Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, March 2, 2017

First 24 Hours in China

James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

We arrived in China just under 24 hours ago. It was probably one of the longest days of my life. I do not sleep well on planes, so I took little cat naps as I could, but I didn't really sleep for over 24 hours. By the time we got to New Hope Orphanage last night, I could hardly keep my eyes open or stand up. It was tricky navigating the airport signs and knowing where to go, but we figured it out eventually. 

The trip has already been a blessing in so many ways. First of all, I could not have asked for a better travel companion. Daniela Oakley has been a joy to have on the trip and I couldn't imagine doing this trip alone! It has been fun, but there are so many challenges when you are in a foreign country and don't speak the language!!

Second, I am so glad that God opened the door for us to come to China a day early and visit New Hope Foster Home. New Hope was started by Christian couple in 2000. We were able to meet Dr. Joyce Hill, the founder of New Hope foster home. She gave us a personal tour of the facilities and shared amazing stories of how God has worked. We then were given the privilege to play with some of the kiddos that live here. If you want to find out more about this amazing foster home and what they are doing, you can visit their website: www.hopefosterhome.com

Here are some of our pictures from today:

Every last detail is paid attention to at this foster home. The bedding matches the rooms and the towels, each child has a picture next to their own washcloth, etc. It is very organized and professionally run.

Star Fish wall - if you've never heard the star fish story, please look it up. We can't save them all, but New Hope has helped save numerous children.

Donated rice!!


Preschool Room

This wall broke my heart. Along the wall are the names of children who have passed away. I love that each one has a name and is remembered, but it is so hard to think of so many little ones who have lost their lives due to their special needs.

After our day at the foster home, we once again headed back to the airport to catch a taxi to our hotel. I am so thankful for help from another American who could speak some Chinese!! Our driver wasn't to happy driving two women with four pieces of luggage. After checking into our hotel, we got adventurous and walked around the neighborhood. We didn't want to get lost, so we stuck within a 1/2 mile of our hotel and only walked up one street so we could turn around and not get lost. We found a small Chinese restaurant on the street and had some great food. We found some interesting options on the menu!! 

View from our hotel.

So far I have loved everything about China. One thing that I appreciate the most is getting to feel what our boys will feel when they come to America. It is hard and frustrating to not be able to communicate with people around you, to see and smell different things, and to be in a completely different environment. This will give me so much more compassion and perspective on what the boys will experience when we get home. 

Please keep praying for us. The next two days will be filled with some sightseeing before we hop on a train and pick up DJ on Sunday. I am so excited for that meeting! DJ has been texting me a lot, which is so much easier now that we are in the same time zone. He is counting down the hours and so am I. Thank you again for all of your prayers and support during this amazing adventure to get our boys.


  1. Gald you arrived safely! So excited to follow your trip, my friend : )

  2. Wonderful to see photos and read about your time at New Hope. So many of those children were there in summer when we got to spend a lot of time with them. Sweet to see them growing and that some have forever family coming soon! It is an amazing place and what a beautiful, blue sky while you were there. Thanks for taking supply bags filled with much-needed items for the children's care. Praying for good health, peace and joy on this amazing journey....for all of your family at home and the two boys.

  3. FANTABULOUS!!!! God is so good!!