Completed Projects, Ellianna's Story, special needs

Aliyah to Listen with Your Heart

Aliyah: To ascend, to go up towards God

Ya-Ting: To listen with your heart

James 1:27: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Aliyah and Ellianna Ya-Ting

A Friendship that Changed Everything…

Tonight, as I write this article, I am crying as I try to gather my thoughts about everything I want to say. My heart is moved by the story of how two girls’ friendship is now changing the life of a third little girl all the way across the world.

Many of you may know my sister, Ellianna Ya-Ting. She is the namesake of Ting Ministries. Those who take the time to know Ellianna, really take the time, know that she has a heart like Paddington the bear. A lovable spirit that always sees the best in others, and never assumes anyone is angry, and is always ready to help.

But many people don’t ever see that part of Ellianna. Just like people find it strange that Paddington is a bear, most people only see Ellianna’s deafness, cerebral palsy, and learning disability. They miss out on the joy, finding Ellianna “too different” to be a friend.

Ellianna’s friend Aliyah did not miss out. 

“Of course you don’t [want Paddington here]. You never have! As soon as you set eyes on [him] you made up your mind about him. Well Paddington’s not like that. He looks for the good in all of us and somehow, he finds it! It’s why he makes friends wherever he goes. And it’s why Windsor Gardens is a happier place whenever he’s around. He wouldn’t hesitate if any of us needed help!” From, “Paddington 2”

Ellianna and Aliyah used to go to the same school. Aliyah always thought it was cool that Ellianna was adopted from Taiwan. They were best friends! While many kids argued over who would sit next to Ellianna, or help Ellianna play at recess, it was Aliyah who Ellianna loved the most. Aliyah didn’t see Ellianna’s disabilities. Aliyah loved Ellianna for who she is. As their friendship grew, little did Ellianna know that she was teaching Aliyah one of the most important lessons you can learn.

Ellianna taught Aliyah how to listen with her heart. God used their friendship to prepare Aliyah’s heart for another little girl, also from Asia, who also has a disability…


Air and Upin: Aliyah’s Goal

In March, Aliyah’s family had the opportunity to travel to Thailand. There, they met a Christian mom, Upin, and her daughter, Air. Air used to be a healthy girl, until she received an injection for epilepsy in her spine, that left her paralyzed. Air reminded Aliyah of her friendship with Ellianna. God laid it on Aliyah’s heart to help Air get a wheelchair, make their home wheelchair-accessible, and help with medical and therapy costs. 

Pictured: Where Upin and Air live

Aliyah would like to raise $5,000 USD to help Air and her family. While most 11-year-olds are concerned about clothes, the latest cellphone or video games, or being popular, Aliyah is following the Lord’s command: to visit orphans and widows in their distress…”

Read Aliyah’s letter about Air below.

James 2:115-17 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” 


What This Means for Us

I find it fitting that both Ellianna and Aliyah are doing what their names say about them. As Ellianna taught Aliyah to listen with her heart,  Aliyah is now following God’s Word, moving up towards God and making a tangible difference in the world. I know the Lord is going to use Aliyah in big ways.

As Ellianna’s sister, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 1:27-28:

“And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world,things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.”

In the eyes of the world, perhaps even your own, Ellianna is nothing important. But perhaps she is closer to God’s heart than any of us.

I pray we are all moved to action by the friendship of these two girls to remember the words of 1 Timothy 4:12, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers…”

Written by: Natalya “Sasha” Carpenter


If you would like to help Aliyah be Jesus’ Hands and Feet on Earth for Air and Upin you can:

  1. Visit Aliyah’s YouCaring page HERE.
  2. Make a fee-free, tax-deductible donation through Ting Ministries at: www.paypal.me/Tingministries
  3. Send a tax-deductible check to: Ting Ministries, 29 East Poplar Street, Lebanon, PA 17042. Any checks will be sent to a couple of missionaries in Thailand, that helped Aliyah’s family make that trip and who personally know Air’s family.
adoption, China, ICII, International Adoption, orphan care, Pakistan, Return 2 China, special needs

Ellianna Invites You…Pork BBQ Today!

