“Camps in China for orphans are CANCELED! Please try to get a refund from your airline.”
I came very close to sending that out to all of our volunteers. Here’s the story how God saved the 2009 summer camp…
Volunteer Update 1, May 23, 2009
I wanted to take a moment to update you on some changes happening in China. Just recently a few orphanages in Xi’an have told us that they are not allowing their kids to attend summer camp because of potential exposure to the Swine Flu.
Volunteer Update 2, May 28, 2009
We were really disappointed to hear that the civil affair administration has told ALL orphanages that the children are not allowed to attend outside activities. We ask you and your friends and your church to pray for the orphans in China. That God would do a miracle on behalf of these kids.
The other bit of news that I wanted to tell you about has to do with some of the plane flights going into China. Our camp director in Kunming said that someone was on a flight with another passenger that had a fever and everyone on the plane was quarantined for 7 days. Sooo…. that is a risk that I want you to be aware of before coming.
Other News- May/June, 2009
– One of our camp locations shut down because of Swine Flu.
– Another summer camp similar to ours canceled because of Swine Flu.
– Swine Flu declared worldwide pandemic
– 2 times I planned on buying an “immediate departure” plane ticket to find another country that might let us run summer camps.
The first half of the story looked very bleak. No orphans, volunteers spending half their trip quarantined in a hospital, and no group facilities available to host a summer camp.
We asked our volunteers to pray for a miracle. We just couldn’t imagine closing camp. Then, just a few weeks before camp was to start, we got news that several orphanages decided that they would send kids to camp. Because other orphanages were not allowed to send orphans to camps, I kind of figured that these orphanages must have missed the memo from the government. Or maybe the mandate got lost somewhere. We felt excited, but we also felt that at any instant the mandate could arrive and camp would be over. We ran camp on a day to day basis in anticipation that a mandate could arrive at any time and camp would be over. But the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into over a month of summer camps.
We also found out shortly before camp started that the “shut down” camp location had decided to host our camp. We had to check temperatures daily for the first 7 days, but other than that, we were free to run camp as normal.
One of our volunteers did get quarantined the first week of camp. We made about 10 phone calls and found him in a small hospital in Beijing. The hospital was running tests on him. After a few hours they found out that he didn’t have a fever and put him on the next plane to his camp location. He didn’t miss even one day.
I hope this encourages you to PRAY and TRUST God with your life. Over 200 orphans came this summer that weren’t supposed to come. And the things that looked so bleak and dismal became a beautiful summer that changed all of us.
“The requirement for a great miracle is impossibility.” Faith Like Potatoes
p.s. Here are a few of the kids that came to camp…
See all lives changed: http://bringmehope.org/lives_changed.asp