Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lumpy and Lopsided, But Loved

Below is Carole Booker's last report before she left China to return home. We appreciate her so much for taking the leap of faith to teach these children. She has been a great blessing to the workers and children. We want to thank Carole Booker for her giving heart and valuable time to these precious children in China. Below is her latest message regarding her time spent in China at the care center.

Dearest Friends and Family,

In a few hours I will catch my last sanlunche, this time to the Tiandeng bus station. I have been busy with lessons and activities and getting to know the kids these past three weeks. I have also spent some time in solitude. Sharing my thoughts with you is good therapy for me.....

Almost exactly 3 and a half years ago the life I had known for 26 years blew apart. My life has turned upside down and inside out. I have gone through many changes over these years. I look back and see His hand in all those changes. After Donald died I wondered what I was going to do with the rest of my life. He was my anchor and now I was adrift.

It wasn't long until I began to see doors open before me. I never dreamed I'd be a teacher other than Sunday school. But the opportunity to start a new career was placed in my lap. The door to involvement in WCS was opened to me, and I walked through it. Beyond that was another door which led to deeper involvement. It opened and I walked through. Each time a door opened, I felt I was meant to walk through it. These were good people I was involved with, this was a good career and a good place to be. He was opening the doors and taking my hand and leading me through them. I see it clear as day. This is how "all things work together for good to those who love Him". I'm watching Him weave my life back together and it is amazing.

So it has been with this trip to China. Three months ago, going to China was nowhere on my radar. Then one Wednesday night in March the preacher caught me in the parking lot and said, "Have I got a deal for you!" They had received a call that there was a need for a woman to join the medical mission team to China and for some unknown reason my name was the first to come up. I was stunned by the offer, but began to think maybe I could do this. Is this another door? I decided to walk through it. Then more doors opened, others closed and no longer did I find myself going with a team of Americans to a large city in China. Instead I would be working alone at an orphanage in a tiny rural village in far southwest China. There would be one person who could speak any English.

As the destination evolved into a more and more remote location, fear began to well up inside me. I remember throwing myself on the bed, sobbing and telling Him, "I'm afraid! I shouldn't go out alone at night in my own part of town and I was going to the other side of the world by myself where I couldn't communicate. Why ME? I am the only parent my sons have, I have no experience with this sort of thing and there will be none to teach me, I have never been anywhere, much less China." When I dried my tears I had to ask myself, "Do you believe He is opening this door for you? Is this from Him?" I thought about those who brought my name up and asked me to go. I thought about what I was being asked to do. I thought about my circumstances and how they allow me to do this. I thought about how they wanted someone to teach English and how I happen to now be an English teacher. I thought about the need and the workers that are so few. And I had to conclude that yes, this was from Him. So there was only one more question to ask.
What do you have to be afraid of?

So I moved forward. This was a leap of faith like none I've ever made. He has kept me perfectly healthy and perfectly safe. Every challenge I faced He provided someone to help me through it or gave me enough understanding to figure it out and be successful. Now my task is almost done. I'll be saying goodbye to the new faces that are now familiar to me: Su Hong, Li Mei, Hai Lang, Qin Qiu, Fu Qiang, Cai Jian, Kai Zhong, Cai Xiu, Qin He, Zhen De, Li Xiu, Jian Tao, Xiao Ting, Xin Ying, Fang Fang, Dong Xue, Asan, and Lou and so many more.
It will not be easy.

I think of the work I did here as an offering of service to Him. It reminds me of when we made our first attempt at pottery in the 3rd grade and we made a bowl or some other vessel intended to be useful as a gift to our parents. We tried hard at that tender age and were proud of the results, but to look at them now we would laugh at our clumsy attempts at creativity.

This offering I made for Him these last few weeks is similarly flawed. It has a few holes in it. It is rough around the edges and lumpy. There are spots I missed with the glaze's lopsided. But with my limited understanding and ability, it truly is the best I could create. And so I offer it unashamed because I know, like my earthly father, He will love it, lumps and all. He will put it on a shelf in that mansion over the hilltop and keep it with all the other offerings from His children. He remembers each one. Mine is among the most primitive looking. There are those like mine on the shelf and there are beautiful masterpieces, too. They are all on the same shelf and are each cherished by the Father.

Soon I will hear "Auntie Kai!" for the last time. I don't know if more opportunities like this await me or if I'm meant to take what I've learned and do something else. I don't know what doors will be opened next. I don't know where I'm going, you see, I'm not the driver. I'm learning to leave that to the One who has much better vision than I.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. Your love and support has meant everything to me.
I'm coming home.

Yours always,

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