Monthly Archives: October 2016

OH HAPPY DAY Day {October 24th}

It’s officially countdown time. One week from Wednesday our team of students, doctors, teachers, advocates, and lay people will meet up in Chicago and get on a plane for a very long time. We will have one full day in Beijing and then a travel day to Xian before we drive another few hours by van to the city where we are serving. On Monday the 23rd, we will load into a white van with a driver who can only say “Hello? Hello? Hello? Howareyou?” in English. We’ll wind through busy streets where Mercedes drive beside old bikes pulling trailers of vegetables we don’t recognize, all of them honking at each other to make themselves known. We’ll take deep breaths as we pull up to a big accordion gate where we will be waved through. And, there we will start Day 1 at the orphanage.

We’re almost there.

There will be 15 of us in that van behind our driver friend wearing OH HAPPY DAY shirts. But, our team is so many more than that. There are literally hundreds of people a part of this team–financial donors, doll makers, art supply buyers, parents who sent pictures of their children to show the staff who cared for them, children who participated in sticker drives so that we could cover little fingers and hands with kitty cats and smiley faces, women who donated hand scrubs and instadry nail polishes. The 15 in that van are just the ones who actually get to GO.

As we enter into those gates on Monday the 24th, we want to do it as a Team with a capital T not just as our little team. We’re setting something up so that we can do that–something we have declared OH HAPPY DAY Day.


On Monday the 24th, our team will be donning our blue OH HAPPY DAY shirts as we go. We’re asking that you join us in your OH HAPPY DAY shirt. Think of us, pray for us, be one of us as you wear it. Maybe even share a selfie with #ohhappyday to give us that reminder that you’re with us as we go. We’ll be hopping online as a team looking for those pics to encourage us at the end of our first day. We’d love to see yours among them.

Need a shirt still? Order yours HERE, making sure to give us your first and second choice of colors since we’re getting a bit low in stock.

Want another way to come with us? Sign up to pray for us HERE. We’ll send out some prompts this week to get you started. Want to go even deeper? Order a guided prayer kit that will guide you through 5 different activities to help you engage with God in creative ways specifically focusing on the needs of China’s orphans.


We all want a magic word. In those moments of chaos when we’ve told them to put their shoes on for the 8th time. In those moments of quiet when everyone is in bed and we finally have a moment to reconnect but we are simply too tired to finish a sentence. We’ve been there. We know you’ve been there too.

Some years ago, social scientists claimed to have found that magic word, one single word that could motivate people to press on longer and do it successfully without burning out—together. Scientists actually studied it.

Here’s how: researchers put participants in small groups and then separated them to work on difficult puzzles on their own. Some participants were told that they would be working on the puzzles together even though they were separated into different rooms and that they would share strategies with their teammates. Other participants never heard the word together at all. They were were still promised help though, but their strategy sharing would be with the researchers only. All the participants were doing the same puzzles and getting the same measure of support really; the only difference was the feeling produced by being told they were working together. In the end, the participants who believed they were working together with a team endured the challenges 48% longer, solved more puzzles correctly, and had better recall of the challenges when it was over. Also, compared to the other participants, their own reports showed that they felt less physically tired and less depleted by the challenge and that they weren’t as frustrated with the challenge itself.

together-pictureIt’s remarkable really.

There’s something powerful about being reminded that we are part of a team, that we are not facing whatever challenge is before us alone. That awareness of togetherness literally changes us, giving us precisely what we need to be producers of change around us. It almost is a magic elixir.

The Together Called retreat is not magic. Some couples who have attended in years past have said that their marriages were transformed by it; but that’s not because of any supernatural program. What Together Called does well is remind you that you are not alone, that no matter how hard things have been or may be, you have someone beside you who is facing it with you. And, you have Someone leading you both as you walk forward together. And, that, friends, is life changing.

You have been and are now Together Called as husbands and wives and as fathers and mothers or fathers- and mothers-to-be. Won’t you set aside a few days this Spring to step out of the chaos of daily life to be reminded of that truth?

Click HERE to read more about Together Called 2017. Registration opens at 8pm sharp EST on Sunday evening. For four years, registration fills fast (think minutes). So, talk about it now. Figure out how to budget for it. Ask someone if they can support you by caring for your kiddos that weekend. And, set your alarm for 7:55pm EST Sunday night. We want you to join us and 100+ other couples, together.


Because of sponsors who have a vision to serve adoptive parents, we are able to offer this retreat to you below actual cost. We are actively seeking more sponsors to help us make this happen. Please email our team if you know someone who may be interested in sponsoring this event.