Here is is! This is Maria's Big House of Hope located in Luoyang, China. Caleb and I are standing outside of the building, and we look so small compared to the size of Maria's BIG House. I am currently in China, with a team of 9 other friends and family to move furniture into Maria's BIg House of Hope and help in preparing the facility for babies to move in soon.
It has been an unbelievable treat to be at this special place as it is in its final preparation stages. Our team has prayed and asked God to come and dwell in this place. We have prayed over the cribs as we have assembled them and moved them to each floor. And, we have experienced God through the touch and the encounter with His most special children . . . the orphans.
In addition to spending time at Maria's Big House of Hope, we have also had the opportunity to visit with orphans in the local orphanage. We spent time playing with the older children yesterday. My husband and sister-in-law, Tabby, did a few gymnastic tricks for the older orphans, while all the musicians on the trip were able to entertain the kids with a few songs, including Blessed Be Your Name. I became quickly attached to an older orphan by the English name of Will. I told him I have a younger brother named Will, and dialogued a bit more with the very broken Chinese I can barely speak. He showed me around the girls' rooms, and then we went down to the 4th floor, room 8405. He was so excited to show me his bed, his few pillows, and his one blanket. Those were his possessions in entirety; however, he was so proud to show me. What an amazing reminder of how extremely blessed we are, and the beauty of finding joy in every little blessing we have been given.
Finally, I can't help but mentioning a little orphan we met on the 5th floor of the local orphanage. Robin and Joyce Hill, the couple that will be in charge of overseeing Maria's Big House of Hope, currently have a special care unit on the 5th floor of the local orphanage to care for the most sever special needs children that come to the local orphanage. One of the older orphans on the 5th floor was named Eleanor. Eleanor is 9 years old, the same age as Shaoey, and she is blind and has some sort of mental handicap. We were visiting Eleanor during her dinner hour. I watched her listen to her nanny's voice, move toward the nanny, open her mouth and receive her nourishment. She sat there quietly waiting for her nanny to feed her. I thought about the amazing example Eleanor is for us as Christians. We are to hear the voice of our Lord, our ultimate provider and care-taker, move closer to Him and receive truth that gives LIFE. We are not to consume of the junk food that Satan tries to feed us, rather, we are to move toward Him, responding to His gentle voice, and eat and drink deeply! Oh how God shows up in the fields of the fatherless.
My prayer for you today is that you hear and recognize the voice of the Lord Almighty, and that you move closer toward Him and receive life everlasting!