Saturday, July 4, 2009

Xi'an

Hey everyone,

So a lot has happened over the last 2 months.  First let me apologize to everyone who has been waiting for updates.  China has blocked blogger and it has made it much more difficult for me to update.  So as most of you already know it seems that God has closed the door to continue working in the Luoyang orphanage which has led to our move to Xi'an, China, where we are currently working with an awesome South African women named Amanda.  She currently houses and takes care of somewhere around 48 babies and young children under the age of 3, out of 2 different apartments.  I absolutely love it here!  I love hanging out with the babies and of course the older kids are a hoot.  There's nothing more precious than a sweet baby falling asleep in your arms!  


Thanks for all of your love and support,

JHart

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prayer

Hey everyone, 

There have been some recent changes that have occurred at the orphanage within the last couple weeks that has greatly affected many of the kids that we work with.  Please be praying for safety for the kids and guidance in how to handle the situation.  Thank you for your prayers and support!!  

Julee

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Love

Hey everyone,

Since moving to China I have experienced a roller-coaster of emotions but the one that stands out the most is love. The greatest thing about love is that it isn't just an emotion, its a choice and a commitment to put others before myself and to love under all conditions and circumstances. I will never be able to love others like Christ does but I pray that others would see the love of Christ through my poor attempt to love as He has commanded me to do so.  


Later, 


JHart




Friday, April 24, 2009

Woohoo

Hey everyone, 

So if your wondering why I used "Woohoo" as the title of this blog it's definitely because over the last couple of days we made a monumental purchase that will forever change our lives here in Luoyang.  Yeah thats right, we bought a washing machine!!  We have been here for 7 weeks and we have only done our laundry 2.  That's gross :(.  However all of that has changed because we are now the proud owners of a brand new whirlpool washing machine. :)  Yes, it doesn't use hot water and we don't have a dryer (China doesn't believe in dryers) but it is far better than dragging our laundry across town to use our friends washing machine (thanks Tim&Melissa) only to drag it all the way back to our apartment.  Did I mention we live on the fifth floor of the complex and there is now elevator.  3 weeks worth of wet laundry gets heavy real quick!  And with that I shall introduce you to our new friend.  




Later, 


JHart

Sunday, April 19, 2009

ooops...

Hey everyone, 

So let me start off by saying I am horrible at updating this thing.  My bad.  Last week I began taking chinese lessons 2 hours a day 5 days a week, instead of 3 days a week.  It may not seem like a lot of time but with commuting over and back by bus or taxi it seems to take a large portion of my day.  I am excited to be taking lessons everyday and I pray it helps me learn the language faster so I can communicate with the kids as soon as possible.  The last couple days have been rainy.  China and rain do not mix very well.  I thought the amount of dirt I accumulated each day was outrageous and then it rained and that amount doubled.  There were dirty puddles everywhere.  It was just one more way to experience the full essence of China.  :)   


I am having trouble loading pictures onto blogger again but as soon as I am able to I will write about our Awesome Easter with the kiddos.  Thats all for now!!!  Sorry for the short post.



JHart

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pictures.....


Hey everyone,

God has blessed me beyond measure.  Have I mentioned that I love these kids yet!!  Because I do, and, I wish everyone could meet them, but since thats not possible here are a couple pics to help you see what is going on in Luoyang! 

Me and Liz hanging out at the orphanage


   Susan looking beautiful after painting her fingernails

Derrick getting ready to fly kites

        In a taxi on our way to the park.

Kids got a hold of my camera!!

        Lane, Chrissy, and Alicia


Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us.  To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen.


Love JHart

Saturday, April 4, 2009

1 month

So we have officially been in Luoyang for a month as of yesterday.  Me and Chrissy decided to celebrate our 1 month anniversary by going to a western restaurant called New Paradise, which is about 20 mins from our apartment.  The last month seems to have flown by.  It is hard to remember everything that has happened but it was filled with firsts.  The first time I have ever attempted to wash my clothes in the sink, the first time I have had to wash my waste down with a bucket,  the first time I have been in cold weather longer than a couple days,  the first time I have taken classes to learn Chinese, the first time I have felt like a celebrity when walking down the street just because I am white, the first time I have ever been away from home this long consistently,  the first time my house actually smells like China,  and the second time I have fallen in love with the kids.  

