Monday, December 17, 2012

God's Promise (Day Thirteen)

     June 23rd, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal

     I woke up homesick. It is never good when that happens. I cried while brushing my teeth because of how much I missed my family. Sarah prayed with me, but I still felt like going home, or just curling up and crying.
     During quiet time, the Lord told me ot trust Him. Over and over- I need to trust Him, because He had brought me here and loves me. I was feeling a lot better at breakfast, and then I had to call home. I talked to mom and she said she wanted to know which team I was on, so she asked on the facebook page and Candace (my Project Director) replied, 'We love Leigha!'
     I lost it and started crying. I miss them so much- but this love, it is a blessing. A huge blessing!
     We went to church and it was beautiful. I went to teach a Children's program and the kids were SO well behaved. They were five years old and under and were great at singing! They sund for over an hour! We taught them songs, shared a lesson and then gave them toys and purses. Then we took pictures and left for home. It was raining when we left and it reflected my emotions. We at PB&J as always and then I went with Beka to her room and we laid down to talk and rest. We didn't sleep but we had a good time resting and talking. Steph came in and laid down with us for a while. I have really been struggling with not ever getting to rest  enough. We are always going or doing something. We have every detail and minute scheduled for us. It is hard to not be able to just sit, but today was nice to finally be able to do just that.
     We had one ministry site for the day, a home for women and children whose husbands and fathers are in prison. We did our drama and sand for them the Papya sond! the boys were so sweet and we broke out into a dance party! They gave us tea and we colored pictures together. We took our shoes off coming in and had to put them back on as we left. It is so encouraging to see them and play with them!
     On the drive home we saw a HUGE rainbow, the whole thing, suspended right over the slums. God is speaking to me, 'My promise is true even in Nepal, even here.' God is so faithful- we can never lose hope with Him!
     Dinner was amazing! We were so hungry and ate so much! My team invited girls from the other team to eat with us and we all shared about how everything is going for each of us. We got messages tonight! We were all so stoked to hear from family and friends and we shared our notes with each other.
     Then Candace told us such exciting news that we all freaked out! Tomorrow is a free day! We are all so exausted and we are looking forward to a day of rest. God is so good, to bless us with this!
     Tonight was our last part of the relationship talk, from Candace for the girls. She is almost forty and no man is in her life. she told us, "Now I don't want you to start praying, 'Lord, don't put me on the forty year plan!'" It is really a trust issue! If God has a man for any of us, He will be faithful to bring this man to each of us at the perfect time. I should above all, seek the will of God for my life. Candace shared a great analogy... (and here is where I cut my journal entry because only the girls should know about this analogy. Lets just say... some of us want cheesecake.) ...God has such great things planned for me in my life- when I trust Him, those things are revealed.
     I am learning each day, more and more, what it means to fully depend on the Lord.

     Highlights of the day!
     *Nap time with Beka and Steph. Those two girls are so sweet! I am surrounded by believers who not only love the Lord, but are living like it. Express your love for Jesus by OBEDIENCE!
     *The Papya song (For the benefit of those who have not sung it all summer)
     I like Bananas. (Wooo!) I think that mangos are sweet. I like papyas. Papyas? But nothing can beat the sweet... -clapping- love. of. God.
     I was walking roung in circles going five miles an hour, trying to find my way back to the Heavenly Father. The world tasted sweet, but soon turned sour. But then I let Him in and I received His power! I..I...I...I. I... I. I. I. eyeyeyeyeye! (Repeat Begining.) 
     *Putting funny questions in the 'question box' for the TL's. 'Can we order pizza?' 'Can we have chocolate?' 'Could we make ice?' 'When do we get some more messages?'


     The thing about being homesick is that even when I missed home, my time in Nepal was still amazing. I was just remembering that childrens home we went to. All my memories from the summer are a little jumbled because it seems like they all kind of mush together. What day did each thing happen? Sometimes I can't even remembered all of the amazing things that God did, which should NEVER happen!
    I love Nepal, so much. That rainbow, suspended over the slums... I forgot about it. I forgot about God's promise, how He spoke to my heart and reminded me that His promise is not forgotten in Nepal. Here, back in the US for so many months, I sometimes seem to forget the important things. But I am never getting over Nepal, and I look to the rainbows and will remember God's promise for Nepal.
All of the lovely children!

Family dinners. ah. =)

Sweet Lauren! I loved getting to spend time with her!

