Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some Wonderful People

We have met so many good people. There is a Christian bond that holds us together even when we are strangers. We arrived in Texarkana, AR yesterday afternoon and went to Walnut Street C of C, thinking that was where Dr. A. D. Smith attended. We could not get close enough to their building to plug in for power but while checking on that, Jennifer, one of their members came out of the building and offered her help. She told us that Dr. Smith's daughter went there but Dr. Smith went to a new church where two congregations combined to make one. She first started giving us directions but then said there is a lot of road construction going on so she would just drive and let us follow her. It was a lot of winding around construction and getting on the access road to get to the Hampton Church. As soon as we pulled in, Steve, the Associate and Youth Minister came out to help us park. We showered and got ready to have dinner with Dr. & Mrs. Smith. Although Ron did not speak at this congregation, we got a very warm welcome.

Today, we are answering emails but will secure everything very soon and leave for Searcy, AR. Ron will meet with Truth for Today and we will park there overnight. Truth for Today has translated our materials into Chinese and we have it all on a Chinese website. It has been wonderful for David Langley and his students. I would like to talk to them about the possibility of getting simple lessons translated and posted so our high school and college students who have access to computers would go to the web and take courses.

On Friday, we will drive to Paragould, AR. Ron will speak there Sunday morning. On Monday, we will be in Memphis, TN. On Tuesday we will be driving on to Atlanta.

Our trip has been very productive. We have accomplished a lot and have made some wonderful contacts for future support.

Keep us in your prayers. Thanks again for your interest.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Going in the Right Direction

The title "Going in the Right Direction" could mean many things but for now it means we are inching our way back to Georgia.

Last Sunday morning we attended Saturn Road church in Garland, TX. Ron spoke and gave a report on our work to a class. The head of the mission committee said he would arrange for Ron to come back and present it to the congregation on a Sunday night in the future. In the afternoon we went by the home of Bill Dismuke (a man I worked with 26 years ago) and brought him and his wife up-to-date on our work. They also go to China and other countries to teach. We left N. Richland Hills, TX about 3 p.m. and successfully found our way through Dallas.

We arrived in Greenville, TX about 5 p.m. Sunday night. Greenville is about a two-hour drive from Dallas in an RV at 55 mph.

We set up our displays and began meeting people coming in for the evening service. I knew immediately that the reception would be good because everyone was crowding around the displays and picking up newsletters before Ron even spoke to them about the work. It is our first visit to this congregation. Ron has spoken with the minister on several occasions. One of the elders is one of the sons of our dear friends (Jack and Mary Alice Wilhelm)in Florence, Alabama.

As soon as the service was over, we were covered up with people wanting to sign up to sponsor children at the new orphanage and others asking about the possibility of going on a medical mission or to one of the care centers to teach. No one was eager to leave so we spent a long time answering questions. The minister took us to dinner and one couple joined us to talk more about the possibility of going to China next year. It was such a delightful evening with some really wonderful folks.

We parked the RV in the church parking lot. Last night, the prime-timers were having a dinner and we were invited. After dinner, we joined in and played Spinner (a domino game)until 9 p.m. It was a rare time for us to relax and just play a game for a change. We have been on our computers working almost every available minute that we are parked between traveling and reporting on the work. They even took up a collection at the dinner and gave the funds to us for the work in China. We were the winners all the way around (a delicious meal, fun games, great fellowship and a pocketful of money).

Today, we have worked on our computers except for one meeting. The preacher had someone he wanted us to meet so we went to an ice cream shop for about an hour. I had never eaten at a Cold Stone Creamery so the rich, vanilla ice cream was really a treat on a very hot day.

We will be pulling out tomorrow morning to go to Texarkana, TX (on the border of Texas and Arkansas). We will be at a congregation there Wednesday night. On Thursday, we will travel to Memphis. I'm not sure about other stops between Memphis and Atlanta or our expected arrival time in Atlanta.

This trip was a little too soon after Ron's rather major surgery but he's gradually gained his strength back and handled all of the appointments with ease. I've been the uptight partner because of the experiences with the RV for the first time.

Several have asked if I am getting used to traveling this way. The answer is yes and no. It's gotten easier, I have to admit, but I found out that this old RV Ron purchased (you notice I didn't say "we purchased), is the Motel 6 in the line of RV's. We bought it ourselves so no one would think we were taking too much liberty with China Mission funds. I know that was important to Ron to prevent any speculation on anyone's part. But the age of the RV and it's mileage has also made it less desirable. It's not like the comforts of home. I may have told the name of it incorrectly at the beginning. I think it is a 1993 Southwind "Fleetwood".

