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Eden

“Stand Up and Start Your Mission”

I grew up in the orphanage for ten years. For the past ten years of my life at the orphanage I was never been able to go near someone, because of my badly wounded, infected, and bloody foot, and a pair of infected awful smelly ears. Whenever people came near me I would always go as far away as possible so that they could not smell my ears or see my nasty foot. Every day I had to be hundred feet away from people so they would not be disgusted by my ears. I did not like to embarrass anybody or let them talk about how bad my ears smell or my foot looked, so I had my own little corner that I could hide from so no one could found me or talked bad about me. That was how my life was at the orphanage I did not like to be ashamed or embarrassed by people because of what I had.
Bring Me Hope I (2006)
In August of 2006, a few of my friends and I went to a camp called Bring Me Hope. I was very scared, felt ashamed, and guilty to myself because of my foot and ears. I tried to hide my foot and cover my ears so they would not notice anything. At the camp the children were matched with a Chinese translator and an American volunteer (we call that a family group), My American buddy was Kirsten Chase and another child named (Jing Hua) from a different orphanage I did not remember my translator. Throughout the camp I did not talk to the strangers (foreigners) or even go near them. I did my best to run away from the people that I did not know. I was scared that they would be like my caregivers and friends talked baddy about my foot and ears, not long after they found out my foot and ears. They did not yelled at me or told me to go away but they gave me whole bunch of medicines for my foot and ears and my buddy Kristen hugged me because she knew I fill little scared and shy. For ten years of my life at the orphanage I never had any medicines and hugs before, my foot bleeds every day and no one cares, and no one ever came close to me within three feet and gave me hugs. For three whole days I was keeping my distance away from all the people I did not know. I was very stubborn and cold hearted to my family group and the rest of the people I did not talk anybody or interact with my family group I would was ran to my friends and play with them. As the Friday came that means the camp was almost over, so that very night for talent show all the American buddies gathered together and learned a Chinese song called” Grateful Heart”( 感恩的心) . All the children sat on the floor with the translators and listen to our American buddies sing the song, and at the end of the song the American buddies gave their buddies (children) hugs. That very night I stated to open up my mind and gave my buddies hugs and talked to them and smile at them. That very next morning it was very raining day and it was time for us to leave. Everybody cried and hugged their buddies tightly, and for the first time and ever I cried and teared and so I quickly ran to my buddy Kristen and hugged her tightly. My heart was truly touched by my family group, for the first time and ever I never felt so loved cared by people before, I just would not let go of my buddy. At the very last minute I let go with non-stop tears dripping down from my eyes. At the bus all the children cried or felt sad all the way home.
Bring Me Hope II (2010)
In July of 2010 my whole family went back to Bring Hope. My parents were the volunteers and my two sisters and I were just kids did not have the responsibly of doing anything or teaching anything to the children. My parents both had a child and an interpreter and the two families together we made a big family group. My sisters and I were just playing with the other children our age.
Bring Me Hope III (2014)
In The past summer of July my friend (Jessie) and I went to Bring Me Hope camp by ourselves. I was very happy and excited to be able to go back again as a volunteer. On Monday I had the two youngest children of the whole camp. They were two years old and three years old, and both of my boys were very active, energetic, and naughty. My interceptors and I just could not stop them from running, I guess they are in just in those ages. Every day, I would chase them from one place to another and play with them from early morning till night. Throughout the week of camp I learned to be patient, interact with them, and love them of all. I had the responsibility to be like a volunteer, and show love, kindness, and patient to the children who never had the experience before. When all the children left on Friday morning it was always a sad day for everybody to leave their little family group once you have build up a good relationship with the children it is always sad to leave each other. In the weekend I slap with the interpreters that night. In my dorm there were six Chinese interpreters and one of them was my. All the children left so I went back to my normal self which is the crazy, naughty, restless, nonstop talking, loud, and burst out laughing every time people talk. I was the only volunteer in that room so most the translators came to my bed and as me about how I know about BMH? How many times I have volunteering and so on. I started to open my album book that I bought with me and shared my life time stories with them, after that they asked me what does Bring Me Hope mean and what is the main purpose to be in BMH. I shared every details that I know to them. By two thirty o’clock mid-night I started to share my faith with them, and half some of them got tired so they hoped into their bed and get ready for bed. The rest of them were still listening to me and I showed them the most important passages from the Bible and they started to ask me all kinds of questions like “how to do you know the Bible is true? Where is God? How do you know if Jesus is going to coming back again?” Thank goodness I got all those passages highlighted and bookmarked. I carefully telling them the truth from Bible to them, and they started understand what I mean. When it was time for me to ask them about their life background and some of them are staring to believe and some are still not sure but in the deciding point line. When were all time talking about the Biblical massages they were getting to be tired because it was about three forty-five o’clock, but I was not tired at all I was still very energetic and active. While they were getting to bed I still stalking burst out with words and laughs. Finally I realized I was talking to the air they all went to bed so not long after I went to bed. We all woke up at nine o’clock and went out for a walk. I had an awesome time! I truly did!
Bring Me Hope V (2015)
This year in July, I am going back to Bring Me hope by myself and serve for the Lord again for those who are in hunger and thirst for the Lord Jesus Christ. I just can’t wait at all. The great news for this year is that we are staring a Bring Me Hope camp in Philippine. David Bolt the starter of the BMH is going to go there. I am so happy and excited that Bring Me Hope is getting bigger as the time goes on. In Bring Me Hope we not only showing the children love, faith, patient care, kindness, and etc… We are also reaching out the translators who are lost in the darkness, there are so many people are in need of a Savior Jesus Christ. In Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. In Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” In the past I was a non-talker, not very active, very cold hearted, and did not like to go near anybody at all. Once I got accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at the age of fifteen I totally got changed into a different person. If I can do this than I believe you can do this too. There are so many people need our help to lead them to Christ, BMH is one of the organization you can joining. Christians stand up and start your mission! Don’t waste your time! The life God gave you is way too precious to waste there are way too many people needs your help, and God needs your hands and feet to get moving!

