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Our Mission to the Himalayas and Beyond

Month

January 2015

Ring the Bell

images (1)This past summer back in the USA, our church hosted some Sunday evening movie nights. On one of these nights, we watched the film, “Ring the Bell.” It was a great story of how at a home for orphaned kids, when they came to know Jesus, they would go out in the yard and ring the bell. One man traveling through encountered Christ while there and well, you should go watch the movie to see what happens.:-)

Yet, the other day as I was walking the kids to school, we passed one of the many temples located here in Central Asia. As we walked by, there were people there bringing offerings, lighting candles and incense, and ringing the bells.

My inquisitive daughter turned and asked me, “Mommy, why are they ringing the bells?” I then explained to her that they believe they must ring the bells to alert the gods of their coming and their prayer request. It is also believed to word off the evil spirits. I told her that this was a part of their worship, that they believed they must do to please the gods.

She listened and nodded and then said, but we don’t have to do that do we? We can just talk and pray to God anytime.

And of course she is right. But, as we continued on to school, I was struck by the sound of the ringing bells. In the movie, it was a declaration that someone had accepted Christ as their Savior. Yet, here it means nothing close.

Morning, noon and night, I hear bells ringing, as the Hindu’s offer puja and go to temples to worship their gods. Each time, my heart breaks a little. For though they are sincere in their prayers and beliefs. I know that these acts of worship are not heard nor answered. For there is only one God, Jehovah, and only one way to gain access into His presence. Through Jesus Christ, His Son.

Please join me in praying for this nation and these people. That the Lord God Almighty, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. Will open the eyes of His people that they might see their desperate need for Christ. Pray that His Word would go forth and spread, never returning void, but being used for the furtherance of the Gospel in this land.

 

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In Response to “Does Missions Separate Families?”

Barren to Beautiful

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I never expected that my recent post “Does Missions Separate Families?” would be so widely-read. But in the past week or so, I have had the privilege of a whole audience I never imagined: missionaries.
From all over the world.

And I just wanted to say to these missionaries and your families: thank you.
As I read your comments, I got just a small taste of your daily reality. Your real thoughts, your real feelings, and the real cost of what you are doing. More than anything, that you are real people.

I couldn’t respond to your every comment. Not because there were so many, but because…sometimes I just didn’t know what to say. Reading your perspectives, and testimonies left me often just whispering, “Wow,” and pushing myself away from the kitchen table, lost in thought about you. I had no words to simply “reply” to all I feel…

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Living in Two Worlds

missions1Sometimes it is difficult, living in two worlds.

We experienced this when we lived in South Korea, and now once more as we serve in Central Asia.

It is a weird feeling. I read on Facebook of my friends back home, and try to relate. Try to connect.

Yet, somehow living so far away, makes it hard to truly connect.

It is strange indeed, not feeling as if you really belong anywhere.

Oh, we have our ministry and friends here. We have set up our “home” and enjoy what we do. Yet, still here, we are foreigners and honestly always will be.

To our friends back home, I’m sure they too have a hard time connecting. They read our newsletters and pray for us. Yet, somehow to them, we are so far away and basically life must go on.

As I was reading through Paul’s letters to the churches. I was reminded afresh and anew that we are just pilgrims passing through. That this isn’t our home anymore than the grand ol’ USA is home.

Our home is in Heaven.

Jesus had no “home” of His own.  He knew He had come only to do the will of the Father.

Which is what each of us is called to do. Whether at home or abroad.

For us, this means a sense of not really belonging.

But when put in perspective….it makes sense.

For we don’t belong here, in this world

We have been called to be separate … to be different.

To all of those who serve far from home, thank you.

For if no one else understands, I know you do.

And I want to encourage you, as the Lord has encouraged me.

Your not home yet.

But one day, we will all be “home” gathered around the throne of our Savior, worshipping Him with brothers and sisters from every tribe, nation and tonge.

And yes, it will be worth it all!

 

Does Missions Separate Families?

A great article and so true…

Barren to Beautiful

Selah meeting her cousins for the first time.

Tomorrow, my brother-in-law and his family will get on a plane, and fly to Africa. I won’t see them again for three years, except by some emailed photos, or maybe a choppy Skype connection.

I joke that I am going to sabotage their trip to the airport. And part of me really wants to. Because deep down, I really don’t want them to go. I have enjoyed having them and their three sweet girls around the last six months. They were the first to teach her how to have a proper tea party, and make elephant noises, and sing “Let it Go” at the top of their lungs. As they ran barefoot through the grass in the summer, she chased them. As they danced wildly in the living room in the winter, she imitated them. She adores them, as if they were her own…

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When you just want to go “home”

missionsLife as a missionary can be exciting. It can also be hard.

The first month or two overseas are often filled with bells and whistles. Everything seems exciting. All is a thrill, as you learn your way around your new “home.”

