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Our Mission to the Himalayas and Beyond

Month

June 2017

The most dreaded thing….

visaVisa’s and immigration, two things I would safely say most expats despise and dread. There is just something about having to jump through hoops to remain in a place you came to serve. You’d think, they’d be more welcoming, somehow seeking to make it easier. Yet, that is far from the experience we have had thus far in our life overseas.

As we drive to immigration, my stomach feels sick, as I imagine the worst. Visa denied, leave immediately! My palms sweat as we wait in line holding possibly every document they may or may not ask for.

Then when we get the new stamp, for however long it is good for, I can breathe freely. That is until we have to start jumping through hoops again.

As you can imagine, dealing with visas and visits to immigration are not easy or fun.For my husband, he is never it seems concerned. Somehow believing it will certainly all work out, it always has. And most usually he is right. But for me, the what if’s are suffocating.

I realized last night why this is such a difficult thing for me. Prior to coming to Central Asia, our family lived and loved Busan, South Korea. I could have lived there forever. We made plans for a furlough so my husband could complete his PhD and graduated, with intentions of return.

Yet, two weeks before our flight was to leave, we found out returning was not an option, and in haste packed, shipped and sold our things. Hastily saying goodbyes to people, we knew we’d probably never see again this side of Heaven.

It was a horrendous time, ripping my heart to shreds. When we arrived back to the States, I wanted to be anywhere but there. It is true what they say, reverse culture shock is worse than culture shock!

So, now when we deal with visas and have to go to immigration, I always have the worst case scenerio in mind. Making something simple hard!

Today once again we had to make our way to immigration to ask for an extension on our visa. This proved to be no easy task, we were even sent to the director’s office to get a signature.

Yet, one thing I was reminded of today is that our God is the most High God, and though we are seemingly helpless in situations such as these. In reality we are not. For though we may not know what to do, we rest our eyes on our Savior, who whispers, “Fear not!” And who fights on our behalf.

Tonight I can rest a little easier knowing we have our visa extension, and I can trust the Lord even more knowing that in the most difficult situations He is there. And not only is He there with us, He moves and works on our behalf.

What a mighty God we serve!

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When it all seems meaningless…..

insigificant-lifeLast night as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, the thought crossed my mind. Is it worth it all? As we begin to prepare for our furlough in a few months time, this it seems is a constant question.

We sold everything to come here, was it worth it?

We have to spend lots of money on visa’s to stay in country, and jump through beurocracy hoops to get visas. Is it worth it?

Our kids are missing out on “normal” life in the states, and are far from their grandparents who love them, is it worth it?

Flights for a family of 5 to return to the States are not cheap, is it worth it?

Serving those who sometimes take advantage of you and hurt you, is it worth it?

Struggling to learn a language, speaking like a five-year old, and seeking to understand what is being said. Is it worth it?

Being bone weary, stressed, and emotionally spent. Is it worth it?

Going home for a few months only to return and start again, is it worth it?

As I lay in bed and thought on these things, in my weary form of thinking, I wondered is it worth it or not?

Yet, the break of dawn brought about a fresh perspective. Especially as I opened God’s Word.

This morning I began reading about the fall of Solomon, and how his love of foreign women led him astray. Which turned his heart hard, and destroyed his relationship with the Lord. Also bringing upon his life the discipline of the Lord.

It was in the midst of this time that it is believed he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. A book that begins with talk of how meaningless life is.

As I read the first few chapters the Lord spoke to my heart clearly.

Yes, all of the above are meaningless if done for the wrong reasons. Yet, they hold great worth if they are done unto the Lord, and for His glory.

So, though the thought of packing, planning, preparing for our furlough can be wearisome, it is worth it.

Though finding someone to take care of things in our absence, and thinking upon the hoops of obtaining a visa upon our return make me nauseous, it is worth it.

Allowing our kids to experience life overseas, does lead them to miss out on things, but it also gives them experiences most never have, and it is worth it.

Having others take advantage of you hurts, but that’s okay in the long scheme of things, and it’s worth it.

Things are just that, things. And things can be replaced, so it is worth it.

Seeking to learn a difficult language, though tiresome is worth it.

Making the long trip home, despite the cost, is well worth it.

Living and serving here, in obedience to the Lord. Yea, it’s worth it.

It is all worth it if it is for the Lord.

So when you’re strugeling about your day, wondering if all you do is worth it, feeling it is simply meaningless. I encourage you as the Lord encouraged me. To see things afresh and anew from His perspective.

Make sure whatever it is you’re doing, you are doing for Him and for His glory. Then no matter what it is, it is worth it!

Satan longs to steal our joy, to make us want to quit. Yet, the Lord is right there with us telling us we can go on, and gives us the strength to do so.

Everything has meaning when done unto the Lord!

Embrace what God has called you to,surrendering it into His hands, and watch as He brings about beauty from the ashes!

Blessings from Nepal!

Trusting God Even When it’s Hard

mandylynncarpenter

How do we trust God when we can’t see the way?

How do we trust God when nothing makes sense?

When life seems to be spinning out of control?

When someone we love is sick or hurting, and we are helpless to help?

We all know trusting God is easy when life is good, when all is well in our worlds. Yet the true test of our trust is shown not in the good, easy times, but in the difficult.

Trusting God to do the impossible is easy to instruct others, but difficult to hold onto when you’re the one needing to believe.

Holding fast to the Lord seems painless until He is all we have to hold onto.

I think of the saints of old, and how they trusted God. Abraham trusted God with Issac. Joseph trusted God as he waited in prison to be remembered. David trusted God…

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