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The brave team of intrepid explorers known as our First-Ever Sponsor Short-Term Trip Team (or FESSTT for short) has safely arrived in China! In fact, we have more than arrived, we have already conquered the Great Wall, visited New Hope Foundation, and flown down to Luoyang where we are currently spending our first day at Maria’s Big House of Hope!
But let me back up. First of all, it was only a few days ago that the majority of our team met together in Chicago for the 13 hour flight to Beijing. We were joined there by our two Aussie members and Mikey, our in-country staff member. From the very beginning it has been clear to me that God has put this team together for His purpose and glory.
Our team is nothing short of amazing. We have such a diverse group – different ages, different places in life, even different nationalities! Yet as one member emphasized, what we share in common far outweighs what is different about us. Each member has displayed a heart for God and a heart for orphans that both inspires and unifies us as a group, and even the simple willingness to be a part of this team, of Show Hope, and to go around the world to serve puts us all on the same level.
The “advance team”, as we called ourselves, went all the way along the Great Wall until we could not go any further, and it is that adventurous spirit that permeates our team and is the mark of those who will leave their homes, families, and jobs to visit the orphan in distress and pour out God’s love! There were even some of those who didn’t believe they would take the toboggan ride down from the Great Wall who mustered up the courage and made it happen! Bravo! I love the energy of the team, and it is the fact that we are all so different, with different skills, talents, strengths, and perspectives that I know will make this such a rich time for us.
We made it into Maria’s Big House of Hope last night and today got to tour this beautiful, wonderful home. I was here last while it was still being built, and it is amazing to see the transformation from a place of concrete and scaffolding to a place filled with love, joy, and hope. We got to see the operating room where the Geisinger Team performed the surgeries just a few months ago, and we get to see the little kids who received those surgeries running around, healing beautifully!
Well as we start to dig into the work here, you will hear much more from the members of the team, but please pray for us! Pray that God will have His way with each team member: Sandy, Anjanette, Sarah, Myra, Pam, Jenn, Lesley, Bill, Kelli, Felicity, Meredith, Alex, Deborah, Amanda, Merryn, Jenny, Bridget, Wes, Dana, Kathy, Mikey and myself! It is such a privilege to be here with some of the many sponsors who are making this work at Maria’s Big House of Hope and the Adoption Aid program possible. Have you considered becoming a sponsor? We’d love to have you on one of our future sponsor trips! More from the FESSTT in China soon!