Deena Van’t Hul is a missionary whose love for the Lord Jesus Christ has compelled her to search out and care for the poor, the orphans, and the widows. Together with her husband, Mike, they founded Hidden Treasures China, a foster home and sanctuary for orphaned special-needs children in Fuzhou, a city in the Fujian province of China. Over the last decade, the small ministry grew to include the other branches such as the nursing home for elderly widows, the healing medical center, the schools, the home for single mothers, and the animal shelter, that make up Loaves and Fishes International. They have changed the lives of more than 100 special-need orphans by bringing them into their family.
Deena and Mike were both born and raised in close-knit families in the United States. They met at the University of Central Florida and married in 1993. Mike became the vice-president of a bank while Deena worked as a speech pathologist as they pursued the American dream, settling with their two sons in a small town in Florida. The Christian faith had always been a part of Deena’s upbringing; however, it was not until Mike and Deena attended a church meeting held by Randy Clark that they truly encountered the love and presence of Jesus.
In that meeting on one night in January 2000, the Holy Spirit stirred Deena and Mike’s hearts and put in them an intense hunger for a deeper relationship with God. In the days following, they sought after Jesus through the Word, through prayer and fasting, and through learning to faithfully love every person God puts in front of them. Their hunger to love God and serve God compelled them to give it all to the Lord. Their old way of life became so dissatisfying and unfulfilling that they decided to leave their careers and down-size their expenses in order to serve full time with their local church.
Their hunger for God soon led them to other nations through short-term mission trips. In 2002, Deena and Mike traveled to Mozambique, where God broke their hearts for the orphans. Encouraged to adopt, they welcomed home their daughter, Priscilla Hope, from China in 2004. Nevertheless, they knew that one adoption was not enough. They began seeking the Lord through prayer and fasting, and the Lord confirmed to them through many signs regarding China and international adoption. In 2005, they sold their house, gave everything away, and moved their family to a small village in Fuzhou, China. They did not know the language, did not have a house, and did not know what exactly they had to do. They spent most of their time on their knees seeking the Lord, visiting local orphanages from time to time. The first baby was brought to their door by three local women three months after their move to China, and since then, many dying and needy babies were brought to their care. Deena and Mike long to be a family to the dying and the severely disabled, and in the past decade, they have provided homes to many who desperately needed a family and who desperately needed the Father’s love.