Monday March 21st has been an exciting day!
For the past couple weeks we have been waiting and praying for a call back from some different neurosurgeons we had contacted regarding Silas’ condition. This morning we received a call from Dr Mindea, a neurosurgeon from Stanford University. After chatting with him for a bit his words were, “I think it might be best if I could go to China and perform the surgery on him myself”. These words brought both shock and delight to our hearts! Not only is he willing to donate his time, but he is submitting a request to Stanford for all the supplies that are needed!
If we were to bring Silas here, spinal surgery would cost at least $80,000. Instead, this man is willing to travel all the way around the world, to a country he has never been to, to operate on a man he has never even met. If this is not the hand of God moving, than I do not know what is!
And while talking to Dr. Mindea he said that he was going to ask Stanford if he could borrow their medical equipment for the week he's in China. And also ask them to donate the metal they would use in surgery. JUST INCREDIBLE!!!
So, it looks like surgery will take place in about three months (enough time for all the arrangements to be made). Silas and his family will return home until that time, then they will meet Dr Mindea back in Beijing for surgery.
Keep us in your prayers as we talk with Dr Mindea to figure out the details. Supplies needed, transportation, recovery, physical therapy, other medical staff- these are just a few of the “question marks” we have in our heads. BUT… God does exceedingly abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine, so we are not worried. We are just thankful! Please join us in thanking God for His provision today!
If you would like to join us in praying for Silas and hearing more details, we are organizing a short conference call.
March 24- 6pm (PST)
Bridge #: 599558 (type this number when you connect)
We will keep you posted as we learn more!
-Dani, Rose, and David
Bring Me Hope News
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Meet Blossom and Ronny. They came to camp last summe from a very primitive orphanage.
Blossom is 13 years old and has Spina Bifida and a missing leg. Ronny is 8 years old and has uncorrected Club feet. Their buddies from camp last summer fell in love with them. Their sweet smiles and joyful personalities make them easy to love.
These children would really benefit by being moved to the Philip Hayden Foundation, a foreign run foster home, where they could get quality medical attention. For this to take place, each child needs 10 sponsors giving $35 a month (this will cover housing, food, personal care, medical attention, and education!).
Kim (one of their buddies from camp) is working really hard to find sponsors for these kids. Pray and see if this is something the Lord would have you take part in. Imagine how love, education, and medical attention will change these children's lives FOREVER!! Be a part in this life changing event!
Feel free to contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Da Mei, a nine-year-old girl from China available for adoption. As you can see she's full of joy, and it spreads to everyone around her. Da Mei is so hopeful for a family that she's already convinced she has one! We hope God impresses her situation on you. We ask you to watch her video below and pray. If Da Mei remains on your heart like she's remained in ours, don't hesitate to do the will of God!
"Then he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.'" -Luke 9:48 NIV
For more information please contact the Mahoney Family at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an update from Julie Vidler about one of the ELIM kids and her mom that they have been working to help. A few of us got to meet and minister to this little family last summer and it was such a joy! They are so precious to us and to the Lord. Thank you Julie and Sam for all your hard work on behalf of these kids.
It was so exciting today to move Lucy and her mum to their new home!
When I arrived she was sitting on the 3-4 bags that contained all their worldly possessions (can you believe it?) and was literally jumping for joy!
Even though it is small (one bed room) , it is clean, has heating, a kitchen, water and electricity. A far cry from their old place where they often went for days without food or water and it was bitterly cold in the winter.
The most exciting thing for me is that they escape the “stigma” they suffered in their old community. Lucy can come and go as she pleases and play outside with the other children.
As we set up we had a crowd of curious on lookers who were queuing to play with the Chinese girl who has so many foreign friends!
When we left, Lucy and her mum were happily sitting on the lounge watching TV and eating the chocolate brownies made by our American friends!
To us “foreigners” it may only be a small step but what a great change in their lives to escape the apartment they have been locked in for the last 2 years or more.
Thanks so much for enabling us to do this by so willingly giving your money so we can pay for rent, food, electricity and water.
Love Julie on behalf of all at “Elim kids”
Wow, God is doing so much!! The exact details of all He is doing are quite unclear to us at this very moment, but it is undeniable that He is working in so many ways!
