Chance to see epic tale of man who changed China
The epic tale of a Norwich man who gave up all to change the Chinese nation is being told in the feature documentary, ‘Children of Shanghai’ at Cinema City Norwich on Tuesday November 23 at 6pm. Sandie Shirley reports.
The exclusive free film viewing, with refreshments, at St Andrew’s Street is narrated by TV celebrity and author Bear Grylls and highlights former Norwich City footballer Rob Glover’s unswerving quest to dream big and see the transformation of a million orphans when placed in family homes as an alternative to state-run institutions.
The documentary tells of the turnaround stories of the nineties’ orphans who have flourished in loving family homes since Robert founded Norwich based charity ‘Care for Children’ over 20 years ago. Overcoming prejudice and serious development difficulties, they have made their mark in the arts, finance, technology, tourism, and sport (as an Olympian medallist) in the fast-paced economy of Shanghai.
The story began when Robert, a former Norwich social worker who has been awarded an OBE by the Queen gave away all his possessions and burnt the mattresses from the family beds before boarding a one-way flight to China with his wife and six young children.
His book ‘As many as the Stars’ tells of a family who left the rural idyll of their Guernsey farm to move to Shanghai, one of the wealthiest, fast-changing cities in China. They embraced its people, moved in governmental, influential circles winning favour.
“I had been a believer all my life, but God broke my heart and called me to China. I wanted to give 100 per cent or nothing and was filled to the fullness of God which establishes our heart because our call and authority comes from him,” says Robert.
He helped cement an unsurpassed alliance between UK and Chinese Governments and now 85% of the children in state-run institutions in China have been fostered or adopted in family settings.
The ground-breaking mission began to gain traction as Robert travelled the length and breadth of the nation, embracing difficulty, diversity, and endless hospitality. It has been a roller coaster adventure that never let up as his mission won the hearts of the Chinese people.
“But it is God’s story and how he took hold of us as a family,” says Robert who has seen far-reaching miracles and blessings.
He recalls: “One little girl, all skin and bones, went to live with a family and needed an operation on her heart as she made a health comeback. When the surgeon came to do the operation, he wiped a tear away when he found nothing wrong with her heart. It became national news in China with the headline: ‘Miracle baby healed by the love of a mother’.”
He adds: “We are all orphans before God takes us into his family. One five-year-old orphan said she was like a caterpillar, but she became the butterfly she was always meant to be when she lived with a family,” says Robert.
He now works as an adviser at international conferences, events and consortia. He has also helped implement the Christian Marriage course across the nation after the Chinese Government sought advice for tackling marriage problems and stem divorce. Since then, Care for Children is also helping children in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia
The film is also available on Sky Documentaries. ‘As many as the Stars’: a story of change for the children of China’ is published by Hodder and Stoughton.
The 95 places at Cinema City are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Book them here.
For more details, contact: email@example.com
Pictured above is Robert Glover with some of the Chinese orphans.