missionaries serving with Campus Crusade for Christ and FamilyLife

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wed PM Update - Last Night in China

Hello Dear Friends-

We got all the final paperwork returned this evening. We are getting ready to head to bed early so we can get up by 2:15 am and head to Hong Kong by 3 am. It will be a 3 hr -private van trip. We will then take 8:15 flight to Tokyo. Tokyo flight will later take us to Atlanta, GA- USA! We will take an Atlanta flight to Little Rock. Can you believe we arrive the same day we leave? We expect to land about 5:20 on Thursday evening.

We are so READY! The main flight from Tokyo to Atlanta is about 13 hrs. We are still traumatized by our flight with Bethany Joy last time. She cried for most of those 13 hrs. We are praying lots & trying to relax. We are praying both girls will travel well. We have this really over the top prayer request that somehow we could end up in those business class seats that allow us to lay down. We know GOD will put us where we need to be. We would love your prayers for HIS plans & HIS favor.

We will have 3 flights and some lay overs. That is pretty rough for adults let alone 2 young girls with limited language connection with parents. Did we mention we really appreciate your prayers?!?!?!?!

We went to Walmart today to pick up some snacks & new crayons/activities for the girls next airplane adventure. We took some pics for you to see. It is so very different than what we know at home. Notice the fish selection and the eggs without refrigeration. Can you see the guard armed with a machine gun in the background with Art's picture?

You wouldn't believe all the different Pringles potato chip flavors: cucumber, seaweed, pork, tomato and a few we weren't sure what they were. So interesting!

We spent some time at the pool this afternoon. Mercy let down her guard a little bit & trusted Baba to lead her in the water. Neither of the girls know how to swim. Mercy let Baba teach her some today. It was great progress & great fun!!

We decided to skip naps this afternoon and have an early dinner. It seemed like a great plan. We thought the girls could go to bed early & it would make the 2:15 am wake up a little less traumatic. It was good in theory until we had two girls falling asleep at dinner time. (PS: Our precious Mercy is starting to like pizza- more great progress that she is willing to try! We have eaten Chinese food for 95% of this trip.)

Our precious Zoey didn't eat anything, but slept peacefully all through dinner.

Thank you again for all of your prayers. We are so READY to be home with all of our children. We are READY to have our whole family under one roof! We are READY to experience GOD's faithfulness as we continue to trust HIM and follow HIM in this journey!

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1 

"I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety." Psalm 18:1-2

Thank you for praying for our family! 

Praising Him and acknowledging HIM in every way....

For HIS glory-
Art, Jen, Allie, Mercy, Zach, Jacob, Zoey, & Bethany Joy  (we all look so good together- don't we?!?!?!)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday PM Update

We thought we would share a couple of pics from the local neighborhood. The contrast between the 5-star western hotel and the housing in the area is stark. Very few people have clothes dryers here. We try to picture what our laundry for 8 would look like hanging from the patio outside! It really makes us appreciate our washer & dryer at home! 

The girls have been begging for pool time for the past few days. It's called "yo yo" in Mandarin. Baba & Mama were heroes for making time this afternoon for yo yo. 

  Baba passing out kisses to all his girls! 

Tuesday AM- US Consulate Day

What a day! We woke up early to go to the US Consulate for our final paperwork & oath ceremony. It went well. TB tests are clear. Everything is looking good. US visas will be ready for pick up tomorrow and we will fly first thing on Thursday AM from Hong Kong.

We are just astonished by all that has taken place during these adoptions. We made it before Mercy's 14th birthday....only days but we made it! God provided resources we did not have.

He orchestrated care for our children back at home. Meredith has poured out her life & served our family. It has not been easy for her. We are so very grateful & we are praying He would bless her over & over again for her sacrifice. We had not yet been away from Jacob or BJ at night. They did well: emotionally & physically. BJ continued to eat. Allie & Zach both stepped up in big ways to help. Our kids blessed us with their willingness to honor God.

Folks encouraged us through prayer, giving, love, meals, texts & emails. Dear friends stepped up to take night shifts with BJ and support Meredith. We could never repay all that you have done to help our family. We are so grateful. Thank you.