Everyday seems to bring new adventures and I am excited to learn more Chinese so that I can be able to communicate with the kids on a deeper level.  I have never been one to paint my fingernails or enjoy KFC, but when I am with the kids I would gladly enjoy a piece of chicken from KFC with my pink,green and sparkly fingernails because nothing compares to seeing their smiles and receiving a hug.  

Ephesians 3:20-21

In Christ,

JHart 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

God loves me more than I know...

Hey everyone, 

So over the last couple days I have been reading the book "Crazy Love" that my good friend Catherine sent to me before I left for China.  In the book the author Francis Chan helps the reader comprehend why and just how much our heavenly father loves us.  So much so that he considers it "Crazy Love".  I really like how he uses the word crazy to describe God's love for us because the word crazy means a couple different things.  Here are just a few,  insane and out of ones mind, devoted to and enthusiastic about.  The word love also has many different meanings but a few of them are affectionate, tender, warmth, intimacy, passion, and desire.  God is insanely devoted and enthusiastic about us while also passionately desiring for us to be close to Him.  Its hard for me to even fathom the depth of these words but then to think that they don't even grasp the slightest amount of how much God loves each of us, is far beyond my human thinking.  

If only I was able to never lose sight of this truth.  I wonder how much greater I would love the people around me.  How much more I would want and desire to be spending time with my savior just because I love Him.  How much more would I be willing to truly give Him my whole life and I mean truly my whole life.  Giving absolutely everything over to Him.  Then I begin to think about How much more the "church" as a whole would be able to spread the light of Christ if only we understood how much our God loves us.  How much more would we be willing to love those around us, including but not exclusively murderers, prostitutes, the homeless, the orphan, the widow, homosexuals, etc.  How much more would we be able to communicate how much God loves everyone and how he longs and desires to be intimate with each of us. 

Which brings me to this quote that was hard to read but rightfully put me in a place that broke down walls within my heart.   

"It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel.  It is proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity."  -Crazy Love 

This is the furthest from what I desire but the closest to what my life and the future of the church looks like when I/we forget how much our savior loves us.  I pray that God changes lives and hearts within the church, including mine.  I pray that as a body of believers we would come to understand just how much He loves us so that we may love others as Jesus did!

We love, because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19

Love, 

JHart

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crowded bus ride!!

Taking a 40 minute crazy crowded bus ride to walmart on the opposite side of Luoyang in hopes to find a fan.  No such luck, but an experience nonetheless! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

kiddos and kites!!

Hey everyone,

So this week has been a whirlwind and I apologize for not updating more regularly.  I have sat down somewhere around 6 times to start writing a new blog and I become overwhelmed with the amount of information I want to share with you!!  I am going to do my best to make things as clear as possible but I will warn you that it might be a little scattered and hard to understand at times!!  And with that I will begin....

Last Monday, Michael took Chrissy and I bike shopping.  Buying a bike in China is pretty normal because people rarely own cars.  The streets are filled with walkers and bikers!  After searching for some time we caught a glimpse of two little bikes that would work perfect for the streets of Luoyang!  Chrissy bought a small little pink one and I bought the little yellow one!


Every Tuesday Michael teaches two english classes at the orphanage.  Although I don't do much except for stand around and watch, it is one of my favorite things to do because I love watching the kids get excited about something.  Michael does a great job by keeping the kids engaged by having fun and playing games.  

On Sunday, Chrissy, Michael, and I took 13 kids to the local river park to fly kites, walk around, and play games.  Then after about 2 hours at the park we took them to their favorite restaurant, KFC.  I had no idea that teenage girls could eat so much chicken!!  Anyways the kids had a blast, and I left feeling blessed beyond measure.  Although it is difficult to communicate with the kids, due to our lack of speaking and understanding Mandarin, I pray that God would use us to communicate that we love each of them and that God loves them far more than I will ever be able to!!

