While in New York City last week, I had lunch with Deirdre Daniel, cofounder and president of Morning Sun Center of Hope. She informed me that MSCH has had to close operations altogether. They have sold the hospital, sent the patients home, and closed down the infant nutrition program in the orphanages.
Several reasons why this had to happen include lack of new sponsorship, pull-out of government support, leadership issues, as well as other reasons. Over the last few months, it had become increasing difficult to fund the daily operating costs of the hospital and the organization’s debt had grown to the point where they were forced to sell the hospital building and wind down all other projects.
I’m grieving for all the children with disabilities we had hoped to help soon. I’m grieving for the children in the orphanages dying daily of starvation or of other complications related to malnutrition. I’m grieving for the lost opportunities to share love and hope with everyone (Chinese, foreigners, from the nannies to the entrepreneurs and gov’t officials) involved in the orphan system. The only thing I can do at the moment is continue to pray, trust and hope in the God whose ways are beyond my understanding. God knows exactly what he is doing and not one child escapes his attention.
I’m learning that there is so much more to ministry and service than the “work”. I have looked forward to serving justice in one of the worst places in China. That will still happen as I’m committed , but it will just have to work out in another way. I have a peace that this is all right. The Daniels still wish to continue their dream in the future, but how and when are not now known.
Although MSCH is no longer an option for me to return, there are several other good options. Some of these places I have already visited, and others I know from meeting those colleagues at professional meetings. I will be exploring these with Interserve who supports my return to China.
I’m excited to see what happens, but in some ways it is unsettling to have the unknown in front of me again. Somehow, the known, even if tough, seems better than not knowing anything. Even so, I’ve learned so much and grown in trust over the last several years. Whatever is ahead, if anything like the past, will be really COOL. Probably really HARD, but cool just the same. I’m NOT afraid of the future. I’m NOT concerned about where I may be sent (although I have a definite request to God that it won’t be too freezing cold). I’m trusting that I’ll have the community I need, a work that is satisfactory, and an outlet for my passions. God knows us better than any of us know ourselves and I’m grateful for that!
“If God were small enough to be understood, he wouldn’t be big enough to be worshiped.” -Evelyn Underhill