendercide. (Read here.)
  • March 8 -- A Malaysian airplane carrying 227 passengers disappeared while on its way to Beijing. Casualties of the incident included 153 Chinese, most of whom were their parents’ only children. Under the One-Child Policy, 76,000 couples lose their only child every year. The number of such “shidu” families amounted to more than 1 million in 2010. (Read here.)
  • March 8 -- An article by CNN drew attention to the continued existence of gender discrimination in the workplace in China, which “has changed from overt to recessive”, according to anthropologist Wen Hua. Wage inequality, inadequate provisions for working mothers, and prejudice against unattractive female employees are a few of the challenges Chinese women have been facing. (Read here.)
  • March 14 -- What is it really like to grow up in a society where the God-given life, value, and dignity of girls are lost? All Girls Allowed interviewed Jia, a Chinese mother who came to the United States in 2012. As the only child of her family, Jia was raised as a boy, was constantly told by others that boys are better, and was pressured to give birth to a boy herself. (Read here.)
  • March 16 -- A “baby hatch” for abandoned children in Guangdong province was temporarily shut down after receiving an overwhelming 262 unwanted babies within two months of its opening. In China, around 10,000 infants are abandoned each year, either because they are girls or because they have contracted diseases. (Read here.)
  • May 5 -- Ten mothers and fathers visited an anti-human trafficking department in Cambodia with reports that their daughters were being sexually abused by their Chinese “husbands”. The overabundance of unmarried men in China caused by gendercide and the One-Child Policy has resulted in the enslavement of women from neighboring countries as “brides”. (Read here.)
  • May 11 -- On Mother’s Day, All Girls Allowed celebrated the lives of many Chinese mothers who had displayed incredible faith, courage, and resilience in the face of acute hardship. As they overcame poverty, family rejection, domestic abuse, and government oppression, these mothers reminded us that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:36) (Read here.)
  • May 13 -- Chai Ling, former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests and Founder of All Girls Allowed, penned an open letter to China’s President Xi Jinping, urging him to rectify the government’s verdict on the June 4th Massacre, to abolish all population control policies, and to turn away from the nation’s long history of human rights violations. Ling hoped that Xi would use his “God-given authority as the President of China to act justly, to love mercy, and to humbly lead the nation into the land of blessing, fruitfulness, and stability that the Lord has promised.” (Read here.)
  • May 14 -- The Ministry of Health and Family Planning released a report detailing the demographics of China’s 430 million families. The average size of a Chinese household has fallen from 5.3 to 3.02 people since the 1950’s. Moreover, China now has more than 180 million people over the age of 60 – a number that is expected to swell to 330 million in 2050. Decline in family size and population ageing are among the multitude of social problems created by the One-Child Policy. (Read here.)
  • May 29 -- Chai Ling joined Speaker of the House John Boehner, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and many other human rights figures at the U.S Capitol to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Ling gave a passionate speech about her experience at Tiananmen and called China to end its current human rights abuses so that the country can experience true freedom. (Read here.)
  • May 30 -- Chai Ling joined Congressman Chris Smith and other humanitarian activists for a hearing in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Ling shared her life testimony as well as stories of China’s poor treatment of women and the horrors of the One-Child Policy. (Read here.)

 

SUMMER 2014

  • June 4 -- Chai Ling and All Girls Allowed held a prayer meeting and memorial service at Harvard Memorial Church. Several local church leaders and friends of All Girls Allowed gathered to honor the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and pray for God to free China today. The meeting concluded by highlighting the One-Child Policy, gendercide in China, and the work of All Girls Allowed. (Read and watch here.)
  • June 9 -- Family Planning Officials in Jiangsu province faced an interesting dilemma, as they were unable to decide whether or not to impose a penalty of several hundred thousand yuan on a scrap collector who barely had any money. Liu Xiangming, 58, was subject to massive fines because he had 10 children in a country where he is only allowed to have one. (Read here.)
  • July 4 -- A prominent pastor in Henan province was sentenced to 12 years in jail for his faith. As a new wave of religious persecution befell China, many Protestant churches were forced to have their crosses removed, while some were demolished altogether. Surprisingly, state-sanctioned churches fared no better in the government’s recent crackdown on Christianity. (Read here.)
  • July 5 -- All Girls Allowed was delighted to receive the first official update from our Orphan Care Program workers in China. Although it broke our hearts to read about the children’s difficult circumstances, we were grateful that God had been using our program to bring love and hope into their midst. (Read here.)
  • August 3 -- On the 100th anniversary of World War I, All Girls Allowed not only remembered the 37 million people who were killed and injured a century ago, but also called to mind the 37 million girls “missing” in China today(Read here.)

 

FALL 2014 - NOW

  • September 25 -- This day marked the 34th year since China’s enforcement of the brutal One-Child Policy. The anniversary was preceded by the news that San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu’s proposal to lift bans on sex-selective abortions had been passed. The approval of this resolution removes a pregnant woman’s last weapon to fight for her baby girl’s right to live. (Read here.)
  • October 1 -- China’s National Day took a dramatic turn in Hong Kong this year, as thousands of residents brought to the streets their requests for democratic reforms. In an open letter to the protestors in Hong Kong, Chai Ling highlighted the importance of “holding firm to the truth”, “achieving freedom through love”, “knowing that victory is certain”, and “using the power of faith to bring transformation”. (Read here.)
  • November 6 -- Tibet joined 29 other provincial regions in adopting the “selective two-child policy”, making Xinjiang the only place in China that had not made the change. As of September this year, around 800,000 couples had applied to have a second child, a number that fell short of the two million annual new births projected by the government when the policy shift was first announced. (Read here.)
  • December 4 -- The Chinese government released a proposal to reform the country’s hukou (i.e., residence permit) system so that migrant workers would be able to enjoy the same rights as local urban dwellers. The new legislation is expected to eliminate regional discrimination and encourage the free movement of labor. It may also reduce the number of “left-behind” children, who are currently prevented from receiving education in the cities where their parents are working. (Read here.)
  • December 31 -- It has been another fruitful year for our Baby Shower Program. Thanks to our dedicated field workers in China, we were able to reach a total of 871 families in 2014. Through the 4549 house visits we conducted, 109 girls and 119 boys were welcomed into the world, 40 babies were saved from abortion, and 122 people believed in the Lord. (Read some of the amazing testimonies here.)

 

Before the year ends, will you help save a baby girl’s life? Your donation supports a girl through her first year of life and brings life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China. We also have two active fundraisers, read their stories here and here, and feel free to donate. There are also many other ways to give and to help. Start by learning about gendercide and sharing it with your friends. Simple acts like liking our Facebook and Twitter pages can help spread more awareness. You could also do something more tangible and make baby blankets or even lead your own 37 Seconds campaign at your local church or school.


However, in the end, one of the most powerful things you can do is pray. Pray with us for the new year, for our families, and for change. You can follow our newsletters by subscribing here and we will keep you updated with testimonies and prayer requests. We believe in 2015, All Girls Allowed and all who support us will see another breakthrough of God’s love in our endeavors. With just a day left of 2014, what will you do?

 

IMAGES: All Girls Allowed, Ampc.org.cn, Astaga.com, BBC, Blogpost.com, Chinasmack.com, Daily Mail, Echinacities.com, Flickr, Getty Images, Huffington Post, New York Times, SCMP, The Telegraph, Tumblr

 

All Girls Allowed (http://www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded by Chai Ling in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and revealing the injustice of the One-Child Policy.  “In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her.”




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