Chrissy and I have Mandarin lessons on Mon, Wed, and Fri, from 2:00 to 4:00.  I leave feeling encouraged and excited and then about 20 minutes later I realize I retained somewhere around 10% of what was taught.  Its exciting and frustrating all at the same time, but I am happy with the progress that has been made so far!!

Have I told you how much I enjoy Chinese food.  Well the other day we cooked in our apartment for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The next day I was craving Chinese food!!!  But,  I do miss things from the states!  Such has, yogurt, chips & salsa, cereal, and turkey lunch-meat!  Yesterday was the first day that Chrissy and I went out to eat by ourselves and ordered a meal.  I felt so accomplished that everything came out just as we ordered!!

I celebrate my birthday everyday in China, it's awesome!  Well actually, the garbage-man comes by around 6 and then 8 in the morning and guess what is blaring from his little truck!  Yep, the Happy Birthday song.  At first when he wakes me up I say something like, you have got to be kidding me, then I can't help but laugh because China is so random!


Alright I think that is all I can do today!  I need some more time to think through everything else that has gone on since arriving in Luoyang!!  I apologize for not having any pictures but for some reason blogger will not let me upload photos.  As soon as we figure out what's up I'll post some videos and some pictures!  

Love, 

Jhart!

  
  



 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ni hao from Luoyang!!

Ni hao everyone,

When I think about the last week I become overwhelmed with the events that have taken place.  Knowing that almost a week ago I was at home making my final “see you laters” and today I am sitting in my apartment in Luoyang, China writing this.  When we first arrived I was in shock.  I really never thought the day would come.  I was “preparing” for it and I knew I had made a commitment to God and the children, but truly I honestly never expected it to happen.  After my initial shock, I began to become inwardly irritable and slightly upset with my surroundings and why God had placed me here.  I mean it is not everyday that you use the toilet and instead of simply flushing your waste down, you actually fill a bucket up with water and pour it into the toilet hoping that it goes down and stays there, only to throw the paper used into a trash can sitting next to you because the drain system cannot handle it!  Adjusting to the smells of China has also been a doozy.  The worst part was that at first everything else smelt like China.  Now I find myself smelling like China!  But then God redirected me like He does so often and reminded me that I was selfish for thinking those thoughts.  Who am I to demand things from God?  I was reminded of how God responded to Job after he had lost almost everything except his own life, and after looking at the difficulties Job endured that’s probably the one thing he wanted to lose. 

 

Job 38: 4

 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,

5 Who set its measurements? Since you know.  Or who stretched the line on it?

6 “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone.

 

God continues to respond to Job in this manner for another 35 or so verses.  Saying Job, who the heck do you think you are?  Were you there when I made the earth, when I made you, when I created time, space, water, birds, fish, mountains, flowers, gravity?!  After taking a look at this passage it becomes clear to me that God did not create my life for me!  I am not here living on Earth to be comfortable or to bring myself glory.  I am not here to look good in the eyes of others.  I am here in this world for one purpose and that is to bring glory to God. When I reflect over the events of the past year it becomes very clear to me that God wants me here and was preparing me long before I even realized.  Although I am unsure of where and how God is going to lead me from here I am sure of one thing.  I am in Luoyang, China to love these kids with everything that I have.  To do my best to provide for them emotionally, mentally, and socially because God loves each of them more than I could ever imagine and He has called me to do the same. 


 1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us


In Christ,

JHart 



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

broken record...

Hey everyone,

So every time I sit down to write another blog I want to talk about the same things, God, China, and how I am dealing with God calling me to China.  I apologize for the continuous broken record.  Every moment seems to have a different emotion and feeling.  This week has been pretty busy and relaxed at the same time.  I have been busy preparing for our move but at the same time I have felt very relaxed and peaceful.  Monday I spent all day running errands.  Today I hung out with my nephew Parker.  We had a ton of fun.  I took him to McDonald's and he loved it.  I am going to miss my bubba!!  Although I am going to miss my family and friends I am getting more and more excited about what God has in store for us and I am very excited to be able to share that with you.  Alright well I'm out, I'l be back to write a more detailed blog later, right now I'm exhausted!!

Thanks you for everything,

Love,
 JHart   

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Humility...

