PHF Summer Video

When Words Aren't Enough

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Family and Friends Wait for Team to Arrive

All kinds of people gathered at the Spokane International Airport to
welcome the 30 of the 31 team members who traveled to China.
Husbands waited for wives... wives waited for husbands...parents
waited for their children...children waited for parents... and friends
waited for friends.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Life is a Box of Chocolates

Our hours are drawing to close and tears are slowly creeping into the picture. What an incredible opportunity to serve the God that made us. Across the board people are saying that this exceeded expectations in all facets. It has been so good to walk that soil that so many who have gone before us have--Taylor, Goforth, Nee--great pillars of faith. But now, we are making preparations to return to the place that we call home leaving behind lives that we touched and touched ours. Speaking of touching, let me give you a recap of how things were touched yesterday.

We walked outside at 8:30 to a driveway full of kids with nametags and their nanny trying to get matched up for the day. It felt a bit like 8th grade PE where those final words of "we get the girl, you get Don" still reverberate through Mullan Idaho. It started well. OK, not that well as 3 of the kids who were being assigned to us wanted nothing to do with us when that first hand of kindness touched them. So, they went with the three teachers who were escorting us. As we sat on the bus, I was in the 2nd seat with Ling Ling, since the first seat was reserved for potential vomiters. Oops, I guess the 3rd seat housed those kids as Melissa Andrews said those sweet words 30 minutes into the trip, "I think my kid vomited." Melissa really is astute as the regurgitated fruit leather pouring down the front of the shirt was the first clue, and the gagging sound was the second, and the stench was the 3rd. Melissa sorted through all of that and said those profound words, "I think my kid vomited." Megan must be proud. Now in the back of the bus, Mary Baxter was a lot cooler about it 5 minutes later, "Anyone got some towels?" As we drove into the city, my conversation with Ling Ling was nearly as profound, "Wo men qu Beijing" she said about 2,138 times--we go to Beijing!. Almost as astute as Melissa decoding of vomiting. 72 of us heading to the Blue Zoo aquarium on two buses and lunch at McDonalds. We found our way there and then it was bathroom time which we all knew would be an adventure. Using a squat pot for yourself is always fun, but to help a 3 year old is nearly as fun. Stephan Jutila brought his child in who was pretty adamant that he could go on his own. Stephan being the gentleman he is, turned his back to the child, but we all got to watch as the child dropped his pants and promptly fell in the squat pot. I would never have guessed that a 3 year would be a perfect fit in a squatpot. Stephan's face was priceless as we let him know that there might be trouble behind him. Melissa would have said, "I think my child fell in the toilet," but Stephan just let out a brief shrill reminiscent of his dad's when Dean Hazeltine intercepted him in the 1982 State semifinal game. Once that was all taken care of, we went through the zoo. I told our team that I would switch kids if they had trouble since Ling Ling is pretty self-sufficient and she knew she was going to Beijing--2138 times. A few minutes in, Josh Moody, whose dad is the PHF doctor, asked to switch. I should have thought that one through when the kid who lives here wanted to switch. Now Xander, I'm sure is a sweet boy and Spencer Tracy would have loved him too. But Xander apparently doesn't love the aquarium. A 3 year old, 28 pound,autisitc boy matched up with a 43 year old, father of five, hired to work with kids for the past 22 years, tipping the scales at just a hair over 200 should be a fair fight. Somewhere between the head hitting, voice repetition, dumping bottles of water, spitting cookies, Xander began to wear me down. But, being the leader of the team I sometimes get to play the leader card. I thought about following Melissa's lead and say, "I think my child is misbehaving" but that doesn't work at home. So as we were beginning to leave, I knew Patrick didn't have a child with him since his boy is either afraid of the dark in the aquarium, or of beards, but I gently affirmed him--that would be Patrick--and handed off this boy so I could pay for lunch. So I don't know if that makes it a draw, or if Xander really did win. Taking 72 people, 34 of them being special need orphans, and of course Steve Ruby's special needs being thrown in the mix because he finally got to ride a
long bus, to McDonalds, is an adventure. Sort of like hearding cats I guess. It was so good, I'm not going to tell you 2138 times that it was so good, but no one got lost, Melissa enjoyed her lunch, and we made it through another bathroom stop. We did make it home that day. As Dicken's said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." As Forrest said, "You never know what you're gonna get." And as Melissa said, "I think my child had a good time" and oh yeah, as Ling Ling said.....

Day 11 - Field Trip to Beijing

Monday proved to be a first for PHF. The team got to be the first of visiting teams that got to take the kids off site. Twenty or so kids we escorted by our team members by bus to the Blue Zoo in Beijing and then to lunch at KFC or McDonalds. This experience was a treat for the kids as well as the teens and adults.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

And the Score is....

