Her time with us is nearing an end. In 4 days, I will fly to Chicago with Fu Yi to meet up with her host group, where they will depart together for their return to China. While we are sad to see her go, God has been preparing our hearts for months. From the beginning, we were fully aware that her travel visa allows her here for 30 days. This hosting experience gave us an opportunity for Fu Yi to stay in our home for one month. We knew this time would eventually end. We knew it wouldn't be easy. But it's what God called us to. And for good reason.
First and foremost, our goal through this hosting program was to show her the love of Jesus. We vowed to pour in to her, showing her true love that she's never experienced before. We promised to love her fiercely, leaving our hearts exposed and vulnerable. By the grace of God, this love had a visible impact. We've witnessed physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive growth. The impact of physical touch, soothing voice, strenuous activity, nutritious food, affection and attention are astounding. There's no doubt these experiences over the past month have had miraculous implications. We give God all praise for this work in her life!
Our second mission, as we felt God intended, was to find her a forever family where she could continue to know the love of Christ. We prayed that her identity as a helpless, voiceless orphan would change to that of adopted, protected, and cherished child. Our prayers have been answered! Her family now fights through the process to bring her home. She no longer waits on a list for someone to notice her. She now waits for her Mama and Baba to bring her home. The paperwork, home visits, training, approvals, and reports will take about a year and at the end of the adoption process, she will be home where she belongs.
This story is nothing short of miraculous. Please stop and thank God now for the privilege of witnessing His amazing work. There was a little girl half way around the world who was abandoned and sat in an orphanage, for 5 long years. A file was all she had to identify her. As far as the world was concerned, she didn't exist. But God, in all His mercy, plucked her from the pit. He called our family to simply say "yes" to one step at a time. We didn't know what He'd do with it but we were willing. He gave her a voice, a face, an opportunity to know love. Then, He called another family to answer the call to love her forever, the way He has loved them. "We love because He first loved us." (1John 4:19) This once nameless orphan has been deemed worthy and forever loved. "Praise be to the LORD, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." (Psalm 28:6-7)
The miracles that have occurred through her visit have gone well beyond what is currently visible. What we do know is that hundreds of seeds have been planted, seeds that God will faithfully water and produce fruit from. People have seen the face of the orphan and hearts have been softened. There is a greater awareness of the reality of the orphan crisis around the globe. Fu Yi's light is so bright and shone for so many to enjoy. Without words, she explained to every person she came in contact with that God is good. She is an image-bearer who reflects His glory from within her eyes. May her memory always point us back to how faithfully God provides for His beloved.
So while you may be tempted to feel sorry, to be sad, to regret what has to happen next, please don't. God's promises are real for Fu Yi. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18) God has worked mightily on her behalf and we dare not doubt His love for her, now that the tide rises. He draws closer as we need Him more. He never fails, He never leaves. Do we believe that the God who currently holds her in His hand will no longer hold her when she returns to China? Yes, Thursday will be hard for many of us. But we choose to trust the creator of her life, who never disappoints. We give Him praise and worship for all He has done and for all He promises to do. There is no sadness in His sovereignty and the love He pours out through it. There should be no regret in a journey that He has clearly ordained and promises to complete. Our faces are turned to the One who always comforts. We have asked God to guard our hearts, and of course Fu Yi's. He is already providing in this. We now ask for your prayers of gratitude. Let's storm the gates of heaven with our praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done!
We love you, Fu Yi. You are a treasure and we give thanks for God's redemptive work in your life. "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever." (Psalm 30:11-12)