Friday, April 19, 2013


Another quiet day in Guangzhou.  We had no official appointments today and our guide was busy with another family.  We spent the day in our hotel for the most part.  We did walk over to the Starbucks for a sandwich and drink for lunch.  It was really good.  Matt found the fitness center for a work out while the rest of us visited the children's playroom.  Samuel enjoys the change of pace and playing in a place where there's not so many "no's."  Courtney found a couple of NHL games for her and Matt to watch on her ipad today.  That was fun for them.  We've been watching the two Addams Family movies this afternoon.  Not great cinema, but kind of amusing, and it's in English. 

New discovery today - the reason for Samuel's temper tantrum with his sisters yesterday was that they messed with his backpack.  We packed a few little toys in that backpack and gave it to him a few minutes after we met him.  I noticed today that he wasn't playing with the toys in it.  Matt picked it up and starting rummaging through it to find two little cars that were in the bottom.  Samuel came completely unglued.  Sad reality of orphan life.  He's never had his own "stuff" before.  He would rather keep it packed up and safely his than to take the toys out and play with them.  He did finally calm down and play with the cars with Matt, but then he promptly packed them back up and hasn't gotten anything out since.  Makes me sad.  Can't wait to get home and let him see all the toys in his room that are all his. 

Tomorrow is another slow day.  Results on Samuel's TB test will be in tomorrow.  Praying for no news, which is good news.  Our guide will pick up his passport tomorrow as well.  Sunday is a shopping day, much to Matt's chagrine.  Monday will be very busy - go to US Consulate to take oath, go to Shamian Island for shopping, followed by a river boat cruise at night on the Pearl River.  Tuesday holds a visit to the zoo (Cassidy can't wait to see the pandas), then getting Samuel's visa so we can head home with him on Wednesday!  Sorry for the long diatribe - I needed to progress to the coming home part ;)

I want to end my part with thanks again for prayers.  Our guide just keeps talking about how incredibly well Samuel has handled everything.  We know that's because of answered prayer.  We are here because of answered prayer.  So I continue to request, knowing that He is listening.

Requests:  Continued health and safety for us all, negative TB test, smooth finish to paperwork, for Samuel to physically and emotionally handle that long trip home well.

Now, for the pictures...

Mr. Samuel is a slapstick kind of kid.  Finds the physical play hilarious.
 Any boy who has ever played with Matt know that the shirt over the head is always involved.  Samuel thinks that's funny too.
He thinks Matt's funny in general.  Wish we had a video of Samuel trying to do the Donald Duck voice like Matt.  Too funny.
~ Martha

Martha mentioned our realization today of Samuel's hangup with the backpack and it's prized contents.  Totally floored me.  Possessions are something we take for granted.  Our kids take them for granted.  How many cell phones are in your household?  We have 4.  Computers?  Four laptops and an iPad.  Three cars, three TVs, clothes, jewelry... Well, you get the point.

So much stuff we've collected, while Samuel treasures a $2 hot wheels car.  Makes me wonder what else I might take for granted in my life.  Close friends?  Family?  Freedom?  All of the mercy the Lord pours out in my life on a daily basis.

Samuel will learn that his cars and backpack aren't going to be taken from him.  But our job is to teach him the truly important things along the way.  We want him to discover that a true friend is more precious than gold.  We want him to learn that he has the love of a family that will never give up on him.  He'll never lose our love.  No matter what.

Most of all, our desire - no, our responsibility, is to introduce him to the only One who loves him more than we do.  To the One who laid down his life so that Samuel might live. 

From the day Courtney was born Martha and I felt this weight that she know the Lord.  She accepted him during VBS at our home church of Olivet Baptist Church.  From the moment we met Cassidy, the heat was back.  We had to know that she belonged to our gracious God.  Martha had the priviledge of leading her to Jesus one afternoon in our home. 

Then we felt that the greatest assignments in our lives had been completed. 

Now it's back.  The niggling in the back of my mind.  That need to know that Samuel will live forever.

If I could, I'd give him mine, cause I know where to go to find it.  But I can't.  He has to find that for himself.  But I can, and we will, do everything possible to introduce him to the Lord.

It's the greatest possession he could ever have.

~ Matthew

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:20-21

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