Saturday, July 28, 2012

Orphanage Activities

Twenty days until I leave for China!  The time is flying by and I can't believe it's coming so soon.
Donations are starting to come in and the team will be having a conference call in about two weeks to solidify what we each will be doing in the orphanages.  I am taking my oral Typhoid medicine (with no side effects) and have all my paperwork ready.  The Lord has graciously provided all my trip costs plus some for extra travel expenses and souvenirs.  So, besides the team lessons to work on and preparations for packing, I am ready!

I have had some inquiries on what we will be doing specifically, and while that is still developing, these are the general needs from the orphanages themselves:
  •  Interact with the orphans, play with them, take them on walks, do crafts or games together, teach them English, provide them with activities and stimulation needed for healthy development.
  • Physical therapy for developmental-challenged children.  Medical missions.
  • Outreach to poor families in the community and an English school.
  • Medical workshops and outreaches, yard work.
  • Training caregivers, holding babies, work projects, and helping around the home.
May I just say, All God's Children Int'l is incredibly thorough and helpful with their trip logistics!  They have done a great job in getting us all prepared and I am really looking forward to meeting my China team.  Blessings!

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One month!

One month from today, I leave for China! I cannot believe the time has come so quickly.  Donations are starting to come in, I make my last trip payment on Friday, and I'm starting to think about packing and other travel preparations.  I'm definitely getting excited!

I will say that it has been hard to focus though, because our family vacation and church's Vacation Bible School are right before this trip.  I will have one week between VBS and flying out to finalize everything.  It's a bit daunting but I know all is in my Lord's hands and He will see me through...He always does!

So, what do I expect from this trip? I have no idea, honestly, except that it will have a life-changing impact in my heart.  I know many go on mission trips to serve, to give, to touch lives with Christ's love and truth.  I do so also, but I feel more deeply that I am going as a learner more than anything learn how to "do" a quick 10-day turn around trip with all the jet lag that such a trip entails (anyone who knows me, knows that I love my sleep and wear down easily without it!); to learn how to jump into a group of strangers, albeit sisters and brothers in Christ, and work as a team with a servant heart and willingness to do whatever is asked of me; to learn firsthand about mainland China, China's orphanages, China's orphans, and the special needs that many children live with; and probably, most of all, to learn to love well the "least of these" as I love my Lord.  He, Himself, said, "'I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me...when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" Matthew 25:35-36, 40 (NLT).  The least in the world's eyes, however, are often the greatest in God's kingdom, and I will be honored to spend time with these "greatest."

No doubt I will return feeling that I received more from my time in China's orphanages than I gave.  Isn't that how it often goes?  So, I will be content with going as a learner even as I serve, understanding that I will be encountering some of the most beautiful of all God's children. In fact, I may very well see the face of Jesus...this reminds me of words from the song "What Now" by Steven Curtis Chapman that has stayed close to my heart:

I saw the face of Jesus in a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner on the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus gently whisper to my heart
Didn't you say you wanted to find me?
Well here I am, here you are

So, What now?
What will you do now that you found Me?
What now?
What will you do with this treasure you've found?
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you remember, this is right where I said I would be
You've found me
What now?

Most certainly, I expect to return from China with this question heavy upon my heart...what now? 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Collecting Donations

I am officially collecting donations now to carry over to the orphanages with me.  The main needs are medicines and they should not expire within a year's time. Children's DVDs, puzzles, clothing (ages 5-10), and various other items are needed as well.  Please contact me for more specific information on these items. I will collect up through August 12th.  
Happy 9th Birthday to Joshua today! Blessings,