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