There's a lot of things to do when bells ring--go to class, wake up, answer the door, see angles get their wings, or you can do what Jim Andrews and Don Jutila do. Well, let me back you up a bit. We needed to get from Wangfujing which is next to the Forbidden City in central Beijing to the 4th ring road on the outskirts of town. I was thinking Sunday night at 9:00 there would be a lot of room available on the train. As we got to the platform, my expectations were accurate as there were only a couple dozen other people wanting to get on. I heard the train in the distance coming and people began getting ready to go. We were standing with our roommates so no one would get left behind. As the subway rolled in the first cars were crammed with people and I was expectant of the latter ones having space. As the train stopped, I stared at a sea of black haired people who had to be looking out the window saying, "you have got to be kidding me if these people think they can fit on this." The girls seemed to be getting in without much problem and the first boys were barely getting on. I, though, used my gentle demeanor and lithe shape to nustle between two young teenagers who got their excursion into town interrrupted and and a businessman who didn't seem so eager to have a sweaty bodied American almost riding piggy-back on him. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Jim and Don still standing on the outside. Then the bell rang. Doors closing in about 5 seconds, a train heading off into the distance and two men who can say hello to anyone they meet and not much else, were going to be left standing in a place that no one knew existed or could find again. Well, they did what any two healthy American former-athletes would do, they made their surge. All I felt was a business man buried in one armpit, a teenage girl presseed up into my back and 60 able-bodied people get pushed aside as Jim and Don lowered shoulders and got on the train. The doors closed, Chinese people said something that is probably good that none of us understood, and the train moved on into the night. America-2, China-0.
Serving Him Well.
Steve and the team

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Note from Steve

Hi you all, just want to let you know that great things are happening over here in China. We have just finished up our VBS and had a great chance to teach the God's Word and continue to plant seeds here. We also have been doing some work at another local foster home that is really struggling and helping them in some very tanglible ways. And, we have established some roots at a third place that will have some further implications down the road as we continue to bring groups over to help serve orphans and the missionaries.

Our team has been nothing but AWESOME this year. I have been constantly impressed by the kids and their eagerness to jump in and serve in the fun things, the mundane things, and the dirty things. Our adults were as great as I thought they would be. It is so overwhelming to watch their hearts break daily for what is happening here.

You would be proud to watch all of this take place. As people invest in different things all around the world and in our own neighborhoods, it is rewarding to see a great return. The work here is not returning void as we have seen lives touched in so many tangible ways. Thank you for the ways that you have gotten this team over here from praying to financially supporting to providing words of encouragement. May you be richly blessed through all of this.

Serving Him in China,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 8 - Kids Day

Day 8 - Lessons Learned

Lori with 5 year old Jackie
This trip has definitely been used to show me some direction for my life all in ways that I wasn't even looking for.
I'll share with you a moment though that was both a learning experience and well, let me explain. Yesterday was our kid's day carnival, where we set up carnival games and snacks and water games and face painting and pretties for the girls hair and well you get the idea. Anyway, we were supposed to help them understand the games by leading by example and showing them how the game worked. I had the ring toss which worked great with the kids. We had lined up several bottles with some type of sweet milk drink in them and gave them rings to toss on them and then they would get a prize out of the prize bag. All of the games were setup similarly so I thought that it was pretty self explanatory after all the kids understood it and were going from booth to booth. When the nannies started playing it all changed, after they got the ring on the bottle they smiled and took the bottle. I tried to explain that it was part of the game, oh well, that didn't work out. After the first nanny did that several came over, placed not threw the ring on the bottle, picked it up and left. After less than a minute, I had no game left. Suddenly it was time for me to mingle and play with the kids, which after all, was why we were here so I was perfectly happy with that. Besides, they REALLY enjoyed the milk drinks. Lesson learned- don't use actual drinks for a game if you want the game to continue. Second lesson learned- His plans are always better.

So much more learned and to be learned but I will leave it at this for now! See you all soon!

Lori R

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scrapbooks and Bags Open Doors

We are halfway through our trip, time to take a deep breath. Cindy and I took the remaining nanny scrapbooks and bags - for those who were off on the day we delivered - to the head ayi, as well as a complete set for her. She was so excited - she had been waiting for her gift, saying that hers was the best because she had all the children. She is a believer, and asks God to find a forever family for each child. She told us that the ayis were so excited because the books are so pretty. The ayis are proud to take them home so they can show pictures of the children they care for to all their friends. We will be teaching the ayis in the House of Love how to make pretty scrapbook pages today. We are still figuring out how to get to each house in the time left. Grace will be translating for us, and Melissa S. will help as well.
The ayis were also excited about the bags, wanting to pick out the prettiest ones. Their idea of pretty was not always my idea of pretty - so it was funny to watch the trading back and forth. Sometimes one ayi would choose a bag for a co-worker, clearly telling them it was the one they should choose. We also gave bags with soap and lotion to the cleaning ayis.The ayis have been much more open with us this year, and willing to be available for us to interact with the children. They greet us warmly as we arrive. Just one more way to open the doors for them to want to know Jesus.
Lori B.