Eden's Story

JJ’s Adoption Story

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This is the Potter family. In recent months, they’ve been in the process of trying to adopt JJ, a Chinese orphan incorrectly diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. JJ got to go to Bring Me Hope camp in 2014 and met Jeff Knipe who has been advocating for JJ since late summer of last year. Read Jeff’s amazing story about how JJ is now in the process of being adopted:

Our family has been involved with helping the kids from our daughter’s orphanage in China for the past 10 years.

We held mini camps at his orphange in 2012 and 2013. JJ was one of our favorites and attended BMH camp in 2014, 

When I found out that the orphanage had diagnosed him with Down Syndrome and potential congenital retardation, I knew it was incorrect and there must be some way to get his medical file corrected.  We were able to get him out of the orphanage and into Agape Family Life House in Langfang in late 2014, but they still did not have the resources to get his file checked and corrected.

So, in January 2015, I flew to China with the hopes of correcting his medical file and finding out exactly what was going on with An Jie Ran. I met Earl Tai from the Baobei Foundation in Shanghai and his team proceeded to do many tests on JJ at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center.  We were able to medically prove he did not have Down Syndrome or any type of mental retardation.  Rather, we believe he has a genetic bone disorder which has stunned his growth and caused some other physical issues.

When I returned from China with his corrected file, I now had to find a Christian family who was willing to adopt him. In about 2 weeks after my return, God led us to the Potter family in North Carolina who heard about JJ’s story and, after praying about it for a few days, called me back and said “JJ is our son and we believe God wants us to adopt him as soon as possible.”

They are a wonderful family and have raised $11,000 from family and friends for the adoption so far.  But I knew they would need much more money to complete the adoption.  

A Mother’s Love had raised about $10,000 for any potential medical costs JJ may have and the remaining was to be used for his adoption.  The Baobei Foundation had donated ALL of the medical tests, so all of the $10,000 AML raised could  be used for the adoption fund. But we still needed about $15,000 more.

A few days later, we received the entire $15,000 from a generous donor who heard about JJ’s story.

The Potters have been moving quickly through the adoption process, and recently completed their Home Study. This pastWednesday, I drove 10 hours up to their home in NC and surprised them with the $25,000 adoption grant!! It was the culmination of lots of incredible blessings and it proved again that God is in the “adoption business!”

The Potters expect to adopt JJ sometime in 2015 and will be travelling with their entire family.

Some very cool points to note:

1)  The Potters are naming him Jieran Jacob Potter (JJ). They had no idea that his incredible BMH volunteer at camp last summer was named Jacob.

2)  3 days before I left for China to try and help An Jie Ran (Jan 12th), I did not have ANY confirmed plans or appointments to help him and I almost did not make the trip.

3)  In just 90 days, we went from not knowing if we could even help JJ’s situation, to correcting his medical files, to finding him a forever family, and then raising all of the money needed for his adoption.  Amazing….