The sights, the foods, the smells all bring you joy (well most anyways).

Yet, after a few more months pass by…. well it just isn’t exciting anymore.

In fact, the same things that were exciting now seem to be a stumbling block.

It is kind of like marriage. Before marriage, you were on your best foot, always going the extra mile. Every date was special. Then you get married and after the honeymoon stage ends, those little things you once saw as enduring can now be a royal pain. They can annoy and bother you.

The same is true as a missionary.

So, what do you do when you just want to go “home?”

How do you stay for the long haul?

First, you must REMEMBER who brought you there. Remember how the Lord orchestrated the details. Remember why you came. Remember your call.

Second, PRAY. Pray and ask the Lord to give you a love for the land, a love for the people, a love for the ministry you have been called to. Pray for the people you have been called to serve.

Third, RESIST. Resist the urge to think about “home.” Resist the want to romanticize what once was. Resist the enemy and his attacks. He’d like nothing more than for you to pack your bags and leave. In fact, he’d win. Resist Him and stand strong in the Lord.

Fourth, STAY IN THE WORD. The enemy longs to discourage you, he longs to make you want to quit. He longs to fill your mind with lies. Therefore, you must stay in God’s Word, read it, pray it, memorize it.

Finally, STAY. Unless there are legitimate reasons for you to go “home.” Stay. The bad feelings will pass in time with Bible study and prayer. The difficulties will seem small as you begin to see the people you came to serve through God’s eyes.

Being a missionary can be fun, but it can also be difficult. But God never called us to easy. He called us to “follow Him.” He called us to be “salt and light.” He called us to “go into all the world.”

May we not only answer the call, but may we stay true to the call. No matter what!

http://www.askamissionary.com/question/31

A Look Back

It’s that time again… the last day of the year.

A time to reflect over 2014 and all the lessons learned.

As I look back, I truly stand amazed at the goodness of my God. Who has proved Himself time and time again as faithful and able.

The year began with us feeling we had no hope. Though we had been trying tirelessly to get back to the mission field. A year ago, this seemed an impossibility. In January, 2014, Eric took a trip to Uganda that showed us quickly that this was not the place, and ended our journey with our previous mission organization. It was quite the blow, and left us feeling very alone. We wondered where God was and why everything was so difficult. Yet, God was at work even in the midst of the difficult times. Though He was silent.. He was there with us and was working behind the scenes.download (1)

For in April, we received an email from Pastor Vijay in Nepal. The man we are now working with. We had met him on a trip to Nepal in the fall of 2013. He wrote to us in April,months after the last time we had spoken. He asked how we were doing and if we had been placed with our mission organization. Eric replied that we were doing well, but that we were no longer with this organization, and were still waiting on the Lord. Immediately we received a message back. Telling us to come to Nepal, just to come and trust God for the rest. Pastor believed and had believed all along we were suppose to be here.

After much prayer, we too realized that this had been the Lord’s plan all along. But now what, we knew where we were to go,but how were we to get there.

Thus began our journey to begin our own nonprofit organization, called Ambassadors For Truth, http://ambassadorsfortruth.org/home.aspx. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that God would allow us to start a nonprofit. Yet He did and just weeks ago, we got the approval of the IRS, as an official 501c3. I’m telling you, our God is amazing.

But to top that all off, the end of May we began traveling about to raise the support we would need for Nepal. As with any organization, our board of directors wanted to see us fully funded before we left for the field, and Pastor Vijay wanted us here by August if possible. It seemed impossible…. but we knew anything was possible with God. 

In two months, God raised the support we needed for our first year and by the time we left in August, He had also raised the money we would need for start-up!! It was so amazing to watch the Lord provide and take care of all of our needs!

We arrived in Nepal the end of August and got settled into our home by the middle of September. It has been a whirlwind, but we are so blessed to be here doing what God has called us to do.

Our year however ended on a sad note, when just 4 days before Christmas, we got news that Eric’s mom had passed away. Which led us to finding Eric a plane ticket home so he could be there to do the funeral, and spend time with his brothers and dad.

Our Christmas was far from normal, but I’m realizing that nothing about our lives is really normal. But that is okay. For our God is there to meet our every need and to care for us each step of the way.

A dear friend wrote to me earlier expressing to me what a great example I was and how God was using me in such a great way. I was humbled as I read her words, for I know deep down, I am no one special.  This year I have truly learned that “When I am weak, He is strong.”

I have learned that His grace truly is sufficient!

I have learned that Our God truly is able to do far more than I could ever ask or imagine!

So as this year comes to a close, I rejoice as I look back at what God has done. I also look forward in great anticipation of what the coming year will bring!!

What great things has God done in your life? I’m sure if you take the time to reflect you will see His handprints scattered throughout your days!!

Happy New Years, from the Top of the World!!!

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