So we have recently received the contact information of one fo the world's top neurosurgeons! He works at UCLA medical center and has traveled overseas (specifically to China) to do surgeries! We got in touch with him and his associate. We are eagerly waiting to hear back from them! We do not know to what extent these men will be involved in Silas' life. But, whatever the capacity (whether they are just more professional consults of if they could be performing surgery on Silas in the near future) we are thankful for them. We are ever looking in to the option of potentially bringing him here to do surgery if the surgeon thinks that is a viable option. We will keep you updated as we hear more!
Thank you to all of you who have donated money towards his surgery and recovery. We are uncertain of the amount we will now need as the direction of the plan is up in the air. We do know that Silas will be getting surgery and funds are still needed! So pray and talk to people about the story of Silas and Hannah and all the Lord is doing and using for His glory!
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." EPH 3:20-21
For those of you who are teetering on the idea of joining us for summer camp in China this year -here are some amazing quotes from our little campers. Their lives will be changed forever by the time you spend with them. They think you should come!
"I heard that you take a very long journey to come here in order to love me. I am greatly moved." -Bingying Sun
"You are like my mom to me. This is the most beautiful memory in my life." -Zengwang Feng
"It's you who made me feel that I am still loved." -Minglun Hua
"You let me know God. Let me know love. I know that God protects us." -Ping Wang
"I learn from you to smile even if my life is full of adversity." -Yan Li
"I have learned that I am very valuable and I should never look down upon myself because of our misfortunes we've encountered." - Wenjing Dang
"You are just like a kind father. There is full love in your heart." -Lujun Yu
"When I was feeling down, it was you who used your heart to encourage me. It was you who support me all the time." -Liang Liu
"I am always dreaming of making friends with foreigners. Now I have my dream come true!" -Mingnei Hua
"I am thankful for you giving me hope." -Shuangli Fu
"You give me courage to face difficulties like a family." -Ya Jhang
"I learned a lot from the lesson we had in this camp. No matter when and how hard a problem may be, you should never give up and be a strong man. I'll never give up and I will hold it on till it succeeds." -Wei Xu
"It is beyond my imagination that all the activities are done in family group at the camp. We felt the warmth and love of a family. Kids like us can't imagine we could ever come here and enjoy life like this." -Yanhong Zhang
"I spent a lot of happy and memorable time with you, which makes me feel family love and coziness inside. All of these things let me feel warmth wintin and having a family is so precious." -Dong Fu
"I learned how to deal with something. I will put the knowledge I learned how to use in our daily life." -Jianli Zhang
"The most important is that without your love, we will have no chance to be here and to enjoy life like this." -Nannan Chen
"To be honest, it is the first time for me to see your kind of behaviours. I am really shocked. Your good behaviours really impressed me." -Xiangshuai Yang
"In the camp, I feel as if I really saw hope. Among the kids, some are very naughty. But, our 'parents' love them and care for them all the same. This really touched me a lot." -Dang Ai Guo
"Different cultures, different ages, different colour skins, different languages....but we can get along with each other. I think this is only because of your love. Thank you for the memories you left to me. I will lock it in my deep heart." -Qian Zhang
"Mommy, Come Find Me!"
Our family has so enjoyed getting to know the orphaned children at the Dexing (pronounced duh-shing) school in northern Kunming. A few months back we noticed one little girl hanging back in the shadows with her head hung low. We found out that she had been dropped off at the school by her mom back in August, and hasn't seen her since. She had a far-away look in her eyes and refused to make eye contact or interact with us. Her Chinese name is Mengrui, but as all the others loved it when we gave them English names, we named her Lucy. Amy later described her as, “ . . . the most forlorn child I have ever seen.” We have slowly been getting to know Lucy, but it hasn't been easy. The recent Chinese holiday gave the kids some time off from school, so we asked the headmaster if we could have them to our house overnight and were given permission to do so. When it was Lucy's turn, she wandered in, immediately gathered up the dollies, and quietly played for some time with them. She slowly began to relax and enjoy her time with us. Amy then took her up for a long warm bath after which she emerged looking like a little Chinese princess – clean, warm, hair braided, and smiling. Things seemed to be going really well . . . and then she had a meltdown!
