Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dear Friends

Dear Friends,

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

Blogger Blocked

We apologize for the recent lack of updates. China has recently blocked Blogger making it a bit difficult to post.

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!

CHF Team

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prayer and Guidance

This past week while we were in Xian there were some changes made at the orphanage that will drastically change the lives of many of the kids we have been working with.We cant say much about the situation right now, but are asking all of our friends who pray to lift up these children, to ask God to keep his loving hand over them in this time.

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and support.

CHF Team

Friday, May 8, 2009

May Holiday

God is pretty amazing.

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

April 09

Hey everyone, 

From fingernail painting to easter egg hunts, here a look at the fun events that have taken place during the month of April!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

God is Good



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

Happy Easter

This past Sunday we had an amazing Easter celebration with the kids. A local restuarant called New Paradise provided nearly 40 of the kids with an authentic western style brunch. It was truly a sight! After, with the help of several local and foreign friends, we trucked over to a local park and had a massive easter egg hunt. I dont think Luoyang has ever seen anything like it!



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

Fingernail Painting Frenzy..

Hello China Home Foundation readers.
My name is Chrissy and I have been volunteering with the CHF staff for over a month now. My Roommate Julee and I are here to volunteer with these beautiful children for the next 11 months. But I just wanted to introduce myself since I will be posting blogs for the CHF from time to time.

But we've had an amazing month here with the kids but this past week was probably been my favorite time with the girls. Julee and I thought it would be fun to buy a few things of fingernail polish to take to the orphanage to paint the girls fingernails. After the first night of painting finger nails we realized we had seriously underestimated the amount of fingernail polish little girls can apply to their fingernails. 
10 more things of fingernail polish + 3 containers of fingernail polish remover = 4 amazing nights of fingernail painting madness. 
It was impossible to walk into the "painting" room without leaving with at least 1 finger nail painted. Every night Julee and I left with at least 3 colors on our fingernails and unfortunately some of the boys were even victims of the painting madness. But of course they just turned their painted fingernail into a imaginary fighting weapon or super power. Which was equally entertaining. :)
But it was beautiful to see these girls personalities come out with the different ways they decided to "style" their fingernails. It was evident that the girls were eager to be found beautiful by someone even if that meant they had to apply 10 different colors before they got the perfect color.
 They would finish their fingernails and instantly start showing Julee and I their final product. They faces were priceless when we would tell them how beautiful their fingernails were and how beautiful they were.
 I was more frustrated at those times with my horrible Chinese language skills than ever before because I wanted to tell them about the God that created them in His image. The God that knows the amount of hair on their heads and the God that created them individually. About the God that knew them and loved them before they were even in their mothers womb. 
That nothing on this earth or in the heavens is more beautiful to God than their smiles, their hearts and their little painted fingernails.











Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Great Quote from Mother Teresa

"What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

 

 

 

 
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A Warm Welcome






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

Happy Birthday!


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

Photos!




Check out some of our kids on facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2032770&id=69101086&l=2d2f1

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2032773&id=69101086&l=42e69

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Facebook


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

Can't Sleep...

Please be in prayer for Timmy, Will, Michael, Sam, Eve, and Susan. They are up against some challenges tomorrow (can't go into specifics here), and need prayer for a very favorable outcome. Please lift them up at this time. Thank you, friends!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Warm Day in February




Back to School...

Today is the Lantern Festival, the final day of the 2 week Spring Festival in China. The kids have been out of school for nearly a month, and tomorrow will be returning to begin their spring semester. We are excited about some of the projects we have in store for the spring, including beginning our official English class next week. We've been in touch with many of the adoptive parents of the kids who will be leaving this year, and we are excited to be able to help prepare the kids for life in the US in a more structured way (until this point it's been a lot of one-on-one, unstructured tutoring). We're also looking forward to getting an art workshop with students from a local fine arts university, and the big brother-big sister mentorship program rolling in the near future! Lots to do!

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!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thanks!

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has been expressing an interest in helping with The China Home Foundation. We are trusting that all of our needs will be met, as there is definitely a Divine purpose for these kids, but it has been more of a struggle than we initially anticipated. I feel like there has been an outpouring of support this week of people wanting to help in any way possible - financially or using their other gifts and talents. Thank you all for the huge encouragement and for loving these kids. It's a privilege to get to share your love with them!

