Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

So, I am home now. I came home almost a full week early. I just missed my kids so very much. Tara finally looked at me Saturday night and I started crying and said I miss my kids and I really want to go home...she said "Sherri I completely understand. I don't blame you one bit. Go home to your kids. I'll be fine" She is so understanding. I think now that she knows a mothers love she was wondering how she would ever be without Nora and survive. We told the kids they were coming to the airport to pick-up a bag I had sent home for them. They are young enough that they didn't know any better. On the way to the airport Mitchell said they were chatting a lot but then when they got to the airport and saw a plane landing they got quite and when Mitchell asked what was wrong Sarah said "I wish Mommy was coming home today" and Colton agreed with her. When they walked in the luggage claim area Sarah spotted me and leaned over to her dad and said "I think I see my mom." he said "well go to her if you see her." she came running into my arms...Colton stood there a little confused and then eventually came running to me also. At first they looked a little sad I asked why and they said are you going back? I let them know I was home to stay and then the biggest smile came on both of their faces and never left. Colton was precious he hugged me and cried and said "Thank you for coming back to me Mommy" I cried too! I have been very jet lagged....I traveled from 8 am our time Saturday morning till 9 pm our time Sunday night. So I have been sleeping a lot this week. Tara and Billy will be back Saturday afternoon pray for them as they travel. As soon as I got home I went to my sisters to hold my new niece. Bella Kate Bain is so beautiful and I love kissing on her and just spoiling her. Thanks for all of your prayers. I have decided to keep this blog up so I can post here for those of you without Myspace. I just posted all of my blogs from China on here the dates are a little out of me if you can't figure it out. God Bless You All!

First Day in China

Posted on Sunday September 14th

Ni Hao ya'll! We are in our motel room in China! Thank God! The day started off just fine, it was hard to say goodbye to the kids but I expected that. Then my dad suprised me by being at Tara's when we met there to leave. That meant alot to me. So we go to the airport in Knoxville and when I am going through security my dad calls to tell me my sister's water broke and they were on the way to the hospital. I am very sad that I missed it but very happy to say little Bella Kate Bain was born Saturday around noon and she is a beautiful girl!! I will get some pictures up here as soon as someone emails me some.
We left Knoxville on Saturday at 11:10 and arrived in Beijing at 10 p.m. Sunday night Beijing time. We are exahusted. I am trying to upload a few pic's now. God bless you all! I'm having trouble getting my Yahoo mail up, I'm gonna keep trying but just in case Sarah, Colton, Cassie, and Mitchell I love you all very much and I miss you like Crazy!!!

2nd day in China

Posted on Monday September 15th

First of all let me just explain the title...I'm sick of rice already, we found french fries, and on the way to the fries we almost lost our lives in a game of hit the two fat white girls and the skinny white man that looked a lot like an old school game of Frogger. Ok, ok getting ahead of myself. We slept great last night and woke up about 6:30 a.m. we got up packed our stuff and went to breakfast...well, something that was supposed to be breakfast. It was a breakfast bar and there were boiled eggs, RICE (fried rice ewww), baked beans, fried rice and noodles, a salad bar, undercooked bacon, ham, sausage, omelets, the only things I found worth eating was some croissants with jelly and a couple of pieces of brownish bacon. We met up with Leslie and Charles Erwin they are a couple and are traveling with his mom Cindy to adopt a 3 year old little girl from the same orphanage Nora is in. We all introduced ourselves then we went to the airport and flew Kunming.
The airplane was something left over from the cold war and we felt like we rode on our side the whole way here. Leslie said she almost punched the ceiling to get the oxygen mask to fall because it was hotter then who dunnit...but we lived and Kuming is so beautiful the weather is so pretty. It's called the Spring City because it is always so mild.
Our guide Jerry met us at the airport; he is so nice and helpful. Thank God for Jerry. We have eaten nothing but rice & the whole time by that I mean, rice and chicken, rice and beef, rice and rice and rice and rice. Leslie, Charles and Cindy felt the same way so we decided to walk to find some American food...on the way Charles says to go and we just followed, then he screamed RUN...and the cars started coming, and I don't mean swerving around us or stopping I mean they were aiming for us...we ran as best two chunky girls with broke backs can and barely missed elimination from the Frogger game of life.
We did find a KFC praise God, I've never been so glad to eat dark meat chicken and drink Pepsi. The fries were heavenly so at least we are nourished for another day. We are back in the room now. We get to go get Nora at 8:30 in the morning. So right as you all go to bed we will be seeing her face. Pray for strength for all of us. Pray for Tara and Billy we all got teary eyed when we came in and saw her crib. Also pray for my ear. I think the last 4 flights have done it in and with the night air's hurting pretty bad...I am going to take some Tylenol and get started on the antibiotic I brought.
One last thing....Thank you God...for your goodness, mercy, grace, long-suffering, kindness, and everything else that you continue to pour over my head while I am on this journey. I know that we came to get Nora but I have also found something that I have been missing for a long time...the eyes of Christ...seeing people as He sees them...we have a lot of work to do brother's and Cleveland and in Kunming and everywhere in between. I love you all!!!

