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


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:

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
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!