June 19, 2:00 AM
I am officially in China! It has been one very long day (literally), but I am excited to finally be here and can't wait to see the city. By the way, I am not a fan of 13 hour plan rides.
The rest of the team seems really nice and the leaders seem great too. A little secret though: boarding the plane in Chicago was a little overwhelming. I just kept thinking "Am I really flying across the world with 17 people I don't know?" But my God is faithful and I know He is here with me.
Tomorrow, or today, whatever, we will head to the Great Wall. I am excited (but also a little bit scared of the chair lift). It should be exciting and by tonight we will be at Maria's Big House. Yay!
June 19, 10:50 PM
We have finally arrived at Maria's Big House of Hope. I'm beyond excited and yet I don't think it has completely hit me yet. Today has been a wonderful first day in China. We had breakfast at the beautiful hotel and then a group devotional. It was great to open out eyes to loving our team while we are on this journey together. A little while later we headed out to the Great Wall but first we stopped for our first real chinese meal. It was amazing! The Great Wall was a lot of fun too (and the chair lift didn't kill me!). We grabbed Subway for dinner, along with some crazy flavored chips (blueberry anyone?) and went to the airport. Now here I am and I can't wait to start loving on the little ones tomorrow!
June 20, 11:53 AM
Finally I was able to hold a beautiful child! It was just as exciting as I dreamed and also heartbreaking. To think of all the orphans and all the special needs, it becomes a little overwhelming. It is heard to think that I can even make a difference in the giant number of orphans out in the world. But I know God's love for each of them. Psalm 10:17-18 says, "O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and oppressed." If we could just show a little bit of love, give a little bit of hope, and share a little bit of joy, it is all part of making a difference. It's our responsibility to think of these little ones and care for them.
June 21 11:50 AM
God is beginning to break my heart for what breaks His.
June 21, 5:20 PM
In an overwhelming emotion of helplessness, anger, frustration, and sadness, I can hear God whisper, "There is hope." And there is! My heavenly Father, the ultimate giver of hope, sees these children, hears these children, knows these children, and loves these children. And in that, I can rest in an unchanging hope.
June 22, 9:30 PM
I am completely and totally in love with the kids here. To hear them laugh fills my heat and to see them cry breaks it. I don't know how I am going to leave. Maybe I'll be back one day. I am so thankful that my God can take the ashes from these kids lives and the ashes from my life and build it up into something beautiful. It is already breaking my heart that tomorrow is the last day.
Unfortunately I neglected to write after that, so I will just share a few pictures. The trip was amazing and I am so blessed I was able to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Praying I will continue the work here, and maybe one day back in China!