It’s Only Been a Month Back in China
We’ve been back in China for only one month, and I think I can safely say this has been the craziest month we’ve experienced so far… and we’ve had a lot of crazy months. I sometimes feel like we are trying to outdo ourselves with random and difficult exploits. So here goes – this will be long.
We Moved Closer to the Farm
The week after we returned back from the US, we moved from our city and house of three years to our current city, where our farm is located. It’s only an hour away, so it’s not too far but enough to feel the difference for sure. We know of maybe 10 foreigners in our new city, so our family probably almost doubled the number of foreigners upon arrival. Everyone has been nice and very curious about us.
The move was hectic and crazy, finding a new home in only one morning of looking. We packed everything the following day and moved the next. Whew!
80 High Schoolers Descend on the Farm
Then also the week after we returned, the same week we moved, a team of 80 high school students came to stay at the farm and work for three days. It was so lovely to have them there, and we got so much accomplished. We sorted through three rooms full of donations, pruned peach trees, landscaped, dug holes for trees, gathered tons of trash (literally… it’s too much that we can’t figure out how to dispose of it), cleaned, and made a huge pile of branches for composting and mulching.
Police Worried About What We Were Doing
While these students were there, the police saw several of us out and came to check out what was going on with all the foreigners. They were perplexed after their hour stay, and brought back their bosses the next day to look at leases, paperwork, passports, etc.
Our Chinese Neighbor to the Rescue
The manager of the farm, who has lived there many years, has not always been our biggest fan. Chinese are historically suspicious of foreigners, especially those they feel are causing them more work. He however has begun warming to us and liking us more and more as this year of being neighbors has gone on. So this manager is actually the one who helped us with the police issue. Rumor had it that we were in big trouble (for something that I’m still not clear about) but this man stood up for us, telling the police what great neighbors we were, how he liked having us there, how we are making the farm beautiful, and he managed the police for us so we didn’t even have to talk to them on either visit!
The Unwanted Gift
The drama continued when we were still unpacking our house after this large team left, and Rachel and Elizabeth both got a gift from this team… the flu, which then gave me a fever for about a week.
We Have Caretakers
Wait, No We Don’t
And you may remember we’ve been looking for caretakers since November. We had a nice young family come while the large team was there. But then three days later they left with no explanation. They were in the dorm alone, left the keys on a table and called to say bye.
Our First Girls Are Coming
To add to the craziness… An hour before they called to say they were leaving, we extended an invitation for our first two girls to come join us starting on March 31. This was with the assumption we’d have caretakers to help with security, farming, etc. Even with them leaving, our team still feel like inviting them was the right thing to do, so we didn’t resend the invitation. We now have two girls, our first teenage orphans, will join us later this week!
Oh one thing I forgot to mention… Our Chinese speaking teammate left the team the week we got back home, leaving us with zero Chinese speakers! HA! We all feel this is the best decision for her and wish her the best on her next adventure. At the same time, we have had two new teammates who came short-term, which have been amazing. They have both requested to extend their stay and one has asked to join us full-time starting January.
Another Police Investigation
Second This Month
Ready for more? Either you’re bored or amused, but I’ll give you more in case you’re amused. In the midst of these things, our accountant began messaging me that there was a problem with our visa and my passport. I had gotten a new passport while in the US, and apparently I only had 10 days to report my new passport to some special police station (information we found out after the deadline). The police found out that I didn’t report my new passport, so we had to be investigated! Of course this happened when I had my fever, but since it was my passport in question I had Kevin drive me in my weakened condition to the special investigative police station. We received a slap on the wrist, a warning and a fine. Oh, my. (The police were very nice, but still firm about what we did was wrong, even if we didn’t know.)
So in summary, since being back in China from the US, this month we have:
- Moved houses/cities
- Hosted a team of 80 workers
- Had infractions with police departments in not one, but two cities
- Had the flu
- Lost a our only Chinese speaking teammate
- Lost our caretakers after 3 days
- Will gain our first two girls to come join our program later this week
Do you feel tired reading this? I feel tired writing it. Maybe it’s still the fever. We didn’t even mention everything, like another group of high schoolers from South Korea, hot water getting fixed and then going out again at the dorm, another farm day, a train wreck, etc.
It’s times like this that it’s easy to get discouraged and wonder if it’s all worth it. But it’s also times like this that I know we are where we are supposed to be, doing what we are called to do. There is such a thing as darkness and light, and what we are embarking on will touch so many girls, bringing light and joy to their lives. And the darkness doesn’t like that.
Plus, I think following our lifelong calling and dreams always comes with a cost; it’s just that sometimes we feel it more than others. This month we have felt the cost dramatically, but again we wouldn’t trade it. Overall we know Who is in control, we carry hope and joy, and are excited for what’s around the corner. But I do miss our happy life in the US in seasons like this, where things are easy, I know what to expect, I understand customs and laws… but where’s the adventure and fun in that? We are still happy to be here and are enjoying making great stories that we will look back on and laugh about.
So What’s Up for This Coming Month?
We aren’t sure because it’s ever changing and unexpected. But if all goes according to plan, one thing we are looking forward to is our partner group, Lifeline Children’s Services, coming over in a couple of weeks to do orphan care and training for our team and some friends in a similar line of work. We’ll be using our farm to host this training, so that’s exciting!
And we will be getting 2 girls tomorrow. Each of their salaries will be $230 per month, plus food, accommodation, and insurance on top of that. We are looking for 5 people for each girl to commit to give $50 a month and pray regularly for them. If you would like to sponsor one of these girls who are coming, please let us know and click the link below.
|You will need to have a Paypal account to setup this monthly giving. If you want to sign up for more than one $50 slot, you can go back and checkout more than once.|
We are not able to post full faced pictures of them for their safety since some of them may have come out of really bad situations. But if you want to sponsor a girl, we can send you a private picture (not for social media) of her so you can feel more connected to her.
We are excited for what the next month will hold!