 

 

Hi everyone,
Come out today and see me…support my sisters coming home from China! If you were not planning to come …come anyways…if it rains and your plans change come get some awesome Pork BBQ and hear Pastor Asif speak about orphans in Pakistan. Come purcahse a birdhouse I painted or eat some colored cupcakes I made. Hear about my ministry TING MINISTRIES. IT IS NAMED FOR ME…ELLIANNA YA-TING. HEAR about the work in many countries for orphans…I was once an orphan waiting for my mom and dad to come get me. Come help my mom and dad go get Hope and Britt!

Thanks and you will have fun and I will even blow up some balloons for you!! Come on…you know you want to come!
Fairland Brethren in Christ in Cleona near Giant food store. Today from 1-4 everything is by donation and you can have take out and no tickets needed.
Listen with your heart!
See you soon! Ellianna Yating

If you can’t come after all my convincing you can still help Hope and Britt
www.paypal.me/tingministries
Or Ting Ministries 29 East Poplar Street Lebanon Pa 17042

China, Completed Projects, International Adoption, Return 2 China, special needs

500 Red Pockets for Hope and Brittan!

 

Update: March 31: We have handed out 60 pockets and received about 20 back with more coming every day! We have received notes from all over the world including about 10 notes from kids and parents in Indonesia! Thank you to all who are helping in this very special project for the girls. 

 

 

Just a few of the pockets from Indonesia

 Update: March 22, 2018: We got our very frist red pocke note in already! Don’t wait to join the fun!

Check oout the project we are staritng to spread the excitement of Hope and Brittan coming home! It’s a quick, easy and fun way to participate in a Chinese New Year tradition and way to show the grils how many people are glad they are coming home! Ready?

Three Easy Steps:

1. Write a short note
2. Email the note tingministries@comcast.net or one of the leaders of the project OR if you are local, put it in a red pocket yourself and return it to us!
3. Tell your friends and help us reach our goal of 500 pockets by the end of the semester!

That’s it!😃 GO!

The red pocket is traditionally given to children by parents and relatives as a sign of happiness and prosperity in the New Year. if you’d like to give a little donation in the pocket, you may place it directly in the pocket, donate online through www.paypal.me/Tingministries or write a check to Ting Ministries, 29 East Poplar Street, Lebanon, PA 17042. Please note: Red Pockets

Thank you!.

