Saturday, May 2, 2015

And He Will Bless You: Guest Post with Hannah Samuels

I am very excited to be sharing a guest post from Hannah at Loving Dangerously today. Hannah lives and works with orphans at the New Day Foster Home in China. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to share this with us, Hannah!
I was 10 years old when I traveled to China for the first time. We were adopting my little sister – my first, longed-for, beautiful little sister. It was such an adventure, and one that I look back upon right now with a big smile, because here I am… I’m sitting on the floor of our apartment in Inner Mongolia, China. We live here now. This is our home. And now I have three little sisters.
God writes our stories, and usually He doesn’t tell us the endings (or even the next page!) of each chapter.
I was 10 when I traveled to China for the first time, and I was 13 when I knew what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” Since then I’ve met a lot of people who have traveled to China and who have said, “Oh yeah, I knew that I wanted to work with orphans in China since I was 9… or 7…. or 4.” Sometimes, when I hear them say this, I feel a twinge of envy. Because, goodness, 7 is awfully young to know what you’re going to do when you grow up! But do you know what? It’s okay. No matter how old you are - five or fifteen or twenty-five or even fifty! – God is writing this story. And it’s His story. So it’s okay.
We moved to China when I was seventeen years old, just a few weeks before I turned eighteen. I decided that the traditional college experience could wait, and I would instead live the overseas experiences. I am so glad that we, as a family, made this decision. I do not regret doing things differently at all.

For over three years our family worked at a foster home in a village south of Beijing. I started by spending time with the babies, and then was given more and more responsibility. By the time we transitioned from Beijing, I was interning in the Critical Care Unit of the foster home, with the four sickest babies, and running the foster home’s social media network. Leaving was so, so hard. But God led our family clearly, and even though we didn’t know what the “end” of that chapter of our life would be, we knew that the first line said, “Go, from where you are comfortable and your relationships are and where you feel purposeful, and go to the land that I will show you. And I will make of your work something that will bring glory to Me. And I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” (read Genesis 12: 2-3)
Right now we’re about to enter our third year of work here in Inner Mongolia. We have a project in a local orphanage that cares for twelve children. Most of the kids in our care have cerebral palsy, and it’s been incredible to watch the nannies work with them, care for them, and truly love them. Last month we rented an apartment that we are cleaning and preparing to be a foster home. It’s really, really exciting.
In the midst of all of this life and adventure, I have decided (after being clearly led by the Lord) to get a second degree in Nursing. I fly to America next week to start an intense 18-month program. Leaving is agony, but knowing that God has the next chapter of this life written down and known to Him is peace.
Is the Lord leading? Follow Him. Is He leading your parents? Follow them. God doesn’t always call us to do crazy and amazing things, but what He does call us to is obedience and joy. And He will bless you, and make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
Want to get involved in our work? We’re throwing a little “Housewarming Party” on the blog, and you are invited! CLICK here to participate.

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