Personal Blessings From Our Trip
Well after a wonderful two months in North Carolina and California, we just made it back home to China a few days ago. The kids enjoyed playing with cousins, old friends, and new friends. They played more in one month in NC with other kids than they have played in our three years in China combined. Playing here is difficult due to Chinese kids being in school so much and not having many foreign children to play with. So that was a highlight for them.
After three straight years in China, the girls also enjoyed seeing grandparents, eating amazing food, having Christmas, etc. Thankfully they are also so happy to be back in China. In fact, they were quite homesick at points, which is a good sign that they really love China and consider this their home. Knowing this makes it easier for us to live here.
Kevin enjoyed seeing old friends, many from our college days that we haven’t really seen in 20 years. It was truly a blast from the past. All of our friends have children now, whom our kids loved! And it was just good to reconnect with old friends who know how to fill our hearts with love, kindness, and great food. (Did I mention we all gained weight with all of this food? ☺)
I enjoyed so many things, but especially just the time to rest and get away for an extended period. Since getting the farm, this year has been the busiest year of my life, and I just needed a break. Pulling away for a while gave me rest and perspective, and so much encouragement!
Business Benefits From Our Trip Back
While in the States we shared about our work with about 2500 people in one-on-one situations, small groups, and two groups of about 1000 each. And everywhere we went people were blown away by the story that is being written and all that’s taken place in our time in China. It is truly a miraculous story, and one that we love to share. Many people said, “I’ve never heard of anything like this!” and “What you’re doing is enabling other people to dream for themselves and run after their dreams.” We loved hearing so much positive feedback, and it reminded us over and over again of why we are here.
We also had the privilege of meeting with many leaders and continued to broaden our base of supporters and raise awareness for Josiah’s Covenant. We are increasing our network with other groups similar to ours and are enjoying growing partnerships. One such relationship is mentioned at the end that we can’t wait to share with you!
In the final three days of our US tour, a donor let us use their lovely vacation home in Napa. The view was amazing, the sky was beautiful, and we all were filled up and rested, ready to hit the ground running when we returned back to China.
We are moving!
We’ve lived in the same house since arriving in China three years ago, and our lease is up in April. So as soon as we got back, we left our suitcases packed for ease and found a house that we loved that is a few minutes from our farm! Within 24 hours of seeing it we had signed papers and are moving this week!
Our farm is about 50 minutes away from where we’ve been living, which is not far, but our new place have a new set of shops, restaurants, neighbors, friends, etc. that we will have to learn. Also, we will now be an hour from friends we have made the last three years, but we will still go back to the city 1-2 times a month to maintain some of these valuable connections. We are excited for this new chapter and for the chance to be closer to the farm and our team.
Upcoming events – Going to Xian
We recently became connected with a wonderful program called Sunshine Camps. They have invited our team to come at a special reduced rate to learn from them and build relationship with this great work. They are two week-long camps for marginalized youth teaching life skills, personal development, English language exposure, and mentorship opportunities. Some of the topics covered during the week are: you are unique, you are loved, you have joy, you have hope, etc.
Given the work Josiah’s Covenant wants to do with orphans, we know this will be a great opportunity for our team to learn how to pour into Chinese orphans and youth, host camps ourselves in the future similar to this one, network with others in our field, and help keep our vision in front of us.
The total cost of the trip will be about $2500. Would you be willing to sew into this beautiful opportunity for our family to help poor, marginalized, and orphaned youth in Xian? We are so excited to learn more from them and know this is a huge step in what we will be doing in the future.
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