April Fools’ Anniversary

Dr. John and Karen Tannous, HOMES International, China

The loss of a daughter led to the closing of the children’s clinic, but when the clinic reopened, the first patient was her sister!

A baby girl died precipitating a series of events that led to the closure of our charity clinic at the Hua Xia Disabled School here in Kunming.  We were devastated and our avenue of service to the community was gone. Even worse, the Ma family had lost their daughter. But the Father has a way of redeeming even the most tragic circumstances. Within two months, the Father drew Mr. and Mrs. Ma into relationship with Himself. They soon found new work and new fellowship within the Kunming community.

After we discovered a new hospital to partner with, we trudged through mountains of paper work wondering if we would ever be allowed to legally serve the poor of Kunming again. But 8 years ago on April 1, we received a long-awaited phone call from the Yunnan Provincial Health Bureau.  After enduring months of meetings, negotiations, documentation, and many, many rejections, we were granted Chinese medical licenses. What many said could not be done in Kunming, China had come to fruition: the first international, openly Christian, charity medical clinic in Yunnan Province was legally registered to see patients. Immediately, a phone call went out to the Ma family. Their daughter, En Ci, became our first registered patient.   

Now 4 locations and 8 years later, the clinic has cared for thousands of patients. And, to my knowledge, the charity clinic is the only independent, openly Christian, medical clinic operating in China. We easily forget that we have much to thank God for. The journey has been amazing, and He has been so faithful to us. When people hear about the clinic, they often note what great sacrifices the doctors have made to leave the US to serve in China. However, any sacrifice we make pales in comparison to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.