Lucy got upset about something and began to shout. Soon she was crying, and this turned into screaming. I scooped her up and held her, but couldn't console her. I set her back down, and she slid like a waterfall onto the floor where she writhed and began yelling, “Mommy, come find me, mommy come find me!” My mind had been racing, grappling for parenting solutions, but when I heard her words, I realized that she was wailing from deep down inside of her; she was grieving. We were witnessing outward behavior that reflected wounds way beyond her ability to express. Amy held and rocked her with a new understanding of Lucy and her situation. We felt incredibly inadequate! The next day we took Lucy to the zoo where she talked, laughed and joked with us. When it was time to take her back to the school she said, “I don't want to go to school. I want to go back to your house with you.” Lucy is just one of many children here who need love, guidance, and hope! Please continue to pray for her!
Our Upcoming Trip to MN
We have been in Kunming now for more than two years, and are planning to return to Minnesota sometime this Spring in order to be at Jacob and Rachel's wedding in June. We are really looking forward to spending time with our friends and family in Big Lake, and eagerly anticipating some “down time” in and on the lake itself. During our time in the U.S. we will be taking Natalie to Chicago for surgery to further correct her cleft palate. We've heard that this surgery will be her most painful, and we aren't looking forward to it. In addition to this, if Andrew's adoption is completed by the time we get home, we hope to have him evaluated for surgery as well. As you may remember from our last newsletter, we were pursuing surgery for him in Hong Kong with a pediatric neurosurgeon; however, when we took him to his home province and applied for temporary travel approval for him, the local police denied our petition. So we are pushing for his adoption to be completed soon so we can bring him to the U.S.
We would love to visit with as many of you as we are able when we are home. We want to catch up with all of you and we have so many things to share with all of you concerning our life and work in China. If you would like to have us come to your home, small group, Bible study, school, church, or civic meeting to speak or just hang out, please email us at email@example.com and let us know. We will make every effort to get there!
Something glorious is taking place right now. At this moment, Chinese students are sitting around me studying the Word of God. They have a teacher who has a passion for the Father, host families who consider them as their own kids, and two Church bodies who are supporting them in any way they can. Paul is one of these students. Last summer at camp he had a lot of questions about Jesus, and wanted to know more. By the end of camp he walked into God's family. Now he is here growing and learning! Last week we had a teacher talk about prayer. Afterwards Paul said, "This is the best class ever. I used to be afraid to pray, but not anymore!" God is working in each of the student's lives…
…and in the lives of the host families too. When the students were matched with their host moms and dads, everyone was a little shy. Only three days later a deep friendship began. They may come from two opposite cultures, but the love of Jesus has united them into a spiritual family. With each day that passes, they build deeper and deeper friendships with their Chinese students...I mean family.
Here is an interview from a former 13 year old camper who is now living in the States with her forever family! If you have ever wondered what the kids are thinking about as they come to camp for the first time, how they feel as they leave camp, and what it is like coming to the States after being adopted- please take time to read this sweet interview! We are seriously so blessed to be a part of these children’s lives.
Interview with a post-camper:
BMH: Can I ask you what your thoughts were when you were told you were coming to camp?
Camper: (Laughing) At first I was so nervous because I never went anywhere before. Plus that time I don’t really trust anyone in my life except myself. So it was hard.
But when the bus drove us to the camp and we saw y’all and you welcomed us, then I was little bit ok…but still nervous.
But when I got to know y’all then I said to myself that I am happy to come. It was the best time of my life, all of my 13 years while I was in China.
BMH: Thanks for being so honest. If I were you, I would be really scared going somewhere new and meeting new people too!
Camper: I am so thankful that I choose to go and met y’all. If I didn’t go, I don’t know what I would have missed. Y’all have changed my life in so many ways. I don’t even know how to put the words.
BMH: You have changed our lives too!
Sometimes people ask what the campers feel and are thinking when camp is over. It’s really hard for both the volunteers and the campers to go back to their homes. What were your thoughts when you left?
Camper: Well to be honest, I really didn’t want to go back. The night when we drew, wrote letters to each other, danced, played games, I said to myself that I wish the time would stop at this place with these people.
