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Our Mission to the Himalayas and Beyond

Month

January 2017

New Norms

dusty-streetsThis morning as I walked the dusty roads of town to catch a bus, I was amazed at how familiar these sights have become. When we first arrived, I was shocked by the dust, the traffic, the noise, the broken buildings etc. Now, it has just become a new normal.

Seeing kids working to take up money on the bus use to drive me crazy as I thought about how they should be in school, but now, it is normal.

Watching as the women carry bags of bricks on their backs use to amaze me as I thought of how difficult this must be. Now, normal.

It is amazing how quickly our normals can change.

If you watch the news these days, it is normal to see stories of wars, killings, and refugees. And though these things are horrible, they have become normal.

The Lord is teaching me that normal doesn’t always mean right. Yea, many things that have become normal here are considered okay, but that doesn’t make them right. The news reports that have become the norm, do not take away the fact that these things are far from okay.

When our “normals” fall tragically away from the truths of God’s Word, we are in danger.

Normal doesn’t make it right. Normal may indeed be very wrong.

To the young girl who sells her body for food, this may have become normal after the twentieth time, yet it is far from okay.

I believe in this day and age, it is entirely too easy to adjust to the new normals of the culture. Too easy to fall for Satan’s lies that because these are norms, they must be okay.

As parents, teachers, pastors and leaders it is necessary that we teach to others what is normal or right not according to the worlds standards, but according to the Bible.

Where we live, it is normal to lie and bribe, even among Christians. It is ingrained in the culture, a way to survive. Yet, over and over again we have to teach the students and leaders the reality that these things are not okay. Not according to the Bible.

It is easy to slip into the flow of life, to accept the norms. Yet, we have been called to swim against the stream. To be set apart. This isn’t always easy or fun.

Some new norms are okay. Walking dusty streets, taking rickety old buses has become my new norm, and well that is okay. Boiling my water before I drink it, ordering a water truck in the dry season.. new norms, that are okay.

Lying and bribing to get by in this culture, not so much.

For this I must be different, I must follow Christ. A call for us all no matter where we live or what “norms” we face.

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The Not so Glamorous Life of the Missionary

insigificant-lifeFor about 6 weeks from Thanksgiving on through the first of the year, we had house guest from Australia. They were such a blessing to us. A team of 9 stayed for 2 weeks, 1 girl stayed 4 weeks and another girl stayed 6 weeks.

The two girls who stayed the longest and I had many discussions. One day I asked what surprised them most, and they were both quick to share their surprise of how I still had to do the normal, day-to-day life. Of course they realized this must be true, but somehow had not given it too much thought.

This is the not so glamorous life of the missionary, especially the wife/mom. The truth is life still happens. Clothes still need washed, food still needs cooked, medicine bought, bills paid, school work taught, homework helped with and the list could go on.

And the truth is, this not so glamorous work can seem insignificant. Just yesterday as I was up on the roof, hanging out the clothes to dry. I wondered to myself for like the hundredth time, what am I doing here. Am I really making an impact? Or is this all wasted effort and time?

I know the truth just as I’m sure you do when you ask such questions. That God is using my life, just as He is using yours. I realize that nothing is ever wasted in God’s eyes and that He is using me here in the life of others, in the life of my family and that He is using this land, these people to change me as well.

But the reality is we all still long for more. For many of us we want to be out their on the front lines EVERYDAY. We want our lives to COUNT BIG. We expect our everyday lives to read like one of the great missionary biographies. And when it doesn’t we are left wondering.

Yet, God has to remind me again and again He is there in the day-to-day and the day to day matters. For three years Jesus did His ministry. For three years he taught his disciples, ate meals with them, traveled with them… but it was that final day that we focus on. Yet, those days He spent with His disciples were just as necessary.

You may feel your life is insignificant. You may wonder what God is doing, why He has you were you are. So I want to encourage you as God has encouraged me. You are where you are for His purposes. And if you are doing what He has called you to do, then every seemingly insignificant thing you’re doing matters to Him. And He is pleased.

 

 

Unexpected Kindness

monkey-on-swayambhunath-stupa-kathmandu-1024x715Just when you think there is nothing but evil left in this world, your met with unexpected kindness.

Earlier this week the kids and I set out via public transport through the streets of Nepal to a new mall just to do some window shopping. After finishing here, we make our way to the local supermarket to buy a few things before returning home. Laden with three bags, and not knowing which transport would take us home, we started walking. Along the way, the three bags I was holding got heavy and my youngest son offered to carry a bag, which I gladly let him do. As we got further up the road we came upon a bunch of phone shops and this same son wanted to check inside for a phone case.

Once inside, I sat down to rest and the kids all looked at phone cases and tried to help their brother decide. Unknown to me, my son had also sat the bag he was carrying down and after buying the phone case of his choice, also left the same bag on the floor as we left the shop.

It wasn’t until we had made it almost home that we realized his error. He was heartbroken, and though I felt sick that the groceries I had bought were gone, I assured him that the guys at the phone shop would certainly enjoy the coffee, tea, tuna and mangoes in the bag.

But later I wondered if we went back if it would still be there. I wondered if they’d still have it. There was no way to get back there that day due to the lateness of the day. However the next day I asked my husband to take us by there. All they could say is no, we didn’t leave a bag or no it wasn’t there.

So though it was a day later we drove there to ask. And amazingly as soon as my son walked up, they called him inside and handed him the bag. They had locked it up for safe keeping and were waiting on us to return. Even more amazing was the fact that everything that was in the bag was still there. They had removed nothing.

I profusely thanked them for their kindness and walked away in disbelief. Later I told a Nepali friend, who was just as amazed. She said they must have been really good guys because she’s never heard of such a thing happening before.

And I thought to myself, how right she is. They were really great guys, displaying the truth that we miss so often in the news these days, that there are still kind, good people in this world. People ready and willing to do that which is right!

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