Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Now?

So what now?

I was both exceedingly thankful to be in China and anxious to return home to meet the newest addition to our family, an exchange student from Armenia, and to reunite with my family who I missed terribly.  The boys are all off for their first day of school this morning and as all the school preparations wind down, I am able to go back through my China pictures and process the trip.  I am overwhelmed by the experience the Lord has just granted me and can not help but ask...what now?  Surely it was not just to have a good time, to revisit Chinese culture, to eat some great food...no, it was so God could weave my life with those I met along the way for a greater purpose.  This trip wasn't about me- it was about Him and His unfolding plans for His people...for His most precious and vulnerable children.  I can not help but return changed, and a question in the depths of my soul is this...what now?

Will you pray that I hear clearly God's answer? that our family hear the Lord's call?  and that we wholeheartedly respond in faith and obedience?  

Thank you!
Kerri

Monday, August 27, 2012

Home!

I made it home last night! The trip went very smoothly with no problems at all.  Thanks so much to everyone for praying for me and the team.  I had the time of my life and cannot wait to share photos and stories with everyone this Sunday, 10:45 a.m. at First Baptist Church.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Almost Home!

The team left Beijing this morning and arrived safely at San Francisco! I am waiting here for my 5:19pm flight to Portland, and cannot wait to see my guys! Appreciate your prayers as we travel home.
Kerri

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Last Day

It has been a good last full day in Beijing. I finally got my beef noodles for lunch that I have been craving since Taiwan and the team really liked them. We cleaned up the new foster home for the children to move in to; we didn't have an opportunity to see them again but are excited for them to see their new home in a few days. I, personally, am ready to get home to see my guys and meet Gurgen. 

The team has been great and we've shared a lot of memories together here. The staff and workers living in Beijing are truly amazing and have been so hospitable to us. This has been one amazing trip with some very special children as well. Wearing a motion sickness patch has made me a little sleepy and such, but I have not had any sickness in all our traveling. Praise the Lord!

After finishing cleaning the new foster home this afternoon, we went out for Peking duck dinner. It was so good! Then we went to the Chinese acrobat show and that was absolutely incredible...a great way to end our trip! Tomorrow, we will participate in a church service here on our guesthouse grounds, then leave for the airport around noon. I will arrive in Portland around 7pm Sunday. I really am anxious to get home to my guys. I have a whole lot of pictures that have been too much trouble to share, but I will be posting them soon after I return. Blessings and see many of you soon!
Kerri

Friday, August 24, 2012

Second Foster Home

I was just able to post the entry I wrote this morning about yesterday but want to update you on this day as well. We headed out right after breakfast for the second foster home. It was in a two level house with about 10 children with special needs. A number have been adopted out recently and because they are looking to move to a new location soon, have not been taking in new children. The owner/director had just gotten into town so we got to visit with him; turns out that his foster home was visited by Steven Curtis Chapman which inspired the song "What Now" and the adoption of Maria from there. How neat to be in the very same place!

Today we played with the kids a bit, did the windsock craft with them, and did some cleaning. I specifically did some weeding outside. We went out for more amazing Chinese food for lunch and then had some pizza for dinner. It was fun and informative to see a different kind of foster home than the first home- both doing the same work but just in different ways.

That's about it for now. I'm pretty tired so am heading to bed. Tomorrow we may be helping clean the new foster home location and playing a bit more with the kids before enjoying a Peking duck dinner and Chinese acrobat show for our last night here. I can't believe I'm even saying that...the last night here!
Kerri

Foster Homes Update

Yesterday was an up and down day as we served the last time at the first foster home on this trip. The baby's death was the lowest point but there were also a lot of highs. One was seeing the preschool kids' excitement as I pulled out the craft activities. They decorated little bags and then made foam windsocks. I hadn't thought about this but they actually resembled chinese lanterns. That was great fun for them. Then they had their monthly birthday party and music therapy session. I had a great time watching them.

At the afternoon playground time, I made balloon animals for them as well and that was a big hit. These children may be orphans and they may have severe medical needs, but their joy and love for life is beautiful and contagious. The Lord knows each by name, knows how many hairs on their heads, and He holds their precious lives in the palms of His hands.

Today we are headed out to the second foster home, unsure what we will be doing exactly but excited and ready to serve. I am growing more tired each day and missing my family at home, but I would not want to be anywhere else right now. Thank you for continuing to pray!
Kerri

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Answered prayer

Well, the Lord answered prayer today by taking the precious baby home. It is very sad but he certainly is in a better place with no more suffering. These children's lives are very fragile and sometimes healed on this earth; other times, for reasons only known to the Lord, they are healed by going to their eternal home. God is indeed a Father to the fatherless.  We grieve but not without this hope.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Prayer need

I'm not sure if prayer will still be needed by the time you read this, but please pray for one of the babies who is currently on oxygen to live but will soon be removed from it. The Lord knows who he is. Thank you much,
Kerri

Day 3 Flies By

Today started off as normal but quickly changed direction as it got going. Instead of going to help out with the preschool children and babies, I was asked to accompany and supervise a precious little girl for checkups at the hospital. I was honored to be asked for flexibility and Chinese language ability, as limited as it may be. Another child was going to get tests and such as well. I had no idea how long it would take but we were gone from 9am - 4:45pm. The afternoon was hardest as I tried to entertain my girl while the boy cont'd with doctor appointments. It was fun but a bit challenging and tiring as well, as my girl with special needs would not slow down even though she was exhausted. I am thankful she had no major falls! 

Tomorrow should be a regular schedule where hopefully I can provide craft activities that I brought, as well as make animal balloons for the children. Tomorrow is actually the last day at this home before heading to help in another for two days. We will still be at the same guesthouse and hopefully be able to say goodbyes before leaving.

