“And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating, I know my God won’t let them be defeated.”
– Audio Adrenaline, Kings & Queens
First, I wanted to thank y’all again for supporting me on my last mission trip to China. I never imagined it to impact me like it did. Before the trip, I was just getting restless to do something- anything, it didn’t matter, and it seemed like this just fell into my lap. Truthfully, I thought my heart would belong to Ireland, but God had different plans. While I might one day go there still, I know trying to show Christ in the lives of the children and nannies at the orphanage is where I’m suppose to be.
I fell in love with the kids immediately upon arriving at the orphanage. As soon as we made it into the gates, they were surrounding us. A 12 year old boy with Down Syndrome called the Mayor (who my teammate is now adopting!!) got to me first. He grabbed me by the hand and said, in English, “Hello!” before pulling me along to the playground. That same boy later told me in Chinese (with the director translating), counting it out on his fingers, “I hunger for a family. I want a Papa, Mama, brother, brother, brother”. Well, he’s getting a little sister, but I’m sure he’s more than ecstatic!
I knew before I even left China that I would be coming back again, and I think about those children every single day (it probably doesn’t help the wallpaper on my phone is of a little girl I met there). That little girl in particular became “one of Anna’s girls” in “Anna’s room”. After mornings of loving on itty bitty babies (though some were up to two years old, I later learned) in therapy rooms, I had afternoons in a bare room that had one wall lined with cribs and a mat in the middle of the floor. Two babies with cerebral palsy sat in wooden wheelchairs, facing the opposite wall, not ever touched other than to be fed for meals. When I enter, a sweet girl often in a yellow shirt, also with cerebral palsy, crawls over with a bright smile, and I fall to my knees, touching her shoulders, saying “nee-how” (hello). Then another little girl, often in a purple velvet dress, with cerebral palsy as well, rocks her rocking horse over to me, and attempts to jump into my arms. It’s not long before I have another girl and two boys all over me as well and we’re playing Tickle Bug (a game my older brother use to play with me). This happened nearly every afternoon in the orphanage.
These are memories I relive nearly every day, and there are many more. They happened nearly every afternoon in the orphanage, because I sought out that room. God gave me a special love for that room with no toys or music and I tried to teach them games of imagination.
I remember saying goodbye to the little girl in yellow (the wallpaper in my phone) and she just kept smiling wide and trying to play with me. When I finally walked away and I was just watching her from a window as I went to catch up with my group, her face dropped in confusion, but I had to keep walking. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done!
I didn’t want to return to Virginia at all, and half the time now my mind’s in China. But I try not to be idle, I try to advocate for the kids I met and keep them in my prayers. And recently, I’ve signed up to return to China! To the same orphanage and to the same kids! However I’m going with a completely different team, which leaves me a little anxious, but will work out fine. It will be November 12th-22nd.
Like last time, I would like to ask for you to keep me in your prayers, and if you feel lead, support me through donations. They are tax deductible. The cost will be between $3,800-$4,100, depending on how early we can get it in, and it will go to plane tickets, travel arrangements, a translator, and hotels. The deadline is October 15th. I’m trying to exceed what I need because the money goes straight to the orphanage! On one of the last days, my team leader and the director went out and bought supplies like diapers, lullabies, easy to read books, and even a computer! To donate, you can go to www.awaa.org, click MISSIONS, and then DONATE. In the notes, put “Anna Pappas – Guangdong Nov 2015”.
Thank you so much!
— Anna Pappas ♥
PS. I intend to keep this site updated on how things are coming along before the trip and blogging daily while I’m actually in China! So if you’re into that kind of thing… save the link to my page and I hope to not disappoint. 😉
** pictures taken by Kim Monsen and Lyn Briscoe!