Thursday, June 12, 2008

Seriously disturbed - first thoughts

Tonight, we were seriously disturbed. I wanted to remember this evening, so I thought putting it on the blog would be a good place to keep the memory. We don't have pictures, didn't have time to grab the camera. I won't tell the whole story...just first thoughts.

We were asked to go to the hospital on an emergency a few hours ago. It is now 10:30 pm. We just returned about thirty minutes ago. The conditions are indescrible to say the least. We visited a 75 year old woman who was in intensive care....a horrible, dark and dirty room. The doctors finally moved her to the third floor...up three flights of dark stairs. She had to walk it - this elderly woman, with a heart condition, and in immense pain.

When we got to her room, we were told we should have brought her a mattress. So we left and went to her home to get her own mattress from her own bed so she would have something to sleep on at the hospital. I have never been in such a dark, dark hopeless place.....this experience is fresh...have only been home from there about 30 minutes....too seriously disturbed to sleep.

David's first thoughts were...

These people are doing the best they can with what they have. Then I thought about it for awhile. No, they are not doing the best they can do. They could make the place clean. They can treat the patients with respect. They can feed their patients. No, they are not doing all they can do. It is just the attitude that you find in some. However, in many, if not most, we find a beautiful, loving and kind spirit.

We experienced this for a reason - the full extent of this is yet to revealed....

Seeing adoption from this side

Last night we had quite an experience. We had dinner with two adoptive families who just picked up their children from the local orphanage a few days earlier. It was absolutely delightful. These beautiful children have been with their new parents for almost a week. Here are some pictures that share our excitement for these kids and their new families.

David and Charlie....Charlie is ten months old and faces 3-5 surgeries to repair a cleft palette. This little guy ate almost the entire evening and seemed quite contented on David's lap.
Claire is about 18 months and once with them, her parents saw a completely new little girl...laughing, playing, smiling...and she is beautiful.

Olivia (l) and Jia are now the older sisters and are quite happy about their new role.
Dinner together at a local restaurant. Little Charlie had what his mom believes to be his first ice cream!

These families will leave on Monday to travel to Almalty, Kazakhstan to finsh the adoption process. What a journey they will have ahead with these beautiful children. What an eye opening opportunity for us to experience adoption here.
The journey continues....

Monday, June 9, 2008

David's Perspective

This past week was, as most are, a study in contrasts. One day we were in the office of the Minister of the Department of Religion seeking special permission to minister here. I think we were granted that permission. Another day we are at the city dump engaging people who live near there or come there to seek and find what they can either eat or sell. We took prepared bags of food for them. The bags consisted of oil, flour, sugar, tea, pasta and bread. (See pictures on yesterday's blog concerning this trip to the dump.) There are no words to describe the sights, sounds and smell of this awful place and the desparate adults and children who frequent there.

My work at the Mercy Foundation as the spiritual director continues. Today, June 8, I spoke at what is called the “Chinese Church.” It is made up of people speaking five languages and representing about ten countries. I spoke on the subject of confusion, which James says, “causes disorder and every evil thing.” James 3:16. I then went on to tell about how many people come to our churches for help and guidance in the pursuit of God and instead encounter confusion. I read from Ephesians 4:1-6, where it says there is one God, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body. If this is so, and it is, how do you explain 30,000+ denominations in our world. Talk about confusion.

Then I shared how to keep it simple.
  • Keep salvation simple, I John 5:11-12.
  • Keep life simple, I Timothy 6:20-21.
  • Keep the mission simple, I John 3:11.

This simple little message seemed to hit a chord as some came up afterward and shared related stories with me. After each service, there are those who want to see us to have us pray for them. Since I ask questions and listen to the answer before I pray, it takes time to work through each of them. But they still wait. We hear stories that are unbelievable. They break your heart. We are seeing some amazing things done here by the Hand of God.

Thank you for believing in us and praying for us….we love to hear from all of you..

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An evening in a village

Friday afternoon was one of the trips in which we had no idea what would happen. All we knew is that we were going to the home of a seventeen Christian young lady who lives all by herself. Once there we were going to share in a dinner celebration. However, as you see the incredible pictures below, it was not a dinner at a home, but the entire village had dinner together. It was again, one of those incredible experiences that we won't forget. We fell in love with these beautiful, beautiful, gracious people!

Before you look at the pictures, I want to share a few things about the people you will see. This is a village of 21 families. Many of the people have lived here all their lives. It is a Dungan village, which are Chinese people. Until a Krygyz Christian woman by the name of Larissa and her daughter, Tonya, moved into the village simply to love the people, the gospel had not been introduced there. When she arrived two years ago, they threw rocks at her. She refused to give up and continue to love them, provide resources to them and Tonya taught the children English. Today, she is deeply loved and respected there. It was her delight, as the evening ended to disribute the Samaritian Purse shoeboxes. The pictures tell the story.
This is the oldest woman in the village and it is the custom for her to greet the visitors.
Before the evening began, they asked for a group photo. This is just a few of the many families that joined us for dinner.
What an amazing dinner! Actually, three major courses spread out over two hours.
This is what we saw when we first arrived!
Tea, fruit and vegtables as we begin the meal.
These are some of the beautiful young ladies who live there. Laura, dressed in black, is the young lady who lives all alone. The young lady next to David was orginally met by John and Julie a year or so ago. They met her at the dump where she was trying to find things to sell to buy a school uniform. Without it, she couldn't attend school. The ministry group at that time gathered their resources, gave them to her and told her to go home and go to school.
God has used Larissa on the left, to bring light and life to this village. On the right is Julie Wright, who along with her husband and family continue to leave a life changing impact whereever they go.

We couldn't resist this picture. He was asleep by the time the shoeboxes were given out, but his mom made sure he got one.

The kids wait on the arrival of the Samaritarian Purse shoeboxes.

A glimpse of the box of gifts.

This young lady shows us what she received.

These young ladies were so excited to get their gifts and also the literature.

Some of the food bags that were not needed earlier in the day, were distributed to families in the village.

These ladies were so deeply appreciative of the food, which included flour, sugar, oil, rice, apples and other necessary items.

As we were leaving after a four hour celebration, the women were distributing the food items.

It was an evening we won't forget and the journey continues...