Litany of Humility:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me:

Deliver me, Jesus
From the desire of being esteemed...
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled...
From the desire of being honored...
From the desire of being praised...
From the desire of being preferred...
From the desire of being consulted...
From the desire of being approved...

From the fear of being humiliated...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebuked...
From the fear of being calumniated...(means slandered/ falsely tricked)
From the fear of being forgotten...
From the fear of being ridiculed...
From the fear of being wronged...
From the fear of being suspected...

Jesus grant me the grace to desire...
That others me be loved more than I...
Thats others may be esteemed more than I...
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease...
That others may be chosen and I set aside...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should...
That I may love you, Jesus, with all my heart, and all my mind, and all my soul, and all my strength.  


In Christ,

JHart
 


Friday, February 13, 2009

The countdown continues!

Hey everyone,

So, we have 19 days before we leave for Newark, Nj where we will spend the night only to jump on another plane the following day as we embark on a life changing journey of caring for orphans in Luoyang, China.  Lately everyday seems to be passing as if I was in this strange place where I was watching myself from another place and time, almost as if I was watching a movie of my everyday life.  Time is passing quicker, only because I want it to slow down!  The emotions continue to come more and more each day!  Some of you might think this is child-ish to be having such a difficult time with moving halfway across the world only to follow where I know God has called me to go.  Well, let me remind you that I am human and even though I fully believe that God has called me to the kids in Luoyang, my human flesh wants to remain here where I have been given every comfort that I could have asked for.  Where I have such a great support system that I am scared of leaving it behind only to be living in a country where I know all of 5 or so Americans that understand what I am going through but have only known for a little more than 7 months.  It's a strange concept because I continue to struggle with wanting what my flesh tells me and wanting what my God tells me.  Because my selfish thoughts and desires tell me to stay home and live, eat, work, and enjoy life just as I was before, because things will be easier and not as hard to deal with.  But God is telling me to lay my life down and pursue something greater.  To take care of His children that are without an Earthly family.  To serve them as if I was serving Christ.  Because ultimately I am!!


Matthew 25:34-40

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.


In Christ,

Jhart


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meet the team!

Hey everyone,

So, some of you may already know who I am and who I will be working with in Luoyang, but for those of you who don't, let me introduce myself and my friends from China Home Foundation!!


Julee Hartmeyer (me)- First fell in love with orphan ministry in 2004 when my youth leaders began working with foster children in the state of Florida which led to their four beautiful children that have since been adopted!! Realizing the crisis I began helping foster families and children in the area in very small ways.  Four years later after working with countless orphans in my hometown I decided to apply for a trip to China led by the Shoahannah's Hope in the summer of 2008.  Little did I know I would meet 13 of the coolest girls and two of the greatest guys I have ever met.  My life would never be the same.  God revealed to me that he has a passion for orphans and that I have been called to care for these children on a greater level, which has led me to make a one year commitment to volunteer with China Home Foundation starting in March of 2009. 

  

Chrissy Adams (my roommate and one of the 13 awesome girls)-  Was a team member and roommate of mine over the summer on our first trip to China with Shoahannah's Hope.  Currently works for The Church at Battlecreek as an office assistant.  Has been highly involved in an orphan care ministry started at her church known as ADOPT(ED), which raises awareness and sells t-shirts to help offset the financial burden of adoption for families.  She has a passion and a calling to care and defend for these children on a larger level which has led her to make a one year commitment to volunteer with China Home Foundation starting in March of 2009.



Michael Melsi (Co-founder of CHF and one of the guys I met in China over the summer)- Came to China for 5 months before starting law school. 3 years later, in what feels like a different lifetime, he is still here. Michael had been teaching English in Luoyang when he discovered the city orphanage. Curious about orphan care in China, he requested a visit. The orphanage staff agreed for Michael and a friend to take what they believed would be a brief tour of the facility. When they arrived, they were ushered into a large room on the 6th floor and told "you can begin the English class now!". Michael recalls spending the next 2 hours improvising with 50 kids following him around pointing at objects saying "blue" and "dog".What was supposed to be a 40 minute tour lasted until the kids were going to bed that evening. In that brief time, Michael began to form a real connection with these kids. As the kids prepared for bed, Michael and his friend gave out lots of hugs and said goodbye. Then came the moment that changed Michael's life. Timmy (an adorable then 7-year-old boy) walked up to him and asked, "big friend, will you come back tomorrow?". Michael couldn't say anything but yes, and as he likes to say, he has been going back every tomorrow since. In the years that have followed, Michael has spent almost every day with these amazing kids, and has served the role of Uncle/Teacher/Friend/Mentor/Personal Assistant/Photographer/Cruise Director and Santa Claus. He often says that if you told him that this would be his life 3 years ago, he would have laughed at you, but now he wouldn't trade it for anything. He considers himself a deeply blessed man to have these kids in his life.