How awesome is that?! We hope this story causes you to admire God all the more for his orchestration and that he inspires you to go to extreme measures to help those whom God has called us to love. I’m sure we’ll hear more about JJ and his new family in the next few months, so stay tuned to read more.

Blessings!

Night Walk 2015!

Night Walk Banner

Join people around the world to raise support for orphans in need!

On Friday, May 15th, people around the world will participate in the 2015 Night Walk to raise awareness for orphans in need and raise money to help them go to Bring Me Hope camp this summer. To sign up for the Night Walk, click here. For more information about the Night Walk, click here. The deadline for ordering T-shirts is May 1st, so sign up soon! Scroll down to see a map of all the cities hosting a Night Walk this year.

Tighten up your laces and let’s walk our cities for orphans around the world!

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Join a walk in a city near you or create a walk of your own!

Give Back

This is the time of year where Bring Me Hope is on their toes as we start pushing towards getting everything ready for camp. It’s not just the details, crafts and games we are planning but the kids that we will be bringing and who we will choose.

To get into our head and about the kids we work with means seeing our year long goal. We can say it starts at camp, our volunteers arrive ready to take on the new challenges and fun as orphans are bussed in for the week. This is a time where kids get to be kids and possibly forget for a fleeting moment that they are hoping for a family. There are firsts for them through the week and by the time they leave, we hope that they have felt LOVED in ways they have never seen.missions, china, orphan care, kids, summer camp, bring me hope

Camp is just the beginning for our kiddos, going home is one of the most crucial steps…it’s where we the staff and volunteer spend hours putting together information about our campers and getting them seen. We blast them on social media, tell their story to the world and search for families. Having first hand experience, photos and videos can attract the attention of many adoptive parents because they feel like they know the child before they lock in on their file.missions, china, orphan care, kids, summer camp, bring me hope

So, while a month is spent at camp, 11 months are spent advocating. This brings us to today. We want to change lives, we want to get our campers on the front page of many peoples minds…we want families. BUT to make this possible, we have to have people like you and me send orphans to our camp. It can be a $20 donation or $500. Without YOU, less kids come which could potentially mean a child’s story won’t get told.missions, china, orphan care, kids, summer camp, bring me hope

This month, we are coming alongside Cory, founder of Give Yak and making your donations more fun. Give Yak was founded with a passion to serve the Chinese community by designing Asian-inspired shirts that give back. For March, Cory had the idea to partner with us to launch Give Yak while giving all the proceeds to Bring Me Hope campers. The catch is, you get a gift if you donate this month…depending on the size of the donation will put you in different brackets from shirts to hand made Asian crafts and beautiful boxes.missions, china, orphan care, kids, summer camp, bring me hope

So if you want to help us send a kids to camp, go to Give Yak and give back (http://www.giveyak.org/support-chinese-orphans)

For The Kids,

Caitlyn

Last day to enter contest – Crystal Raindrop Jewelry

Today is the last day to enter  our first Bring Me Hope contest… >  HERE <

This is a first of our giveaways for the year with the intent to bring more exposure for people interested in Orphan Mission trips and coming to China.  We also are interested in providing a way for creatives to donate work who are passionate about giving back and serving.  So if you are a creative and are interested in partnering with Bring Me Hope, please feel free to contact us…we would love to hear your story (contact caitlyn@bringmehope.org).

Our first creative I would love for you to meet it Saray Gray, who is the owner of Crystal Raindrop.  Her jewelry creating began when she was a little girl.  Sarah and her sister would make different things for their Mom and Grandma together.

It was in Sarah’s Junior year of highschool, after making jewelry for her friend, thoughts of how she could turn her love for creating into a business began.  Her shop opened when she was a high school Senior and she has continued ever since.

What inspires you to create?

One of the many reasons I love making jewelry is, I can pick the style I create. I like very simple, elegant jewelry, and that is not easy to find. All the jewelry I make is something that I would wear myself, and know that there are other people looking for the same thing.

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How do you serve the community/others with your business ?

I love to be involved in raising money for good causes. I enjoyed being able to help with my friends fundraiser for the Bring Me Hope Foundation. It was not only a great experience, but it was a lot of fun as well. It was a blessing to see everyone give their all to raise money for this wonderful foundation.

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What was the inspiration behind the piece you donate to BMH & what is the pieces name?

The piece that I have made to donated to the Bring Me Hope Foundation is a good representation of the style of jewelry I make. When I was asked to make a piece of jewelry to donate I honestly didn’t have any idea what I was going to make. So I just sat down one evening and got to work. Cutting wire, trying different ways to bend it, to get an eligible look to it. Eventually I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like.

