Time to See Family
Merry Christmas! We are so thrilled to be coming back to the US for the first time as a family since we moved to China three years ago. We will be celebrating Christmas with parents, nieces, and nephews, as well as eating Krispy Kreme and Chick-Fil-A, all while being able to read menus. Oh the joy! We are also hoping to rest a little, as this year has been a full on sprint with very little time to relax. We would also love to see many of you while we are in the States. Let us know if you will be around NC or northern CA in January or February.
First Farm Festival
The main reason for our season of busyness as many of you know is that we are now farmers! November 21 was our first event – an Open House for friends to come see our farm, as well as our first Farm Day. Chinese people love to leave the city and be outside, so we hosted about 100 people in total.
It was a wonderful day full of friends, fun, food, and a sense of accomplishment. Many friends came that hadn’t been back to the farm since we first acquired it, and they were astonished at how much better it looks now. Thousands of man-hours have gone into the renovation, and we are so proud of how it’s coming along. (We are also aware of how much still needs to be done, but at least now our dorm and land is presentable.)
Happy Birthday, Josiah!
November 18 is when we celebrate Josiah’s Covenant’s beginning. So this Open House was also a three-year celebration of all that’s happened since we started. When we moved to China, we were following a dream. But we didn’t know anyone, had no idea how we would get land, did not know how we would get the resources, team, etc. But in three short years we have seen almost all of these dreams realized.
We still would like more people to come join us on our team, we would like farm animals (coming soon), and of course we would like to start getting girls soon. All of what we have on our hearts to accomplish will happen with time, but as we look back on the year we continue to be amazed at all that’s happened. We started the year with no farm, and now we have one already being lived in.
Resource from the States
Another milestone reached this month was that three staff from Lifeline Children’s Services in Alabama came to our city to visit with us for an entire day. (We mentioned Lifeline two months ago, that they generously gave a free weekend orphan training to our manager.) They visited our farm, learned more about our vision, gave us advice, as well as encouragement on our journey. They are very much on board with what we are doing and want to help as much as they can. It’s a joy to be in partnership with others who have already done similar things to what we are starting.
As our team met with the Lifeline staff, they gave us some ideas on hosting camps for orphans from the local orphanage which will help kids coming to us in the future be able to ease into the transition from being institutionalized to being with Josiah’s Covenant. It would also be an easier and gentler way for us to start learning this new field of orphan care. Lifeline has run camps in many countries around the world and has experience to help us start learning how to do that. We are still too limited with our team to pull a camp off, but we are considering this as an opportunity to build relationships with the orphanage and orphans in our city.
Grab Some Friends and Come to China
They mentioned a great option is having a team come from the US to host a 1-2 week long camp with us at our farm. We would give training before the camp to prepare all of us for how to interact with the kids and what exactly we would do at our camp. Our team liked the idea of starting camps and being able to work with good people like you to help us in the process. So if you would like to invite friends to an adventure in China to help us run a camp for orphan girls, please let us know! At this point it wouldn’t be possible for the four of us to do it, so we would welcome the help so we can test it out and hopefully bless some kids in the process.
Other Ways to Help Orphan Girls
If you would like to have a part in what we are doing in China to help orphan girls, would you consider giving an end of year gift? It is tax deductible and will greatly increase our work here even further. A gift of $50 can help us pay for a temporary Chinese helper for a month. A gift of $250 can get us a full-time live-in Chinese farm helper for a month; $500 for the couple.
And we still have wonderful items like scarfs, mugs, shirts, in our Christmas shop to make you, your friends and family happy while helping our work at the same time. Go check them out on our site and make your gifts count toward helping orphan girls in China.