As a part of our 2013 Orphan Focus, a team led by Cari Baird will spend a week with the children at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village near Beijing, China. Team members will have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with the children at the home, serve the home in various practical ways, learn about the plight of orphans around the world and experience the fascinating Chinese culture.

Cari Baird in China

Cari sends us her personal testimony in this guest post:

Merriam-Websters definition of “willing”:

1-Disposed or inclined; prepared

2- Acting or ready to act gladly; eagerly compliant

3-Of or relating to exercise of the will

This would not have described me 2 years ago when a friend invited me to go on a missions trip to China. I am usually willing to do whatever the Lord calls me to do, serve – volunteer – lead Bible study. But this one was a little outside my comfort zone.

7,000 miles of nothing but land, water and blue sky separating the U.S. and Beijing, 14 hours in a plane, the concept of traveling to this foreign land seemed outlandish and almost comical to me. I had every reason not to be able to go. Too much responsibility at home. 2 young kids who needed their momma. I had never traveled internationally.

But then came the other reasons that I did not necessarily want to admit. I was a little nervous about going. Did I have the capabilities needed to serve? I am not a missionary or theologian, after all.

But as time went by, the Lord began to cultivate a willingness in me. And as I continued to pray about it, he actually began to speak to our entire family about me taking the trip.

China

So the Lord turned my trepidation into a “maybe,” and then into a yes. He was willing to use even me to accomplish his purposes. That is all that He needs from you and me: a willing heart. As the Merriam-Webster dictionary explains, I was “acting or ready to act gladly.” I was actually “eagerly compliant” to follow Him.

The message we bring to The Philip Hayden Foundation is not one of religion but one of love. Many can quote Scripture and follow religious traditions but we desire to show God’s love to the least of these. The children I met are the least of these, but not forgotten by people who want to show them Christ’s love; to be salt and light to them.

This is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

John 17:3

What did my time look like there? We enjoyed the touristy things in Beijing – The Great Wall, the pearl market and The Temple of Heaven and believe it or not, great food!

But our main focus was to be there to show Christ’s love to the children and staff. To this day, I am friends and communicate with several of the staff via Facebook today. I am anxious to return to see these friends and to see the children I met on my last trip. While some of the children have gone to be with their forever families, there are new children ready to be loved.

As our team goes back, I would ask that for you to pray for me and those who have committed to going in October.  If you have ever thought about going on or have prayed about a mission trip, I would love to talk to you about the upcoming trip in October.

Email Cari at Cari_Baird@comcast.net or contact Eric. A. in Serving & Outreach, 202-6050; erica@cumcmemphis.org

Register by August 30 at cumcmemphis.org/chinaorphans

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