While at a RV place to get an electrical plug, I just decided to tour one of the new RV's that was open and for sale. That was a mistake because I immediately became more materialistic than mission-minded.

It was a 43' long RV, with two full-size leather couches, leather chairs at the driving end, marble top counters, ceramic tile floors, king size bed turned crosswise and with the pull-outs (when parked and extended), an entertainment center to die for ran the length of the wall at the end of the bed with plenty of room to walk between it and the bed. The bathroom had a glass door and was big enough for two 300 lb. people to shower together. The counter was separate so someone could use it at the same time. It was not a one person bath that you can stand still and be at the sink, toiler or shower all at the same time. It was as beautiful as any luxury home. It cost $129,000. When the pull-outs are pulled in to drive, it is still a very long and large vehicle. Pulling a car behind it would make it longer than any 18 wheeler and take a lot of precision to make turns and park it.

I have said often that God did not intend for Ron and me to be rich but in fact, we are. Not in ready cash, so to speak, but in blessings that are too numerous to count. I have always had more of everything than I needed (even in a crowded RV, I lack nothing). Having a little fear along the way just allows me the opportunity to put a bit more faith into God and less in my own ability to accomplish things.

Last night, I read something that seems to apply to my situation and helped ground me again from the frustrations of the daily grind of traveling. In POWER FOR TODAY a page by Editor Emily Y. Lemley, stated in part..."Trust in God's direction. He is the ONE who sees and knows, no matter what discouraging words surround you. And HE is the one who calls us to let down our nets for a catch. Whatever your job is today, do it without fear, do it in obedience, and do it because of Christ Who has called you to His service." 'The adventurous life is not one exempt from fear, but on the contrary, one that is lived in full knowledge of fears of all kinds, one in which we go forward in spite of our fears.' - Paul Tournier

One last bit of news and information. Most of you have read the newsletter about Wei Lankui's surgery in Nashville, Tennessee on her jaw in April. Today, we got this report from Faith Borck (at her host family's home):

Lankui is doing great! Her physical therapist is really pleased with her progress. She can open her mouth 2 cm. now and her side-to-side movement is very good. She eats like a horse! Her favorite thing is a Hardy's chicken sandwich. She eats the whole meal w/fries and coke in one sitting with no problem. She brushes pretty well, but needs us to remind her to do it after every meal. Her pants don't fit her any more. She tried on a pair last Sunday and said it's too tight (fat little girl that she is, ha ha!). She fits into my sister's clothes just fine and they have a blast. We do have to be careful about one thing, though. If we leave her to herself she starts working and cleaning like crazy! She's very sweet. Her English reading has improved and her vocabulary is increasing all the time, but she doesn't learn nearly as fast as Dan Dan did. It's interesting how being raised differently affects you in so many ways.

Thanks again for your interest in my blogging. It is a great way for me to tell a lot of interested people about our progress. This has been an extremely successful trip and as many of you have promised - I will look back on it with fond memories.

As I leave the big TEXAS experience behind me tomorrow, I will not forget the wonderful people who greeted us so warmly. (Maybe the 100 degree temperatures were part of the reason). Happy trails until we meet again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Road Again!

As we continue to travel in Texas, we have very hot, 98 degree days. We have several more weeks of travel but we must get home to have a little recuperating time before leaving for China about the 20th of July.

We have had more repairs to be made to the RV along the way but we have found people to be very nice and helpful everywhere we go. An old mechanic asked about our travels and wanted to know about the baby blanket I was crocheting. He asked what church we belonged to and when I told him he said he was baptized in the Church of Christ. He's been around the world as a drifter, worked in many fields of work and been homeless. I learned a lot about him in just a few minutes' time. He said he was 52 years old but he looked older than Ron. (Honestly, for those of you who don't believe me!!)

I have crocheted a baby blanket and read three books while I've been waiting or traveling, but we are coping with the daily setbacks and continue to journey forward on our trip. I have not seen any hoedowns, Texas BBQ's, rodeos or such like. I have seen a few cowboy hats and boots. Does that count for my image of Texas?

