Katie had never been on a mission trip…many youth conferences, but never an outside of the country missions trip.  The “Bring Me Hope” camp that she had been invited to be a part of would be the first for her.  She was invited by the camp director’s son to go with them to China to love on children in desperate need. 

Katie didn’t know it, but far away from Minnesota, where she lives, a host of people were praying that God would prepare our Jessica Faith for her impending adoption.  We specifically prayed that if there was any possible way, the Lord would send the Gospel to our girl before we could even get to her…that He would prepare the way. Even as I prayed this, my subconscious wrote it off as impossible…after all, there are millions of orphans in China and thousands of orphanages… none of which are particularly open to the Word.  Fortunately, NOTHING is impossible with God.

Shortly before Katie left for her trip to China, she found out that she was pregnant.  This left her loved ones very concerned that she should still go.  She would be taking additional risks by traveling abroad with a baby in her womb, but I think God was just putting icing on the cake.  Soon this special woman carrying her first child would meet the child growing in my heart who will become our oldest.  Katie felt the pull of Christ on her heart to take this trip and I am so glad that she did.

How she ever found out how to contact me, I still don’t know, but I received an email last week through an organization called “Lady Bugs and Love” that forwarded her message to me.  Katie had met my daughter at a camp in China and got to spend a whole week with her one on one and she wanted to know if I would like to hear about it and see pictures of Jessica.  She ended the email by saying that she understood if I didn’t…however, I don’t think she was prepared for how much I did!!  I tend to be a gusher… there is no trickling over here… I have never learned how to play it cool…and it barely registered that this woman was a complete stranger. I told her that I wanted to know EVERYTHING. Then I connected with her on Facebook and the stalking really began :). 

Katie had taken picture after picture of our sweet girl… she had even taken a few videos.  I was overwhelmed as I browsed through the album… I may or may not have looked at it more than 10 times.  Better even than the album though was Katie’s description of our sweet girl.  She reassured us that she is loving and lovable, that she was one of the favorites at camp, that she was very well-behaved, and best of all that she was open to the Gospel!!!!  YES!!!  Sweet Katie was the first to witness to our sweet girl.  She shared Jesus with her and she taught her how to pray.  She was able to be there for my daughter as she opened her heart and poured out some hurt in her heart that she had not been able to share with anyone.  Katie talked to her about forgiveness and taught her how to pray while she waits for her family to come get her.  Katie even told me that the Director of the “Bring Me Hope” camps was going to go back to Jessica’s orphanage really soon and try to get permission to teach her some English.

There are many other things that I learned about my daughter from Katie’s week with her, but many of them I have to keep in my heart to ponder.  Suffice it to say, it has been a heart wrenching life for this sweet girl who we cannot wait to bring home.  And just as we prayed for the Lord to prepare the way for us, we are praying that He will also redeem the time, because we can never get back the 14 years that we have missed.  Please join us in this prayer.  We also need you to join us in praying that her paperwork is rushed through as adoptions in China are rarely processed as quickly as we need ours to be to meet that November 3rd deadline.  I truly believe that the prayers of the saints were intricate in Katie reaching my daughter and I count on our sweet friends to lift this girl up before the throne with us..

Still completely blown away that God called a pretty, petite blonde girl pregnant with her first baby to share Christ with my gorgeous, brown eyed Chinese daughter who will become my oldest baby…and He could have stopped there, but instead He prodded her to find a way to contact me to share things that I really needed to know and be prepared for.  In all the millions of people in China, a girl named Katie brought Hope to our Jessica Faith and in doing so, she prepared our hearts and brought us Hope as well.  WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD????

For more info on “Bring Me Hope” camps, you can visit their website at www.bringmehope.org .  Bring Me Hope organizes summer camps for parentless children in China.  Most of these children are orphans, but some of them only see their parents every few years as they leave them at “boarding school” to go to work in the city.  Economic conditions and the Communist government force these parents to make tough decisions for their children at a very tender age, and the result is children without permanent homes and many times without love.  “Bring Me Hope” sends Christians from around the world to these children to love on them for a week out of the summer.  A $125 sponsorship to “Bring Me Hope” allows an orphan or a parentless child to attend one of these camps for the week.  Translators from around the country of China are also brought in to foster communication between the foreigners and the China treasures.  As a result, the Christian foreigners not only spend a week loving, laughing with, and blessing these children, but they also share their faith with these children and by osmosis, with the translator.  Many of the children and translators have come to Christ as a result of this program. It would be a great place to invest in the Kingdom.