One of Those Days

Today was one of those days.

One of those days where the reality and intensity of everything around you just hits you.
And it hits you like a ton of bricks.

When I got to the orphanage today Xiao Yi, one of our 2 year old girls, was leaned across a walker as she attempted to provide comfort for another little girl that I had never seen. This new little girl wasn’t crying. She didn’t look scared. She actually wasn’t reacting to much of anything. She simply had a blank stare.

As Xiao Yi walked away, I asked one of the nannies who this little girl was. They told me that they didn’t know her name and as I continued to ask more questions I found out that she just arrived yesterday. She wasn’t gone for surgery and just returned. NoShe is a freshly abandoned 3 year old girl. Apparently, she was found up the street from the orphanage near the bus stop that I get on and off of every time I go. She has cerebral palsy.

After I found all of this out, I gently went to pick her up. Many times, newly orphaned kids are pretty hesitant to let people get close, but this little one didn’t even seem to notice that some strange looking white girl had just come over and taken her out of her walker.

That’s when it hit me.

Yesterday, she had a family. She had a mom and she had a dad. She had a house. She doesn’t look like she missed too many meals. She had a name. And a birthday. Yesterday, she had an identity. Today, in the eyes of most around her, she is just a nameless orphan. She is an orphan that isn’t speaking and will probably eventually forget her name and probably never learned her birthday. Now, to her community, she is just an abandoned 3 year old girl with CP. Nothing more, nothing less.

Throughout my time on this side of the world, I have witnessed many kids enter their first moments as orphans. It’s never easy and it’s always very real to me. But, today it was different. Maybe because she was older. Maybe because she was barely responsive. I don’t know.

Just think of a 3 year old you know and love. Put a name and a face to it and then rethink all of this.

Think about that child being left on the side of the rode tomorrow because of an illness they could not have prevented. It is heart wrenching. A lot of times, it literally sends chills throughout my body. Think about how helpless those parents must have felt. It just isn’t right!

But as I reminded myself that He is just and He is good, I simply held her and rocked her until she sweetly fell asleep. When she wakes up, she will be in the a place she doesn’t know and with people she has never met.

But, I also know that the last words she heard before she fell asleep were words of hope and a Savior. Probably another first for her. She will wake up and on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday have sweet praises sung over her little body.

She will be cherished.

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Standing in Awe

This has been one of the most challenging, and yet rewarding, seasons of my life so far.  A lot of times, I find myself emotionally and spiritually exhausted from this season. Other times, I find myself so thankful for such a season. When you are stretched in new ways, you are given the privilege to see new qualities of Him that you otherwise wouldn’t. I am thankful for this journey He has be on.

Yesterday was great. I really have a heart to see the kids from English corner get connected to something deeper and more meaningful than just English in their time there. After all, that is why we show up week after week.

Well yesterday, for the first time, 2 girls from English corner asked for themselves and accompanied me to the orphanage along with my new local roommate.  All 4 of us were able to spend some time with the nanny I previously mentioned and ask some more questions about the specific situations of these precious orphans. Apparently there is a big problem with kidnapping and selling children in a city very close to us and a lot of those kids are now in the care of this orphanage. It is heart wrenching and, as if I needed another reason, that mere fact makes these kids that much more lovable to this girl.

It was a sweet time and when we were leaving, all 3 girls told me that they want to come back with me. I’m asking Him for wisdom for specific ways to pour into these girls’ lives that they may come to know Him and the love He has for them.

Ask with me.

I’m grateful for each of you and the part that you play in each of these stories.

Divine Appointment

He is good. He is sovereign and He has every detail worked out for your good and His glory. 

I’m just sitting here right now allowing that to really sink in.

One of my heart’s deepest desires is to see the local people take ownership of this orphanage and these kids. I long to see them love them as their own. Particularly the local body of believers.  As I was thinking through this, I began to think about what I am doing that is directed towards enabling that to happen. Aside from visiting 3 times a week, what am I doing to pour into these nannies? I thought to myself, “If they don’t start showing interest in friendship with me on their own, I’m going to make them get interested.” 🙂

Well, last night Christi and I were walking around town and I decided to show her around a new apartment complex I had seen earlier this week. After we walked through the gate I heard a lady shout hello to me. I turned around and it was one of the orphanage staff. What a ‘coincidence’ that she is my favorite. She ended up inviting us over to her house and made us dinner. We then sat around, drank coffee, shared about Simon and the Creator, and got to know this lady and her family a little bit better.

Just as I was getting a bit discouraged, He shows His power and I am forever grateful.

Please join with me as I intercede on the behalf of this precious lady’s soul. That it will be restored and renewed by His spirit.

Everyday Activities.

For English corner one week, we did a scavenger hunt. The kids, along with their helper, had to go all over town and take pictures with different things. This is my team taking our picture with a bus stop!

My friend Xiao Wu (brazilian) had his 23rd birthday this past week. My roommate, Abigail, and I hosted it. We had a lot of fun with a lot of great friends.

such a joke.

My old roommate, Wang Xiang, did not want to take a picture with the birthday boy, but Christi had other plans.

she was a mess.

Ava washing some dishes with Uncle Steven.

So, there ya have it. Life over here.