Gotcha Day

Originally posted on Tuesday 16th

So we woke up this morning at around 6 and we went to breakfast. It was wonderful. There was fruit, bacon, and toast!!! I will survive if breakfast is the only meal I eat so be it! God knows I could stand to lose a few pounds.
After the meal we met Jerry and the Irwin family downstairs and went to the Civil Affairs Office. It was a plain building...nothing very fancy. You can see pictures of it in my Nora Henley Album. We went into the office; it was clean but very plain. Tara and Billy signed some paperwork and then all of a sudden I saw her come in the door. She turned around and we saw the back of her head and we were sure it was her. She came right to Tara and then went to her Daddy. She never cried and seemed to be completely content to just be with her Mommy and Daddy.
I held her for a few minutes while they were finishing up the paperwork, then after getting her footprints done Tara sang her to sleep.
Billy put her into his little front papoose and that's where she stayed until we got to the motel.
After the civil affairs office we went to the Police Station and had her Passport Photo made, and then we went to the grocery store. That was a true adventure. It was called CareFour and the bottom level was like a department store, the 2nd level was like the home goods and baby section of Wal-mart, and the top level was the grocery store. There were escalators with no stairs just sort of you could take the buggy on. I found Coke, Ritz Crackers, Land O Lakes Cheese, and OREO'S...I think we actually danced in the store over the OREO's. When we checked out there were little plastic basket's in the store and that is what they put your food in. I am sure there were also plastic bags but we didn't see them or even think about looking for them. So when we get down to the cab and start to take the basket a police officer stops us so we had to load the individual items into the cab and then carry them in. We were so tired we could have cared less...
We came back to the room and took her three layers of clothes off and she has played with us the entire time. She loves her daddy and cries when he walks away from her. I watched her while Tara and Billy went down to exchange money and she was a perfect angel...she likes riding the horsy on my knee and playing peek-a-boo...she's likes to be tickled and loves for me to stand and sway with her. I love this little china doll so very much. She is such a blessing.
We fed her some Congee a little while ago...don't ask what it is it smells like poo...but she eats it. Now she is asleep in her crib. She is such a sweetie...We prayed for her and anointed her and claimed the blood of Jesus over her.
God has been so active and amazing through this whole thing. He gave me two scriptures to claim over her and I quoted them before we prayed they are:
Isaiah 35:10
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
1 Peter 2:9
I am a member of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.
Her time of sorrow and sighing has gone and her joy has come to stay she is a member of a chosen generation and part of His nation. That is the only nationality that really matters.
Please pray for the other family their daughter has a heart problem and she is in the hospital her toes and fingers are turning blue and they need to get her home and to Vanderbilt quickly. They are a Christian family. Please pray that God will work in an awesome way.
I am about to upload a couple of new pictures. We love hearing from you all thanks for all of the emails and comments. Love you all!
Kids mommy misses you so bad you have no clue. If it wasn't for my bible and this computer I think I would fly home this minute. Mitchell, I miss you too take care of the kids and call me when you can. God Bless You All!

10:05 AM

Nora is here!! Current mood: exhausted
It has all been worth the little face that is my profile picture. Every mile flown, every car dodged and every piece of rice eaten. She is worth them all and more. She is so precious has hardly cried at all and loves to laugh!!! I am too tired to type too much right now but let me just tell you she is perfect.
Pray for the other family the Irwin's their daughter is sick and in the hospital. Pray that God would make a way to get her home safely.