Mike Shook (Co-founder of CHF and one of the guys I met in China over the summer)- In June of 2008, Michael me Mike Shook, who had been working in Beijing with New Hope Foundation- the end of a two year tour assisting with orphan care projects throughout the world.  They immediately formed a deep friendship and later that summer Mike decided to move to Luoyang to join Michael in his work.  During a now infamous bus ride to Pizza Hut (yes we have Pizza Hut in Luoyang!), Michael and Mike shared information and discovered that the entire 5th floor of the orphanage would be vacated by its current occupant, however, all of the healthy, older kids would remain on the 4th and 6th floors of the facility.  Thus sprung the idea that there may be potential to move into the floor and begin to work with the kids on a larger level. 


China Home Foundation-

By the amazing grace of God and the endless generosity of their friends at the New Hope Foundation, they have now been given the opportunity to move onto the 5th floor and turn what was once a dream into a reality.  In April/May of 2009 the floor will be vacated and the newly established China Home Foundation will be able to move onto the floor.  

The Vision-

To provide a place that the kids can call "home" and where they have the unconditional love, encouragement, and confidence necessary to be creative and learn skills that will enable them to transition from life at the orphanage to life outside the orphanage when they reach the age to leave.


I am so thankful that God has brought all of them into my life and I am very excited about the future of China home Foundation!

In Christ,

JHart



James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Can you say breakdown!!

Hey everyone,

So, this week was interesting.  It started off fine but slowly with each day I became more emotional and slightly more introverted.  For those of you who don't know me I'm usually the opposite of introverted.  In most cases I enjoy being around people.  But something was different this week.  I thought I was going to be excited because I knew I was going to be receiving my visa and that was the last major step that needed to be accomplished before our move to China in March.  But when my visa arrived I went from being relieved to absolutely frightened. 

 At the age of nineteen I'm moving across the world.  To a country where the only words I know how to say are hello and goodbye.  Away from everything I have ever known. From the only home I have ever lived in.  From the only church I have ever attended regularly! From Bradenton where I have over 23 relatives that live within 5 minutes of each other whom I see regularly and actually enjoy spending time with.  Not too mention the bajillion other family members that don't live as close.  I'm scared to leave my family... of missing out on all of the good and bad times they will experience throughout the next year.

Yet at the same time.  I am so over getting up and going to work.  I can't explain it because I love my job.  I couldn't have asked for better bosses and co-workers.  But I haven't been giving 100% and that bothers me.  Truly, although I'm scared to leave everything behind, my heart is in China.  Ultimately I know God has placed a desire in my heart and that He wants me with the children in Luoyang. 

I find myself asking questions like, why on Earth would someone want to do this?  Why would I give up everything I have ever known to live in a place of unknowns? Thats not typical human behavior!  

Sometimes I struggle answering those questions, but truthfully I know the answer.  Why, because I alone am nothing.  My life is nothing without Christ who died on a cross to completely cover me from sin.  My stains are gone.  I was bought with the blood of Christ.  Does that mean I am perfect and never make mistakes?  Absolutely not, in fact the farthest from it!  I'm constantly messing up and making stupid decisions but daily I strive to live my life for Christ and I pray that people would see that.  I no longer belong to myself!  As SCC would say We are His, everything is His.  

I am doing this for Jesus!  He died to give me life!  The least I can do is commit to be an advocate for orphans.  For His beautiful children that are so close to His heart.  To defend the fatherless.  To do my best to protect them from the evil and harm of this world!  Even if that means giving up a life of comfort.  Of moms good cooking. Of my comfy bed. Of being able to see my family daily.  Or even if that means moving to China!   