Steph, Beka and I all had lovely scarves and needed to take a picture, like we were a club. :p

Our water bottles all have names. And where is Waldo?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hopelessness Displayed (Day Twelve)

     June 22nd, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal
     I miss sleeping in, comfy beds and cuddly brothers. I miss hamburgers and french fries, soda and ICE! I miss A/C, koolaide and Popsicles. I miss camp and staff friends and girl parties. I miss Western toilets and being able to flush toilet paper. But above all, I miss my family. I miss their jokes and love and laughter. But I am here for an important reason- to show others love like the love I have for my family. I want other things more than I want my family. I want righteousness, holiness, sanctification. Obedience to God and rewards from my Heavenly daddy. So when I am missing home, I let myself be sad for a short while, let my heart ache with love for them and then ask God for that kind of love for others.
     At our first site, we jumped right into our ministry program, but in the middle of one of the girls testimonies, we heard the banging of drums. When we looked up the street, there was a parade. But not one that is good. It was a parade for their false gods. They would walk by, every single person in the procession, and sprinkle flowers and incense over every single idol or symbol they passed. We had to stop our program to let them by. While they went we prayed. The bondage is so devastating. They carried an idol, with an old woman sitting inside (the oldest woman in their colony). The bondage is so great, they need freedom so badly and that was just another reminder. We finished our program and then went to talk with people, and one man actually got saved! He accepted Christ and, before we could even give him more information, he asked where he could meet other Christians. We quickly got him all the info and prayed with him and then gave him a Bible. We talked to him about what following Christ meant and then Andy challenged him to share it with his friends.
     We then ate lunch and hiked down a huge slope, went over a HUGE bridge, which I was nervous about. I am not a fan of heights and that was way out of my comfort zone. They boys behind me kept rocking the bridge and I had to ask them to stop because it was hard for me. We made it to a leper colony. So many of them were missing fingers and toes or hands and feet, but we got to share the love of Christ with them all. a man came up and started talking to me in English, but I think he wanted something other than Jesus, if you know what I mean. Our 'codeword' for if a man is making a girl uncomfortable in a situation is to go up to one of the guys and say, "I really need a drink of water." I didn't have to say it, but Andy came to my rescue and spoke with the man while I moved to sit by Abby.
     Another man came and tried to communicate with us, but we had no translator so we just watched him 'mime' the death of Christ, and indicate we are going to Heaven to be with God. We just grinned and nodded and said yes a lot. Sonny, our Nepali photographer came over and translated for us. The man shared the Gospel with US when we were there to share it with him. He was so thankful we came, and it is so exciting to think we will one day be in Heaven together, and will understand each other perfectly.
     We packed up and had to head all the way back, over the bridge and UP the cliff/slope we came down. As we were leaving and anticipating the huge climb, Deepak takes us the other direction and says, "We are going in helicopter." Half of the people on our team said, "Really?" Deepak just grinned, then said, "I'm only joking." But going up that hill was to be avoided if possible, which it was not.
     Over the bridge was easier the second time, and still beautiful. then came the upward climb- it was hard and long and we had to drag Candace with us, but it was worth it. When we got to the top, we all felt exhilarated and empowered. It really was beautiful- but words can not express it. You must be here to understand.
     Our last stop was the rehab center for women who have been trafficked. The name is Peace Rehabilitation Centre- PRC. So many women with horrid pasts were there, two of them shared their testimonies. Their heartbreaking stories of rape and forced prostitution and being sold all over Asia. One girl was pregnant when PRC rescued her. We got to hold her baby, Grace. The girl was so precious. To support their ministry, I bought jewelry they had made. My heart really breaks for all of those girls. When leaving one of the girls, Sonkita, told us that she would miss us so much. Praise the Lord that she loves God. I get to see her again!
     We stayed so long at the center, that it was 8:00pm when we got back. We ate supper and then got in groups to work on children's ministry for church tomorrow. Then we gathered things and went to our rooms.
     I finally got to wash some laundry and now I have a few clean things to wear. It has finally hit me that I am in Nepal and won't be home until august. My heart is breaking because of the distance between me and my family. Lord, help me and give me complete peace!

     Highlights of the day:
     *"When we work ourselves weak, we pray ourselves strong." - Andy, my TL. We must ask God to renew our strength at EVERY location, because we are His witnesses!
     *At our first site, one of the MIGs talked to a woman who asked for food. So they gave her a cliff bar and she started tearing off pieces, throwing it to the ground to sacrifice the first part to her gods. Marissa told her, "No, our God wants you to eat ALL of it!" -Sarah Peter's MIG
     *The bridge- It was beautiful and breathtaking, but terrifying. The bridge shook and you could see rushing water SEVERAL feet below, or fields below. But looking out from the bridge was the most beautiful sight. God loves to treat us to His precious beauty.
     *The precious man who mimed to communicate with us -- 'We actually came all the way here to share that good news to the Nepali people.' Then the man spoke through our translator- "It is night in America. It is day in Nepali. People sleep in America while we work here in Nepal." We laughed at the mans joke and he just grinned.
     *Listening to the testimonies of the girls and holding baby Grace. God loves these women and brings them out of their deepest mire. He heals and loves and provides.
     *Going into Beka's room and finding a giant cricket. Beka said it kept her up ALL night last night and then she wanted to kill it, but the other girls wouldn't let her and they wanted to set it free. Instead, they lost 'Jimmy the cricket'.
    