The name of the piece is Blue Ellipse. I picked this name because of its rounded shape. The calming blue and hints of crystal that remind me of the moon on a cool night.

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What piece of advice would you give to people who are creatives and want to use their business with a purpose?

If I had to give advice to someone looking to start their own business out of a hobby, I would tell them to have fun and really enjoy what they are doing. It is also very important to give what you are doing to the Lord. Seek the Lord’s guidance in your business always. I think that is the most important part.

Sometimes all you think about is what you have to get done and your deadlines, but that takes all the joy out of what you are doing. When you no longer find joy in what you are doing it shows in your work. So, take your time and enjoy what you are doing and thank the Lord for giving you your abilities.

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Random funny facts about you?

And a random fact about me is I have a weird obsession with clocks..I Love ’em!

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We loved having Sarah on the blog.  To find more of her work send her an email (CrystalRaindropShop@gmail.com) or visit her website www.CrystalRaindropShop.com.

For the Kids!

Caitlyn + The BMH Team

Celebrating Mother Teresa’s Birthday With 10 Favorite Quotes

Because of our love for orphans, we like to feature other people who also have a heart for orphans around the world.  Mother Teresa is well known around the world for her charitable work and heart for people and children. She worked with many orphans and today we want to help celebrate her 104th birthday with our 10 favorite Mother Teresa quotes:MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-1MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-2MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-3MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-4MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-5MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-6MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-7MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-8MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-9MotherTeresaQuote-bringmehopefoundation-10

For the Kids,

Caitlyn & Bring Me Hope Team

9 Things People Traveling to China Should Know

We all know the horror stories people tell you when flying to another country for the first time.  With those things flooding our minds, we sometimes get a knot in our stomach as we jump on the plane…only our imagination to accompany us for the next however many hours.  

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This has been the experience of countless people, as they head on a plane marked with the country name CHINA!  I myself had heard the horror stories of the culture shock that was awaiting me.  But like anytime you hop on a plane and fly around the world…there are going to be people living a life that is foreign to us…but that is definitely part of the adventure and what makes traveling around the world glorious.
And now without further ado…9 things people traveling to China should know!
 
#1 The first is one of the most important!  Invest in your trip ahead of time.  Read – Prepare – Pray.  Especially, if you are going on a missions trip or working closely alongside the natives and orphans…you don’t want to just show up and hope for the best.  You need to be prepared for both a culture and spiritual shock.  Find scriptures that will carry you through each day and have them there to meditate on.  Find a prayer partner that will keep you accountable on your trip.  Prepare to be part of the culture…learn about their culture/traditions & learn some Chinese (even if they are simple phrases and compliments for your Chinese friends). Having this basis for your trip, will help you dive deeper into building new relationships with the people and learning to LOVE China!  It’s not like the West… and that’s okay!  In a world of increasing globalization and homogeneity, it’s refreshing to visit a place that is so foreign.  Exciting new sights, sounds and smells will greet you at every turn. Keep an adventurous mindset and you’ll experience the trip of a lifetime!
 
#2 While driving, remember you’re not in Kansas anymore. In many places there are driving rules and regulations…in China, well they are more like suggestions. Believe me, it feels like the old video game Frogger and will be an experience can both terrify & excite you…giving you a road trip/drive you will never forget!

#3 Being stared at is to be expected and not considered rude but normal and very common in the Chinese culture.
 
#4 If you are going to be working with orphans, or kids in general…learn the song “Xi Yang Yang (Pleasant Goat)”. It’ll get you places with the little kids. It’s their jam. Not to mention that grown ups will be impressed that you know it.

#5 Squatty potties. Just the thought of them can make a person cringe. Sure, sometimes they’re gross and stinky but so are some American public bathrooms too. The trick to the squatty, is to pack a travel pack of Kleenex in your purse, backpack or pocket and then to go to the very last couple of stalls. It’s a secret but most of the potties in the back are the handicap ones and those are American style potties. And if you’re a germ-a-phobe, then you’re already packing gallons of antibacterial wipes and sanitizer, so you’re set to go.
 
#6 Shopping spree. Buy your favorite snacks before you leave.  Snacks in China are not the same as America.  Bring something along to curb hunger and keep you energized.  Having said this…I love CHINESE snacks, so be open to finding a new favorite to bring home with you!
 
