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The Great Adventure in China

“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!”

Psalm 29:10-11

When the sea rages violently on and the mountains tremble, God is still enthroned.When the tears fall like rain and the grief seems to suffocate, God is still enthroned.And when the regret of what has been and the anxiety of the not yet keeps you awake at night, God is still enthroned.

The words of Psalm 29 have taken on an entirely different meaning for me as I have spent the last week and a half in the beautiful country of China alongside of some of my dearest family and friends.As most of you know, we traveled here for the Grand Opening of Maria’s Big House of Hope, which was officially held on July 2nd, 2009.There were many government officials at the Grand Opening and we were grateful to be a part of such a special event.All of us attending the event got a kick out of the fact that the service was spoken mostly in Mandarin until someone would go to say the name of the building.And right there in the middle of words from a foreign language, you would hear the name, “MARIA.”And each person said it with so much enthusiasm seeing as how it was part of the name of this new building.

We miss Maria and this trip has been full of emotions. We have experienced sadness as we constantly notice there is one missing from our group. And on the other hand, we have been joyful as we continue to watch God restore that which has been broken in our lives. Maria’s Big House of Hope – a place that God will use to restore the lives of many hurt children and bring necessary healing to the sick, all things we prayed for on the evening of May 21st, 2008 for our own Maria Sue. God was enthroned when we prayed these things on the evening of May 21st, 2008 and He sits enthroned now as we pray the same things over Maria’s Big House of Hope.

After celebrating the Grand Opening of Maria’s Big House of Hope and spending time getting to know the children that will be helped at this facility, we headed to the Earthquake Disaster Area from the Earthquake that hit China on May 12th, 2008, only 9 days before our own tragedy. We visited a city situated up in the mountains that lost 10% of its population in the Earthquake. We spent one afternoon interacting with some of the children directly affected by the natural disaster, and later that evening my dad and brothers did a concert for the community. It was pouring down rain, and yet a crowd still showed up. My dad shared our own story of loss and the reason why we wanted to come and be among other people who had experienced sudden loss. It was our desire to simply share the hope that we have found in choosing to believe that God was enthroned even in the worst moments of our own crisis. And in the final moments of the concert, as we sang a medley of worship songs, a GIANT butterfly fluttered around the stage. Since our own accident last May, butterflies have served as a reminder of Maria and the NEW LIFE she now experiences, as she is no longer confined to the cocoon. I truly believe new life has been and will continue to arise out of China’s Earthquake Disaster Areas.

God sits enthroned over the flood, giving His people strength and peace. God didn’t turn His head on the afternoon of May 12th, 2008 when over 60,000 Chinese people lost their lives in the span of 3 minutes from a giant earthquake. And God didn’t close His eyes on the evening of May 21st, 2008 when Maria left this earth and began eternal life. It is my prayer that those who have experienced loss . . . at whatever level . . . will embrace the strength and peace that the Lord offers us. Strength and peace are ours before the storm, during the storm and after the storm. Do we trust Him enough to embrace it?

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