China Day 4

Posted Wednesday September 17th

I woke up this morning at about 4:40 to quite whispers and looked over to see Tara and Billy watching Nora sleep. I think it was the sweetest thing I have saw since I got here. She slept forever we finally woke her up about 8 I think. Tara gave her a bath and put her clothes on her. Today was a hard day for her. She seemed to realize...this is it I'm not going back to the orphanage and although she didn't act sad she was just not in good spirits. Didn't want anyone to touch her except Billy and she wouldn't let him out of her sight.
After breakfast we came back to the room and about 11:30 she went back to sleep and slept another 2 and a half hours. This time she woke up on her own and was in better spirits. We were able to go and visit her orphanage today. I was walking through this big beautiful building with marble floors and there are supposed to be 600 kids there and I didn't see one kid. I had this very strange feeling from the Holy Spirit that just screamed in my soul that this was counterfeit and not something he wanted me to "feel good" about. I had to start praying for each of those children and pray that God would allow more doors to be open in China. They took Billy and Tara and showed them where Nora stayed. Tara said there were children there and it was heartbreaking. I choose not to go to that part of the tour and I was glad. She said one mentally handicapped girl was going into fits and everyone was saying, just ignore it pay her no mind....Wow I am glad that I didn't go and I'm glad that God loves each one of us that he would never ever just ignore us or pay us no mind.
After the orphanage we went to a tea house and sampled different teas you can see pictures under Nora Henley of the tea house. I also took some pictures of city life just to give you a clue.
Please continue to pray for the other family whose daughter is in the hospital they need a GOD a BIG WAY! The song Power in Prayer is burned into my mind right now...join with us in exercising our powerful prayers.
We came back to the room and ate supper in the hotel now all three Henley's are sleeping and that is where I am going shortly. I love you Mitchell, Sarah, Colton, and Cassie. I miss you all so much....when I get up in the morning I will only have 9 more sleeps until I get to sleep with you. God Bless You All!!!

Throw away the box

Posted Thursday September 18th

I guess most people might have put this blog under the Religion catagory but I couldn't bring myself to do that. Because I hate religion and I love relationship...the relationship that I have with my Lord and Savior far out ways any doctrine or any denominational ties that I may have...I guess what I am saying is that my relationship is my Him I live and move and have my being...without him I am completly void of hope.
My theme song right now is on my myspace profile here are the lyrics:
You turned water into wine - how extraordinaryGave sight to the blind - and still I carry My own load when you told me To take your yoke 'cause yours is easy And I don't wanna box you in You've been doing big things since the world beganSometimes I just don't wanna believeThat you're big enough - but you're big enough yeah! I don't wanna box you in You've been doing big things since the world beganSometimes I just don't understand that you're big enoughBut you're big enough Jesus You turned darkness into light - keep my lamp burning And you are my everything There's no denying, your love is so amazing And even though my problems seem typical Nothing for you is ever too difficult You never have reservations - love without limitations And I don't wanna box you in You've been doing big things since the world beganSometimes I just don't wanna believe That you're big enough - but you're big enough yeah! Oh, no matter how I try to get around it - I'm reminded Wherever I go I'm totally surrounded It's all about you - I can never doubt you Even if I wanted to…And I don't wanna box you in You've been doing big things since the world beganSometimes I just don't wanna believe That you're big enough - but you're big enough yeah! Oh how true those words are and how true God is proving himself to be. I can't go into detail right now like I want to I will post another blog about this when I get home but basically I am in a country that the majority do not share my beliefs. If I were to share them with others I could be imprisoned or at best sent home immediatly. I just look in peoples eyes and see that their soul is dark. I feel as if my hands are tied. My calling is burning inside me to tell others what I have. But I also feel his hand holding me back...Chris sent me a text a few weeks ago and it said "Listen when u go to China, ask God for his eyes. When he rips ur heart out bc u see what he sees, don't lose that through the worries of life here. Keep his sight." When I got that text i thought ok, easy. I will ask for his sight he'll show me lots of hurting orphans, I will pray for them but I don't have the money or room to adopt so I will tell others and God will use my experience to help bring people here to adopt. WRONG. Sure the children broke my heart and I would love to bring 10 of them home but the thing that breaks my heart worse is the 80 year old man I saw in the shopping square just a few years left on this earth and he may not have the gift that I do in my heart...I know our heavenly father gives everyone a chance. The Bible gives us that promise but think of how hard it is for us to give in to his will and follow the ABC(C) directions and we live right in the buckle of the bible belt. What if I didn't have Fairview or my family or Joyce and Melissa what if I couldn't call Chris and have him agree with me in prayer. What if I couldn't take my kids to church three times a week...would they have even been saved? Would I be able to be pleasing in his sight? I am afraid to answer those questions. Please join me in asking our Father to show me what he would have me do with this new vision. I have no clue what he is doing here but I know it feels as if he is breaking me in a way I didn't know I needed to be broken....that's just the way he the song says He's been doing big things since the world begin...and I know he's big enough...and I don't wanna box him in...matte of fact I think I will just throw away the box.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 6 and 7 in China.

