Reflecting on God's plan

It was new years eve 2010 when the idea of traveling to China was first presented to me. I had always planned on doing some sort of mission related trip in the summer of 2011 but Africa had always been on my heart. China never crossed my mind. However, when Natalie (a close family friend who has dedicated her life to chinese orphans) asked me if i would like to join her and her brother on the summer camps, i jumped at the opportunity. 

So over the following few weeks I thought a lot about it, prayed even more and discussed it with my parents. It started to become clear to me that I was to go and that this was something that God had planned for me. Throughout the few months leading to the trip it was always clear to me that God had me going for a reason, but i didn’t know WHY or WHAT he had in store for me, I didnt know. I knew there had to be a purpose but I certainly couldn't have foreseen the impact those two weeks would leave on my heart. 

As I reflect now, I can see small pieces of how he used me and why he had be go. Lei Xiao Feng, or Jacob as we named him left a lasting impression on my heart. I knew him 4 1/2 days, but those were the most precious days of my life so far. They were days in which I felt God use me more than I had ever felt. 

On my first night in china i spoke to a volunteer who was leaving the next day. She wisely commented to me that as you pour out so much love onto Gods children, you just get changed, you come away different, they change you. And i couldn't have possibly imagined how much my first kid would change me. 

It was the second night of camp where I really started to see how God was changing and moulding my heart through this orphan. I remember the moment as if it just happened, I can feel the warm air on my skin and the smells and sounds of china as it begins to rest for the night. The volunteers and translators were at our respective evening meetings as the kids were supervised playing games and watching movies. We then were to go and pick up our kids and take them to bed. I met my translator and Jacob half way back, and Jacob gave his huge big smile up to me which anyone can vouch for, is worth in itself traveling to china to see! Then Jeremy told me that Jacob had been asking where I was, wanting me. And it was then. In that moment. God showed me right there just how much I had grown to love him, and I started to realize how hard friday (goodbye day) was going to be. 

We put him to bed, reading stories and tucking him in, something he wasn’t used to. And I knew. He needed a family. It was that night that a seed was planted in my heart, of knowing he needed a family to love him and call him theirs. I knew very little about adoption and what the prospects would be, so I asked one of the chinese staff at camp what the likelihood that any of these 10 kids would be adopted. Eventually she said about 5%. It hit me like a 10 foot wave. It smashed down on my heart. I couldn’t accept it. I just started crying, i couldn’t control it. I sat on the swing and went forwards and backwards, up and down for ages: crying, praying, pondering... 

Natalie came over to comfort me, and i knew she had been through this many times before. She told me that we just have to trust God with it. These are his children and he loves them more than we can grasp. We just have to pray and pray and put them in his hands. And it was those words that came back to me as we started to advocate for a family for him. But thats another story!

So as I ponder what God was doing with me that week and why he had me there, I know firstly it was to experience HIS love more and to change my heart. He then used me to find a family for XiaoFeng, but he could have done that through anyone. My Father had big plans or ME and big plans for this kid. 

I don’t know what the future will entail, whether God will have me in China fulltime. I am getting these same feelings that he wants me back next summer, that he has more work for me to do. But beyond that, who knows. (only He!)

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. 
Psalm 126: 5-6

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
2 Thessalonians 1: 11

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