by Winston Chua
Grace is sometimes defined as an unmerited favor, some say from God; some say from people in general, or both. San Marino’s Angela Liu had both the chance to give and receive this gift during a 10-day-mission trip to a blind school in Zhengzhou, China.
“My parents and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to experience the world from a different point of view,” Angela said.
Far from the comforts of home, the 14-year-old brought her musical talents to the north-central Chinese city, where she met people who lived in overcrowded dorms, decrepit bathrooms and musty cafeterias, an experience that focused her desire to serve others.
Angela, founder of the Blind Light Foundation, dedicated to ensure the hopes and joys of visually impaired people, realized in China that she possessed “a thousand times more of the material luxuries than the students [in China]” she said.
During the evenings of her trip, she would teach the students how to perfect Amazing Grace on recorders. Type in “Angela Liu Amazing Grace” on the search bar of YouTube to hear the beautiful rendition for yourself.
“It was very rewarding to see them work so hard; I enjoyed getting to know them,” she added.
One of her students asked her, “What makes you smile?” Thinking for a moment, Angela replied, “I used to be full of worries and became unhappy for the smallest things. However, this changed after I became a Christian. Now, I trust God holds my hand and I don’t have to worry.”
One day on her journey, the students were asked to mention one thing they were grateful for. For one it was the health of a last remaining family member. For another it was time with the teaching crew who flew to China.
Angela said, “I really felt I should have been the one to say ‘Thank you.’ I am the one who learned from the students how to become more mature.”
The Blind Light Foundation will host a benefit concert on Sunday, August 4 at the Steinway Piano Gallery at 150 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 101 at 1:15 p.m. Tax-deductible donations are welcome.
Angela has set a target goal of raising $6,000 to help the visually impaired in China. She began playing music at the age of 5 and will entertain an audience with her piano skills playing the works of Bach, Burton, Haydn, Debussy, Halffter and Taffanel.
The talented pianist, who has won numerous awards, also began studying the flute when she was 9. An avid volunteer, she has played in the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra and was accepted to play for the Olympia Youth Orchestra for the 2013-14 season. In the future, she hopes to become a pediatric opthalmologist and help children who have vision impairments. For more information, please email the foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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