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Brian & Stephanie Forbes's Update, 11-2018 - Fire International

Mission China…          

God: “Your mission, if you choose to accept it…”

The Facility

            The orphanage “M” and her husband run has been comprised of orphaned and abandoned special needs children. Most of the children came from a state-run orphanage, and were gladly ‘handed off’ to “M.” She knew their futures held no hope for compassionate care in the state orphanages. Recently she moved to a new facility, 45 minutes from the former one. (On a previous trip, I helped her move into the former building.) She spent much time and money renovating the facility, including installing an elevator, to meet state requirements to register with the government as a special needs facility.

            I arrived in the middle of the government taking most of “M’s” children away from her loving care. They have not been permitted to return….

Pregnancy & Adoption

            “M’s second pregnancy was high-risk. The medical care is not as good as here in America, where she had her first baby two years ago – and I was able to help her family then. She could not leave China because she and her husband were in the middle of adoption proceedings. The hospital “M” paid to deliver her baby refused to deliver the baby. At 42 weeks pregnancy, they left her with no reasonable option. On the day the hospital informed her they would not deliver her baby, “M” and her husband signed adoption papers for two boys. Though all the paperwork is complete, the government has stalled on passport paperwork for the boys. If that is not completed the adoption will be void.

            In the midst of the joy of the adoption, we were all crying for God’s guidance for the delivery of baby Shan. The next day “M’s” friend sent her a contact for a hospital in Beijing. “M”, her husband, and her mom took the high-speed train 9 hours away for the birth. They were gone for 9 days. After all the struggles, Shan Marshall’s birth was wonderful!

My Visit…

When I arrived, I helped “M’s” husband move items from the old facility to the new so “M” could rest. Four days after I arrived, “M” told me, “The police are here. Stay in your room and lock the door. Don’t come out until I tell you.” We were in the new building, which the police have refused to register, in spite of all the work done to meet regulations. When “M” told me to stay in my room, fear hit me. I prayed, “Lord, I know you wanted me here no matter what is happening.” There was no internet (and there still isn’t) in the new building. I had no way to contact Brian if the police took myself, “M” or her husband. Shortly after, Brian found a way to get international calling on my phone for $10 a day, and that gave me a way to communicate with him.

            I found myself needing to hide a couple other times while there. The government officials came to intimidate and interrogate “M,” her family, and her workers again and again while I was there. I had to hide once in bushes when out for a walk. I would not have had to do this if the government would register the address for the new facility. It is hard to understand how all your movements are tracked


            While “M”, her husband and Mom were away for 9 days for the birth, the cistern ran out of water. We had to stop bathing the children. I learned that there was no water in the region. I had the challenge of “M’ being gone, and not able to communicate with all the workers. We used wet wipes and the little rain water we had. We quickly ran out of water for cooking and cleaning. I had no shower for 8 days, until we took the children to the old building, in another city, for baths. Only 4 days later did some water begin to trickling into the cistern from the city water system.

            I was glad for “M” that they were away for most of the time there was no water.


            It is good to be back home. I am left to wonder, “What does God have in store for this couple who have dedicated their lives to the special needs children in China?”

Prayer and praise…

– The missions conference is coming. It’s a time to reconnect with our organization and leadership.

  • We are reintegrating life together after 2 months apart.
  • Thankful to be back in the USA and with “My Husband”!