Hello from China! It's been a bittersweet couple of days. We have had such highs and lows in a matter of a few hours. The Lord has ministered Jeremiah 33:3 to us in the last 24 hrs. Even in the middle of the night- we are waking to HIS voice. HE is the drawing us tenderly, deeply to HIM. As we cry out to HIM, HE is showing us great and unsearchable things. HE is teaching us so much through this experience. We are overwhelmed by HIS kindness to us. Let us share the ways the Lord is ministering to us..... through the incredible care our kids are receiving at home (Meredith is AMAZING, team of dear friends helping as backup crew and medical support), through so many answered prayers (BJ eating is huge) and countless signs of His going ahead of us here in China.
We have experienced some forms of rejection from Mercy. She is embarrassed of us in public. People stare and take pictures of our group of American families. They are fascinated with our hair colors (or Art says lack of hair). Its clear they are curious about the Chinese children in our care. We are sure it's very difficult for these girls who have already been different for most of their lives. We would lie if we said it didn't hurt us. It's painful. We call to HIM. HE draws us in close. HE give us some understanding of all the rejection HE endured when we rejected HIM earlier in our lives. How many times have we been cowardly in our faith or lacking confidence in our roles as HIS children? HE draws us close and comforts us.
We have experienced joy as Mercy slides her hand into ours and trusts us in the smallest ways. She hugged Jen today and our tears just flowed at the slightest step in our direction. She loves being silly with Art. He loves being silly back. We smile and laugh together in pure joy. HE calls us to see the pure joy HE experiences when we make the slightest steps to reach for HIM in trust. We feel a small taste of the abundant life we can feel as we walk in surrender and peace with HIM. We feel fragile, weak and unable. At the same time, we feel full, strong and oddly prepared for all of this. It's remarkable.
We cannot begin to put into words the emotions and stress. Our hearts are filled with compassion for Mercy and all the intense changes happening in her life. We are so thankful for your ongoing prayers for us here and our troops back at home. Thank you to anyone who has brought a meal or entered into this story by giving or praying.
We have learned much about Mercy's story here. We believe she has heard Good News in the past. We are excited about any seeds that have been planted. HE has gone ahead of us and directed our steps. Even while we have been here we received an email from an unexpected source in China offering to help with some remaining needs. He has quieted us with HIS love (Zephaniah 3:17) and filled us with HIS hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
We have two free days next as we wait for her final paperwork in this province. We welcome your prayers that we would be wise with that time before we get Zoey next week. It is 105 and steamy hot. There is no pool at this hotel. It is not very fun to be out walking, yet there is not a lot to do inside the hotel room. We brought puzzles, coloring supplies and nail polish. We have done most of that now. Praying we can connect in creative, deep and meaningful ways.
Signing off now as Mercy is singing with the worship music we have playing from our iPHONE. Our girl cannot speak English but she is already singing along with Matt Maher- Christ is Risen. Yes, HE IS RISEN indeed. May HE be glorified in her life, in our lives and in yours, too.
For HIS glory,
Art & Jen