Thursday, July 2, 2009
Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers for the children of Luoyang Orphanage. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of compassion to these kids from friends from all over the world. What a blessing your involvement has been to all of us.
We are deeply saddened to inform you that due to a variety of considerations, we will be unable to proceed with The China Home Foundation. Working with these kids for the past several years has been an enormous joy and privilege, and I trust that the love they have been shown by so many of you will continue to resonate with them throughout their lives. We ask that you continue to pray for these kids specifically and collectively - that the seeds that have been planted will continue to be nurtured and grow.
For those who have provided financial support to China Home Foundation, the majority of the funds contributed to us have remained unused. We wish to retain these funds until early fall to determine if they can be used to benefit these particular kids in any way. At that time, we will release any remaining funds to one or more of several organizations that we have worked with which are doing similar work to benefit orphans in China. We will release specific details as that time approaches. Please contact us if you have any concerns about this.
Thank you again for your support for this work, and we trust that the seeds that have been planted in the past few years will grow into something beautiful.
With our sincere gratitude,
Your friends at China Home Foundation
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts in the recent weeks. The situation continues to change here in Luoyang and we are still not fully aware of the extent of the changes. Though we cannot say much, we are happy to say that things are looking better than initially expected and continue to see God working through all this.
Thank you again for your prayers and support!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and support.
Friday, May 8, 2009
A few weeks ago our friends Amanda, Lisa, and Zaynab were visiting Luoyang. Amanda runs a foster home for children with special needs in Xian called Starfish. During their trip to Luoyang, she received a phone call from the government orphanage saying that they had 8 babies they would like her to take in. She desperately wanted to but didnt have the funds to make it happen. But, like always...God is amazing. Zaynab made a few phone calls and within a day they had the necessary funds to take on the 8 babies at Starfish.
Amanda immediately began planning and decided to rent another apartment to accomodate the babies. That's where we come in....
The apartment needed some fixing up and we had a few days to spare. So, Michael, Me, Chrissy, Julee, and our two great friends Tim and Melissa Bueckers and their awesome little boy Seth decided to go to Xian and help out.
We had an amazing week painting, singing, talking, eating (alot), and playing with the kids. With the help of Amanda and Tracy, a volunteer at Starfish, the apartment came together wonderfully.
As icing on the cake, Amanda graciously invited us to help pick up the babies at the orphanage. Words cannot explain the feeling of picking up a child and knowing that its life with be forever changed.
It was an amazing week, full of "love, life, and laugher" as Amanda would say. Thank you to everyone involved!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The past several months have been full ups and downs here in Luoyang. Where one bridge is miraculously built another is quickly burned. It seems that we are constantly walking on thin ice and have to take our steps skillfully and carefully.
I was having a conversation the other day with a good friend in Beijing about this. He has been doing this type of work for a long time and has weathered much bigger storms than us. He listened to me rant a bit and then simply said, "What happens is in God's hands, and God is good."
How true and beautiful is that?
It’s so humbling and freeing to know that all of this is in God's hands. Whether a door opens or closes it is up to God. When a storm rages in our hearts and we find ourselves feeling lost or confused we can find confidence in the knowledge that this is all in God's hands, and God is good.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Once all the eggs were discovered, our good friend Mike explained the Easter story in detail. The kids and random passerbys alike were intrigued and captivated.
No Easter would be complete without a bit of Easter egg painting so we returned to the orphanage and began an egg painting frenzy. The kids had a blast painting everything from trees and cups to Crosses.
It was truly an amazing day! Thank you to all of our friends here in Luoyang for helping make it possible and a special thanks to Tim and Melissa Bueckers for putting so much thought and effort into Sunday.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
We have two new exciting additions to our team here in Luoyang: Julee Hartmeyer and Chrissy Adams! They have come to work with China Home for a year and Michael and I are very excited to have them.
It's already visible how much the young girls at the orphanage long for female relationships. Bonds seemed to form instantly between Chrissy and Julee and the girls. We are all so excited to see how these relationships grow and how it will positively affect the kids at the orphanage.