     This was such a hard day because I was worn out. I had been going for a whole week without must rest and I was exhausted. I think I even cried because I just wanted to rest, just for a little while! I was at the end of myself and Jesus had to take over from there. I wanted to press on, but the Sabbath is Biblical, resting is from the Lord. No matter how exhausted I was, Jesus was the one carrying me.




Carefully making our way across the bridge!
 
Our walke down to the leper colony.
 
Our beloved translators taking their turn across the bridge. (Anoch, on the right, was my MIG's translator.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crumbling Walls (Day Eleven)

     June 21st, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal
     I have never been pushed so hard in my life. I know I started out this trip shouting 'Push me!' to my leaders and to the Lord. But I never imagined how hard I would be pushed. From hours of drama training to our travel days to sharing the Gospel- I am being pushed. Today I have felt sick all day, but I keep going, keep doing the drama because I did not come all this way to sit on the sidelines.
     Michelle and I both don't feel well, but together we push on and press forward. No reserves. No retreats. No regrets. I do not want to regret a second of my time.
     At our first site there was a boy who was disabled. My human response was to shrink back, but watching others love him- it made my heart soften and I loved him. I played with him and loved him. Because we all loved him, we were able to share the Gospel with his mother, who accepted Christ! The boy is fifteen- the same age as Chris, who is in my MIG. But you would not be able to tell. This boy looked about eight, not fifteen. Christ gave a piggy back to him and we laughed because they are the same age. The boy would just laugh so hard whenever we interacted with him. When we had to leave, all of our hearts were breaking. He came to us and tried to hold onto us.
     Daniel tried to let go, but the boy would not. To one of the girls,he cried out "dee dee!", the Nepali word for sister. When we walked away, to hike to our next spot, we didn't look back. But God loves that lonely boy and no doubt, one day I will see that boy again. I can hardly wait!
     Our second site was right next to a huge Hindu temple. I could feel the heaviness, the oppression. Most of the people who were there had never heard of Christ! Old men, hearing Christ for the FIRST time! Seeds have no doubt been planted today, and one day these people will make a decision that changes their eternity and life here!
     Where we were was beautiful- mountains covered in green with clouds swirling around. God created this beautiful country! At the temple, Deepak told us why there was a shrine. 'Myth' says that men were guarding their goats and sheep. But then they decided to make a tiger out of mud and have it watch the animals. They left to get what they needed for the tiger's tongue, but when they came back, all the animals were gone except for the mud tiger. They decided that the tiger MUST have eaten all the animals. So they never gave the tiger its tongue. Now they worship this tiger.
     It is crazy and ridiculous! But they believe it. My prayer while we were there was, 'Lord, break these chains. Make these walls come tumbling down.'
     We hiked down the mountain and got on our bus to the last site. Several people from our last site were there. Two men in particular, who was had talked to. But they were not understanding- they even suggested we go to a Buddhist temple. They didn't understand why Jesus is the only way. Then they wanted a picture with us and we were discouraged. But I keep reminding myself that our job is being done. I am so exhausted that through ministry I felt comatose- like I wasn't helping. But I am giving all I have, even when I feel like I have nothing left!
     The two men who wanted us to go to the Buddhist temple were at our last site, so we steered clear and let our TL's talk to them if they wanted to. We were not ready for another argument, which is all the conversation had amounted to.
     We were so crowded and packed in at our last site, and even when few accepted Christ, many seeds were planted and we rejoiced! We had to leave before we were finished talking with a group of genuinely interested men, so we gave them tracts. It is hard for me to just give someone a tract, but I know it is better than leaving them with nothing.
     I really didn't feel good all day, but when we got home I just sat at a table and ate white rice for supper. I got messages today, and the one I got from mom made me cry because I miss her! She said Dad paused a movie Sunday night and said he felt like he needed to pray for me. That was Monday morning for me and I was feeling homesick and it was our first day of ministry. Thank the Lord my family is all believers! I need to be covered in prayer!
     Our mag time consisted of making lists of ten things we must have and can't stand in a husband. During that time, Candace came in to talk about how I was feeling and then we shared our thoughts. We had to narrow down our ten things from a list of fifty, some of them were funny and a lot of them we had to ponder.
     While we were talking, there was a knock at our door. We asked who it was and our response was a high pitched, 'Housekeeping.' We thought it might be a boy and Candace said not to let them in. But then we realized it was Beth Anderson! our codeword for getting locked doors opened is 'Chocolate Pudding' and we even asked Beth if she had a codeword for us. But because she arrived today, she didn't know it.
     She laughed when we finally let her in and joked that we locked her out, but she told us she would rather have us be safe.
     Sarah then shared her 'boy story' with us. God protected her in so many ways and she is so thankful for it. Today she loves the Lord so much. I am so thankful for her.
     Marissa visited us before we went to bed and told us about her TL's night out. She gave Sarah new toothpaste, and then she gave us candy.
     Then we crawled into our big bed! God is good and sleep is sweet!

