I started 2015 asking God ‘What next’. Praying earnestly that He would break my heart for the things that break His, show me what He has for me, and our family, in the coming season of ministry. I have seen God’s faithfulness in my life enough to know that when you truly ask for His will in your life, you will get an answer. I knew the potential pain and hurt of what I was asking and, as always, He revealed to me on numerous occasions (despite my own opposition) that I was “to GO to the hard places”. I have had a deep longing in my heart for the orphaned for most of my life. But, honestly I have always been afraid to get too close for comfort, for fear of the depth at which my heart would break. But, most often a broken heart is the very thing God uses to restore the broken. Naturally, the next question was “Where, God?”.
While praying for the next deeper thing for my personal walk, I am always praying for the next deeper thing for my children in their walk and how I can help lead them there. Lily is turning 12 this summer and as we approach the years in which she will begin to take more ownership in making decisions for herself, Jason and I feel more and more the weight of how we parent and lead her. We know the importance of “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” So above all else (health, safety, wealth, or success), Jason and I want for our kids to know and love the Lord. We know that all other things will fall into place if they just have this Cornerstone. But let’s face it; we live in a world where life and the quality of life are measured most by what we HAVE and not how we love. Our kids (in America as a general rule) have so much, yet are constantly wanting and asking for more and more. And let’s be honest, I am not an exception to the rule. Want for the material things is something that I myself struggle with on a regular basis. Even when we are happy with exactly what we have, there is always something newer and better to want for. Lily is a fairly well grounded child in that department. But, in a moment of weakness she pulled out the “but mommy it’s not fair, I want to have that too… So and so has it.” It was then that I realized it was time that my oldest child understood just how much she has in comparison to the rest of the majority of kids in the world. After some conversation I landed on “I think it’s time you went on a mission trip and got to see just what other children have and don’t have. “ A couple of weeks went by and, of course, in my quest for “Where, God?” Lily led me to Asia. Our church partners with Shepherd’s Field to support orphans in Asia. Lily had seen many stories shared about what God is doing through our people there and plain as day she came to me and said “Mommy, I want to go to Shepherd’s Field”. Little did she know that our Minister of Missions would in a matter of days ask me to pray about going on a trip there in July. That was confirmation that the Lord is calling.
So, to Asia we go. We will be heading out on June 31st and will spend 7 – 8 days loving on the kids and supporting the foster home. Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village is located in Tianjin, China. It is a safe haven for at-risk, special-needs orphans who have been abandoned because they were considered broken.
They love, house, and feed the children in addition to providing surgeries and medical care. The doctor, care givers, and short-term volunteers help out daily with the children to provide basic care, speech and physical therapies, any needed surgeries or hearing aids. All the while seeking compassionate families to give them loving, permanent homes through adoption. They welcome any children the government orphanages send to them, and strive to transform hopeless lives into beautiful stories of redemption and love.
Since their founding, they have:
- Cared for more than 4,000-orphaned children.
- Provided more than 3,000 surgeries and medical procedures.
- Helped more than 900 children find forever families of their own.
Our Mission team will travel in July to help care for the children and teach and embody the LOVE of Jesus. We will also assist with any daily needs like cleaning and maintaining the facilities. We would love for you to be part of our work at Shepherd’s Field. Here is how you can help:
- Pray for Lily and I while on mission to Shepherd’s Field. Pray that we will do what God has set before us and that anyone we come in contact with on this mission would feel and know the love of Jesus through us.
- You can check out Shepherd’s Field at http://chinaorphans.org/ and stay connected for the latest updates, photos and stories: facebook.com/isCHINAcallingyou
- You can sponsor a child $35/month – your monthly donation will provide food, clothing, education and a loving environment. www.chinaorphans.org/sponsor
- Help fund our mission trip! Your donation will help pay for our flights, room and board, and food during our 9 day trip. We are so thankful for your love, prayers, and support! You can help online at www.gofundme.com/5xkxhr78