Please pray that Chrissy and Julee will continue to connect deeper with the children and that God will work through those relationships!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I had the privilege of celebrating my 26th birthday with Michael and the kids last weekend. I can say without a doubt it was one of the best birthdays I have ever had!
We celebrated with 3 massive cakes decorated with flowers and pigs (I was born in the year of the pig!). As usual, most of the frosting ended up on my face and not in my mouth! Every time I turned around to respond to the voice of one of the kids, a small finger would slide across my cheek leaving a yellow or blue smudge of frosting. Before long nearly everyone in the room had a frosting battle mark striped across their face.
I decided to run downstairs and wash my face off before the second round of frosting wars began. On my way back up Jessie, one of our little girls, pulled me aside. As we snuck over to the corner she pulled a small box wrapped in glossy paper with a bow at the top out from behind her back. With a big smile she said, “ This is for you, Happy Birthday,” and handed me the box. As I write this tears begin to form in my eyes just as they did in that moment.
It is hard to put into words the overwhelming feeling I had when Jessie handed me that box. It’s funny how such a small thing can have such a profound impact on a person. All I could think of was Jessie digging through the little she has to find the perfect paper to wrap around the small box full of beautiful little paper stars, and the effort and heart she put into making it.
It is one of the most thoughtful and amazing gifts I have ever received.
Now as I write I wonder if God feels the same way that I did last Saturday every time we offer our day, a prayer, or a simple “I love you” under our breath to him. It might not seem like much in the scheme of things but God sees what we have and where we are and knows that the seemingly small offerings hold an unimaginable amount of effort and heart.
Here’s to another year of small things with big heart!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Still waiting to find out more about the situation I mentioned yesterday. Please continue praying, and we will update ASAP.
In the meantime, please join our cause on facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/215037?m=cc36 6e79&recruiter_id=4373980 . Thanks everyone for all of your interest and support!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
We've been spending a lot of time talking with the kids about unconditional love lately. Their lives have been so performance based, it is really important (and difficult) for them to be able to understand that they are special, they are valuable, solely because of who they are - a child of God. So often I think of how every time new friends come to the orphanage, they are each drawn to a different child...each seeing his or her unique personality. It's amazing to know that God loves each of them so uniquely and distinctly, and it's thrilling to watch Him give His Eyes and His Heart to different people to manifest that love - not just to the collective, but to individual, precious kids. Although I'm not supposed to have favorites, in my limited, human perspective, it's hard to understand why EVERYONE wouldn't like Tom, Carrie, Leo, Kate, Derek, Alicia, Will, Maggie, Timmy, etc (ok, I'm finding it hard to limit it to one or two)...the best. But I'm always amazed to see how different people are specifically drawn to different kids - even the ones that Mikey and I find to be difficult sometimes!
We've set up a group on facebook where all of you can communicate with each other, and see many more photos and videos of the kids. Check out http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48394374596&ref=nf . Ask to join, and Mike and I will add you to the group!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The fun and superstition of the New Years festivities this week got me to thinking a lot about faith. Although most modern Chinese people do not thoroughly subscribe to all of the superstitions involved, most New Year traditions lie in the concept of scaring off monsters and ushering in good luck. I was ankle deep in residue from the firecrackers set off at midnight on New Years Eve to terrify evil monsters wanting to sneak from the old year to the new. We ate dumplings shaped like money bags to ensure wealth, but made sure not to turn over the fish, as that would steal from our prosperity. And of course those born in the Year of the Ox (2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937) will be wearing their red underwear throughout the year to ward off bad spirits in what will be major transitional years for them.
As fun as participating in all of this was, it reassured me to remember the sovereignty of God. How blessed we are to know that our ultimate purpose and joy lie not in a series of rituals, but rather in our relationship with our Creator, our Savior, our Father. For as many money bag shaped dumplings as I ate Sunday night, I’m pretty certain I’m not going to get rich this year. I’m glad to know that God is in control, and that His Joy is so much greater than anything I can achieve on my own efforts.