(In Chinese it's pronounced "Nee-how"!)
I arrived home Sunday after a short but FANTASTIC trip to China. Shaun and I went over there to visit our team from the Calling All Skaters DTS that is living there for 3 months. Our purpose in going was to encourage them, engage in ministry with them, and support the long-term missionary workers. The skaters are also traveling alongside two of my girls from the Beauty Arise ministry, so I specifically went over to spend time with them too. It's a dream when we get to do these trips because they are basically all fun, like when Grandma and Grandpa come to town--only I got to be Grandma and Shaunny was Grandpa.
A highlight was hearing amazing stories of how God has been using the team.
One skater told me a story about how he had been telling some guys about Jesus, through an English-speaking Chinese girl that had offered to translate for him. After he finished sharing, the girl translator told him that she had never heard of Jesus and was skeptical as to whether or not the gospel was true- though she liked the idea of a Savior. Our skater boldly encouraged her to pray about it when she went home. He told her that God is powerful and works supernaturally to speak to people. He said that if she wants to know if God is real she needs to hear from Him. She agreed. He didn't see her for a week but when he did she eagerly came up to him and told him with excitement that she heard from God and was a follower of Jesus. She said that God told her He was her Father and she was His daughter, so she put her trust in Him!!!
Another story is from my girls from Beauty Arise. Prior to going to China they asked God if there was anything particular they should prepare for. They both felt like the Lord showed them they would be working with prostitutes, but they had no idea how or where. But they started praying for the Chinese prostitutes. Fast forward. They are in China and had travelled to a major city for two weeks, unsure of how they would spend their time, but confident the Lord led them to that place. Free housing opened up for them to stay at a house and dog-sit for an American Christian couple who were traveling to Thailand. Right near their house was a Christian organization reaching out to prostitutes and providing them with everything they need to get off the streets. My girls were excited and went in offering to help in any way possible. Unfortunately because the girls are short-term workers and don't speak Chinese they were unqualified to serve... BUT God is bigger. Though the organization initially said no, they still asked if our girls had any special skills... Short of ideas and not expecting anything, they expressed that they enjoyed doing makeup, hair, and nails.... Nothing special. The organization workers were thrilled! Turns out they had been praying for God to bring people with those EXACT skills! They immediately welcomed the girls on their team and invited them to come with them into the shops to paint the nails of the prostitutes! It was literally right where male customers would come to buy the women... Occassionaly my girls would be painting the nails of a prostitute that would get purchased... She would leave with the man and return 20 minutes later needing a new manicure because her nails had gotten messed up. The organization workers said that the prostitutes had never been so open to share their stories as they were the day they received make-overs from my girls. On the last day of my friends' time there, the organization invited them to come and teach former prostitutes about their TRUE value and identity while doing makeovers and beauty tutorials!! Several former prostitutes shared afterwards that they had never been so deeply impacted by the nurturing love they received from the Beauty Arise girls!!
God is so stinkin faithful it is mind-boggling...
Be blessed friends. Here are some random photos from the trip. Shaun gets home on the 19th so I will post more photos from the camera then!! Love you!