     Highlights of the day:
     *Playing with the little boy who is disabled. He is genuine and his smile is sweet. I never want to forget the boy who walks on his toes. He couldn't stand flat feet, but he dances on tip toes!
     *The disabled boy running to Rachel and crying 'Dee dee!" He called us family because we loved him like a family should. Love is powerful.
     *The beauty of the Nepali mountains, surrounded by clouds of white. Green blue and white in the perfect mixture. God is a great artist!
     *Walking through the streets of our second site, the mountain village. It felt like walking through a movie set. It was so peaceful, not so busy. IT was a part of Nepal I really felt I could live in, but it is much more spiritually heavy by the temples.
     *"Who is it?" "Housekeeping -high pitched squeal-" "Uhhh.....do you have a word for us?" "No-squeak-" We keep the door shut and continue our conversations. "Wait, is that Beth Anderson?" "Yes, it's me! Beth!"

This little girl had some SERIOUS dancing skills!

Our first drama site!

Where we met this precious jewel!

And then suddenly we were all pushing together to get a picture with the kids and pastors we were working with.

Love. 

Taylor has such a huge heart. She loved on these girls at this site.
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The day I fell in love with Slums (Day Ten)

     June 20th, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal
     Today I found out what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, because we went to the slums. We weren't planning on going today, but that is where God put us. We started ministry in a park in the middle of business of work and traffic. We focused on healing today, and we were able to pray for a deaf woman, who could not speak. We prayed several times and then gave her a tract to read, explaining the Gospel.
     My MIG talked to an older woman, everyone being led by the Spirit, but in the end, she rejected Christ. We kept the conversation going as long as we could, continuing to bring things about Christ up, but she didn't want to hear what we had to say. It breaks my heart and makes me feel like I failed- but I know it is a lie from the enemy! I am to open my mouth and share the Gospel- God does the moving and changing hearts, even if I don't get to see a persons salvation.
     I was not feeling well today at all. My head ached and my stomach turned. I did not want to back down, so I preached on and trusted the Lord would carry me though my pain. He endured a cross for these people- I can endure sickness in order to share that good news with them!
     Today was my day to share my testimony. I wasn't planning on it, but God moved in me and pushed me, commanding me to open my mouth with my story. So at every site today that is what I did. I shared my story, what the Lord has done in my life.
     Our next ministry site was a park right next to the street. After our program, Megan led us up to a man who she felt we should share with. I felt lightheaded and dizzy when I got up, but the Lord carried me. The man we spoke to had a deformed hand and had watched our drama. we jumped in and started praying for him before we explained the Gospel. We found our the man standing next to him, who he didn't even know, was a Christian and he helped explain the Gospel in Nepali. The man accepted Jesus! Anoch (our translator) pointed him to the nearest church, and invited him to come, to which he said yes, with a grin on his face. We could not get his contact information because he had neither a phone number or a home, but now he is a child of God.
The man in pink is the Christian and the man standing in front of us is the man with the deformed hand that accepted Christ! Jaymashi!
 
     At this point, I was not feeling well at all, but tried to eat some PB&J on the bus. Marissa took us to the church's squatties, the nicest we have been in yet, and while going potty, we all sand - 'I am a C. I am a C-H. I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N...' We had a little bathroom party.
     When we got to our bus again, Andy had a wonderful 'gift' for us. Electrolyte packets. I declined, instead having Gatorade. It was nasty stuff, but none of us wanted to feel sick.
     That was when we found out we were going to the slums. Our other ministry site didn't work out, so we went to a nearby slum. I cannot put into words what a Nepali slum is like, but I can try.
The 'river' next to the slum.


Walking through the slum to invite people to our drama.
 
     Houses made from sheets of metal packed in way too tightly, flies everywhere. The slums are pushed to the outskirts of town, and this slum was by the 'river' which is really just a sewage and trash collector. The children and parents- everyone is filthy. Half the children don't have pants or underwear and what they do have is ripped and worn. The smell is repulsive, but the smile on the people's faces when we came in outshone all of it. My MIG got to play with the kids.
     One dad brought his son over to me and motioned with his hands that he couldn't speak. So I picked him up and danced with him and tickled him until he started giggling. He may not be able to speak- but he can laugh!
He may never be able to speak, but he can laugh.
 