Michael

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 
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Happy New Year!

This week we said goodbye to the mouse and ushered in the Year of the Ox - in a weeklong festival of fireworks, dumplings, and general chaos. Spring Festival (or Chinese New Year) is the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar – the Chinese equivalent of the American Christmas. It is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, so it falls at a different time every year. It is a time that celebrates the significance of family, and is a time to reflect on the happenings of the previous year and to wish for luck, joy, and hope in the new one.

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.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Time of Thanksgiving

Better Late than never: our fun November Thanksgiving Outing, courtesy of The New Paradise Grill in Luoyang.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Joy


It's amazing how joy will manifest itself to you.  We often think that we will find joy in the big things - the dreams coming true kind of things - but often we find it through much smaller avenues - a kind word, a sunny day.  My kids have blessed me with moments of pure, unadulterated joy, and I'm grateful for each of them.  The smile on Kate's face on Friday afternoon was one of these moments.

Coming back to the orphanage after a trip to the US is always an exciting time.  I was so glad that Mike and I arrived at the same time, and we were able to share the joyful circus.  Throngs of kids that I haven't seen in weeks never fail to surround me for hugs and with questions about my trip.  Many of them have had trouble in the past believing that I was actually coming back when I have left.  They've been abandoned so many times in the past, that it's hard for them to understand - no matter how much of a relationship of trust we've built - that I am really coming back.  Over the past two years, they have finally realized that they can trust that I am truly returning to them, but I still never fail to cherish the expressions on their faces on the day that I return.  It's the look of them comprehending that someone truly loves them, and someone is coming back for them.  

The moment of walking up to the sixth floor and seeing Kate's face light up and shrieking was one of those moments of joy.  This was a little girl who knew that she was not forgotten.  I say all of this not to glorify myself  - it's about how desperately these kids need someone, anyone to love them deeply.  We are the human manifestation of Christ, who cherishes these kids far more than I ever could, and says to us in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans.  I will come for you".  How blessed we are to know that while we too are orphans, separated from our eternal Home, Christ - who loves us unfathomably - will return for us and take us to our true home.  These kids, who have so frequently been abandoned and forgotten by man, have not been forgotten by God.  I am excited to see how He continues to work in their lives and reveal His unfailing love for them.

For a quick, general update on the kids:

Everyone is doing well.  The elementary age kids started their winter vacation on Friday, and the older kids finish class on Tuesday.  They are all looking forward to a one month vacation from school.  Many of the younger kids did very well on their end of semester exams, and I'm very proud of all of them.

I'm especially proud of Jessie, who aced her exams, and of Leo, who did a great job on his tests.  He has been a struggle, as he's a very bright boy, who hates to study, but he finally put his nose to the grindstone and excelled on his exam.

Alicia and Ginger both have had some kind of swollen glands, but have been to the doctor.  Ginger has recovered completely, and Alicia is well on her way.

Sam has left the orphanage to live with his grandparents, we're not sure if it is temporary or permanent.  His older brother, Michael, misses him very much and has been a little depressed. Please keep him in your prayers.

Wendy's burn has healed completely, and there is no scar!

We're looking forward to having a lot of extra time to spend with the kids while they are out of school, and are hoping to plan a lot of fun outings in the near future.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Website Launched

We have offically launched our website! Feel free to take a look:

www.chinahomefoundation.org

Continue to check back for news updates, pictures, and ways that you can help. A special thanks to John Denton for taking the time to help get the site up and going. You are the man!

Our Kids!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Donations Are Now Tax-Deductible!

We are extremely excited to say that donations to the China Home Founation are now tax-deductible through our partnership with Shaohannah's Hope. 

Checks can be made out to "Shaohannah's Hope" with "China Home Foundation" or "CHF" in the memo box. For processing reasons, please avoid sending checks directly to Shaohannah's Hope but to:

China Home Foundation c/o Wendy Cosby
5721 Edmondson Pike
#224
Nashville, TN 37211

Please contact us with any questions.

Many thanks to our friends at Shaohannah's Hope for the amazing work they do and their willingness to help!