Opinion / Positive energy Leifeng laowai story

Henan's Lei Feng

By Wang Jingmei ( Updated: 2016-05-05 10:56

Henan's Lei Feng

I’m writing this for dozens of people who know, love and appreciate Henan's Lei Feng. ( Mr. Luo, the founder of the Binhe Park English corner; Mr. Li, a 78-year-old English student; Mr. Song, a retired government leader in Henan; and hundreds of others in Zhengzhou who know Henan's Lei Feng.)

There is no doubt about who the 'laowai Lei Feng' is in Henan province. I've known him for more than four years. He came to China in 2013. He has the most positive energy and temperament of anyone I've ever known. He even wrote a song for his students called 'Happy Every Day.' He shares his philosophy of life by having a positive attitude, by loving and helping everyone from the cleaner on the street to the government leader.

He always does what is required by his school and his leaders and never questions anything. He performs all the tasks with a smile on his face. Everyone who knows him will tell you exactly what I am saying. Everyone, including two television networks, call him 'the foreigner Lei Feng.'

One day, I was with him at Wanda Zhongyuan in Zhengzhou. We were walking along after having a meal at one of the shopping mall’s restaurants. A man walked up to him and they talked for a while. They obviously knew each other because my friend, the 'laowai Lei Feng', reached into his pocket and gave the man all of the money that he had. It was very likely more than 1,000 yuan. I know that he gives money regularly, usually in large amounts, to help the handicapped orphans.

I was very surprised when I saw what he did. It felt a little awkward to ask him why he gave that man so much money. But then curiosity took over. He replied, “That man takes care of handicapped orphans. Right now he has more than 30 orphans that he cares for. I give him money to help feed the orphans and give them the medical care that they need.”

Another day, while in a Denis supermarket, he was standing in line to pay for the items that he'd bought. A woman with two children was in front of him. The woman was short of about 30 yuan to pay for the items that she wanted to buy. My 'laowai Lei Feng' saw what was happening. The lady's small boy was playing on the rail that forms the queue. He reached into his pocket and got a 50 yuan note. He dropped it on the floor and then looked away as if he didn't know what he'd done. When he turned back, the little boy was looking at the 50 yuan note. He picked it up and gave it to the little boy and motioned him to give it to his mother so that she could get all the things that she needed. He did not look at the woman for fear that he would be discovered for what he'd done to help her.

Every Sunday morning unless he is sick, it is raining or he has class at the No. 19 Middle School where he teaches, he will be at the Binhe Park helping elderly people, college students and small children with their English. I know that sometimes he returns home and cannot feel his feet due to the numbness of the cold. Yet he loves the people there at the English corner and will do whatever he has to do to help them with their English learning.

Many foreigners have come there, but none of them are dedicated to the people. They want to get paid and not help others for free. He spends about three hours every Sunday to help the people there. One old man, Mr. Li, comes there every Sunday and recites for Zhengzhou's Lei Feng his 'homework'. He listens to Mr. Li and helps him with with pronunciation and other skills of speaking English.

Two local television networks have carried stories about him. ZZTV-2 and HNTV International Channel have done lengthy stories about him documenting his work at the English corner. HNTV sent an entire production crew of seven of their employees to make the story. Some of the school administrators where he works have said that CCTV-9 also used some of the stories from ZZTV-2 and HNTV International Channel on their station.

When HNTV came and filmed him, I was very moved at one thing that he insisted upon was to have the cleaner who cares for the property there in the video because the cleaner is his friend.

He is a blogger for China Daily and has been recognized by China Daily as well. He is Michael Murphy. He is from Texas, and is an English teacher in Zhengzhou.

He was resisting me sending this, but, I told many people who know him and they all insisted that I tell you about him. I asked him to read this to make sure that all of the stories are accurate.


Most Viewed Today's Top News