Hi, friends! While many of you on the west coast are battling with dry wildfire conditions, we need a boat to get around our city with all the rain. ☺ We are grateful for the rain but also ready to see the sun again after months of gray sky.
A Visit By the Government
A couple of weeks ago we met someone who was volunteering at our farm, and she works for the government. She volunteered to introduce us to other government officials to see if they could work with us on the farm. So she and 2 other ladies came to our house the following week.
These government employees were fine with our plan to help teen orphans and were happy to help fund us and give us girls if we were willing to take on elderly or handicapped people as well. Then we could hire orphans to care for these folks. While this may be a good idea, Kevin and I didn’t feel led to move in this direction, so gracefully declined their offer. We really want to focus only on orphan girls, and allow the girls to be nourished emotionally on the farm, not having to care for others in this season of healing. But it was a positive interaction with the government officials, and we hope these relationships continue to grow. They were very kind to us and thanked us for wanting to help orphans.
We Can Officially Work in China
After 1.5 years, we finally are completely finished with the work for our getting our work visas. We just got our passports returned from the police this week, and we are now official Chinese residents. Woohoo! This is a huge step in our long-term goals here, namely giving the orphan girls jobs. We are definitely breathing a sigh of relief now.
And because we are residents now, we were finally allowed to purchase a van. This will make our trips to the farm so much easier since we go out there at least weekly. We are so grateful for our new ride even though it is quite “Chinesey.”
Last week in home school, all four of us did loads of research about organic farming, composting, what to grow at the farm, etc. We are turning our attention from remodeling the dorm to now starting to plan to grow things outside before winter. The things I never thought we’d have to learn, ha!!
New Wells of Funding?
Finally, a fund raising group in Shanghai found out about our work and wanted us to fill out an application. If they accept us, then they will set about raising money from corporate China to help fund our work. And now that our visa is complete, we are also going to start the paperwork to get 503c status in the US. (Currently our tax-exemption is under Revive Church. This is a huge blessing, but it doesn’t allow for us to get grants and limits some large donations.) It’s another long process but one we need to embark on for the longevity of our work here. It will make it easier for corporations in the US to donate to us in the future.
Overall things here continue to move forward at a quick pace, and we are amazed at all that has happened in this short time. It really is hilarious that we hardly speak Chinese, don’t understand this culture, don’t know much about farming, don’t know the “right people,” don’t have “enough money,” etc. But all of these things don’t seem to matter. Doors are continuing to open, provision is coming is, and it’s working somehow.
We wish each of you could come see the farm, the dorm, and get a glimpse what’s happening. Here are just a couple of encouraging stories for you.
What Others Are Saying
One American friend of ours who’s helped at the farm several times told me recently while painting, “Allison, you have so much vision! Most people would have looked at all the work that needed to be done here and given up. But not you. You believed, persevered, and it’s really coming together! This place looks great! I can’t believe it.”
And another story… There were some American visitors I met this week. I was telling them about our work and just what’s been happening. They kept asking questions and were so encouraged by our story. One of the ladies said, “I could just listen to you talk all day! I can’t believe what’s happening! It’s so interesting!” Both of these sweet souls blessed me so much. It’s easy in the day-to-day things to get frustrated or forget how far we’ve come. But it is really miraculous how all of this has come together. We have a wonderful Father who loves these girls, and He is helping them. We just get to have a front row seat to watch Him.
Thanks for following and supporting our journey. Love to you all!