China, guest post, International Adoption, Return 2 China, special needs, urgent

Ting Ministries Guest Post: Courageous Faith, from Adeye Salem

COURAGEOUS FAITH

Guest post from our friend and a fellow adoptive mother Adeye Salem. (Click on the heading to go to Adeye’s original post on her blog).
*********************************************************************
During the more than ten years that I have had this blog, one of the sweetest blessings for me has been the incredible people who I have met along the way. They’re the families that remind me that a surrendered life is truly the only way to live. They’re the precious families that I have seen choose the road less travelled–and walk it out with so much grace, love and abandonment. Easy? Never! Worth it? Always!  I am so grateful for the families that have always been such a sweet reminder to me that giving God everything that we have and everything that we are is a life I long to live.
Several years ago I connected with Stephanie–a fellow adoptive mom who, like us, had opened her heart and her home to children who struggled more than others. One of their sweet girls comes from the same orphanage as our Hasya and, like our daughter, was so desperately malnourished and was also abandoned in a crib.
Family!  It changes everything for a child.
Stephanie and her husband Brian run a ministry called Ting Ministries which brings help, relief and the unconditional love of Jesus to many around the world. The Carpenters have adopted seven beautiful daughters who all have some type of special need – some mild and some more severe – but they are all their treasured daughters. Their special needs include: deafness, blindness, post traumatic stress disorder, cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, spina bifida, feeding tubes, epilepsy/seizure disorder, need for cochlear implants, club feet, and other orthopedic issues, failure to thrive, global developmental delay, institutionalization, etc.  Their first adoption was from Russia. Sasha was never supposed to walk and was headed to a mental institution.  She is now 20 years old and a double major at Bucknell University. God of miracles!
With their huge hearts for the fatherless, it was no surprise that God called this faithful family once again, this time to bring home two of the neediest, most forgotten older girls who desperately need someone to come for them. For many months the Carpenters have fought to get one of the girls paper-ready and available for international adoption.
Anyone who has ever adopted a child from hard places can testify to the fact that when we step out in faith and fight for a child to come home, the battle rages. This family has faced trial after trial as they have trusted the Lord for the lives of these two girls. But God has been faithful!  The process is moving forward and the Carpenters are praying for a medical expedite since both girls are not doing well.
Having walked in their shoes a few times, I so understand the heart and enormous amount of faith that it takes to say yes to children who come from unfathomable situations, even if the whole world is against you.  Even if every fiery dart of the enemy causes setbacks and heartache. Even when you have no idea how God is going to provide.
I long for money to be the very last of their concerns. Increased regulations and fees sadly mean that adoptions are costing even more than they did just a few months ago. Of course it shouldn’t be that way, but it is, and we can’t change that. The cost of adoptions should never be an obstacle that keeps a family from a child! Now, more than ever before, families stepping out in faith to bring children home NEED the church to rise up and be a part of their journey by sowing financially. Our churches need to be pouring into adoptions, as do we, the bride of Christ. The problem of millions of abandoned children in the world should be our problem, and there are ways that we can all do something–even when we never feel called to adopt ourselves.
The Carpenters have a long, difficult journey ahead of them as they journey toward bringing Hope and Brittan home. And once home, they’ll face unknown medical issues, many hospital visits, and the usual period of adjustment as a family. Both girls have extensive special needs, and so much is unknown at this point. How beautiful would it be if finances were the last of their concerns?  How amazing would it be if the financial burden was completely lifted by those of us who have a heart for the orphan? Let it be so, Lord!
Would you please prayerfully consider joining with this precious family in prayer and in giving?  They still need about $17,000 to be fully funded.  I know my God can do it! All donations are tax deductible through their ministry and can be made HERE
Thank you so much for praying and for trusting that these two little darlings will be home very soon.  I am so grateful!
adoption, Sasha's Story, special needs

Sasha Speaks on Special-Needs: "I Didn’t Start Out Normal to Begin With"

View the complete original post on Sasha’s blog. Titled: Going Down This Road: The Priceless Reality of Leaving Normal Behind


Thanks to some great friends, I got the opportunity to see Priceless, the film that was popular last year. It is the story of a man named James who unintentionally gets involved in the lives of two sisters, Antonia and Maria, who are being trafficked across the country. When he realizes what is happening, part of him wants to ignore his part in the atrocity. But a voice keeps calling him back until he can no longer ignore what he must do. James, along with the help of his newfound partner, Dale, an older man hiding a past of his own, set out on a harrowing mission to free the sisters and shut down the trafficking and prostitution in the area. While some plot points of the movie are dramatized for the sake of film, it is based on true events and stories of human trafficking survivors – and this knowledge adds all the more depth to the characters’ plight.

Image result for priceless the movie
Photo Credit: www.pricelessthemovie.com

Going Down the Road…of Special-Needs Adoption

There was one part of one conversation that stood out to me in the movie. Dale tells James about what he will encounter if he chooses to rescue the girls.


“If you go do this, it’s all in. You go down this road, the things you’ll see, the things you’ll do – you can’t go back to normal life again. It’ll change you.”


“I didn’t start at normal to begin with.” 



This. This is the reality of special-needs adoption. 
Any adoption is a compassionate commitment to a child. Yet, I think nothing changes a person as much as special-needs adoption, both when travelling to bring the child home and later, when the trips are done, the rescue mission complete, and you settle into a new everyday routine.

