Our first 2013 ACT Mission Team to China just returned home. Here is a precious letter from the team leader regarding their first visit at the orphanage:
Orphanage Day 1
Well, our first day in our orphanage is complete. It's really going to be hard for me to put it into words, but I'll try my best. Honestly, even coming up with a sentence is difficult...The building is just a short 15 minute drive from our hotel. When we arrived we were given a short tour of the children's floors. We were shown babies that had just arrived and one that had to not be more than a few days old with a large cleft lip/palate, two Down's Syndrome babies and a set of twins with some sort of craniofacial issue- just laying in beds silent. I think it was me that broke the silence and asked if we could touch them. I think we all let out a breath of air when she said "of course!"
We saw a lot of hard stuff, but in the midst of it there is a lot of good. Happy, seemingly healthy children (other than those with mental disabilities) giggling and running and playing duck, duck goose with the older children and observing rehab with some of the special needs kids. There are many children with Down Syndrome, mostly boys. So precious. The staff are incredible. They really love the children. They are caring for over 200 children and literally doing all they can. You can see it in their faces and it's reflective in the kids.
We had lunch there and they let us come back to the hotel for a break. Even though we'd only been there a few hours, it was much needed just to process and pray and talk things out. When we returned, it was a much different atmosphere! Light and fun as the children put on a performance for us. It was AWESOME!!! Singing and dancing- all kinds of drama! The nannies had dressed them and put make up on all of them (even the boys). We were asked to do something for them as well so we did a few songs...they were MUCH better than we were.
Before we left the assistant director spoke to us. She says she wants all the children adopted. To please tell people about them so that they can have families. We assured her we will advocate for these treasures! Last night, she was telling Anna (another team member) and I about the children. She said many are boys because they have special needs. She said, "you may not think they are beautiful..." Oh my heart. I pulled up Asher's picture (my son from China) on my phone, one that clearly showed his hands, and talked about how beautiful and perfect he was created. She doesn't understand. It's all she knows.
Many of us had opportunities to lay our hands on babies and pray and whisper over them scripture and tell them they are perfectly made by a God who adores them. Ale spoke those words over a down syndrome child, who looked up at her, nodded, and had a tear rolling down his face. We believe the Lord opened that little boys ears for just a minute to allow him to hear and understand, despite the language barrier, that he was perfect.
There is no solution for these children apart from the Gospel. No hope. And the Gospel can reach them in two ways: someone coming here to share Christ or adoption. When I think about my children living in a place like that....even a "good" orphanage, it makes my heart physically hurt.
This is a plentiful harvest. It is ripe. It is beautiful and it is waiting for workers.
If you or someone you know is interested in mission trips to China or adoption from China, please contact us at 800-429-3369 and ask to speak with our ACT Mission Trip Staff or a China Adoption Family Coordinator.