Over a decade ago, God gave us a little girl. Our daughter was born pre-mature, underweight, but really cute. At that time we were living in China. That first fall and winter, we were surprised by how often she got sick and how “floppy” she was. And — she sounded just like a little kitten when she cried. After a very serious illness in the spring, three medical evacuations – quite the story in itself – we finally were able to get a diagnosis: 5p- also known as Cri-du-Chat Syndrome, also known as Cat’s Cry Syndrome, also known as LeJeune’s Syndrome. Needless to say, we started to do lot of research and found that our daughter would be mentally and physically disabled for the rest of her life.
We decided to go back to China at that time, but only on a year-to-year basis. We knew that God wanted us to be there and that he would give us the strength and resources that we would need. And that is exactly what happened. We had two more wonderful years there. At the time, though, it became very clear that we needed to move to a country that had better medical and therapy resources. After a short search, we moved to Taipei, Taiwan. The medical facilities, resources and therapies were great and our daughter improved so much!
The Maurer Family (left to right): Uwe, Matthea, MaDonna, Megan and Marcus
As we were living in Taiwan, we realized that there were many other families with children that have special needs, and they seemed very discouraged and hopeless. In Taiwan, it is still often seen as an embarrassment or shame to have children that are not "perfect." We were able to have great conversations with other parents and realized that there was a void that we could fill. Because we have a special needs child ourselves, there is an automatic "heart to heart" connection. We could relate to them, encourage them, cry with them, learn with them, and, most importantly, tell them about the HOPE that we have.
We shared this vision with some of our very good friends, and together we decided to form a legal not-for-profit association. This would allow us to work more easily with schools, hospitals and other government organizations. We would be able to give tax-deductible receipts in Taiwan. Since our Taiwan Sunshine relies on the generous financial support of others, this was so important. Now, our dream is finally a reality!
Oh, one more thing — why does our website say "fearfully and wonderfully made?"
This actually comes from a poem in the Bible, from the book of Psalms. In this section, the poet says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." He is talking about how God already knew him and made him fearfully and wonderfully. In other words, he is not a mistake, an accident, or a sloppy thing. God did not run out of time when he was making him. We believe that this is true for all of us. God made each of us fearfully and wonderfully. That includes our kids, no matter what kind of ‘disabilities they have.
We hope that through Taiwan Sunshine, there will be such a radical shift in Taiwan’s culture to understand that each of these kids is valuable – not because of what they can contribute, but because they were made by God – with a specific purpose that only they can accomplish. We also hope that Taiwan Sunshine will communicate that sense of HOPE with every family we come in contact with.
Will you help us?