In Christ,

JHart


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21  



Thursday, February 5, 2009

wait what?!

So yesterday FedEx was supposed to deliver my visa!  I was so excited because really that was the last step to moving to China outside of minor details such as packing.  Thanks to FedEx tracking I knew it was in Bradenton and it was on the delivery truck.  So I called my mom at home around 3:30 while I was at work to see if it had been delivered yet and it hadn't.  In fact FedEx was unble to deliver it because they had the wrong address.  They tried to deliver it to 36th Ave. instead of 36th st.  So it was sent back to the FedEx warehouse only to be put back on the truck to be delivered this afternoon.  At first I was like wait, what? Thats slightly annoying but of course it was okay because I would be receiving it today.  It definitely made the anticipation of everything a little more adventurous.  At least they have the correct address now and didn't actually deliver it to the wrong address.  That could have been bad! :)  

On a financial note, I still need approximately $3,600 in order to have all of my finances raised before we leave in March! We now have 28 days left but we only have 15 days of work and one more full paycheck!  I'm actually nervous about not having a paycheck.  It's been so long since I have not had a paycheck and like most people I have become accustomed to receiving the same amount of money every two weeks.  Things will be different thats for sure but I am very excited to start working with the kids.  I know it will bring challenges and it will stretch me beyond what I thought I could be stretched but I know that God will be with me and I pray that he would use me to make an impact in the lives of the children.  

Later, 

Julee

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beautiful Scars

Sit here with me
And tell me your story
Even if it breaks my heart
Let me see your scars

Shame will whisper
Oh, but we can't listen
Cause these are the stories 
That make us who we are
And I love who you are and your

Beautiful scars, your beautiful scars
Reminders of the wounded love 
That had carried us this far
Beautiful scars 
Turning the marks of our pain 
Into beautiful scars

For us, bruised and broken
For us, he was forsaken
Our wounded healer 
Suffered to set us free 
See in His hands and His feet

Beautiful scars, beautiful scars
Reminders, of the wounded love
That had carried us this far
Beautiful scars 
Turning the marks of our pain
Into beautiful scars

See in His hands and His feet
Beautiful scars, Beautiful scars
Reminders of the Savior's love
That had carried us this far

Beautiful scars
Turning the marks of our pain 
Into beautiful scars

Oh, how I love your beautiful scars
So beautiful, so beautiful 
Beautiful scars 


I love listening to this song because so many people can relate to it.  I cannot help but think of the children in Luoyang that I will be working with.  I don't know all of their stories but I pray that they would come to the understanding that I love them for who they are.  And most importantly God loves each and everyone of them and he wants to turn those wrongdoings and painful situations into beautiful scars that teach us more about Him and how he sent His only son to come endure great suffering on the cross to cover us from sin. 

In Christ,

JHart

Friday, January 30, 2009

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY PARKER JAMES!!!

Today is my nephew's first birthday!!  I can't believe how quickly a year went by.  It has been a blessing being able to spend so much time with him during his first year.  Yeah, its been a little tiring because he hasn't always slept through the night and when he does he wakes me up around 6 and right now he won't stop screaming!!  But nothing compares to his little laugh!!  I love playing with him right before bed because he seems to get a little wild and it's very entertaining!!  I can't wait to see the plans that God has for him and I pray that he would turn into a man that serves Christ with everything that he has!! I love him dearly and I am going to miss him significantly when I move to China!! I love you Parks!!!

Aunt JuJu


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blessed beyond measure!

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I updated my blog saying that I needed approximately $4,400 left to reach my goal!  Well throughout the day I received $1000 in donations.  That means if I did my math correctly, I need approximately $3,400 left to reach my financial goal!!  I was stunned to say the least and I was in shock as my God once again took my breath away!  It kept bringing me back to the verse I have posted numerous times on my blog

Ephesians 3:20-21

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine according to His power at work within us.  To Him be the glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen"

He can do far more than my mind can even fathom!  Too often I find myself trying to predict where He will lead me or what he will do!  I don't know why I waste my time because He always goes beyond my feeble thoughts!  God is good all the time!    

