I don't know where to begin.  Julia's 18 now but she's always been little, tiny Julia Gulia to me.  She's my sister Kelly's oldest daughter.  A gorgeous blonde from a very religious family who loves art, performing, music, sports, and just life.  Julia has a heart like no other and has been planning on taking this humanitarian mission to teach Chinese kids the English language for a long time.  Here's the last picture I have of Julia with her mom and dad before she left...

Credit: Kelly Browning

Everything's crazy right now.  I just received the following from my sister and we're all just trying to make sense of it all.

Justed wanted to let you know that Julia will hopefully be coming home early and she could use prayers to speed up the process.

Right now all the girls in her group have had their passports confiscated while they decide what to do with them.  They were detained and interrogated for 14 hours.  They took mug shots, drew blood, had to give urine samples in front of the guards, and were separated from each other.  Julia was yelled and screamed at continually that she was lying and if she didn't tell the truth they were going to throw her in jail.

They don't believe that the girls aren't getting paid to teach and say they have the wrong visas for that.  I won't be able to answer calls for awhile but I wanted to let you know what was going on.

So now it's a waiting game.  I'm scared to death for my little niece.  I've since been told the best possible outcome is that they'll release them back into the United States.  Other possibilities are not so good including my innocent, beautiful little niece ending up in a Chinese Prison.

You see this kind of stuff on t.v. but I have no words... it's so different going through it.  Our family has come together in prayer and hope and that's all we can do.  We don't know who to talk to, who is working on this, or what the next step is.  It's a waiting game right now.  I'm throwing this out there in hopes that as many people as possible will pray for my niece Julia.  Thank you in advance.

Credit: Kelly Browning

UPDATE:

This information was originally posted for less than an hour before I took it down because I was told by the U.S. Embassy that it could possibly endanger my niece Julia and the other girls held captive.  I was told that if this information went public that the Chinese government would possibly make an example out of these girls so I immediately pulled the blog.

After many days of worrying, praying, and hoping for the best... these girls, including Julia were transported back to the United States of America.  Below is a picture of Julia landing at LAX and seeing her mom (my sister) and her dad for the first time in months.

Credit: Kelly Browning

Thank you God for looking out for my niece.  When my sister first reached out to our entire family she said this...

I've never felt like my prayers have been answered but I'm asking for everyone to pray as hard as you can for Julia.  I can only hope that God comes through for us on this.

God did come through and in a BIG way.  Maybe this was the prayer God was waiting for with my sister.  I don't know.  All I know is that Julia is safe and from this day forward we'll all hold her a little tighter and be a little more grateful for her and all of the loved ones we have.