Adoption Day is Almost Here! (May 6th, 2018)
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (II Cor 1:20)
Since our last update in March, much has occurred in relation to our presence here in China and concerning the adoption of our precious daughter, YangMei. By His grace, we have seen God move mightily through the prayers of His people. Surely His Word does not return unto Him void; hence, why God exhorts "keep My word" and "he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."
Guess what?! God has indeed continued to hide YangMei! Since we asked everyone to keep praying the government orphanage has not come for her, praise His holy name! Psalm 27:5 says, "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavillion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock." God gave this promise to Jody in April 2017 the 1st time the orphanage threatened to take Yangmei back and we have returned to it time and again as we have petitioned the Lord to keep her safe and secure. My what a mighty God we serve! After we received the "YES" from Mr. Zhang we then had to submit the first of multiple immigration documents and once again, God moved on our behalf. The paperwork was processed in record time in Kansas, sent out East, down to Guangzhou, China to the American Consulate there and now is on its way to Beijing and we anticipate Travel Approval within days!!! Once we are given the "green light" to travel to her home province to complete the legal part of the adoption, we then travel to Guangzhou for more USA Immigration requirements and to seek her entry Visa. THEN....... we will board a plane on June 5th for American soil. Unfortunately, since we are missionaries living abroad, Yangmei Eva Grace will not become a US Citizen when we arrive, and here is one area we need prayer and will explain more in the next part of our newsletter.
Another thing that has happened since we last wrote is that God has continued to graciously move in the hearts of so many people to help us on this journey through sponsoring pieces of her Adoption Puzzle! We are so humbled and in awe. There have been 166 pieces sponsored so far out of 252 and we think that is AMAZING!!! And more awesomeness..... our last newsletter was forwarded to a church in Missouri that offers a Special Needs Adoption Grant called "Beyond The Cross", so we submitted an application, along with letters of recommendation and God blessed us! We were awarded one of their grants and we are forever grateful! That grant, plus when the puzzle is completed will cover 100% of our remaining needs.
What's Next & Ongoing Prayer Needs
So......US Immigration. Once the adoption is finally over here, we have to FedEx immigration paperwork to request her Certificate of Citizenship which requires an in-person interview at one of the USCIS Field Offices and it cannot take place sooner than 90 days after the petition is filed. Well, that means that we HAVE to have an appointment on August 6th or 7th, which will absolutely require a miracle from God. Once the interview is accomplished Lord willing, then we have to travel down to a passport agency and expedite a USA Passport and then have to apply for and Lord willing be granted a Chinese Visa so she can re-enter her country of origin with us at the end of August (whew!!) So, please pray with us that God would move another mountain for us.....we absolutely know that He is able.
When we return to China at the end of August, we will not be returning to Beijing. God has opened up an incredible opportunity to move to Xian and labor with Chinese brothers there! This has been a desire in Rich's heart since coming to China and we are looking forward with great anticipation all that God would have for us in this next part of our journey. Rich will be involved in curriculum development for an English training center that the brothers own as well as continuing to do some teaching. Our entire family will be involved in making English teaching videos as well. We learned that there is a Classical Conversations home school co-op community in Xian and our children will be participating and Jody will actually be tutoring for one of the Foundations classes. We are excited to be able to join with like minded families in the area of home education.
Xian is the east gateway to the Silk Road, which has significant implications geoeconomically as President Xi wants to "revive" the Silk Road through this "Belt and Road" initiative hoping to usher in a new golden era of sorts. For Kingdom purposes, this strategic location holds incredible opportunity for engaging with unreached people groups and because we will be partnering with Chinese believers, there are more open doors into the countrysides for finding the man of peace. (Luke 10:6) Our friends in Xian also have a vision to purchase a farm outside of Xian and use it as a place of practical work but also for teaching and discipleship. We have become increasingly aware of the great need for Biblical counseling and discipleship (Matt 28:20) and while we have done some on a smaller scale, we pray the Lord will open a greater ministry for us in this area.
Please pray for China, and Chinese believers. New religious laws that were passed earlier this year have already resulted in increased persecution. House churches are being raided, Christian schools are being forcibly shut down (one in the same district where Jody previously volunteered and the boys attended). We have previously ordered Bibles from online platforms here.....the Bibles were all removed in 1 day and haven't returned! So while President Xi would like to present a picture to the outside world that China is opening up more and more; inside China, she is closing down more and more. And the persecution is not limited to Christian believers; recently a Muslim woman (a Kazakh) merely pointed out a food vendor in public that he mixed pork with halal meat and she was promptly taken away by police in plain clothes and sentenced to 16-years in prison for "spreading extreme religious and terrorist doctrines". She was the Chief Medical Officer of a local hospital and actually died in prison a few months after her incarceration. Human rights activist continue to be kidnapped and silenced and house church leaders are in "black market" jails or remain on house arrest. The climate is changing for sure.
While we are in the states, if anyone would desire us to come and share at a local fellowship gathering, please just send us an email and we will make every effort to come. We are so thankful for each and every one of you and absolutely could not continue what the Lord has us doing without you holding our rope.
Only 86 pieces left!
You can sponsor as many pieces of Yangmei's adoption puzzle as you want. They are $25.00 ea & remember we will put your name on the back and after sealing it, hang it in her room as a keepsake.
You can donate via PayPal or Donor Box. The links are below: