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2023 January Heartbeat

year of the rabbit 2023

From the Heart

As we close out 2022, stories of heartbreak and hope fill my thoughts. Because of local civil affairs restrictions, Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village remains closed. I miss the ring of children’s laughter, the chatter of the nannies as they gather meals for their houses, and the parade of children making their way to school. The Philip Hayden Foundation Campus offered access to medical care, therapy, and education for orphans with special needs who were without hope. PHF transformed the lives of these children through compassionate care and love. Along the way, we hosted many individuals and teams whose lives were changed as they interacted with our sweet children. And many of our visitors began supporting orphans in China through PHF because of their visit. Others considered adoption – maybe for the first time – and formed forever families. 

Nearly three years after the initial cases of Covid, some families who were matched before the closure still wait to travel to meet their new son or daughter. My heart aches for that loss as well. Please continue to pray for these families. 

There are stories of hope as well in this new year. The number of orphans in government care in China continues to decline. As a society, China is more accepting of individuals with disabilities, and there is more access to healthcare, particularly in urban areas. Consequently, more families choose to raise their children with disabilities, particularly when help is available. 

New local charities have opened, and these organizations are finding new ways to serve orphans and vulnerable children by providing food, medical care, and education. PHF is honored to work with these NGOs, transforming lives and offering hope. In 2023 PHF will continue to help orphans and vulnerable children in China, primarily through established NGOs. 

There are stories of hope in Mexico as well. Tim and Pam Baker have lived in Yucatan, Mexico, for nearly two years, investing time in the community to build trust. As a result, Philip Hayden Foundation now has a strong collaborative relationship with a local charity, Red de Ciudadanos de Mérida, supporting local vulnerable children and their families with medical care and humanitarian aid. 

Lunar New Year – The Year of the Rabbit

 While the calendar New Year begins on January 1, the Lunar New Year falls on a different day each year. In China, the biggest holiday of the year is Spring Festival, starting with the Lunar New Year and ending 15 days later with the Lantern Festival. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit and begins on January 22. The rabbit symbolizes mercy, a hallmark of the Philip Hayden Foundation and our supporters. Thank you for your continued compassionate care for orphans and vulnerable children worldwide. 

Bringing Joy to Children With Christmas Fiestas

In December, together with our local partner, Red de Ciudadanos de Mérida, the Philip Hayden Foundation sponsored four large Christmas festivals (fiestas) around the city. The purpose of these fiestas was to be a blessing to some of the city’s most marginalized people. Most of these families live in extreme poverty in shanty houses made of scraps of cardboard, plastic, wood, and metal with dirt floors, no bathrooms, or indoor plumbing. 

Mexican children receiving gifts at a Christmas Fiesta

The charitable groups provided food and refreshments for the nearly 5,000 people who attended the four fiestas, Christmas presents (toys) for the 3,300 children, and loads of fun-filled activities. Together with our partners, we gave away 5,000 toys and packages of cookies and assembled and distributed thousands of sandwiches wrapped in a whole bunch of love and compassion. The outreach events made Christmas much merrier for these young families living in poverty. At the fiestas, there were performances, music, singing, dancing, clowns, bounce houses, and an abundance of smiles and laughter. Thanks to you and your love and support, Christmas this year was made special for many very grateful families in need. 

Events like the Christmas Fiestas provide joy for the hosts and the participants. Every positive interaction demonstrates our care and commitment, building trust. Trust is vital to transform lives with support during more significant life events.

Our special thanks to the Red de Ciudadanos de Mérida team and the Mérida Citizens Network for all their hard work to bring joy to children and their families. 

New Hope Foundation Healing Homes

New Hope Foundation was founded in 2003 out of Dr. Joyce and Robin Hill’s desire to live out their Christian faith. They say they jumped into the river that God put before them. Since then, more than 2,700 children have been lovingly cared for in line with their mission. Over 2,200 surgeries and hospitalizations have been arranged, and more than 800 of those children have been adopted into families. Although much has changed in the world in the past two decades, our mission of comforting the children in our care every moment we get to look after them, relieving their suffering as much as we are able, and doing everything we can to sustain their life here on earth has remained the same. Please pray for these sweet children. Each child deserves to feel safe, loved, and valued. For more information on the work New Hope Foundation, visit

Philip Hayden Foundation has provided medical care for medically fragile orphans through New Hope Healing Homes. In 2022, your donations to PHF medical fund helped Colin, Oriel, Homer, Roswell, and dozens of other children, providing medical care beyond the resources of their orphanages.

Hope for LongLong in Rural China

longlong stands using his new walker surrounded by his family and therapist

More families in China are raising their children with disabilities. It is hard work, and often families lack the resources or skills to help their children reach their potential. One boy PHF has helped is LongLong. While LongLong is working with a local charity, Hope Station, for therapy, he still needed a walker in his size. PHF was privileged to provide a walker. 

Here’s what LongLong’s Baba had to say: 

“Recently, [LongLong’s] been doing well with therapy. He trains on the standing bed every day and uses the walker to move around more to maintain muscle movement, so that the deformation of his feet may not be so prominent, we hope! Well, thank you again for your help to LongLong.” 

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