There is a comradeship among RV owners as I suspected. While at the repair place in Baton Rouge, a couple came over to visit in our RV while they were waiting for repairs on theirs. This lady is my age and heads up a ministry to provide tiny garments for stillborn and premature babies. They assist with the clothing and burial of these precious little souls. Her website is: if you want to check it out. She invited me to go with her to a hospital that morning to take some little garments but it was not a convenient time for me to go.

At a gas station, a lady started telling me that she has had an RV for 12 years and drove it to Alaska last year. Another man asked about our gas mileage. Ron fills it up and says "well, that's three nights in a bad hotel" as he continues to justify the purchase.

Thanks to some of my readers who have commented on my report about our RV travel. It is an experience that should be acquired early in life (maybe in your 20's instead of 70's). Unlike my Canadian friend (and Paige Peterson, my co-worker) who wrote about acquiring good memories of travel and camping, I don't have 30 years to look back on this experience. It is my belief that the longer it is from the experience, the more we will remember the good parts. As long as my memory continues, I don't think I will have time to remember too many good parts of it.

Someone on the chatline just asked Ron if Pat likes the RV. I told him to tell them I like it just fine when it's sitting still, parked somewhere. It is comfortable enough and we are getting along just fine in the small space. I get more hugs because when we meet in the hallway, there's too little space for both of us to pass through at the same time.

I am responsible for navigating but when Google and MapQuest directions disagree and GPS has even different ideas of how to go somewhere, I get very confused as to which route would be best for an RV that is pulling a car. I tried to block side roads and U turns from the GPS but sometimes it still tries to send us down places where Ron cannot maneuver a turn. I am doing a better job of planning the next trip by viewing all sources along with a road atlas and deciding which is probably the best route for us. Even then, sometimes Ron disagrees and turns a different way and then my GPS has to "recalculate" which frustrates all three of us (Ron, me and the GPS lady)! All of these sources are sometimes wrong and that is really aggravating when we are driving around on unnecessary streets.

Someone commented that I must really love this man. That is the truth. Someone at the RV repair place asked me if I loved the RV. I said, "No, but I love my husband." I thought that said enough.

Wednesday night we were in Hamilton, Texas. One of our sponsors talked with me a while and commented that they once had an RV. I told her I was not as fond of traveling in it as Ron was. She said, "But, he needs you and it is important to be together as much as you can for the rest of your years together." Joyce Green, a dear friend at Peachtree City has told me the same thing about the difficult trips to China. I will look back on these years, especially if I am ever a widow, and appreciate the time I spent with Ron. Yes, no matter how inconvenience or hard these experiences are for me, we are still together doing something that I hope the Lord is pleased with. We are doing what we feel is important to be HIS servants and help others less fortunate then us.

Everyday, I am thankful for the many blessings we have in our rather comfortable lives. Dave, who went with us to China in April, and has since then been to Haiti, said it best. He says his life will never be the same; he cannot be complacent having seen the poverty and need of people in other countries. I wish every American could realize that we have so much and can do so much more to relieve the suffering of others and give them a little hope for this life and especially hope for eternity.

Faith Borck, a young girl from Lebanon, TN, has a link to my blog. She went with us to China last year and served as a translator at the medical mission. She was home schooled and speaks fluent Mandarin. She has been twice to our North Canton Christian Care Center to teach the children. She has just returned to the U.S. and reports that the day before she left 11 children became Christians. I do not know the number that has been baptized at that orphanage but it must be over 20 by this time. We are so blessed to have had the opportunity to give two kinds of hope to these poor children who didn't have much chance in life before we found them. Faith is so torn, wanting to know what God wants for her life, how she can serve HIM best. Her heart is so tender and devoted to doing HIS will. She has been such an inspiration to us and to so many of these children whose lives she has touched.

While in Houston, we had dinner with Carole and Steve, two teachers at Westbury Christian School, who are heading to China to two different care centers to teach for a few weeks. We are so pleased to have them going. Although a number of the children return to visit relatives in the summer, we are trying to encourage more children to remain at the care centers to take advantage of the wonderful teaching and fun activities planned by these English teachers. We also have American teachers who have already arrived at other care centers.

I have signed up 17 people who want to receive our newsletters on-line. Sponsors for 15 orphans have committed to support children at our new care center that will open in August.
The newest care center is called Refuge of Grace Christian Care Center. The funds for remodeling the building are furnished by the Jackson Family Foundation, who also financed the construction of the Jackson Family Christian Care Center in Zigong that opened one year ago this September. Refuge of Grace is located outside of Pingxiang in Luxi (city and county). It will house about 200 of the more than 2,000 orphans in this area.

