Monday, July 6, 2015

It is a heartfelt story of three continents, two people "Born that way."

Simply amazing to me...the unlikely connection across the globe. So glad I have been a small part of this modern day miracle.

Hefei, China, 2008
The story of the Well at Wli spans three continents as God used an orphan girl from China and adopted in the United States, to be the avenue of life-giving water to a village in Ghana.   On October 6, 2008, Rui-Qi, who would later be affectionately known as "Princess Peachtree" by her family, was abandoned on the ground in a public area when she was just a few hours old.  A police officer found Rui-Qui and delivered her to an orphanage where she would remain for the next four years.
We do not know what made this desperate person abandon her baby that day, but maybe Rui-Qui's "uniqueness" overwhelmed her.  Rui-Qui was born without a lower left arm and hand, missing fingers on her right hand and missing toes.  The future is uncertain for infants born in China with birth defects and 30 percent die within five years while another 40 percent suffer with their deformities and may not receive needed care. As she waited in that orphanage in China,  Rui-Qi often cried for a mommy she loved but had never known.

United States, 2012
Across the world, 7,000 miles away, Tammy was worshipping at church with her two daughters adopted from China.   It happened to be "Orphan Sunday", a day set aside annually to remember and honor the orphans of the world.   While praising God during that service, Tammy was given a vision of a beautiful Asian girl with arms outstretched crying, "Mommy."   The little girl in her vision was quite unique because she was missing part of her left arm.
Already the mother of two daughters adopted from China, Tammy was convinced this vision was real and felt led to a visit a sight where she found her just a few days after her vision of her. In what can only be described as miraculous, three days before Tammy saw this beautiful child in a vision on Orphan Sunday, Rui-Qi's photo was posted on the homepage of a Chinese adoption advocate website.  
The Palmers made a faith journey to China and brought their daughter home in June 2013.   Rui-Qi was given the name Gloria Rui-Qi and as she grew and began speaking English, one day she asked Tammy, "Mommy did you see me crying while I was in China?"   Tammy replied, "Well, yes I did. I saw you in my vision while I was in church; why do you ask?"   Gloria replied, "Because I was missing you, that's why I was crying."
Like so many children born different from others, Gloria began asking questions about her missing limbs and about how and where she was born.    She also wanted to know who Tammy was and how she became her mother.   Gloria loved to draw and one day around Christmas she showed Tammy the most imperfectly perfect heart drawn on a small white board.    Gloria proudly proclaimed, "Look mommy, I was born in your heart!"   "The big heart is yours and the little heart inside is mine."  It was a moment that will always be remembered as Gloria's time of healing and understanding who she is and where she came from - that it was meant to be.
As jewelry artisans, Gloria's parents set out to perfectly capture the beauty and message of Gloria's design.  The Born in Your Heart jewelry line was carefully crafted and speaks to anyone who loves and understands that love was always meant to be.  When the jewelry became available for sale, it was decided that 30% of the proceeds would be designated for orphan care to provide clean water, plumbing, food, or education.
During this time, Tammy visited her terminally ill sister, Debbie.   In the care center, Tammy realized that Debbie had ministered freely in her suffering to so many people at the facility.  One after another Tammy witnessed patients and caregivers come to say goodbye to a sweet friend who allowed God to use her pain for His glory.   After that visit, it was decided that the first project would be a clean water well dedicated to "Sister Debbie and the children".  But where?
Tammy was soon reminded of a meeting she attended where she met a woman who founded the House of Hope orphanage in Ghana, W. Africa.   At church the following week she inquired how she could connect with her.   To Tammy's surprise, the woman she asked said, "Turn around, her son-in-law is behind you!"   Soon a meeting was arranged with Beth and she agreed to oversee the location and installation of the well on her next trip to Ghana.   House of Hope had recently installed a well at its facility, but Beth left for Africa with funding to start the project with an understanding that she would search for a suitable location for the well in another village.   While meeting with Tammy, and being introduced to her three daughters, Beth asked Tammy a question that would later play a part in the story of the Well at Wli.   Gently Beth inquired, "May I ask what happened to Gloria's arm."   Tammy replied, "She was born that way."
