Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Take Away

We've been home from China for about three weeks now. It's so much fun to have that shared adventure with Kaisha. Part of my reason for going was to check out Shepherd's Field (the orphanage ministry we stayed with) because I had a strong inkling that Kaisha was going to want to go back but for a longer stay. And she does. Next summer for a couple weeks if she can save enough money. And then again as an intern for a couple months. She's hooked. The place and the people are wonderful and amazing. I would be completely comfortable with sending her half way around the world to a communist country all by herself now. Smile. Honest!

Tiffany, or her Chinese name, Mei Mei

Besides being confident in the ministry of Shepherd's Field, what else did I come home with? How did the Lord use this trip in my world?

I fell in love with Tiffy. She is so precious! Sweet spirited. Gentle. Content. I asked again the other day, "Are you sure we can't adopt Tiffany?" I know we can't. But, oh, how I wish. It seems to be the consensus that nothing can be done for her heart condition. Her lungs would be quite damaged by now and she would need both a heart and lung transplant. Every day for Tiffy is a miracle. She is so loved and well cared for at Shepherd's Field. Attached to her MaMa there. If I could be in two places at once, my other world would be Tiffy's world.

I know that Kaisha is so much more attached to her than I am. I actually didn't spend a lot of time with her. Partly because I didn't want to get in the way of Tiffy getting to know Kaisha, but to be honest, partly because I was protecting my own heart from the sadness of leaving her behind. Kaisha didn't do that and I'm glad. And I'm glad to feel a little bit of the broken heartedness that Kaisha is going through.

Bikes everywhere!
One thing I didn't expect to come home with is a renewed joy and vision for loving my two little girls. We were immersed in the orphan crisis for ten day. Saw the great need for people to love these little ones. Thought about the call to meet the needs of the fatherless. Heard stories about the state run orphanages. Met a lot of people that have adopted from China. Looked at the foundation of a million dollar building that Shepherd's Field wants to complete that will one day be a therapy and vocational center for the kids. It all just makes you want to DO something! It was so clear to me that my DOING something was to head back home and love on Mia and Ania.

I want to do this to a wall sometime. Each guest signed before they left. Their staff break room.
Another completely unexpected take home thing for me came out of a couple groups that were staying in the inn with us. When we arrived there was a group there of about 15 or 20 people. Mostly teens and a few leaders. They were selfish, snobby, and dripping with attitude. Not the adults, just the kids. You couldn't get them to talk to you. They sat around most of the time. They were so into themselves. It was icky. They left for home and a new group came in.
The new group was about half and half, teens and adults. They were amazing! The kids were friendly and sweet and respectful and polite. They brought about 30 suitcases of supplies for the orphanage. Bright and early on the first morning, well before any of them were over jet lag, they were working! Washing windows, sweeping the driveway, playing with the kids. I had a few really good talks with two of the leaders. All I learned from them and about them is way too much for this blog post ... but I was so excited from my time with them. Excited for missions. Excited about China. Excited about adoption. Excited about their plans back in their home town in WA. Excited for the model of youth ministry they represented. Excited about teenagers and teaching teens about the Lord. Excited to get home to my own teenagers. Excited!

The guest inn where we stayed. Paintings for sale lined the walls. It was such a neat building.
And one last thing. I learned so much about the history and culture of China. We had a sweet Chinese interpreter that went everywhere with us when we left the orphanage. And all the touring things we did required a lot of time in the van and I spent most of that time asking her question after question after question. I learned a textbook amount of info from her. Everything from, "Why are those ladies raking grass clippings in the street?" to "When did Chairman Mao die and who took his place?" It was fascinating to hear her, a Chinese Christian, talk about her life in a communist country and to see how different her view is than what I expected it to be.


Annie said...

Amazing post! You captured our trip so very well.
And remember...Kaish won't be completely all alone going back to communist China another year...I'm coming too!!! :)

tara said...

Thanks for posting that Kristine! It is so neat to get a glimpse into your trip and your heart! I can't wait to talk more with you in person over coffee of course!