     We all had to pull ourselves away from the kids so we could do our drama. While we 'squared off' (making our  stage by using ourselves to make a 'square' where we can perform) our stage. Some of the kids ran over to us. One little girl would go all down the line of people and swing on our arms. What a precious girl!
     After our program, my MIG went to go talk to people. So many of them are Christians! We were so glad! Even amidst such pain and devastating way they live, they have hope in Christ!
     Afterwards we talked to a woman whose baby was sick. We got to pray with her even though she couldn't quite understand our translator (she knew a different dialect of Nepali). I wanted to hug them both! This love- hugging dirty children and serving weak women, it is something I have never known before.
     It reminds me of God's love for us. He sees us as filthy, covered in grime and dirt and sin but because of Jesus, He sees beyond it, to our hearts. He picks us up, spins us around and loves us.
     Even when I am not feeling well, I know that these people are changing me because I am way too selfish! I think that I am not feeling well, I am in pain- but what about these people?
     When we got home, we had to shower and wash our clothes. It hurt me to wash when I know those people cannot, but the truth of the Gospel is the most important thing we can give them.
     Love like Him! 1 Corinthians 13. But only by His power, because we can not see others the way He does unless we ask. So I will keep asking.

Highlights of the day:
     *Getting in a circle and praying for the deaf woman. We wanted to pray for healing and she was the first person God put in our path-so we prayed for her!
     *Laying hands on and praying for each other, for healing. So many people are not feeling well- but prayer is so powerful. I am so thankful for my teams willingness to just stop and pray.
     *Seeing the joy in the man's face when we prayed for his hand to be healed and when he accepted Christ. His face lit up when we said 'Jaymashi!' (Nepali for 'Praise the Lord', a greeting) and he replied with the same. New Christians have so much joy!
     *Playing with the kids in the slum, spinning them around and seeing their dirty faces light up whenever you smile at them. God cares about these children. =)
    
     My heart broke in that Nepali slum. Until that point, I was excited, glad to share the Gospel, attached to the people but not broken for these people, not burdened for this country. How can these people who have absolutely nothing be so completely joyful when we come in?
     When we came into the slum, we came out into this clearing by the river where we would do our drama. The women grabbed their brooms and swept away the trash on the ground. For us? Why do we deserve such honor?
     We don't. These people have a worse life here on earth, it would be devestating for them to have an even worse eternity in Hell. I am so thankful for the many Christians I met in the slum and was able to greet with 'Jaymashi!'.
     I want to be more like these beautiful people who live in the slum, more like the boy who can't speak but laughs when being loved on even in the midst of such horrors. The way they are living is hard to fathom if you haven't been in the midst of it, but people do live like that. Not just in that slum, but all over the world. I will never forget that slum and those people. They are forever on my heart and mind. Jesus, show me how to love like you do.

Slumdogs or Children of God?

Playing games...

The children bring us joy!

 Love.









 
There is no better feeling than when you are being the hands and feet of Jesus.
 James 1:27  - Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress... This is what TURE RELIGION is.
 

Love like that. (Day Nine)

      June 19th, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal
     How can I put into words all that I saw today, all that I felt? I asked the Lord to wreck me. To move in me and make me more like Him. today did not feel like ministry day two, but as though we were close to the end. If my heart is this burdened, this attached to these people now, what will God do will all of this time?
     We went to a shopping area to share the Gospel through our dramas and then talking to people. One woman, whose sister is a christian, decided to follow Jesus. (See the picture of us praying with the woman below.) Two men who were Hundu and Buddhist decided to seek the Lord and we gave then a Bible bookmarked in John.
     My MIG really endured today, from heat, feeling sick and not wanting to go on. From squatty potties to upset stomaches, we pressed on. Even with two girls sick (Brandi and Meg) we did our drama, we shared the Gospel.
     Satan keeps trying to attack us, but our God is greater, stronger and will not let us be stopped by these small things. We said 'Push me!' and He is pushing us all.
     We went to a park after our drama and this beautiful woman came running. Her name is Anita Lama and the only thing she knew about christians is that you cannot serve other gods.
     Before our drama and testimonies, to gather a crowd, we turned on music and danced. Anita Lama joined right in and showed us how to do some Nepali dancing. It made us all laugh as we joined in. She would throw her hands up in the air as though teaching us how to dance like the Nepali were a hopeless task! What a precious woman.
     After our drama, Marissa came over with our water jug to fill our bottles and the woman rushed over, and this is where my heart breaks a little more. I thought maybe she was thirsty and was going to try to drink some of our water. But no- she began grabbing our water bottles, taking their tops off and filling them for us. She isn't even a believer, but because we have the good news, she was serving us! I don't know that she made a decision to follow Christ today, but seeds have been planted and we trust God will carry her and that soon, so soon, she would trust Jesus as her Savior.
     When my MIG got up to talk to people, the first man said he was following tradition, being Hindu. We shared teh good news, but he said he was too old, he would share with his son though. Then he did something I won't forget- he walked away. He walked away from the most important message, the one we came all the way from America to share! Next we met some Christians who knew some English and were so encouraging to talk to! We prayed with them as we moved on. Something I am learning as a 'First Responder' is that I must be urgent! This may be the only change someone has to hear about Jesus! The last group we talked to was of four men, and a couple of boys who crowded in. One man said he had just returned from Iraq and was safe, and because of it he wanted Jesus as his Savior! His Hindu friend was considering it, but he was unsure. When we asked him if he wanted to trust Jesus and have a relationship with him, he said, 'I am thinking about it. I may go to church with him Saturday.' Even though he didn't accept, he has something to ponger and god's word never comes back void. We gave a Bible to the man who got saved, tracts to all of the men around us and got their contact info for the local pastor.
     Our next adventure was taking on another squatty potty. When we are serving the Lord, even that is a joy. A trial we count joy for Christ.
     Our next ministry site was a childrens home (all Christians). We stayed an hour longer than we were supposed to. We did our program, and introduced ourselves and then they wanted to sing for us. An as they sang, one of the women brought us all tea and cookies. They have so little, but they give freely!
     We played with the kids, loved them, stuck stickers on each others faces and both spoke in a launguage that we could both understand- love.
     They genuinely loved us and I love them. I hated saying goodbye, but I am so glad they are believers! We put our shoes on (that we had to take oss when coming in) and said our goodbyes.
     On our girst day of ministry (yesterday) on our way back 'home' so many people had to go potty... So bad it physically hut them. So we made an emergency stop at the bathroom and all of those who had to go got off and, hunched over, they wadled to the nearest potties! Today, that did not happen. Squatty potties were used and we made it back home.
     We ate supper quickly and went to our 'Worship & War Stories'. We shared about our days and what God had done and celebrated together! I shared about Anita Lama and cried- the truth of why we are here is so evident! Count these trials joy!
     We came to our room and got ready for bed, but in the process Sarah dropped her toothpast in the toliet. We all started laughing and then she had to fish it our with our only two hangers and threw it away, but nasty particles came up while she 'went fishing'. We couldn't stop laughing!
     Then I crawled into bed and closed my eyes for sleepy time. =) The Lord is teaching me so much about love- love I have never ever known before.

