Since our first visit in 2005, Sarang House Orphanage has left an unmistakable imprint in our hearts and in the DNA of our organization. Summer after summer, we watched the children grow from toddlers to teens, loved them through their endearing youngster days, as well as through their rebellious teenage angst. To put it simply, we became family—in every sense of the word.
During the last 11 years of ministry at Sarang House Orphanage, we have sent hundreds of short-term volunteers from across California. Many of our first-time volunteers would go in thinking: “I am going on this mission trip and I will bless those kids through my service.” Humbly we went, but with a sense that we have something to give to children who are in need. However, ask any of one of them and you’ll hear that all expectation was turned on its head. The day the bus pulled out the gates of Sarang House, it was not us who gave, but received.
Our ultimate goal was always to share the love of Jesus with the children, who seemed to lack any understanding of it in their earthly families. Surprisingly, each year, it was actually the children who taught us how to love. Sarang House was a sacred place, where children, abandoned and outcast, were welcomed in and embraced. And within this embrace, we saw beauty and strength rise up from what the rest of the world had deemed unworthy and unlovable. We are grateful for each moment we were able to witness this deep richness in the heart of each child. Though they seemed to have so little, they were so rich.
Sure, we helped them build new dormitories, raised funding for monthly food costs and winter coals, and brought volunteers from across the state; but, none of that compares to gift each child gave us: the gift of themselves. So openly they welcomed us into their home and into their hearts, challenging and shifting our worldview in the best of ways. They reminded us of the potential and strength that lives in each of God’s children, and the power a nurturing and loving community has to unlock and grow that potential.
Years of positive success stories, however, were met with just as many obstacles, ranging from internal political issues to government resistance that have subsequently led us to a place of letting go and offering up the orphanage and the lives of the children to the One who holds it all in His hands. It was not an easy decision, as we fought tirelessly for months to keep the orphanage operating under Ignis, dealing with licensing issues and internal turmoil with faculty and staff. However, the Lord has led us to a place of surrender—and with faith, we are offering up to God what always belonged to Him.
Goodbyes are difficult. Though under different leadership, we know Sarang House will always, ultimately, be built up by Lord. We believe that the He will continue to care for His children, whom he loves so much. We are grateful for the memories and relationships that were fostered within the walls of Sarang House. And all we experienced and learned through the children there continues to stretch beyond the gates of Sarang House in strong currents of positive change.
This past summer, Ignis was blessed with the opportunity to visit and meet with 3 organizations impacting the lives of orphans in China. With these newly formed relationships, Ignis’ desire is to support like-minded groups and continue to be an advocate for change. We are excited to partner with and journey alongside other Kingdom workers and we want to give you the chance to learn and share in the incredible work they are doing across the nation of China.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the past 11 years of support and love for Sarang House Orphanage. Many lives were transformed for the better because of your partnership. We do not believe that anything ends here, but that God is making room for new and exciting things to come in the future. Stay tuned!