It only took me a couple hours after we finished our 20 hour journey to China to realize that this nation is embedded in my heart.  It is forever a part of me as it will forever be a part of my girls.  I don’t feel like a foreigner even though I look like one… a deep love for the Chinese people is already consuming me and I almost cannot explain what it is like to be here again.

As we explored the great city of Beijing yesterday with our guide, Michelle, I could not look into my daughter’s eyes without thinking of her birth mother…the woman who gave her life…who carried her for 9 months and then felt compelled to give her up.  My thoughts constantly wander to a woman who must be the perfect blend of sweet and sassy… who must have enough spunk to have given so much away in her DNA.  And I can’t stand in this place without considering her plight… without wondering how China has given up so much rich treasure.  The people here are not oblivious to the loss.  Everyone we come into contact with stares at Kate with wonder and interest.  A Chinese toddler who speaks only English?  I simply cannot tell as they comment to our guide if they are upset that Americans raise her or that her country gave her up.

China is a proud country.  It’s culture is one of great family tradition.  Most of the families here live together…all the generations… great grandparents, grandparents, parents and children.  You would think that this kind of a culture would embrace life in the womb and many want to, but a stronger force pulls on them and they have no weapons to fight it.

Yesterday was a great day of learning for us as we traveled in a van for 4+ hours with a very educated female tour guide.  Her relating of history to us was simple and yet profound and tells a tale of something deeper than the course of human events.  China, from the very beginning, was a country of deep heritage and rich family tradition. The dynasties show us how much emphasis was placed on family, as the emperor power was passed down from generation to generation.  It was also a society without the one true God.  Even Paul was held from travelling to Asia by the Holy Spirit and unable to take the Gospel into this closed country. China even built a wall across its border to self protect it from the outside world.  This wall is quite a feat because it is built on top of mountains.  The people built it by carrying stones up the mountains on their shoulders for hundreds and hundreds of years.  I asked our tour guide why they would need a wall like that if they had mountains already.  She just smiled and shrugged her shoulders.  As amazing as the Great Wall is, it was and is fairly pointless.

As China worked to close itself off from the rest of the world and keep everyone out, God was doing a work just short ways away in Europe.  The Gospel was spreading and Truth was making its way through the nations.  Without this Gospel, China turned to the worship of the god of heaven, the god of earth, the god of the sun, moon and stars… sound familiar?  Only this “god” was not the True God, it was the emperor.  They believed their emperor was sent from “god” and was his son.  They believed that the emperor was the messenger of this “god” and so they worshiped him and did his bidding as if he were God.  Do you see the deception of the enemy here… how he mixes truth with lies and ends up with a plausible story and always some tangible idol to cling to?  The Chinese built ridiculously ornate temples to their emperor and planned their calendar around him.  They let him take their sons as slaves and their women as concubines and considered it honor.  Still today, this religion, known as Taoism, is the most prominent in China.

There is no emperor in China any longer, but the leaders are still worshiped as gods.  Chairman Mao Tse Tungs picture still hangs in Tienanmen square and is changed freshly every year.  His HUGE moseleum or tomb is visited by thousands of Chinese every day.  He is the man that clawed his way to power as a man of the people… who declared this nation “The People’s Republic of China” and opened the door for the common man only to institute things like the One Child Policy that will ultimately destroy the common man in China.  Because of this policy, couples are limited to one child, at the most two for the minority groups.  If you have more than one child that you decide to keep, you will pay fines and be ostracized from society.  You will not receive the government card that basically gives you rights as a citizen and you will find yourself abandoned by your only “saviour”.  It is simply rarely done here.  For this reason, the current generation and their parents are from a culture of the single child.  This child receives not only the parents resources, but the resources of the grandparents as well, since there is no one to share with.  Chinese workers are forced to retire at age 50 for women and 60 for men, to allow younger people to get the jobs in the work place.  This leaves them with nothing to do but care for their one grandchildren.  Can you imagine this society in a few years?  Already they are seeing the effects.  Men are travelling to neighboring countries and often buying or kidnapping wives because of the shortage of women due to this policy. There is a 50% divorce rate in most places as spouses are unable to learn how to live together in peace. Just as the Chinese panda has to be ostracized from other pandas, so the Chinese people are learning from a young age to “look our for number 1”. Society has become entitled and somewhat lazy.  An opening up to capitalism has kept the economy flowing, but has also created a great divide between the rich and poor… evidently socialism and capitalism are not friends… big shocker.

In all of this, just as in all of the issues we are facing in America, we see a lack of Jesus… a lack of true Love.  A lack of Ephesians 2.  We are all “dead men walking” until we meet Jesus.  It is hitting me square in the face here where there is no hiding behind steeples and church faces.  The greatest thing that can ever happen to us is the love of Jesus.  It changes everything.  It makes everything right.  It brings us to life.  It IS the point.  There is no other.  God is LOVE.  And that is why we adopt.  We can’t keep it to ourselves, we have to share.  If we aren’t sharing, we aren’t loving.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> in which you used to live<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> when you followed the ways of this world<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”> the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”> All of us also lived among them at one time,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> gratifying the cravings of our flesh<span class="footnote" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="[a]”>[a]<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(G)”> and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”> God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”>—it is by grace you have been saved.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”> And God raised us up with Christ<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”> and seated us with him<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(L)”> in the heavenly realms<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(M)”> in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”> expressed in his kindness<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(O)”> to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”> you have been saved,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Q)”> through faith<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(R)”>—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(S)”> so that no one can boast.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”> 10 For we are God’s handiwork,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”> created<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”> in Christ Jesus to do good works,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”> which God prepared in advance for us to do.

11 Therefore, remember that formerly<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”> you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”>—12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”> to the covenants of the promise,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”> without hope<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AB)”> and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AC)”> were far away have been brought near<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”> by the blood of Christ.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”>
14 For he himself is our peace,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AF)”> who has made the two groups one<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AG)”> and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”> the law with its commands and regulations.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AI)”>His purpose was to create in himself one<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”> new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AK)”> by which he put to death their hostility.17 He came and preached peace<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AL)”> to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AM)”> 18 For through him we both have access<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AN)”> to the Father<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AO)”> by one Spirit.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AP)”>
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AQ)”> but fellow citizens<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AR)”> with God’s people and also members of his household,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AS)”> 20 built<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AT)”> on the foundation<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AU)”> of the apostles and prophets,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AV)”> with Christ Jesus himself<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AW)”> as the chief cornerstone.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AX)”> 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AY)”> in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.