“Four weeks together in China,” “a whole month serving children in China,” “you guys, we’re all going to be in China together for a whole MONTH!!”
These are the kind of sentences that always precede a silent moment of awe and excitement whenever our team is together. When we began it felt so far away, but it keeps becoming more and more real to each of us as we succeed through major fundraising deadlines and breeze through a week of nothing but praying for each team and each country.
But a whole month? With other students who were all just strangers last semester? It seems almost impossible, but this group is now like a whole new family to me, and each day I look forward with more eagerness on the time we as a team will be on the ground in China.
But who is this new family of mine?! Well I am so happy you asked!! Allow me to introduce you to my brothers and sisters, with whom I will be spending 4 life-changing weeks in Beijing, volunteering and loving-on the children:
Josh Means (Team Leader) is a junior nursing major from Altus, OK. He is honored and humbled to be a part of this amazing team. He can’t wait to see how the teams lives will be impacted by our trip. He is so excited to go to China and is amazed to see God’s hand in life leading him. Josh loves spending quality time with friends, playing the occasional video game, and watching movies.
Danielle Asmus (Assistant Team Leader) is a junior accounting major from Garden City, Kansas! She recalls how she began to feel drawn towards China last summer. When she found out there was a summer trip to China, she did not hesitate to join. She cannot wait to serve at the orphanage and to love on the children and contacts at the orphanage! She is so humbled and excited to be a part of Team China!
Blake Basham is a sophomore from Bentonville, Arkansas (the Natural State!) She is majoring in International Community Development. This trip is perfect for Blake because her biggest dream is to work in an orphanage overseas after she graduates, showing children that they are capable of dreaming big and changing the world! Blake loves good coffee, driving at night, painting, reading, fresh snow, bonfires, and late nights spent talking with good friends.
David Jones is a junior majoring in Government. He is from Fort Atkinson Wisconsin which gets its name from a fort that General Henry Atkinson built when he traveled to Wisconsin to fight the Blackhawk Indians who were invading Illinois. David is so excited to be on Team China because he has read a lot about China, loves Chinese food, and is interested to see how realistic what he has read about and tasted is. He is also excited to be on team China because he wants to get off of the sidelines and get involved in changing lives. David enjoys reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, listening to talk radio and sports, and hanging out with friends. Most of all David loves the Lord and loves others.
Gracie Choisnard is a sophomore nursing major from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Throughout her life, she has always had a passion and special love for children. Gracie wanted to go on a trip centered around kids, so when the opportunity to go to China came about she knew that was what she was supposed to do! She loves the team and is so excited to see all that is in store for Team China!
Jessie Enriquez is a sophomore Local Church Pastor major. He comes from a small town called Perryton Texas. He is excited to go to China not only because of their rich culture but also to love the people of China. He is extremely excited about the trip and is grateful to be going with a great group of people-loving friends.
Kati Tifft, proudly hailing from the great state of Texas, San Antonio to be precise, is a senior Organizational/Interpersonal Communications major. Sports, photography, stargazing, dancing, and simply spending time with friends and family are some of her favorite pastimes. Helping people in need, particularly orphaned children, has been one of her heart’s greatest desires for years. Kati is beyond incredibly excited for her boots to hit China’s soil and feels so privileged to spend a month building relationships with, and loving the people of China through serving them.
Kelley Hood is a junior nursing student and is very excited about the upcoming trip to China! This will be her second trip to China and second time working with the orphanage in Beijing. Kelley’s life was changed in so many ways during her last trip and she cannot wait for what will happen this year!! Kelley has always had a heart for Asia and when she graduates would like to get her nurse practitioner and work in Asia with orphans providing medical care!
Maddy Cole is a freshman majoring in Drama, Television, and Film Performance, and she is from Bartlesville, OK. Maddy loves children, and has dreamed of adopting little girls from China someday, since she was 8 years old. She is so excited to be a part of Team China, getting the opportunity to serve some precious children in Beijing! Maddy loves acting, dancing, singing, and just spending time with friends and family!
Niles Abston is a freshman Track and Field athlete from Jackson, MS. Serving in Beijing, China will be a dream come true for him because his dream has always been to work with abandoned children and show them love. Niles hopes to pursue this kind of work even later on in his life, working with those who cannot support themselves.
Taylor Casper is a sophomore from Denton, TX, double majoring in psychology and communications. She has always had a passion for children. From babysitting, to working in children’s ministry, Taylor has always been involved with children to some capacity. She can’t wait to serve the children of china, and is far beyond excited to have the opportunity to sow into the lives of the children at the orphange in Beijing!
Thang Gin Piang is a junior ministry and leadership major at Oral Roberts University. He comes from Myanmar and moved to the United States seven years ago. Piang is so excited to go to China with ORU because he will not only have an opportunity to become a missionary at the Beijing orphanage home but also a chance to learn the environment and culture of Mahayana Buddhism in one of the largest Mahayana Buddhism country.
And that is my family. I look forward to sharing with you the many adventures we will have together while preparing for and embarking on our trip! Stay tuned for more updates on the family of Team China North!