#7 Whether you’re adopting or volunteering or just being a tourist, tour the orphanage and give as many hugs and kisses as you possibly can. Step out of your comfort zone and find a way to love those who need to know that they are loved. From an adoption standpoint this statement is somewhat controversial, but these trips are never about us and always about the children. These kids want, need, DESERVE to know that they’re loved!
This is a snippet from the experience one of our friends had while visiting an orphanage:
“Last year, I toured our daughter’s orphanage and saw a beautiful young girl who was so sweet and clearly played a role in my daughter’s life. I took pictures of the two of them together, hugged her, immediately fell in love with her, and as soon as I was back at the hotel, e-mailed our agency and begged them to find her file. This sweet, beautiful girl has been deemed unadoptable though and will never know the love of a family. I’ve been given permission to write to this sweet girl and every letter, she tells me that she doesn’t understand why someone like me would care about an orphan like her. I love because God loved me first. If I could bring this little girl home and into my family, I would. Show love!”
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#8 Practice your best sorority squat pose, duck face & learn a couple of Chinese words/phrases because chances are pretty darn good that you’ll be approached to be in a picture that will later float around on Chinese QQ. Have fun with it and take it all in stride. You can also take it to the next level and swap pictures…take a picture with them if they agree to take a “silly picture” with you!
 
#9 Last but not least, the food is remarkable! Try it! Break out of your comfort zone and give it a whirl! You never know what you will discover and crave for the rest of your life…or until you return to China. Oh, and while on this last point…please, please, please LEARN how to use chopsticks. It will be a lifesaver and make eating way more fun!9thingsyourshouldknowaboutchina-foodpicture
 
For the Kids,
Caitlyn & The Bring Me Hope Team

Walking to Support an Orphan – Night Walk 2014

It’s that time of year…NIGHT WALK 2014, has come around and I beyond excited to tell you more.  WHY is this year completely amazing?

  • I love this years camp theme, “Jubilee”
  • I want to beat last years number of Night Walkers, we had approximately 155 people
  • And last but not least, Bring Me Hope is celebrating their 10 year anniversary (can I blow my party horn to celebrate?)

Oh, and I almost forgot one more reason, they are not only introducing a new T-Shirt but are bringing back 3 others from their “Vintage Tees” collection. So, if you can’t decide on what design you like best, feel free to order all 4 (the “Vintage Tees” collection are limited in number and are a first come, first serve product).  NightWalk_2014_Blog-FacebookAd

So, now back to the logistics.  For any new people reading this, let me give you a little background.  Night Walk is a chance for us to show orphans love.  On May 2nd, we will gather together in the evening and walk for an hour, while Chinese orphans walk during the day.  Our goal during this time is to get as many people together to raise money for orphan sponsorships.  Each walker that signs up (you get a free shirt when you sign up before April 19th) provides Bring Me Hope the funds they need to send orphans to this years summer camp.  The more walkers/sponsors we have, the more kids get to leave the orphanage and go to summer camp…the more kids that come to summer camp, the more lives that are changed and get to be advocated for.  This is a chance for those who can’t volunteer at Bring Me Hope to be a megaphone for the voiceless and help fund these kids.auburn_kunming

What does Bring Me Hope need?

Leaders!  They had 31 groups last year…let’s try to double those numbers.  If one person from each state would lead a group we would almost be there.  Leading a group is pretty simple…it requires getting people together and finding a location, that’s about it.

Walkers!  They need people willing to get together with an awesome group of friends and walk on May 2nd.  You can walk at a local park, through the city, on a bike trail or at your local school track.

Sponsors!  They want anyone that can’t walk or lead to sponsor someone else to walk or buy a T-Shirt.8789296496_b24bea9639_o

I want YOU…if you are reading this, you can take part.  Click HERE to see more about a walk that happened last year in the Alamo.  Visit bringmehope.org to sign up or sponsor another walker or click one of the buttons below.  If you are interested in leading or need more information, contact Regina (regina@bringmehope.org).

Night Walk Sponsorship Night Walk Sign-up

For the Kids!

Caitlyn & Bring Me Hope Team

Ideas to Raise Money for Orphans│Bring Me Hope

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” 
― Mother Teresa

This past Christmas, a group of young women got together to raise money for Bring Me Hope.  Together they used their talents and love of crafting to raise $600 for camp, quite a large sum for a 3 hour Christmas Bazaar.  We are so excited to show you some of their work and hope it gives you ideas on how you can make a difference by doing something you LOVE!bringmehope-girlsfundraising_0001

Do you want to be featured on the Bring Me Hope blog?  Send us your stories from camp, fundraising, etc.

For the Kids!

Bring Me Hope Team