We arrived back in the States just over a week ago. We apologize for the delay of this update as we’ve been traveling (literally) around the world. After a short stay in Korea to visit family, we headed for the UK to visit some very dear friends. We had an incredible time there debriefing with them about our time in China and the family camp that we were a part of. England is very different than China! Now that we’re back in the States, we’re happy to catch up with many of our family and trying to get settled. We’re looking forward to what He has in store for us here.
We’d love to tell you about our time down in the south of China at the summer camp. Jacquelyn and I both blogged about the whole experience ministering there. Unfortunately, this email will only touch the surface of what we did. So, for those interested, please feel free to read about the specifics on the blogs (addresses below).
*Review* As most of you know, we took the whole family down to Beihai, China to minister at Family Camp. Family Camp in this case was Chinese elementary-aged kids joining in with our family to do various activities and culture sharing. We joined with Living Stones Village (LSV) which runs an orphanage for disabled and abandoned children in Guangxi, China to do the work. Please see the initial support letter on our blog for the full details: http://blog.jalopyhead.com/2011/06/03/update-from-the-carmans-in-china/.
*Successful Camp* The camp was a great success. We had so much fun playing with all the kids that attended, but especially enjoyed the 5 kids that were put into our family unit and the LSV kid that assisted us throughout the week of camp. It was so fun to see their personalities unabashedly on display right from the beginning. The array of personalities was wide: funny, shy, sincere, super fun, and snobby. It was such a blessing interacting with them for the week.
We did lots of activities with the campers including making Western Food (Omelets), Chinese and Western Games, Skits, Songs, etc. We also got to go to one of our campers’ house and had a feast of local specialties. Again, for pictures and specific details, please go to our blogs. (Click here for the Skit video http://blog.jalopyhead.com/2011/07/20/doctors-office-skit/.)
This was really the first organized effort in outreach for LSV. As such, it is really a stepping stone for future ministry with the local people. As spreading to the Word to children in China is always sensitive and frowned upon by the governing forces, we did not have a sharing time in that regard, however, the in-roads that were created are going to be foundational to the future ministry there.
Another purpose of the trip was to see whether or not God would have us join with this organization on a permanent basis. For various reasons we have decided not to do so. However, we trust and pray that God will continue using LSV to help the orphans that they have been commissioned to care for as well as reaching out to their neighbors.
*Thanks* We really want to give a heart-felt “Thank You” to each of you as you have been thinking about us, lifting us up to Him, and giving to us financially. Lifting us up to Him, I believe, really sustained us when we encountered some difficult times down there. All the money that we needed came in plus a little more. It’s was such a blessing and encouragement to us that He provided for all our needs yet again. That encouragement is what is keeping us going as we head into the next part of our journey.
*Good Transition* We spent a total of 3 weeks in a very rural part of China. In many ways, we really felt like it was a good end to our almost 8 years in China. We had ample opportunity to reflect and debrief about the last 8 years. He has really blessed us during our time in China. Although we are sad to leave this place, we are trusting that He has a great plan for us. We look forward to what he has next for us.
*Where are we now?* We have moved to Jacquelyn’s hometown near Poughkeepsie, New York. Anna is enrolled in Kindergarten and will start September 7th. Lucas and Micah are adjusting to the new time zone nicely and enjoying the attention of family. Please pray for Jacquelyn and myself as we “get into our element” in the US. Please also pray that I would find a job rather quickly. Please don’t hesitate to offer any job suggestions if you know any.
Thank you again for being a part of our journey for the last 8 years. We’ll try to keep you updated as He leads us. Definately check our blogs from time to time and you can see what’s going on with us.
*Attached are just a few pics from our time.