We made it.
Despite a late start due to a delayed flight, we made it to Newark just in time to board.
The flight over wasn't too bad and we were able to make it through immigration and customs without any trouble. (Thanks for praying.)
We found our contact right after we got our bags and were able to locate the Love Without Boundaries representative to give her the walkers that will be used for the little ones with cerebral palsy. They'll be getting their physical therapy very soon.
Everything went so smoothly.
We left the airport and headed out into what seemed to me to be an endless sea of gray.
From the smog-filled sky, to the concrete buildings, to the interstate.
After about 30 minutes on the interstate we turned off onto a long side road that appeared out of nowhere and, after a few more turns and twists down gravel paths, we ended up at the foster home.
I really didn't know what to expect.
Since it was a Saturday, there were no staff or children around.
They are all on a different part of the campus and we will see them Monday.
I don't know if there are any other volunteers here this week but we haven't seen any.
We were shown the guest house (which we have to ourselves it seems) and our room, the cafeteria (where we were able to order something quick for dinner) and a little store where we could purchase snacks or drinks if we needed.
After the quick tour, we went back to our room, unpacked a little, and then went to the cafeteria to pick up our dinner.
We sat there, the 3 of us, in this relatively large, empty dining room and ate.
And for the first time since we started thinking about this trip,
for the first time since we filled out our application,
booked our flights,
for the first time since we acquired all the supplies
packed all our suitcases
said goodbye to 4 sweet little faces (that I miss very much)
and made our way across the globe...
for the first time since all that started, I feel it.
And I completely underestimated it.
Everywhere the sights and smells and tastes remind me that I'm not at home anymore.
The language barrier keeps me from connecting to most people that we have seen.
Heat and electricity aren't guaranteed or in abundance.
And oddly enough, here, in one of the most populated places on earth...
we feel alone.
But I know we're not.
I know that He is here.
And that He will turn towards us and give grace.
Because He knows what it's like to feel lonely too.
And I'm sure things will change some by Monday when we meet with the staff and see the children and are given specific jobs to do. That's also when we'll be able to hand over all the donations.
We will spend today (Sunday) going back into the city. Finally, after three times here, we will get to see the Great Wall for the first time. We are all looking forward to that.
Thanks so much for all your prayers and comments and support.
Say what you want about social media.
To me, right now, it's yet another reminder that we are far from alone.