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3 minutes by John Piper on adoption.

watch it all.

Hat tip to Nathan’s Pipe.

Many of you may know that we have two adopted daughters from China. One of our daughters was adopted from the orphanage in Hengyang, China in Hunan Province. This province is the one which has been hit hardest in the current weather crisis in China. The plight of the orphans (overwhelmingly abandoned girls) is far more serious than has been reported in the media anywhere.

Our oldest daughter, Micah, spent a year working with a British mission agency that works with the orphanages in Changsha and Hengyang. Today, she received this urgent email appeal.

Please read it, and if God moves you, click on the link provided to make a donation. I can vouch for the integrity and diligence of ICC. 100% of the donations will be used to directly assist the orphans in China.

EMERGENCY APPEAL
China Weather Crisis – We Need Your Help

Dear Micah
China is weathering the most severe winter in 50 years and Hunan province is one of the worst hit in a snow crisis that has gripped the country these past 3 weeks with extreme weather conditions wreaking havoc.
International China Concern’s projects in Changsha and Hengyang are in survival mode as they face food, water and electricity shortages. Your help is needed to enable us to pay for a stockpile of food, to make emergency repairs, and provide additional warm clothing and bedding for the children.
The China Daily reports snow that started on January 13 has toppled 82,000 houses, damaged crops on 2.5 million hectares and frozen 609,000 heads of livestock to death. More than 3.5 million people face water shortages, there are major power shortages and 1.43 million people are stranded on highways and railways.
According to The Guardian the China Meteorological Administration has issued a red alert, the highest of its five ratings, warning central and eastern China to expect severe snow and ice storms.
International China Concern’s projects, both in Hunan province, continue to suffer power and water shortages. Our international volunteers and employees have been filling and transporting water containers by hand from a farmer’s well. Many employees are working 24 – 48 hour shifts as transport has come to a standstill.
Ron Burns in Hengyang writes:
‘The first day it snowed it took 2 hours to walk to the centre through the snow and ice, clambering over fallen power lines. The power was off at the centre for 7 days and because the water supply is pumped by an electric pump from the well – no water either. We had a fire truck deliver water a couple of times. When the roads were too icy for traffic the Army helped out a little after we had dragged 25 litre containers from the well to the centre and were too exhausted to continue. Some of the food had to be carried in on foot and last Friday we managed to hire a small van to deliver a huge order of food from the supermarket to feed the children. The Chinese employees have been incredible, rising to the occasion and just getting on with the job.’
Due to major shortages, food prices are expected to double, the roof of the Changsha therapy building collapsed in the severe weather last week, and there’s been damage to the kitchen and one of the group home roofs in Hengyang. Emergency repair work will be required in both projects as soon as the weather improves. Additional clothing, bedding and supplies have also been purchased – expenses we’d not budgeted for. It’s been an incredible challenge keeping all 235 children and young adults warm and healthy as many have poor circulation and complex health issues. Your donation, no matter how big or small, will go a long way toward helping us provide all that’s needed now and in the coming days.
Please help and donate today. Help us care well for the children and those caring for them.
Donations can be made quickly and securely online, or contact your national office .

Hengyang fire trucks bringing emergency water supplies

Click here to make a donation online

- Rob Shearer
Director, Schaeffer Study Center
Publisher, Greenleaf Press

To the left is the cover of a new book I reviewed this week at GreenleafPress.com. If you have any connection to any of the “Families with Children from China,” you’re going to want to read this book. It will make you cry.

Ada has three names. Wang Bin is what her caregivers called her at her Chinese orphanage. Ada is the name given her by her American parents. And there is a third name, whispered to her by her Chinese mother:

“My first name was whispered to me by my first mother, when I was born. It’s someplace in my heart. I don’t know how to say it. I wish I could.
I didn’t see my first mother long.
I never saw her again.
I am from someone I don’t even know.

She is my China mother, and far away I have a father, too. They made my hands and my eyes and my dark hair, all the parts of me I can touch and see.
But they took me to an orphange.
I don’t know just why.
My heart tells me they were sad.
China is crowded and not rich.
It has rules about how many children a family can have.”

There is much more. The story is simply told with illustrations done in watercolor and colored pencil in a style the illustrator calls “ethereal realism.”

It is a gentle book, but with a powerful and moving message.

Cyndy and I have two adopted daughters from China. We adopted Corrie in 1997 and Sarah in 1999. Because I think adoption stories can be a great source of encouragement to other families, I’ve previously posted their stories on the Greenleaf Press website. you can read Corrie’s Story here, and Sarah’s Story here.

China continues to be one of the largest international adoption programs, with about 7,000 adoptions to US families each year. In the late 1990′s, the rate was about 4,000 adoptions per year. There are interesting statistics available from the US organization Familes with Children from China (FCC). Since 1985, there have been approximately 70,000 adoptions by US families of children from China.

There are three relationships which the Bible uses to describe our relationship with God. One is marriage – in Ephesians, Paul describes Jesus as the bridegroom and the church (us) as the bride. He teaches explicitly that marriage is a picture of our relationship to God. The second image is parent-child, or more specifically, father-son (to be very politically incorrect about it). The parable of the prodigal son is the best-known illustration of the analogy, but far from the only one. The third biblical image of our relationship with God is adoption. Paul writes of the “spirit of adoption” by which we are able to call God “abba.”

I understand all of this much better as the father of two adopted daughters. Occassionally folks have asked us whether it was hard to adopt. The answer is, being a parent is often hard. Being an adoptive parent is hard in different ways, but not any harder or easier than being a birth parent. Sometimes folks ask us if we had noticed any difference in our feelings for our adopted daughters. The answer to that is no. Loving our sons and daughters is as natural as breathing for us. We try to understand and love each of them as individuals, but we’re bonded as strongly with our adopted daughters as with each of our other children.

God has adopted us into his family – and given us a new name! Part of our response to God’s love is to seek to worship and serve him. And God says true worship, true service, is to care for widows and orphans.

Christians through the centuries have taken the example and the biblical call to care for widows and orphans seriously. It runs counter to the zeitgeist (the “spirit of the age”), but it is our call – and there are rich rewards. For any families who are thinking about adoption, I offer encouragement. If you sense God tugging at your heart, don’t ignore the tug. Get more information and pray about what God would have you do. There are a wealth of resources on the internet. We gave our adoption agency the ultimate endorsement by adopting through them a second time two years after first adoption. I recommend them highly – Children’s Hope International and their subsidiary, China’s Children.

-Rob Shearer
  Director, Schaeffer Study Center
  Publisher, Greenleaf Press

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