Our son, Ronald, is in charge of the construction work at all of the care centers. He has been at Luxi since the first of May. He works through a translator but I'm sure he uses a lot of sign language as well. (Shaking his head NO, for instance). Workers want to do sloppy work and he will not permit it. They tell him that's the way they do it in China. He tells them this is not the way we are going to do it. He argued with a man about how to put the hood over the stove and after about an hour, Ronald told him to forget it, he would install it himself since the fellow apparently didn't know how to do it. He quickly backed down and said he would do it Ronald's way. Ronald said getting quality workmanship is about like giving a chef a good filet and have him make it into hamburger meat and serve a burned and bad burger. We are very proud that he has not given up in this very difficult work. We know life is difficult living in China for an American even under the best of circumstances.

We have full cooperation from the government in Luxi. A group of government officials paid Ronald a visit at the house where he has rented for himself and the worker who translates for him. As is traditional, they were welcoming him and supporting him with their visit. Here is what Ronald wrote: "I just got a visit here at the house.... the top civil affairs guy from Pingxiang (you may remember he said he had specifically worn a red jacket when we first met in the large conference room in Pingxiang), I think his wife and sons, the 2nd in line civil affairs guy from Luxi, and another official from Luxi, all came. They brought me bananas, apples, a watermelon, and milk. It is a Chinese common courtesy to visit friends and the like bearing gifts at festival times."

Many people ask if we get support from the government. Others ask if we are afraid when we are in China. It surprises them when we tell them that the government gladly supports us in most areas, some even financially. In Pingxiang, they offered the building on a 20-year free lease (which is common) with the option of renewing it at the end of 20 years. After an orphanage is filled with children, government official often bring them clothing, shoes, and food to assist us with their care.

As far as feeling afraid, the only threat is the driving in China. I've reported before about the crazy driving and how dangerous it is to cross the road when pedestrians have no right-of-way.

We are still seeking sponsors for the children at this new care center. If you know of anyone that might be interested in supporting a child at $35 per month, please ask them to contact me at

We are now in N. Richland Hills, TX (a suburb of Fort Worth & Dallas). We are parked at a very large church where Dr. John Bailey and his wife attend (Legacy Church of Christ). Yesterday, we met with Dr. Bailey and the family members of the Caris Foundation. They support our medical missions to China every year and provide funds for many open heart surgeries throughout the year. In addition, some years ago, they gave funds to renovate some old buildings that we called Mama Jo's House. We have helped a lot of children in the Biyang area surrounding Mama Jo's House and cared for about 100 children at the care center in addition to 14 old men.

Little Addie Burnette, the little girl featured in the last medical newsletter, was abandoned at this care center. I told the Caris family members yesterday that in addition to helping a lot of children, saving the life of this precious little girl was worth all the money they spent. Addie was adopted by the Stan Burnette family in Buford, Georgia.

The buildings are getting so old and this care center needs more constant repairs than it's worth. We also have a difficult time finding workers that will go to this remote area. We recommended that we continue to find a way to help the best students that really want an education and relocate Mama Jo's to a more convenient area. We have some very troubled children at this care center and it may be too late to help them. They do not want to go to school and they do not want rules in their lives. When a child does not have any desire to learn or submit to authority, there is little we can do to change their lives. We have tried to give them a chance but not everyone will accept our help just as not everyone will accept the good news of Christ.

We believe the Caris family will approve of our recommendations and then we will have the task of locating another building to remodel. In addition, phasing out the location in Biyang will be difficult for some sponsors who will have to help a different child from the one they have grown to love. I also tell sponsors, "We help a child as long as we can but there will come a time when we have done all we can." It is often the same with our own children in America.

The government in the area will continue to support the old men at this location or move them to another facility. We will have to discuss this situation with the government to be sure they are not just abandoned or neglected.

Our medical mission the first two weeks of August will be with a hospital in Pingliang City, Gansu Province. The team will arrive in Shanghai and travel to Xi'an. After one night there, it will be a 3-4 hour bus ride to Pingliang City. Some of the same team members as last year will join us on this mission but we have new members as well. Our daughter, Leigh Ann Dotson, is going with us for her first time to China. Also, Ellen Mao, a dear Chinese friend who is an ICU nurse is going with two of her friends. Ellen was Ron's very first secretary. When she worked at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, she used her day off or a few hours before going to work to come by the office and do his secretarial work. She has supported orphans and she went to China with Ron on the very first medical mission. We love and appreciate Ellen very much.

