Jump directly to the content

The Great Chinese Orphan Rescuer


Nov 10 2010
With more Chinese children abandoned due to birth defects, the work of Siew Mei Ang Cheung and Christian Action is more vital than ever.

Siew Mei Ang Cheung knows what it's like to be marginalized. Growing up as a Chinese immigrant in Malaysia, she was subject to an educational quota system that she says limited ethnic minorities' opportunities. The precocious youngster was undaunted by the challenges, however, and earned a Kentucky Fried Chicken scholarship to attend high school in England. There, she keenly felt the sting of isolation, but it caused her to reevaluate her priorities and dig deep into the Word of God.

As a 21-year-old college student, Ang Cheung sensed a call to use her talents to address injustice, inequality, and exploitation. At 23, she began working with Vietnamese refugees in Liverpool. Today Ang Cheung is executive director of Christian Action, a 25-year-old, Hong Kong-based organization with a multimillion-dollar budget that provides vital services to refugees, foreign domestic workers, and abandoned children.

Ang Cheung so identifies with the immigrant experience that she never saw herself as Chinese. After many years of working with refugees, she had a dream about an abandoned baby girl in a Chinese hospital whose situation was hopeless. She woke up in tears. The dream involved a friend who refused to help the baby. When she told him about it, he said he and his wife had thought of adopting from China but had decided it would be too difficult. "God revealed my heart to you," he told Ang Cheung.

She says this was the first confirmation that God was calling her to direct her energy (and Christian Action's resources) toward the plight of Chinese orphans. The second was when a Chinese national who lived in Australia smuggled an abandoned baby girl out of China and asked for Ang Cheung's help in adopting her. The third was visiting a state-run Chinese orphanage for herself and seeing how desperate the situation was in the early 1990s.

In 1997, Christian Action signed an agreement with local officials in Qinghai Province to work with indigenous people in caring for abandoned children. China Development Brief reports that Christian Action took over management of the Xining Child Welfare Institute and has since "invested heavily in improving the institution's training, facilities and care practices." The Xining Orphan and Disabled Welfare Center officially opened in 1998, and Christian Action partnered with the local government again in 2007 to open its affiliate, Xining Children's Rehabilitation Center. Now Christian Action has been asked to co-manage several more orphanages in Qinghai Provence, according to Ang Cheung.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
Things Our Mothers Told Us

Things Our Mothers Told Us

Stories and advice from our interviews with moms.
The Universal Call to ‘Mothering Like Christ’

The Universal Call to ‘Mothering Like Christ’

Childbirth illustrates the life-giving sacrifice of body, mind, and soul that applies to us all.
Don’t Call Me the Best Mom Ever

Don’t Call Me the Best Mom Ever

Why it's time for Mother's Day to retreat from the extremes.
I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer

I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer

The gospel taught me that forgiveness is not a pardon.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

My Son’s Autism Changed Everything—Even Our Church

I came to see special needs families as an unreached people group.

Twitter

  • RT @TrevinWax: Trevin's Seven: Links for your weekend reading https://t.co/P2DvVDfL0z
  • RT @bronleatweets: Pick of the Clicks honors to @MattMoore89 @Mepaynl @MarlenaGraves @CarynRivadeneir @LoveLifeLitGod @POTUS and more https2026
  • RT @michellevanloon: A sneak peak at #MomentsAndDays: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith! https://t.co/LKGxysHZc8 @NavPress https://2026
  • RT @KatelynBeaty: Sarah Arthur's (@HolyDreaming) "Top 10 Tips for Getting It Done" ("it" = "all the writing") belongs on your wall: https:/2026
  • "Partnering with God to nurture others extends beyond biological parenting" https://t.co/LkbJyaavGp


What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
The Great Chinese Orphan Rescuer