A Shining Light Amidst the Cold Night
As the remaining glow of the sunset adorned the sky, Mr. Hsia rode my motorcycle along Provincial Highway No.13 on my way back home. Passing by a gas station, Mr. Hsia suddenly thought of Grandpa Feng who lives on the opposite hill. Mr. Hsia wondered how he was spending his evenings now. Being a case investigator, his occupational habits die hard, and without hesitation, he signaled and turned my vehicle towards the mountain to visit Grandpa Feng.
I rode along the winding and dim forest trail, entering a very hilly terrain. The mountain road was rough and uneven, making it challenging to traverse. After about half an hour, I noticed an old, run-down cottage with bright lights shining through the gaps in the trees on a steep slope ahead. Mr. Hsia knocked on the door and it opened to reveal the familiar face of Mr. Feng. The grandfather greeted him with a surprised and smiling face: "Whoa! Mr. Hsia! Why are you here so late? Thank you for helping me with the water and electricity, and fixing the house, now I have a TV..."
Grandpa Feng, who is in his seventies and unmarried, lives alone in this ancestral house that was built by his grandfather in the deep mountains. When his grandfather was young, he built this bungalow in the deep woods, and he vaguely remembers that he used to light kerosene lamps at night to save fuel and not to light them for too long! Over the years, the house has become dilapidated and worn, but one thing remains unchanged—the dimness inside. Despite having had a stroke, Grandpa Feng continues to live a primitive life without water or electricity. He has to spend money to have water carried up the mountain for him, and at night, he relies on candlelight to get by, often going to bed early. When it rains, he has to place basins around to catch the leaks inside the house.
The Foundation received a report, and the case investigator wanted to help Mr. Feng at least have basic access to water and electricity. After coordinating with the local township office and obtaining the consent of the landowner, the investigator approached several utility companies. However, due to the need to lay pipelines over long distances across the mountain, no one was willing to take on the project. Finally, the last company agreed to undertake the task at a reduced price, disregarding the difficulties of the construction, as they recognized our charitable intentions. They successfully installed electricity by pulling the pipelines over the mountain, and a motor was installed in a water well located a hundred meters away to extract water. Additionally, workers were hired to repair the old house. The help given by the Chang Yung-Fa Charity Foundation to Grandpa Feng was spread by word of mouth in the area, and soon there were kind-hearted people who sent electric pots, small refrigerators and TVs, forming a cycle of goodness.
When the project was completed, the water and electricity were connected, and dozens of people from the neighborhood came to celebrate with Grandpa, and everyone ate the tangyuan prepared by Grandpa Feng! He excitedly showed his neighbors the water tap with running water and the bright electric lights. He happily exclaimed, "My house has water and electricity now!" While enjoying the tangyuan, the investigator thought about how many people in Taiwan are still living without water and electricity.