I knew that we would leave in the morning so I was so disappointed because I absolutely like what we did and everything in that week. And I wish we could stay like that forever. I really wish the time would go back or slower sometimes.
BMH: I know that feeling. We wish it didn’t have to end either. And we’re sad when you leave.
Some people have questioned if it’s worth running the camps just to ultimately send campers back to their orphanages, as if we were abandoning you again. What do you think?
Camper: I believe if you ask everyone who was at camp, their answer would be Yes. It’s still worth running the camps even though y’all have to send campers back.
Because like us who were abandoned from families, went to a big orphanage, and stayed there for many years, we don’t get the privilege like other kids who have parents with them and go on vacation every summer.
So we would die to go some place different and see different things and meet different people.
So I believe that even though we were sad to leave, we also go to see what the other side of the world looks like. And also know there are a lot of people who care and love us who don’t have parents.
I really wish everyone in America would get involved with this, no matter if they’re teenagers or adults, because some people don’t really see the differences between each country.
Bring Me Hope changes a lot of people’s lives. So I would love to see Bring Me Hope available forever and always…24/7 , 365 days a year!
BMH: What’s it like for you to live in America after living in China for so long?
Camper: (Laughing) I like America…I like seeing different sides of the world, having my own stuff so I don’t have to fight over what stuff I want and also getting to meet new people.
Also here I have a chance to go to college and have my own family and a future. And I can get involved with sports and make many new friends who care about me. In China I don’t really get this stuff, no matter what. And also I would not learn about or believe in God.
BMH: God sure knows what you need and has provided so much for you. But China will always be a huge part of you.
Camper: I think I am the luckiest person in the world. I have family, friends, you all, and God in my life. I am so happy.
BMH: If you were able to go back to China, what would you like to do?
Camper: If I got to go back to China, I would like to go where I was from and see the changes. Also I would like to take all the orphans out and take them somewhere different, like y’all did. Also, I would like to go shopping (laughing). I would like to spend all the time with the orphans and play with them…and also find my real parents.
BMH: Those are beautiful dreams. I hope they all come true. We love you!
“32 feet project” turns in to the “44 feet project” with your support! Update from the Hedden familyPosted by BMH
32 Feet Project
The 32 feet project has been a huge success! Actually we received enough money to buy more shoes than we had planned; but we didn't want to change the name to the “44 Feet Project”. We are right now coordinating the logistics of purchasing and delivering the shoes, and will be giving shoes to 12 orphans from the De Xing School as well as to 10 other needy local children who came to Bring Me Hope Camp last summer. We also used some of the money to purchase warm socks and slippers for 7 of the children from the school who came to our house yesterday afternoon. It has been unseasonably cold, and it was wonderful to be able to get the kids out of the cold, into our house. We played with them, and fed them, and even watched a few episodes of Barney with them. They were so happy to be warm, and beamed when they put their slippers on. Thank You to everyone who made this possible by your generous giving! You have directly impacted the life of an orphan in China!
Surgery For Andrew?
Andrew, who originally came into our home when he was just 5 days old, has turned into a bundle of energy, noise, and joy. Although his medical condition, known as spina bifida, has slowed his physical development, he is fully mobile on his hands and knees. Just yesterday the telephone rang and before anyone was able to answer, Andrew bolted over, picked up the receiver, and said, “hewooo!” Now we have to race him to the phone when it rings. As for Andrew's adoption, our paperwork has been logged in at China Center of Adoption Affairs since July. Andrew's paperwork was only just sent from his orphanage to the local civil affairs office 2 weeks ago; so we are waiting and praying that it will be approved and forwarded to CCAA in Beijing soon. Our biggest challenge right now is that Andrew more than likely needs to undergo surgery for a tethered spinal cord. Just last month, he developed 2 kidney infections that the local pediatrician believes are directly related to his need for surgery. We were hoping that by now his adoption would be complete so that we could have it done in the U.S. We are currently trying to get him to Hong Kong where there is a pediatric neurologist waiting to see him. We are trying to get a travel permit for Andrew which will allow us two weeks in Hong Kong for his evaluation. Thanks to those of you who have already donated funds for this undertaking. We will keep you posted as things develop.