Yesterday we ate breakfast and then we rested for awhile. Our schedules are still so messed up. I have been going to sleep at about 7:30 and sleeping until 3 or so and then going back to sleep by 10 and sleeping until 2. I know that I will have a hard time adjusting when I get back home. Just to be honest I am very home sick. The first week was fine but now we have Nora and I just miss my kids and husband so bad I can't stand it. I am praying for God to help me not miss everyone so badly and just concentrate on being here for Tara and Billy and Nora if needed. Please send a prayer up on my behalf. Homesick is the worst kinda sick in my opinion. But I know that he is strong when I am weak and right now I feel very weak....Today we had breakfast then we rode around with the Irvin’s we went to the Airport office and then to the Hospital and then we came back to the hotel and took naps. Then we got up and went to a park that was beautiful I am about to upload the photos. Now we are back at the hotel and we just ordered room service...just a few hours and I'll be back Tomorrow Jerry wants to take us to the stone forest but I don't thing we are going to go. Instead we are going to pack and get all of our stuff ready to go to Guangzhou on Monday. Not sure what time we are flying out but a change in scenery will be a welcome distraction. Please pray for little Nora as she takes her first flight. Actually pray for all of us. After this flight we will have flown on 5 planes...we just have 3 more flights to get home...We can see the light at the end of this tunnel now. Just continue to pray for Nora...she hasn't been in a great mood at all today. I think it is just attachment issues. She clings to her Mama and Baba as if she is afraid they will leave her. It is so sweet but so sad that she has been through so much. Please pray for Tara her leg has hurt her quite a bit today but I know that the mighty hand of God can touch her and give her some relief so she can travel. I love you and all. Sarah, Colton, Cassie and Mitchell this trip has made me realize how blessed I am. I can't wait to get home and return to the routine that is my life. I love that routine and I love you 4 people being part of it. I am praying for everyone back home. God Bless!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The blog for our trip to China has been moved here due to MySpace being blocked. We are not sure how or why but we can't access it at all.
Yesterday (Friday) we stayed in the room for the majority of the day. Sometime after 3 we went to the CareFour and to McDonald's. This was little Miss Nora's first trip to the golden arches and she loved it. She had Chicken Nuggets, French Fries and Corn (Don't ask we are still in China you know!). When we were going into the grocery store I stepped onto a ramp for bicycles and I fell completely down on my rump. I twisted my arm a little but all in all I'm OK. The only thing hurt was my pride. God continues to amaze me by answering every prayer in an awesome way. We are about to go out for the day I will post more later. Until Next Time, Sherri

The Story Behind the Name

For as long as I can remember my Dad has told me over and over that I am a Princess. He has told me again and again that my heavenly Father is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. I grew up just knowing that in my head. At 13 years old I understood it in my heart and at that moment I took my place as a Princess in God's heavenly kingdom.

For almost 15 years I served God the way I thought any good Princess should. I showed up at church three times a week most weeks. I taught Sunday School. I convinced myself that I was the best wife, mom, and daughter that I had the ability to be. But something was missing. I had this pit in my stomach that wouldn't go away. No matter how much money or how little money I had in my pocket I was still unsatisfied. No matter how cute my kids, how clean or messy my house may have been, no matter what position I held, I wasn't satisfied. It started to wear at me. I finally just broke down and asked God what is it that I need to do that I'm not? And he spoke loud and clear....Preach my Word. I thought "Wait a minute God, you may not know this but I am Baptist...and umm, I'm a woman." I really thought God might just go "oh yeah...I don't know what I was thinking"....but that didn't happen. He continued to speak to my spirit, through songs, messages, and other people, but most of all just in the still small voice that seems so loud inside your heart.

Finally just a few months ago I decided that I could fight God and be out of his will and make others happy or I could trust him and obey and disappoint a few people but be in the very center of his will. The longer I thought about it the more I realized what an easy decision it was.

See not one of the people I was going to disappoint had died for me. Not one of them had saved my soul or my children or husband's soul. Not one of them put food on my table, and not one of them kept a roof over my head. It's not that they weren't important to me or to God they were just as loved and highly favored as I am but just because their beliefs didn't line up with my calling was not excuse enough for me to be disobedient.

So I finally accepted my calling to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited. I know God has wonderful things in store.

Now back to the name...see for years I was content to have the title of Princess with no responsibilities but after God woke me up and jump started my soul I understand that now I am a Princess with a Purpose. I have lots of purposes...I have three children to be a mother to, a husband to be a wife to, family who depends on my, friends whom I love, and most of all a lost and dying world who need to be told about the goodness of Jesus Christ.

So yes I am a Princess but not the kind who sits on a throne and waves at the little people...but the kind who uses her power with her father to pray people through and who uses the experience she has and the words her father gives her to help people find salvation and freedom through Christ.

Until next time....