Greetings from Asia! The rainy season has begun in our area and cooled things off quite a bit. And the kids are enjoying their school break with long hours playing “Life” (remember that game?) and Barbies. It’s nice to have a different schedule and focus on some different things that get overlooked during the school year.
On the Home Front
I (Allison) have been home with the girls more in the daytime to give Kevin a chance to start writing training material for the girls we hope to have in the future. He’s focusing on using Chinese proverbs and writing life lessons and skills based on these proverbs. And I have been studying hours each week lately for the driving test. It’s very difficult, in “Chenglish,” and over 1,100 questions. People study a long time for it and often have to test for it 2-3 times. So I will take the test the first week of June, hopefully only once. 🙂 I am also teaching a lot in the afternoons and evenings. I really enjoy my students and am so blessed they are in my life.
On the Farm Front
We did a big clean up two weeks ago. We had 15 people come help us clean out all the trash. It took five hours with 15 people, just to give you an idea of HOW MUCH trash was in there. It looks so much better, and we are thankful we are slowly building momentum and bringing people along (both foreign and Chinese) who are beginning to catch our vision and want to be a part of it.
We Need Help
The biggest need we have right now is for people to join our team. We need teachers, a manager, and house parents for the girls. Kevin and I can’t do everything ourselves, nor do we possess the Chinese language ability yet to fully communicate everything that needs to be communicated to the girls. So we are trying to get to know like-minded people and let them know about our work. We also need people to come over to help finish getting the dormitory set up. Please let us know if you are interested in bringing a team over to get your hands dirty. 🙂
Another big need we have is open doors with the government. We want them to know what we are doing and hear our hearts that we want to help these girls. Where we live, particularly in our province, it’s very difficult for foreigners to work with orphans, which we hear stories of all the time from our friends here. We understand why though, as many stories contain atrocities like trafficking people, selling human organs, and things like that. But we are trying to get connected with the right people, which just takes time.
To Stay in the Country…
Our business is officially open and registered by the government, which was the first big hurdle. The second big hurdle we are still jumping concerns getting a work visa. It’s a long process that takes many people and many stamps. We have been doing a lot of banking things this past several weeks, and now it’s up to our accountant to show all of our money, taxes, earnings, etc. to the final department. If they do not give us a work visa, life and work here will be very difficult. We will be able to stay here but will have to continue leaving the country every 60 days, which is very costly and time intensive. And we still won’t be able to pay ourselves for the work we do in the business. The money will only go back into the business and farm.
…We Currently Have to Leave the Country
Our next visa trip is in June, which happens to correspond with Rachel’s 10th birthday weekend. So we will spend her birthday in Hong Kong. We will visit with some friends there one day, and go to Disneyland the other day. We are excited and look forward to celebrating this milestone birthday with our first-born treasure. Even though we have to go to be able to stay in country, we are thankful this next trip falls on Rachel’s special day.
Do You Have Airline Miles?
Our whole family is planning to make a trip back to the States at the end of this year. If you have airline miles, credit card points, or any type of airline rewards, you can donate them and save us thousands of dollars on our trip back. We would really appreciate it! This will be the first time back for Kevin and the kids in almost three years.
Thank You for Standing With Us
Overall we are doing well. We are so blessed to be living here and to become more a part of the culture and deepen our understanding of how things are done here and why. We are learning patience and having to let go of our American fast pace way of life, and trusting in His timing for all things to work out as they should.
Thanks for standing with us, following our journey, and helping along the way. We wouldn’t be here without each of you!