God bless you all! Thanks for listening to my ramblings and having an interest in our work in China.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

RV and Biker Babes

Ron always breaks news to me gently. It’s almost like cutting off the monkey’s tail, a little at a time. His doctor suggested months ago that he have surgery to remove a section of colon that might break due to weakness of diverticulitis. After seeing a surgeon, he decided he would have the surgery after we returned from China this last time. It was scheduled for May 6.

Ron, being so sure his surgery would be minor, scheduled appointments for the next weekend. His doctor quickly advised him that he would not be traveling that weekend. Ron put them off for one week.

Ron informed me that when we left we would be traveling across Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the next 6-8 weeks.

Ron’s surgery was not as minor as he expected. They removed 20” of his colon and he had some complications that kept him in the hospital two extra days. He was also very weak for the next 10 days after he returned home. But, in spite of this, he continued to prepare for the long fund-raising trip to begin as scheduled.

Ron received a call from a church in Nashville asking if we could help a minister from Morocco find a hospital for his five year old daughter that needed heart surgery. The minister was already in the U.S. He visited Ron in the hospital to get more information about finding surgery for his daughter. After some days, Ron told me that the family needed a place to stay so he thought they could live in our house while we were traveling. The minister’s wife and their two daughters were scheduled to arrive a few days after we left on our trip. They also have a one-year old daughter.

Not only did I start packing for a 6-8 week trip, I also saw many things that needed to be done in the house to leave it clean and ready for a family to live in. As I removed clothes and packed, I also straightened up all the closets. I changed the beds and cleaned the baths. I defrosted a freezer in the basement and moved my frozen food to it. I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry. I put away trinkets and things I did not want left out with small children in the house. The more I did, the more I saw that needed to be done. I did not realize that my house was not childproof and so disorganized.

Remember, we had been to China for three weeks and soon after we got home, Ron went in for surgery. There was just no time to do things that need to be done routinely. All the while, I have 40 hours per week of computer work waiting for me. It was truly overwhelming to get it all done.

As I began packing, Ron informed me that he’d talked with my brother in Oxford, MS and there was a good chance that we would use his RV to drive on the rest of our trip. My brother has not used his RV in several years, having had some health problems. He told us that some things needed to be done and he had ordered parts but did not know if he would get it done in time for us to use. It turned out that the parts were on back order and the RV was not ready.

It may have been a blessing because it’s not always good to borrow or buy something from a relative. My brother loves that RV and since it means so much to him, I was very hesitant to borrow it. I don’t think he was really interested in selling it to us. It was originally very expensive and a large model anyway. I was rather pleased that the deal fell through. Ron was terribly disappointed and started looking at RV’s everywhere we went.

We arrived in Baton Rouge, LA more than a week ago. We had churches to report to over two weekends. It was only days before Ron spotted an RV for sale by owner. He called and set a time to see it on Memorial Day. On Tuesday, he bought it. I did not see it until the deal was done, but it really didn’t matter anyway. Ron’s heart was set on having one for us to use as we travel to give reports.

We always appreciate the hospitality of people asking us to stay with them but it’s not always convenient for them or for us. Ron regrets spending money for hotels so we stay in the cheapest (some flea bags are as bad as the 2 star hotels in China). We really had a bad one in Baton Rouge when we arrived so that spurred him on to buy the RV. He is convinced that a few trips like this and the RV will pay for itself.

The RV he bought is an Airstream and like a bus to me. It has 60,000 miles but Ron said that is still O.K. for us to use the next five years if we are able to do this work that long.

We have been waiting for the RV repair place to get in the trailer hitch to attach to pull the car. We brought the older car because it's lighter but because of it's age and make, it also created a problem finding the correct trailer hitch. It had to be ordered from Shreveport, LA.

In the meantime, we parked at one of the churches’ parking lots and connected up to their electricity and water (with their permission, of course). Some things did not work on the RV or Ron could not figure out how to get them working. We went to get propane but could not start the stove or get hot water. This past week, I went into the church’s ladies room to wash my hair and clean up because we didn’t have hot water in the RV. Ron doesn’t understand why I can’t shower and wash my hair with a cold shower. Unless it’s 95 degrees inside, I’m not finding that a very pleasant experience. I told him today that an RV or Biker Babe just can’t be expected to look very good on the road so get used to it.

