Today was the first time I’ve been to the Orphanage in almost 5 years, as we walked up the path and through the gate joy washed over me. The kids were still in school when we arrived so we took some time looking around. It has improved so much since the last time I saw it, there are paintings everywhere and the courtyard is now paved. Everything is so much better than it was before. But the changes also made me realize just how long 5 years can be, especially for children. I will not deny the fact that I started to cry(I must be related to my mother). Sadness rolled over me, it’s been so long since I saw the kids, so long since I played with them and hugged them. Would they even remember me? As the first children arrived back for lunch what struck me the most was how many new faces there were. Out of all the children I saw today I recognized maybe 5. I know that faces change so there are probably a few more that were here the first time. Most of them didn’t recognize me, I guess 5 years has changed me a lot too. Going from short blond hair to longish red certainly didn’t help. But it made me so happy that some of them remembered me. I also made some new friends, one of the youngest girls, whose name translates as snow apple, quickly latched onto me. I am no longer “Big Sister” I am now “Auntie” this made me especially happy for some reason, though I’m not entirely sure I know why. 3 of the girls, Snow Apple included showered me with gifts- they have so little but they were willing to give me so many of their treasures. They blessed me. Snow Apple has asked me to be her sponsor and I do believe that is a request I can make happen. I’ve known her for only half a day but she is already my little sister- or maybe my little niece. I love her dearly, I love all of them dearly. After they went back to school we got some work done painting the sides of the Orphange and the stairwells, I was covered in blue paint by the end which amused me since it was so normal for me. I felt like I was right back at Home Depot working at the Paint Desk. Later, after dinner (I ate some Bamboo shoots for you Yan!)we brought them milk as a special treat since they rarely get it and played with them outisde. The girls taught me some of what I think are their school excersises- I will most certainly be sore in the morning. Off to bed now as we have an early start in the morning- we’re going biking to a village outside of Rongshui (should be fun with my sore legs) so I will say good-night and promise to write again tomorrow. Keep praying, especially for the Children who have not yet accepted Christ as their Saviour. Love and Blessings from across the Globe!
Warm sunlight trickles down
through the green leaves above
Fire crackers like thunder boom from somewhere close by
So much change,
so much new
and yet so much the same.
Sorrow and Joy meet within me
and the tears start to fall
slowly at first
but with growing enthusiasm
as I think of all the things I’ve missed
and all the children I may never see on earth again
How could I have gone so long without coming back?
How could I have started to forget?
This is my family
my different language,
different eyes, family.
And they are in my heart forever.
Words are nothing when you have a hug
but oh, how I wish I could tell them how precious they are to me.
In this Rural town,
in Southern China
I have found Home.