Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Reason We are Here

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. Between getting back to our room late and a VERY unreliable internet connection we unfortunately weren't able to post last night. So my apologies to those of you who have been so faithful in following our little journey here. At any rate, yesterdays schedule was quite different from the days before. The last several days we have gone out in the morning, come back about lunchtime, napped the little one (Ryan not me) and then gone and walked around/played in the park next door. That has given Morgan and I time in the afternoon to post. Yesterday, since we had our orphanage appointment at 2 pm we hung out in the morning and were out in the afternoon. We went to the orphanage at 2 pm and fortunately or unfortunately (I suppose that it's all about your perspective) it was exactly as we had envisioned it. Room after cold sterile room of metal cribs lined up with babies laying in them. Some disfigured in some way, others seemingly healthy yet motionless and emotionless. While it was a difficult place to visit, it was important to help us reflect back to why we are here. We have had some fun and seen some sites but the real reason we are here is because God called us back one more time to one of these little ones. I have told many of you this story before, but I can't help think back to it frequently when I think of the millions of orphans in this country and many others, and our feeling of what can we do as just one person.....the story goes like this:

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one."

Needless to say it was a touching experience for us, with images that won't too soon be forgotten. We are grateful that God has called us on this journey with Ryan and pray that he will continue to use simple ordinary families like ours to make a difference, one little life at a time. Thank you to each of you who have stood beside us as we have walked each step of this journey the last 18 months or so. It has not been easy, and as many of you know, we have struggled with this calling at MANY points during this time. Thank you for your faithfulness to pray with us and encourage us as we sought to follow where God was leading. He has called each of us to do extra ordinary things, we simply need to be faithful and willing to take the next step even when it seems to make no sense at all. There have been many times throughout this process that things didn't make any sense at all, at least to us. Yet we knew God was in it. He calls us to be "starfish tossers" whether we see the purpose in it at the time or not. May we all be faithful to that calling. I never thought growing up that what I'd long for more than anything else was to be a faithful starfish tosser. But here I stand, starfish in hand. God is faithful and God is good.

Alright, on a lighter note, we weren't able to get any pix inside the orphanage but we did take a few outside. The others are of a little bubble blowing party we had with another family that is in the hotel with us this week. We fly to Guangzhou tonight so likely will not post again until sometime Friday night your time. Until then, the 3 muskateers signing off for the last time from Fuzhou. BYE!

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