The Roller Coaster That Is China
The girls doing some PE with our summer APU interns.
Most of us have at some point ridden a big roller coaster with ups and downs. There are twists and turns, screams, feelings of euphoria, your stomach drops, smiles, funny pictures, and so on. This picture typifies our life in China, sometimes feeling every range of emotions in a single day. But especially this season we are currently in what feels like an ongoing roller coaster.
The upside of our work here is the Chinese orphaned girls we worked with are wonderful, and we love them. We smiled, laughed, and loved watching them change and grow. Then the downside came earlier this month when they decided to go back to their hometown. Both girls have family (uncles, grandparents, and siblings) but no parents. They missed their family, way of life, and culture.
They talked about leaving since the first week they came, which we understood because it was so different from what they were used to. But having them leave was still sad. They are home now and trying to decide what to do next. We still message them and will help them in the future if they want us to.
Wonderful Advisors in Town
Besides the girls leaving, this month has been really good, and full of wonderful people! God knew in advance what was going to happen with the girls leaving, and we’ve been in awe of how many things lined up in June that really were such a marvelous blessing. We have had five consultants/advisors come to visit us in China, and one lady we visited in Beijing.
We have learned so much this past year about building a team, having girls, working with partners, hosting teams at the farm, etc. It’s been a difficult but wonderful season as we ride this particular roller coaster. And having these six people speak into our work and encourage us has been such a blessing, and so necessary for our family. The gifts these six people bring range from orphan care, to farming, to risk management, to Chinese policies, and other things. We really are in over our heads at times being asked to learn so many new things, but we have been given such a great base of people to draw from that we can’t help but be encouraged and know that this IS GOING TO WORK!
A Trip to Beijing
One highlight of our years in China just happened. We’ve wanted to go to Beijing since arriving in China. It would be a pity to live here several years and not see the Great Wall!
This past February our board collected money for us to go to Beijing, but we assumed we would not be able to go since we had the orphaned girls here. However, when the girls left, three people within 24 hours told us we needed a vacation. So we decided at the last minute to use the money from the board and go.
The best part was two of our board members had been planning to come visit us for over a year. The tickets they got last August ended up being for one week after the orphan girls left. These two board members encouraged us, loved on us, and we got to travel in Beijing together.
It was truly one of the best vacations our family has ever had. We went to Tianamen Square, Forbidden City, played at a water park in Olympic Village, and of course went to the Great Wall – which was our favorite part. We love the mountains, so being in a place with so many beautiful mountains unspoiled by construction was fantastic. We took a cable car up to the wall over the trees, which was gorgeous. Then we took a toboggan sled down the mountain, which was also a lot of fun. Our family was refreshed and returned back to the farm, feeling ready to go.
Huge Lift to End the Month
As soon as we got back to the farm, a team from the US came to help do work projects. Having a huge farm is a blessing but takes a lot of time and energy to maintain. So we are always excited when a team wants to come serve and move us forward even more. This team has been painting bathrooms, weeding, mulching, gardening and building a lot of cabinets for our laundry room. It has been a blessing to have them here!
What’s Planned For the Summer
So what’s next? It’s always something new… never a dull moment. So this month Kevin and I are compiling all the advice we received in June and preparing to put these things into practice. We are revamping our application process a bit, tightening up our policies, and taking care of a lot administrative details to help us launch into the next phase.
Then at the end of the month we will go to Xian (a city in China) and network with Chinese university students and begin trying to build a Chinese based team. We really need Chinese speakers and teammates, and this opportunity seemed right for our season. Please pray for us to find people who share our vision to help girls, and for people that we will love and who will love our family.
Thanks for your love and partnership!
Please Fill Out This Survey
One of our interns, Babs, has created a survey to discover awareness on what happens to orphans when they leave the orphanage. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated and used in giving us better knowledge and help Babs with his internship.
Your participation in our quick survey would be greatly appreciated; it will take no longer than 10 minutes. You can find it here. Thank you.
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