To Him be the glory,

In Christ, 

JHart

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

37 days!

Hey everyone,

So as always things have been crazy around here. The garage sale went smoothly and was a success as I made $600 that will be put towards my move to China. We will be having another sale on February 21st and hope to do just as well! Thank you to everyone who donated items or helped in any way for this garage sale.

We officially have 37 days until we leave for China!! Thats crazy!!! I'm asking that you would please pray for our team and The China Home Foundation as we have recently felt the devil attacking us and we pray that he would not have a foothold in any part of the ministry! I now need around $4,400 to reach my financial goal! Please pray that fundraising will go well for both me and my roomate Chrissy as well as China Home Foundation!

Alright I'm out!

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement!

In Christ,

JHart

James 1:27

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Garage Sale!!!!

Hey everyone,

So this week has been crazy because every time I turn around I feel like I have people handing me garage sale items!!  Our house is a wreck because we have boxes all over the place.  It's so awesome because sometimes we just assume God is going to hand us the money for missions, which he is fully capable of, but I also think that he can provide in endless ways that involve much more work and preparation.  For example, a couple months ago I had nothing but a few clothes to sell and now I am overwhelmed with items from people who have willingly donated them towards my move to China.  We have now officially decided that we will have more than one sale because we don't have enough room to put all of it out at one time!!!  I am very excited for Saturday and I'm asking that you would please pray that everything would go smoothly and that the weather would be nice and of course that God would richly bless me financially through this!!!!

On a different note!!  We now have 41 days until we are in China!!  Today I visited Emily Richard's (Chapman's) blog and ran across a couple new photos of Marias Big House of Hope!  It was awesome to see how different it looks from when we were there over the summer.  Lets just say that it didn't help the anxiousness of wanting to be in Luoyang at all!  I can't really describe the feelings that I have been having lately but it seems that 90% of my thoughts involve China.  Unfortunately its a struggle because everyone around me is probably sick of hearing me talk about it.  It's also extremely difficult to stay focused at work because my heart and my mind are in China!!!  Please continue to pray for the children of Luoyang and China Home Foundation as we prepare for the move into the orphanage in early March!  

In Christ,

JHart

Monday, January 19, 2009

44 days!!!

Hey everyone,

So this weekend went really well.  Its awesome to know I have so many people from all over that are supporting me through this journey.  I just wanted to say thank you because without that support I would not be able to make this dream a reality! 

Now on to China news!!  

We now have 44 days until we leave for China.  Thats crazy!!!  It's coming so quickly!  I just realized the other day how unprepared I actually was when I was looking over everything that needs to be done before we leave.  The number one being that I need to apply for my Visa A.S.A.P.  I was holding off on that because I had a question on how to fill it out but I'm ready now!!   The garage sale is also next weekend and I cannot wait to spend every free hour that I have marking items :)  Just kidding!  But I am excited to have it because I know God is going to use this to help provide for my trip.  Please pray for this!  I need about 5,000 more dollars.  God is good and I know that he will provide this for me. Anyways thats just a little bit of what's going on right now!!!

Talk to you later,

JHart

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Going down south!!

Hey everyone,

This summer my boss approached me and asked if I would be willing to chaperone a middle school youth event that was being held in South Georgia!  After some thought I decided I should do it.  I had just returned home from China and I was processing what God had revealed to me.  During that week I met a youth pastor from Adel, Georgia who was interested in what was then a dream to return to China to live in an orphanage.  After returning home we kept in contact and he has asked me to make a trip to Adel to speak at the youth Sunday school class about my dream that is now becoming a reality.  I am asking that you would please pray for me as I speak this weekend.  I am not the greatest public speaker but I know that God  is telling me to encourage and inform the next generation about orphans and how we can change the world one life at a time!!!  Thank you for all your prayers and support!!!  

