Ok, so the last couple of posts have been so heavy I thought I would lighten things up a bit. Cause to tell you the truth, the heavy stuff gets really hard to carry all the time! So, without further delay........enjoy the "lighter load"!
I was going to try to post via the blog and not email but not loading so….you will get pictures with no captions. Sorry!
Yesterday, when we went back to the orphanage after lunch, we were ushered into the conference room to make dumplings with the nannies and the director. We were then going to partake in a meal with the them and some of the older, more "with-it" kids. I can't tell you what a joy this was! To be around a conference table laughing and talking and joking with these ladies as they taught us how to make dumplings, well priceless pretty much sums it up! The relationships that have been built here are amazing! There was so much joy in the room. I felt Jesus presence. Just what we all needed! God is so good! So it was quite funny really to see us all struggling to do what they do so easily. Looks simple…NOT! We must have made 600 or so dumplings-no joke! They commented that we got better as we went on! They did vote my dumplings the "best"-Ha Ha, not saying much as you should have seen these things! But they were so very good!!!!!! We had a big table with lots of dumplings and various Chinese dishes as we all sat together. Not many words exchanged due to the language barrier, but smiles and laughs. Even the director was smiling and laughing. She is usually quite staunch, kind, but smiley would NOT sum her up. The kids sat at another table and there was silence. They had never had dumplings before. They enjoyed every morsel. When we finished we stood outside in the "cooler" evening air as the kids ran around. It was almost as if they were "normal" kids, playing outside on a warm summer evening after a delicious home cooked meal. They ran up every once-in-awhile for a hug but they were enjoying being kids. Such a beautiful picture I will store away in my heart and mind.
Today, we took a dozen or so kids to church. Church! You read that right! Our guide told us they would say "no" but our leader asked and they said yes! We were quite the sight this morning as we Americans, who stand out anyway, paraded through the streets of Chenzhou with orphans in tow, crossing the busy and crazy streets holding onto their sweaty little hands for dear life. Our prayers were that those witnessing this spectacle took it into their hearts what it is we are doing here and maybe, just maybe, they would wander up the hill one day and ask what THEY could do for these precious little people. So we arrived around 9:00 and they ushered us upstairs to the balcony. We were armed with candy, cookies, fruit snacks and coloring books. I must say, I had my doubts about how this was going to go over. Fabulous! They were great. There were a few loud voices, but all in all, they sang, colored ate and watched. Just like our kids do in church at home. And let me tell you, this was no air-conditioned building. Oh no. HOT does not begin to describe it. And we were there for and hour and a half. As I sat there looking down the pews at the children and the 2 nannies that accompanied us, I prayed for hearts to be open and for love to be felt. I prayed His protection over them and those up on the hill not there. Then it happened…….the bells started. It took me a moment. And then I started sobbing. (Look back a few posts…right before I left, for my post on "the bells" entitled "Above the Noise") He is here too. I/we just have to listen. And look. And trust. He knows them all. He loves them all. God is so good! I can't describe to you this morning. Priceless again. These words aren't doing it justice. Julia said the nanny behind her was singing,loud, and speaking the words with conviction. She said, "Mom, I so felt God there!" Such a great morning! Thank you Lord for your awesome display of grace!