Monday, April 26, 2010

Spotlight: Anneli Johnson

We're introducing something new on our blog called "Spotlight."  Each week we'll introduce you readers to some people that work here at New Day. This first one is about one of our interns, Anneli Johnson. Read her story about coming and volunteering in China. 


How did you hear about New Day? 
A friend of mine told me about New Day in 2004. He was here for a week and he told me about the organization, what they do and how incredible it is. “You should really check it out,” he said. But the timing wasn’t right so it took me four years until I even started considering it. I had always wanted to go to China to work with something related to international adoption. But it took me a long time to finally decide to go. But it all came together the summer of 2009, and as I started to plan towards my trip I saw how the pieces fell together.

Why did you decide to come and volunteer with New Day? 
Well, I’ve always had New Day in the back of my mind since my friend told me about them. I looked into volunteering with another organization but it didn’t work out. So I contacted Caroline (the one who’s in charge of the volunteer service at New Day) and started emailing her and here I am!

What do you do as an intern at? 
 I work in the preschool. I teach in English every second day. I play with the children and sing songs with them. It’s great! Everyone who is interested to come and volunteer at New Day gets to fill in an application. You can tell them where you would be most interested in volunteering; in the preschool, with the babies, in the office, with the company, or with the school teaching in English.

What is the best part with volunteering in China? 
The kids: to be able see their smiles when you walk into the preschool room. They’re so cute! And the bonds that you get to form with them. They’re really precious.

Have you had any “China moment” 
Well, I love how friendly the people are here. I don’t speak any Chinese but they’re still willing to try and communicate with me. Whereas back home if you don’t speak any English I am not sure if someone would be interested to try to find other ways to communicate with you.

What are the things you’ll always remember from this experience? 
The kids and the people. Just the fact that these kids are happy even though they been through multiple surgeries and transitions. The best example of that to me is Vincent. He came to New Day when I first arrived here. He was sad; he cried a lot and you could see how broken he was. But now only a couple of months later, he’s not the same child. He’s happy; he’s laughing and he’s so talkative. The changes that he’s made are just incredible. Love truly makes a difference. 

What’s been your most useful Chinese phrase?  
“Ni hao” I use it everyday and you can say it to everyone you meet.

What’s your favorite dish you’ve eaten here? 
 I love garlic shoots! I didn’t even know they existed until I came here. And dumplings; they’re delicious.


  1. oooh, I like this new 'spotlight' section...and I love Anneli! :) She is a sweetheart with such a love for those kids. She has such a positive heart and you are blessed to have her there serving as an intern! :)


  2. What a great idea to "spotlight" the hands and feet of Christ serving at NDFH! Love it! And I too love me some Chinese dumplings!
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  3. I love the "spotlight" idea...I often wonder about the adults in the photos. Anneli, thank you for sharing so much love with these little ones!