In Christ,

JHart


Ephesians 3:20-21

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according yo his power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Waiting on God

Hey guys, 

So this past week was kinda crazy!!  Going back to work after having a break is normally hard to begin with, but it felt extra hard this year because I have so many thoughts and emotions running through my head right now.  One day I actually yearn to be in China to the point where I'm just anxious and unfortunately don't want to be doing anything other than thinking of the children.  And the next day I'm almost in tears or more often than not, I am in tears because I cannot stop thinking about how much I am going to miss my family!!  Although I have been on a roller-coaster of emotions I am determined to learn something during this time.  I'm not quite sure what that is going to be yet, but I know God is teaching me something through this.  He has perfect timing and even though today, or at least right now, I am anxious to be in China I am also excited to see what He is teaching me as I wait on him.  

Psalm 25:5 

"Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day."

Later, 

JHart

    

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to real life!!

Hey everyone,

So this past 2 and a 1/2 weeks has been a wonderful time of relaxation.  The only issue with that is I must return to the this thing I call real life. :(  Today is my first day back to work with the kiddos.  I'm excited because I miss teaching, playing, and hanging out with them, but at the same time I'm sad because I am going to miss hanging out with my family and friends.  I know that as soon as I get back into my daily routine the next 2 months are going to fly by!

China seems to be coming quicker than I thought it would.  Its an emotional ride that I'm not going to try and explain to you.  But I will ask you to pray for me and Chrissy as we prepare for our move to China.  I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't going to desperately miss my family, my home, and my comfy bed!!!  However, I know that God has called me to spend time in China with his precious children that are in need of love.  And I am beyond excited to see what God has in store for my life, the ministry, and of course the children!!!  As humans we tend to run from God and what he calls us to do for numerous different reason all resulting from sin. Believe me, throughout my life I have been a walking demonstration of this statement due to fear of where he will call me and what sacrifices I will have to make.  However it is my deepest prayer that he will infectiously take over my life and that I will answer him like the prophet Isaiah.    

Isaiah 6:8 
 Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

These days it may seem like we are in a hopeless world but I beg to differ!!  Through faith we must have hope!  

Hebrews 11:1 
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

"Hope means a continual looking forward to the eternal world.  it does not mean that we leave the present one as it is.  If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought the most of the next." C.S. Lewis 

 Later,

JHart

Thursday, January 1, 2009

China Update!!!

Dear family and friends,

 

            I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas.  Our departure for China continues to come quickly as we are busy making final decisions on travel plans and living arrangements.  Plane tickets have been purchased and our official departure date is now March 4th.  New Hope Foundation, the ministry that currently occupies the fifth floor of the orphanage, will be moving into their new building in mid February, allowing China Home Foundation to begin ministry on the fifth floor beginning in March.  Our partners, Mikey and Michael, will begin preparing the apartment on the fifth floor for Chrissy and I.  This will allow us to make a smooth transition so we can begin using this floor to work with the children as soon as possible.    

            The Lord continues to provide financially as I have now raised approximately $7,500 in gifts and pledges.  I will be hosting a garage sale on January 24th, which will help reduce the cost of the remaining $5,000 I still need to raise.  Monthly donors can begin sending their donations starting the first of March to the following address listed below.  Please make the check payable to Jacquie Hartmeyer.

           

        4111 36th, st. w.

Bradenton, Fl 34205

 

For more information regarding the ministry of China Home Foundation please check the following websites

 

            Ministry website- http://www.chinahomefoundation.org/

            China Home Foundation blog- http://chinahomefoundation.blogspot.com/

            My roommate’s blog- http://www.chrissynicoleadams.blogspot.com/

 

 

            We ask that you would please pray for the following requests:

 

1.     Pray that China Home Foundation will continue to find favor in the eyes of director Pei, the man who runs the orphanage.  This is crucial because he determines how much we can do with the children.

2.     Pray that New Hope Foundation will be able to make a smooth transition into their new building in mid February, allowing China Home Foundation to move onto to the fifth floor as soon as possible.  

3.     Pray that China Home Foundation will continue to be blessed financially to help begin and sustain ministry with the children of Luoyang.  

4.     Pray that Mikey and Michael will be guided to make bold and biblical administrative decisions regarding different aspects of the ministry. 

5.     Pray that Chrissy and I will be able to prepare for the move as we will struggle with the departure from home, family, and friends.

6.     Pray that His name will be glorified in every aspect of the ministry.  


In Christ,


JHart