Highlights of the day:
     *Anita Lama coming to me, hungry for the Gospel and saying, 'Miro Nahm, Anita Lama.' I shared my name and her face lit up and she gave me a huge hug! What a beautiful woman that I will never forget!
     *Worship and war stories- sharing at the end of the day how God moved, and His power over everything. From slums to orphanages, God moved. We open our mouths and He works. Whether it is in speaking to others or speaking to the Lord!
     *Grinning at the children, not understand each other, but grinning and putting stickers on each others faces. sierra laughing and talking to the kids who didn't speak english. Love. Did I mention that on the bus ride home none of us wanted to pull the stickers off of our faces?
     *Party with Sierra's MAG! Beka, Rachel and Amaya. They're all crazy, but they love the Lord! IT is so nice to sit and listen to Amaya tell stories about Nepali men creeping her out. But one of the guys rescued her! She 'really needed a glass of water', our codeword for 'Guys! I need help from creepy men!'
     *Sarah Peters dropping her toothpaste in the toliet and having to fish it our with two metal hangers- now we cannot hang up our wet clothes. But at least the potty isnt clogged!

     I remember Anita Lama. Her face comes to mind and I pray for her. I miss that woman and I wish so much I could see her again. I pray that one day I will, in Heaven, because I know how hungry she was for Jesus.
     It really does seem like forever ago that I was in Nepal, but I loved every second. I didn't know yet that God would wreck my life in Nepal and change my heart. I already loved missions and God's heart for the lost, but He continued to change me and make me into a new person!
Performing our drama, The Journeyman. The Journey of one man trying to find the meaning of life and the answers to lifes great questions. 'Who made me and why am I here?' The Journeyman seeks the answers in greed, but then kills someone and his hands are stained red. He then continues to reject Jesus, his guilt eating him. He looks for fulfillment in pleasure (the scene above), power and intellect but only finds true redemption in Jesus. But the man is guilty and must die for what he has done. Jesus takes his place and is crucified on a cross. He then cleanses the journeymans hands and ultimately his guilt, and washes him clean. The Journeyman then tries to tell everyone else, making them break free from the cycle of life-eating, working and sleeping. 