It is 95 degrees with a heat index of about 106 every day so the humidity is terrible. My usually straight hair is frizzy and wavy.

Having completed the reports and meetings with this church, we left early Monday morning to drive to the RV repair place. They corrected a lot of minor things on the RV while I sat in a dirty waiting room and crocheted for four hours. The stove is working but we still don't have hot water. They will check this out again.

The trailer hitch was supposed to arrive Tuesday morning but they claim the truck bringing in the part broke down and it's been put on another delivery truck. Apparently, it is heavy steel and can't just be shipped by UPS or FedEx. It will take four hours to install it. Since we had another night or two in Baton Rouge, the owner of the RV repair place let us park inside his chain link fenced area. He connected us up to his electricity and even offered us a key to his building. We could not have found a nicer guy. He has extended hospitality to us like we are his long lost favorite relatives.

For anyone that does not already know, I am not the camper type. I have never liked camping of any kind. I am not the adventurous type either so I immediately thought of the danger of driving this big thing on the road with a car behind it and the limitation we would have. It’s almost like running a race with a sack of potatoes on your back. None of my protests or cautions had any bearing on the purchase of an RV.

I believe a wife has the right to express her views, her needs, dislikes, concerns, etc. Most everyone knows that I am very free to do this but it’s almost like pouring water on a duck’s back. I never put my foot down and simply say NO because I have been so concerned about being an overbearing and unsubmissive wife. I don’t want it to be a long remembered mistake that I made. After I see that I can’t win in a situation, I start changing my attitude and turning it over to God.

My reflections on someone that likes RV’s is that these type people should also like motorcycles, pick-up trucks, race cars, tailgating, boats, airplanes, jet skis and such like. Not a single thing in that list has ever appealed to me. My brother is 80 years old but he has a Harley and two very expensive jet skis! If the deal on his RV had worked out, I was hoping the Harley was not part of it. I knew the jet skis weren’t because this is a business trip, not a pleasure trip!

Ron and I have been through the airplane and boat route and I was a happy wife the day we gave both of those things up. Starting a stretch of RV living was simply not in my picture. I like my hot showers, meals out most of the time and someone else cleaning up for me. I have enough on me when I’m home so I somehow feel that there should be some incentive if you must travel.

When we had a sailboat, I thought it was more work than fun. I was the person assigned to the jib so I worked the sails constantly while Ron gently guided the boat with the tiller. Of course, I couldn’t do that part and I was good at handling the sails but it was hard work. I always said sailing was 80% work and 20% fun. I think an RV is about the same ratio on my scale of having fun.

I’m sorry, all of you campers out there. I’ve never understood why anyone with a nice home would go to live in the woods with insects, sleep on cots or poor beds, get eat up by mosquitoes, carry everything with you and have to do the cooking while you are there. I want someone to tell me where the fun is in all of this. Camping is returning to live like nomads or poor people.

All kidding aside, I will manage with my “home away from home” but it is for the work in China and for Ron that I’m doing this. It would not be my choice, EVER! When you see the picture of the RV, you will say “what’s she complaining about, it looks pretty good.” It is, quite frankly, nice enough and spacious enough and comfortable. I’m not hating it, but it’s not like home. We conserve water, gas and live in a space not much larger than a walk-in closet. But, I was thinking that if the "present Mrs. Brown" didn't do this, there would be plenty of other women that would be very happy to have an old man and a camper and travel like this.

If we have more time to work, not have to check out of hotels at noon, packing and unpacking the car at every stop, able to save money on hotels and eating out, then I’ll gladly do it. I realize that this is not for me anyway because if it were, I’d insist on staying at the Ritz and eating most of my meals at Red Lobster.

The meetings with the churches have gone well. I have signed up 10 sponsors for the next orphanage children. Others have written asking questions and stating that they may sponsor a child. We have been shown great hospitality by everyone.

We will be in Orange, TX on Wednesday night. From there we will go to Houston for a few days. Then our route will take us to Dallas and on to Oklahoma.

Many of you have asked about Ron’s health. He’s had a few minor difficulties but for the most part, he’s recovered quite quickly. I think he should have rested a few more weeks before we headed out but it is impossible to keep him down.

Remember us in your prayers, for our safety and for the success of this trip.

P.S. We will return to China about July 20th for the cleft palate medical mission and trips to the orphanage in Zigong and the newest orphanage in Luxi. Ron will make a side trip to Hong Kong to report to two groups that support our work in China. We will be in China one month this time.