Only four more days until departure! Seemed slower in the beginning and now, going way too fast. I'll check back in tomorrow!
Kerri

The Great Wall of China


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Kids!

Today was wonderful as our team got to meet the children and staff. I was assigned to preschool in the morning and babies in the afternoon. They are more precious than words!  Special needs range from very major to minor. This home specializes in caring for the most severe of illnesses and special needs- caring for them, providing medical care, and seeking good adoptive homes for them. In fact, this home is technically a foster home. I am amazed at the structure, passion, and care provided for the children that come through. I feel utterly blessed to be here and can't wait to love on some more tomorrow.

People may wonder why I came when I could just pray and give from home. Well, it's because true love, God's love, enters into the pain and chaos of others. It's too easy to "love" from a distance, to stay where it is comfortable and safe. But Jesus didn't do that; He left His throne in heaven to become one of us, though without sin, so that He could save us. To be His heart, hands, and feet, we can do no less. This is where mercy enters in and most clearly demonstrates the love of God.

I must get to bed and I cannot wait to share my trip with you all when I get home. Thanks again for prayers. The guys are doing great and don't forget...Gurgen comes in Wed. from Armenia! Can't wait to meet him either. Blessings!
Kerri

Monday, August 20, 2012

DAY 2

Today was another amazing day in China. We walked a part of the Great Wall which was one of the neatest things I have ever done. I am hoping to post a couple photos from there.

We also ate some delicious Chinese food and then did some shopping at the silk market. Tomorrow we at last get to meet the precious children we came to serve.  I am super excited about that!


Between the team members' donations, each of the two orphanages we are serving will have a good bit of great items added to their supply.  In the morning, we have team orientation before meeting the children. I brought crafts and balloon animals to make with them. Not sure yet what everyone will be doing but it will be a blessing no matter what.


Thank you much for prayers. The team is getting to know each other and has had fun already. I, personally, am handling the time change quite well and with the help of motion sickness patches, have not had any illness. I really do sense your prayers and God's power...so keep praying and watching for more blog news!
Kerri

Sunday, August 19, 2012

1st day

It has been a great first day in China with worship at the Beijing int'l church, Sechuan lunch, and tour of Tienanmen Square and the amazing Forbidden City. We have a quiet evening at the guest house tonight to eat and sort donations.

I am tired but slept well last night (we all did) and hope to do so again tonight. China is 15 hours ahead of Pacific time. Beijing is beautiful as is the orphanage and guest house where we are staying. Tomorrow we leave bright and early to see the Great Wall...I can't wait!


Thanks for prayers everyone. I'll check back in tomorrow.
Kerri

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Made it!

Except for a slight delay, the trip to China has been smooth and fun. Tired but here!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Heading Out

This will be my last post before heading out early in the morning.  I have had a nice quiet day at home to pack...I am thoroughly tired but am pushing on so that I am ready for the trip and able to get a good night's sleep.
I have appreciated the phone calls wishing me well, and the encouragement that people are praying and planning to follow my blog along the way. I think I am just as excited about sharing this journey with you as I am anything else.
Donations, crafts, and misc. items have filled the first suitcase.  The second is underway with personal items for the trip.  I hope to bring some souvenirs back in the emptied suitcase!
Please lift up one of our team members who is having visa problems; she will not be able to fly out with us tomorrow but Lord willing, will join us in a few days.  That is very disappointing I am sure.
Again, thanks to everyone for your support in a number of ways.  I have watched my Father provide exactly what has been needed for this trip with little effort on my part, simply because I have been so busy about His work here!  What a gift and dream fulfilled to spend time with orphans in mainland China.  I can not wait to see HIS purposes for it.  Blessings and see you soon!
Kerri
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TWO DAYS!!!

A reminder: My trip is August 17-26 and will be spent touring in and around Beijing with the goal of visiting orphans and their caretakers in two different orphanages.  I am on a team of nine meeting up from different places; tourist destinations include the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace, and Chinese Acroboat Show.  Thank you so much for prayers! I plan on keeping my blog updated throughout the trip, so keep checking in!

TWO DAYS and I leave for China. This is surreal to me...is it really and finally here??? Packing today and tomorrow, getting the guys ready for my absence (stocked them up on groceries last night), and spending time in the Word and prayer to prepare my heart for what God wants to do in and through me. I so appreciate your prayers and support...there is some element of risk getting on a plane to cross over the deep wide ocean and entering another country. Leaving family is the hardest part. I wholly and absolutely trust my Lord with all that is to come, even with those brief thoughts in the back of my head of "what if?"

I am very excited to meet the team in person, be back in East Asia, and to especially meet and love on the children.  Whatever else God has planned, may I be flexible, teachable, servant-hearted, and bring honor and glory to my King!

Here are some Scriptures on my mind today:

“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Romans 14:8

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life"  Matthew 19:29

"Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed."  Psalm 82:2-4

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:20-21

"Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God."  Micah 6:8

Friday, August 10, 2012

One Week!

I leave for China one week from today!  This blows my mind and I think I can finally get to packing.  
Our team had a conference call yesterday to "meet" each other, talk about ministry plans, and get last questions answered.  I can't wait to meet everyone in person!  
Looks like we're going to do a variety of things, whatever is needed in the orphanages especially, and provide opportunities for music, crafts, games, and learning English. 
I'm sure there are more details to share but VBS just ended and my brain is very fuzzy.  So, I will write more as it clears up!
Thank you so much for prayers! They are greatly needed and appreciated over the next few weeks.  Blessings!
Kerri