Praying with a woman who accepted Jesus.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Broken & Beautiful (Day Eight)

     June 18th, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal
     Praise the Lord, for His name is great! His power surpasses all and His mercy is renewed every morning! Living with so many people who love the Lord is amazing. The people here on my project love the Lord and seek to honor Him. this summer, Christ will be proclaimed!
     From where I am sitting, I can see the mountains, beyond all of these run down buildings in Kathmandu. God is powerful. That huge mountain I can see- by faith, I can move it through Him. this is why I believe that God can do the impossible through me.
     We went to an area with lots of shopping going on and went out in our MIGs (Ministry groups of 4-6 people) and invited people to come to our drama then we did our drama (without music because it malfunctioned) and then went into the crowd to talk to people. One man was so hungry and seeking - He had questions but he didn't accept truth.
     There was a woman, there with her son, who was so hungry- she wanted the Lord, but we had to leave before we could talk to her. I was heartbroken walking away- but the Lord is faithful and we were able to plant seeds and pray for them.
     Our next ministry site was a school- I loved the kids and wished we could have stayed longer, but they had to get back to school. My prayer for them is that the seeds we were able to plant will grow.
     Our next site was similar to our first. We invited people and asked them to come watch. Afterwards I got to share the Gospel with someone, but the women didn't understand and they said they were Hindu. My heart was breaking again. How can I ever leave these people who so desperately need the Lord but are entangled in serving idols? The women didn't even know what they were missing out on, but they walked away.
     But... someone got saved today! Chris who is in my MIG shared the Gospel and a man said he believed it. Just stood up and said, "I believe it." (Through our translator, Anoch.) It. Was. Amazing. We prayed with him and then he gestured to the woman beside him and said, 'This is my wife!' We suggested he share with her the truth and he nodded, assuring us he would. We gave him a Bible, a tract and got his contact information for the local church to follow up. Hallelujah! This is why I am here!
     Afterwards I played 'Duck, Duck, Goose' with the kids and it was so much fun. I am loving being the hands and feet of Jesus! When I looked over at the man who got saved, while still playing with the kids, he had opened the bible and was reading and sharing with his wife. What a blessing! It hurts to be rejected, but it is Christ who is being rejected, I just need to speak!
     My heart is attaching itself to these people and God is doing something inside of me that I don't quite understand but I want Him to do His beautiful work in me.
     I am inadequate for this work. Praise God that He is coming in and taking over. When I open my mouth to speak in faith, He moves. He changes hearts and people.
     Over supper I had a great talk with Beka- our hearts are crumbling for these people and we want truth heard, so badly. The urgency of this message is bigger than we have ever thought before, and we MUST take this love and message home with us. If we can ask what people who are strangers think of Jesus, we can ask those at home.
     I will live my life in such a way that I WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!

     Highlights of the day:
     *Talking with the pastor of the local church and hearing about christians in their culture- so persecuted and cast out! He and his family had to leave his previous home because of his faith! He said many people come to the Lord through healings- may the Lord grant many healed through His power this summer!
     *The children at the school just giggling in delight of seeing us, each one wanting to touch your hand before you left. I could have stayed with those kids for hours and showed them exactly what love looks like.
     *A beautiful, forgotten woman who wanted love, wanted Jesus. She had no one, but Naomi sought her out and loved her. The woman's responce was thankful, but when we were leaving she came to Naomi and said, 'Don't ever forget me.'

     A lot happened on this beautiful day, our first day of ministry. I was so alive, so eager and ready that it hardly felt like day one of ministry. I know that when I walked away from the woman at the first sight who was so hungry, I was upset and dissapointed. My MIG hadn't really known what to say and we were just unsure of what to do. At our last sight, the women who walked away from me caused my heart to sting, and maybe my pride. I shared the Gospel the exact same way Christ did, and yet the people he spoke to got saved. I had to rest in the fact that God does different things in the hearts of different people. Even though those women walked away, I wont forget them and I won't stop asking God to change their hearts.
     My heart really was broken for those beautiful people.
 
Dinner! So yummy!

 
My dear friend as we share dinner conversation.
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Eyes Open Wide (Day 7)

     June 17th, 2012     Kathmandu, Nepal
     I have been here less than a week (well, with my team) and I feel like I know them all and have been with them for weeks or months! God has brought us together in a way that only He can accomplish. I love my team so much!
     We had to get up early, but I feel so much better after getting rest! We were later for breakfast, but grace abounds and we won't be late again. In the name of Jesus, we won't. Our God is a God of order- and He takes care of us!
     We had drama training and skit practice with the team (Go First Responders!) and got so much accomplished. I feel like we are ready to share the Gospel through our drama.
     Mr MAG made our PB&J for lunch today and enjoyed serving our team. The guys are being great and filling up our water bottles all the time! I really feel like our team is family.
     We went on a prayed walk through part of Kathmandu where a lot of Tibetan refugees are staying. All of the temples here- with ever breath these people serve hundreds of gods that dont exist. My heart is breaking for these people already. They are so trapped and entangled in lies. We sand 'Break Every Chain' on the bus on the way back. The things I saw today are still sinking in, but they are laying on my heart heavily. These people need Jesus- He will rescue and redeem them!
     Dinner was great- the food here is wonderful! I got to talk with girls from the other team over supper and I enjoyed it! I haven't really gotten to talk to them since we got here to Nepal!
     We had session with Candace and spent the evening reading the word, proclaiming TRUTH! Satan may try to stop us, but God conquers with love, mercy and grace! My heart will sing no other name- Jesus! Tomorrow is our first day of ministry and I am thrilled. THIS is the reason why I am here- to proclaim truth and to come with power in the name of Jesus!
     Namaste! (Good day in Nepali.)

