Summer Missions Trip to Sanmenxia

An Carson from Canada shares about her experience as part of the China Team to Sanmenxia in July 2013

This story has been reprinted from the Anglican Church of Canada's website. The original story can be found here.
An Carson and sister Sarah Knopf in front of the Sanmenxia welfare centre where ICC works.

This summer, my sister Sarah and I spent two weeks working in China, at the Sanmenxia Social Welfare Institution. It was probably two of the most profound and life-changing weeks of my life. Being a Chinese adoptee, I felt especially connected with these children. And having been in similar situations I was able to connect with them on a deeper level. 

It was also the first time that I had gone back to an orphanage. Having these two experiences together was something that I struggled with emotionally, but I think that doing this mission is something that God had been calling me to do, and is something that he put very close to my heart. It was an emotional battle that I knew with God’s help, I could conquer.

The first time I entered the Welfare Centre in Sanmenxia, I was overwhelmed with a flood of emotions. Not just of feelings of sadness and grief, but also, joy. The difference that ICC (International China Concern) has made in the short few years that they have been working on this project is wonderful. The amount of happiness that these children have is amazing, and you could really see the love that they all have for one another.

During this trip, I connected really well with one girl in particular, her name is Liu Ying. When I first met her, she had only been there for two weeks. You could tell by the way she acted, she was still scared of being in this new place with all these strange children, unfamiliar people and now foreigners were coming as well. But who wouldn’t be? 

Can you imagine everything you know being gone, not knowing what happened, why you’re here with these strangers and why you’re being called by a new name? She is just a little girl who’s world changed completely overnight.

The first time I saw her, I remember her being in the corner by herself, playing with blocks away from all the other children. I started spending the majority of my time with her and during those two weeks of being there, I was able to see her open up to her surroundings, start enjoying life more and I was able to see her come to the realization that she is so incredibly loved, not only by me but by so many. By the end of the trip, I had a wonderful bond with Liu Ying. She called me “mama” and I would tell her I love her as often as I could.

Thanks to Liu Ying and the entire experience, I really got to see what people mean when they say God loves us and He is always with us. No matter where we are, and what situations we might be facing we can always count on the Lord and His love. That is something that will never run out on us. He is faithful to us, and to these children and will work in and through us. 

God never failed us and never once in my life have I walked alone because He has always been with me and I know that He is there in Sanmenxia working with these children.