To see Gloria's Born in Your Heart Collection:
Ghana, West Africa, 2014
            As Beth arrived in Ghana for her semi-annual trip to the orphanage, she was mindful of the mission entrusted to her to find a location for the clean water well, funded by Born in Your Heart.   Beth and Pearl, the House of Hope Director in Ghana, were praying about whom could benefit most from this generous gift.   Suddenly, Pearl remembered a woman she and Beth met thirteen years ago near a village called Wli.   At the time neither of them could recall the woman's name nor the location of her home.   What they did remember was that she had a crippled leg, six children and they knew the general direction to the village.  Beth said, "Let's go find her."
Beth hired a taxi and the driver took them to the village of Fodome where they asked if anyone knew of a woman who was crippled in one leg and had six children, but no one knew of such a woman.   After a long search they left Fodome discouraged and the driver headed down another road back toward the direction of the House of Hope orphanage. 
            On their way, Beth and Pearl passed several villages, always asking the same questions but without any success.   However, as the taxi drove on they came to a place that looked familiar to Beth.   "Pearl! This place looks familiar."   Pearl agreed and said, "Look, there is the place where we met the women who crack rocks for the roads."   The taxi driver stopped and Pearl asked a woman at the roadside if she knew of the crippled woman with six children.   The woman began to imitate her crippled walk and asked if this is how she walks.   Beth screamed, "Yes! That's her!"   Caught up in the excitement, the woman got into the taxi and took them directly to the woman's house.   It was there that a joyful reunion occurred with the woman whose name was Ama, who remembered Beth and Pearl from their first meeting many years back.    Ama called her children into the room and Beth and Pearl were surprised to see a total of eight children now!    As a single mother whose husband left her three years ago, Ama often struggles to provide for all of them, working as a peasant farmer with very meager earnings. The family's home is one very small room that is nearly falling down around them and has had no electricity for the past three years.
            Beth asked the children where they get water and they eagerly led her through a maze of homes, into the bush and to a large dirt hole.   One of the children quickly lowered her bucket down into the muddy hole and pulled up a bucket of bathing water.   Beth then asked them where they get drinking water and they responded that there is a place where they can purchase drinking water about a twenty minute walk away.   Unfortunately, since their resources are so meager, it is very difficult to purchase adequate water for the family.
            As Beth followed the children on the walk back to their home she was praying for assurance if Wli was the place God led them to for the well.   It was then that she saw the confirmation with her own eyes.   A man was sitting outside reading his Bible and he joined them at Ama's house.   He introduced himself as Samuel, Ama's brother, and said he is a pastor who teaches the village children to read and understand the Bible in a small classroom.   As they prepared to leave, Beth noticed his right arm and saw that half of his arm was missing.   She inquired, "Samuel, would you tell me what happened to your arm?"   He said, "I was born this way."   It was then Beth knew this was the exact place God had in mind to dig the bore-well to provide clean water in the village of Wli.   Samuel's missing right arm was the same as little Gloria's, the little girl who told Tammy she was "born in your heart."   The well was completed on December 25, 2014 and Beth inscribed, "In Honor of Sister Debbie and all the children" to dedicate the well in her memory as Tammy requested.
            Can you imagine Samuel praying for help and provision?   How he must marvel at having a clean water well in his backyard to serve his entire village!   What must he think about the Chinese girl across the globe in the United States with the "little perfect arm" just like his in Ghana, West Africa, and her being the inspiration and answer to his earnest prayer?    "Princess Peachtree" Gloria is also amazed that she has found someone with an arm like hers, born that way.    It is a story of three continents, two people "born that way" and with enough love to be awestruck and say, "Glory to God!"
"Our newest project is medical equipment for our second daughters orphanage in Hunan, China " said tammy Palmer.

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