     Highlights of the day:
     *Breakfast was delicious! Tibetan bread, hard boiled eggs, and delicious Masala tea! It was almost like chai- but so much better! I love Nepali food! Also, whenever we say 'Namaste' to the Nepali people and grin, they turn from serious to smiling, they laugh and repeat the greeting!
     *On our prayer walk we saw a huge idol that these people would more through the streets for their festivals for their gods. The idol was made from some sort of straw, piled high. Our interpreter told us that when we arrived in Nepal, it rained and now that idol is sopping wet and soggy. We are an army that has arisen! We bring GREAT news!

     Being in Nepal for my first full day seemed like I had been there for SO MUCH LONGER! It seemed so natural to walk through the streets of Nepal, yet there was a heaviness that I could feel, almost tangible. God, please break every chain. Jesus, there is power in Your name.
 
Breakfast. Yummy!

 
The chicken skit.

 
Megan shares her testimony for the first time to the team.

 

Close Calls and Jet Lag (Day 6)

     June 16th, 2012     Nepal, Kathmandu
     Talk about close calls? We landed in India very early this morning and had to go through immigration, customs, baggage claim, ticketing, baggage check, departure immigration, security and to our gate in three hours.
     Our time was ticking as soon as we stepped off of our plans and complications kept coming. Satan tried to get in the way! Johnelle and Marissa had to go elsewhere because Johnelle did not have her India visa yet (she was planning on getting it when we got to Nepal). Then we left them, praying for them, and headed to ticketing. We couldn't find where to go, and when we were finally directed that we needed to go upstairs, we headed to the elevator. The problem was that all of the Indian men continued to push in front of us and not let us on the elevator. Finally, all of us were on the next floor with our team leader leading the way to check our bags and get our boarding passes. Then we were having issues because we had Johnelle's and Marissa's bags to check, but because they weren't with us, we had to pay extra for them. Our TL Jacob stayed behind and we went through security. Then when we were all assembled, minus Jacob, Marissa and Johnelle, we ran with all that we were to get to our gate. As we sprinted through the airport, down to the gate that was furthest away from us, we saw people pulling our cameras and taking pictures. We were shouting things at each other like 'Sliced bread! Be a communion clump! No bread crumbs!' To keep the group together, encouraging everyone who was running out of energy or in pain because of their swollen ankles.
      At last we reached our gate, everyone panting and out of breath from running while lugging our bags with us. We found that we had gotten to our gate as the words 'Final Call' were flashing on the screen, instructing us to board.
     All up to that point we had prayed and prayed and prayed! God wants us in Nepal! When we was that Marissa and Johnelle sat waiting for us, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. We had no idea how they got there, but were glad to see them. We turned back and noticed that Jacob was sprinting towards us. We were asked to board and as we got on our plane, the details from Johnelle and Marissa spilled out. They had been unable to get through immigration because of the lack of Johnelle's visa. Instead, they were taken where they weren't supposed to be allowed to go and led to their gate, where they had been sitting for an hour waiting for us, with no idea where we were. Praise the Lord we all made it! Sweating, exhausted, extremely jet lagged and ready to be in Nepal, we settled into our seats.
     When we got into Nepal, I was overcome by its beauty. On some level it reminds me of Jamaica, but it is a very spiritual heavy country. It is so hard to see the people at their temples worshipping gods who dont exist. It is heartbreaking but I am already falling in love with this country.
     We got to our hotel and it is nice, so much nicer than what I was expecting. the Lord is going to bless us here. I am so excited to do ministry, but my jet lag is killer. I never understood it until now. IT is currently 6:30 AM on Saturday according to my body (or back home) and I haven't slept since 'Thursday night', and only for a few hours.
     We had food, showers and them more drama training. We love our room and shower- my MAG and I. The shower is just a spout in the bathroom. The bathroom is the shower! I love the hotel we are in and just relaxing with my MAG.
     I crave sleep so desperately but I am holding out for bedtime here in Kathmandu. Its almost suppertime here and then we have session and I am hoping to crash afterwards!
     I am homesick, but my family all knows I am in Nepal and are looking forward to my phonecall. I miss them, but I trust and know this is where I am supposed to be. I am in ASIA! The feeling is surreal and crazy! I can't believe I traveled over 30 hours to get here-but here I am- Praise the Lord!
     The call home was hard. I texted mom at two in the morning her time- but she texted back that she loves me and is praying for me! when I called, I could barely speak because of the tears. I got to talk to mom and dad and by the end of the call, I was crying. I love them and miss them! But I know Jesus is about to do huge things! By dinner time I was more than ready for bed. