Update #3 from Lisa Chan
We have been here at the children’s home now for 5 or 6 days (I’m losing track) and we are just LOVING it. What a blessing to love and serve these kids! Each child has a unique and tragic story, but to see them giggle and run around, you would never know it. Some were rescued moments before their mothers sold them to sex traffickers from Bangkok, some were child slaves, some were just abandoned to the streets. It is heart-breaking to imagine what many of them have endured.
One little boy was born in prison to the most infamous female drug dealer in town. In Thailand they allow you to keep your baby for two years in prison, after which they are turned out to the streets. This little guy had never seen the outside of a prison until Life Impact (www.lifeimpactintl.org) rescued him and gave him a home. He and Mercy have really bonded. When she starts to walk away, he will call out, “Ma!” until she scoops him up and takes him with her. What a precious little guy.
Rachel made a lasting connection with another little boy named David on our very first introduction to the children’s home. He’s 2 , and when he saw her he immediately held out his hands to her and would not let her go. Apparently Rachel looks like his “heart mama” (the woman who primarily cares for him) and he is the cutest cross-eyed guy you have ever seen! He was found in a hospital by a missionary doctor, very malnourished and neglected because the nurses thought he was ugly. They would tape a bottle to his mouth and leave him lying alone. This doctor realized he had a severe heart problem, and David has undergone one major surgery, and is waiting for his second. He is very small for his age, but he is a fighter! We all just love him.
Francis has been hard at work with a brand new missionary here (Al Farrar). So far they have created a zip-line for the kids running from two of the most gorgeous trees on the property, a tire swing, a tetherball pole, bars, and are working on an obstacle course. I wish you could have seen the faces of the kids when the zip-line first “opened”. It is a dream come true for Lana, because she wants so much for these kids to play and have the childhood that was stolen from them. Of course, this is for the older kids to enjoy.
The kids and I have been in charge of painting and decorating the outdoor baby/toddler play area. Do you believe that someone put ME in charge of decorative painting? Most of my attempts at artistry end up looking like something Rachel drew in Kindergarten… so you must have been praying for me. Over two days, we created a mini jungle scene complete with an elephant, palm tree, monkey, butterfly, and flowers. The kids were loving it! Thank you goes out to Google… “how to draw a monkey”.
Yesterday Mercy said,
“Mom, it sure feels good to actually be a blessing to someone instead of wasting time on ourselves.”
I had to agree. Although I was high on paint fumes, the overwhelming satisfaction of giving to others was…. well…overwhelming. It solidifies in my mind our decision to leave Simi Valley. I am confident that God is leading us away from a place where we have given what we could… to a place of greater need. I guess I see it as this: Our cup was full as we started ministry in Simi, and God allowed and enabled us to slowly be poured out on the people around us. It feels like a fruitful season of 16 years (Praise Jesus!) And now God has filled our cup again, with a different ministry, that we are to go… and slowly pour out on the people God entrusts to us next.
Thank you again for praying for us. I have watched many of you pour out your lives for others, and I encourage you to keep fighting the good fight! When we finish the race we will have the most victorious party ever, don’t you think?
Francis got us all pumped up at church on Sunday (via the Holy Spirit) about living for what matters. There is a finish line that we cannot forget about. Do whatever it takes to fix your eyes on it, because the reward is GREAT, and how it grieves the Spirit of God when we are torn down and distracted by foolish things. I am praying for all of you tonight, that God would give you a fresh sense of purpose and ministry.