Photos of VBS

Erin Crawford got to celebrate her birthday in China.

Day 7 - What We Have Planned

Today is our big Kids Day party. We are setting it up similar to last year's Olympic party but we are having carnival games that the kids and ayis(nannies) will go around to. I think we will have about 15-20 games set up to play with prizes, and then we have snacks set up in the community center. They have a big bouncy castle sort of things that we will set up also that is a total mess right now but we have 8 hours to clean up. Then we will have big catered dinner for all the nannies, workers, staff and team and then fireworks tonight.

Tomorrow we are sending a bunch of people back to New Day to visit again with the Andrews. We are going to send 12 people there and 8 to Harmony House again to help and then the rest to set up VBS so tomorrow should be a big day also.

Over the weekend we are going to the Great Wall on Saturday and Sunday is the Hutong, Drum Tower, Forbidden City, Tian' an Men Square, dropping of the flag, and the night market food court. On Monday they are letting us take 30 kids to Beijing to the Blue Zoo and McDonalds so that should be a full day also. Tuesday we just tie up loose ends and return Weds. so we are finishing full. Please continue to pray. There is still much work to be done.
The most obvious thing I've noticed here is the modern & ancient together. Along with the beautiful new cars, roads, & buildings, there are donkey drawn carts and venders selling from their bicycle/carts.

It's also interesting to see how curious the people are when they see us, and how many seem pleased when we say, "Hi", after catching their eye.

I was told that the Chinese young people are very respectful of the elderly. I have a funny story to share about that playing out.

Lanaea, 15, and I were in a little stall at the Market place in Beijing. We were in the middle of bartering for various items. I was sitting on this tiny stool that was a criss-cross thing with a metal seat that was not attached. Each time I got up from this stool, my legs would stick to it, and it would fall off and the whole thing would crash to the floor. SO, I started to get up very slowly and carefully in order to let the stool un-stick from my legs before I got too far off of the stool. That way, it stayed put. At one point, we were talking, and showing family pictures, and they asked how old Lanaea was. Lanaea told them, and then offered the information about how old I am.,...much older than most most moms. (Grandma-age older!). When Lanaea said that, both of the girls gauked; eyes widening. The very next time I had to get up from the stool, ( keep it from falling over), both girls quickly leaned over and held my elbows to help me up. I recognized immediately what was happening, and had to laugh inside because at home, I ride my bike 10 times up a steep hill in Dishman Hills just to be cardio-fit, spending almost 1 and 1/2 hrs. doing it. I probably could have run circles around them, yet they were so precious to "help the elderly woman up out of her chair".


From the Teens on the Trip

China is so amazing. Now that I'm back it feels like I never left. Something about the people and the culture is comforting to me. The people are so thankful for everything they have even though it's nothing compared to what the majority of people in the U.S. have. Going to see the Bird's Nest Sunday was so cool, but playing with the kids at Shepherd's Field has definitely been the highlight of my trip so far. One little girl, Elizabeth, has really touched my heart. She always has a smile on her face and wants me to take her out of her wheelchair and carry her around. I really want to take her home with me :D and all the other kids too!
Sarah Baxter
The people of China have captured my heart. My love for China started last year when I came for my family's adoption of my little sister. I was struck with the beautiful hearts of the people. This trip to China has reaffirmed that I have some kind of role to play in China someday. I still don't know specifically but I continue to trust that God is in control. When we were at the Temple of Heaven I stood on a round cement circle that the Chinese call the "center of the universe". When I stood there and looked around I began to think that maybe China is the "center for the change" that needs to happen in the world. As U.S. Christians we can almost become ethnocentric in our approach to where change in our world will come from. What I have seen though is the possibility for China to be that. I hope we all as brothers and sisters of Christ continue to pray for the amazing people of China

In Christ,
Mac Andrews
Today when we were at Walmart we were shopping for supplies and there were these two little kids that were following us everywhere we went. The kids where really cute and they seemed really friendly. They followed Hannah and I all over the store. When we would go down any aisle they would follow us and try to put items in our cart. We met the group in the front of the store and the kids were still following us. They met everyone that was at Walmart with us and they sat down with us. When we were waiting for everyone to check out so we started taking funny pictures with them. Grace asked them where their parents were and they said that their parents dropped them off and left. The kids said that they were at Walmart to play around. Then we had to leave Walmart and we were joking around with the kids and asked them if they wanted to come back with us. Other than that nothing has happened lately besides games with the kids and cleaning the school.