I traveled to Ukraine in 2014 amidst the EuroMaidan protests to bring home two of my sisters from a дом инвалидов (literally translated: Home of the Invalids, ie. special-needs orphanage). Looking back, Dale’s words to James could have easily been said to me, both then and even now.

Sasha, if you go to this orphanage, it’s all in. When you step in those doors, you will always carry part of it with you. You will dream it, write about it, talk about it – until all your friends are sick of it. But you will keep screaming for those who cannot, even when it seems like no one listens and you are so tired. Still, you will carry it with you and keep on.

You go down this road, lined with dying children, lonely souls who have never been touched….the road of advocacy, with hundreds of pictures of children whom you will never meet, but who grab your heart. You will weep over some and wonder what it is that has pricked you heart so deeply for those you never met.


My sister Lina in Bulgaria
Weighing 12 pounds at 5 and a half years old.

the things you’ll see…blind children tied to their beds…teenagers the size of four-year-olds, graying skin stretched over the skull of a boy only a year older than you, with deep, hollow sockets…

the things you’ll do… I remember holding hand of a seventeen year old with a shaven head. I stroked the top of his hand, but even this gentle movement did not bring comfort to him. Instead, his eyes clouded and his face winced in pain. Or, how I was approached by translator when we came into the room. I heard one voice chattering in a room full of forty children and found out what the boy was saying through our translator. “Sasha, he says he wants the pretty girl to come sit next to him.” So I sat and smiled and kept the company of a boy who was my age, with pale skin, a gaunt face, and bristly short hair trapped underneath a mound of comforters. At that time, he could still talk and smile and his laughter brought smiles to everyone else.
***

The reality is, when you embark on a journey of special-needs adoption – you can’t go back to normal life again. It’ll change you, whether you are prepared or not, whether you think it will or not. And most likely, even if you are prepared, it will change you in ways you never planned.

What is normal life anyway? Do you mean that other families have parents who have weekly date nights? Or have annual vacations? I often find myself forgetting that most other families don’t get a row of children in diapers ready for the day or down for bed every day. Or that I’m the only family I know with six daughters who can’t walk independently, some who will need lifelong care. It’s not normal, I suppose, to have to help almost all your sisters eat all their meals, because their special-needs make it hard or impossible for them to do so themselves. The time spent in doctor’s appointments and wheelchair fittings is more than usual.

No, it’s not normal. 


And it most certainly is changing me. Yes – it is a process, every day. I don’t think I will ever reach the point  of saying I am done being changed by what I’ve seen or my sisters’ lives. I recall different moments from my trips at different times, some memories more emotional, more stirring than others. I can close my eyes and picture myself back in the дом инвалидов and the weight of the experience still makes me cry, four years later. 


And each day, my sisters teach me about selflessness, patience, and compassionate understanding in a deeper way than I could ever learn on a missions trip. I watch more Peppa Pig and Paddington than most of my peers and have learned to do my work amid constant interruptions. I am teaching English to my teenage sister and sign language to another. All while being a honors student at Bucknell University, double majoring and looking into graduate programs. And, after all, isn’t a child’s life worth much more than the cost a fancy vacation which will come to an end?


No, my life as an adopted sister is definitely not normal – it’s so much more exciting than that!


Adopted from a Russian mental institution at 17 months old because of my mild Cerebral palsy, I, like James, have had my own journey.


So, you see, I didn’t start at normal to begin with. It is amazing to see how the Lord is weaving my story together with those of my sisters and how my own adoption and disability has prepared me for their needs.


Some may look down this road and decide, as James could’ve, it’s not for me. 

I wouldn’t blame them. As Dale says, you gotta do what you gotta do. Family is important. 

But, he also says, if you are hearing a small voice inside of you saying, don’t forget – listen to that Voice. 


The road of special-needs adoption is long.

It’s filled with equal measures of joyful blessings and painful lessons.
But any heartache is overshadowed every time you think of the rescue – once seemingly impossible, now complete. A life given a new chance.

This is the priceless reality of leaving normal behind.



                                               Lina this Christmas, home for over 5 years.