We could go on & on. We have so much for which to be thankful. It has been a hard trip at times and yet, He has used it to grow us in countless ways. All of it has drawn us closer to Him- in desperate need, in gratitude, in worship and in surrender. We are in awe.

He has used this trip to remind us of what He has done for us. He laid down His life for us. He adopted us. He calls us His own.

We just cannot get over what Jesus Christ has done for us. He has rescued our lives from hell. He has made payment for our sin by His blood- His death on the cross. He rose in victory & power. He is alive & active in our lives: leading us & teaching us about the abundant life. He is teaching us to lay down our lives & follow Him! What an amazing privilege. We are so grateful He has opened our eyes, adopted us & calls us His own. We want so much for others to know HIS love & forgiveness, too!

We are prayerful you would come to know HIM as Lord & Savior - if you don't already know HIM! He loves you so very much!

Thank you for loving us & praying for us!

All our hearts,
Art, Jen, Mercy & Zoey

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday afternoon update

Hi All-

Thank you for your prayers. Zoey's fever is lingering around 100 without Tylenol today. We are trying to let the fever do it's work.

She slept on & off through the night in an upright position. That seemed to help reduce her cough. We decided to skip the China ER experience and hold out for the more western medical clinic nearby. However, we learned this morning that it would be very expensive and the pediatrician would not be in the office before 1 pm. We were just praying HE would direct our steps & give us wisdom.

God brought an American- Physicians Asst. to our table this morning at breakfast. Yep, REALLY!! She was here helping another adoptive family & we starting talking. She was able to offer help to us!!! We are just in awe of how God works. We were able to get meds for Zoey today. We have kept her in the hotel room- resting & drinking lots of fluids. She is napping on & off. We are so grateful for your continued prayers as we trust HIM again & again.

"Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 

Did anyone read the Jesus Calling for today?

He is ministering to us at every turn. He is tending to US as we tend to our girls! Mama and Mercy went out for a bit shopping. We found matching dresses for the girls. Mercy even let us take pictures. She glowed. She told us she felt pretty. Oh, our hearts just melted. What a joy to see HIM work in her life. What a privilege to love them both so much. We cannot begin to put into words how HE is answering our prayers that we would adore them and love them well. Our hearts might pop. We already love them both so much. 

  Thank you for praying for our sickie girl!

Beautiful girls!! 

We also bought Mercy a Bible. We knew of a couple of Christian shopkeepers in a particular area. We were able to find some materials last time we were here. Some of them have been shut down. We were able to find one. We bought Mercy her first Bible- English/Mandarin on each page. We told her that this was the most important gift we could ever give her. The shopkeeper agreed & got teared up. She gave Mercy a special cross bracelet as a gift. It was tender. Mercy doesn't really understand yet, but she definitely understood that this was a very special moment. We are praying HE would give her an incredible testimony of HIS power in her life. We are praying many would come to know HIM because of her life. 

We will close out the blog for today with our favorite photo from breakfast this morning! Baba is so good at being silly & building connections. Isn't GOD amazing?!?!?!  Thank you for continuing to pray for us..... most of all ...that GOD WOULD BE GLORIFIED as we put all of our hope & trust in HIM!!! 

Praying for US Consulate appointment first thing tomorrow AM. It's the culmination of many details, a TON of paperwork, clear medical exams and much hard work. Praying for no glitches and much celebration. Praying for our Zoey girl to be much improved. 

With love & gratitude for all the ways you have stood with our family- 
Art, Jen, Mercy & Zoey 

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 
John 16:33 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday PM- prayer request

Please pray for our Zoey girl. She still has the cough and she is now running a fever of 103 tonight. She is wanting to sleep a lot. We are feeling very concerned about our little one.

So grateful GOD would allow us to be her parents and tend to her. What a tender time of holding her, rocking her, cooling her and interceding on her behalf.

Please join us in praying for a quick recovery and wisdom for this Baba and Mama.

Thank you.
Art & Jen

Sunday afternoon update - Guangzhou

Hi All-

We keep pressing forward and trusting the Lord with all of our hearts. Thank you to those who continue to pray for us.

We did some local sightseeing this afternoon as we wait for paperwork and the medical process to run it's course.

Here are some pictures of our group together today. We are enjoying each of these families & their children so much.

With love from China-
Art, Jen, Mercy & Zoey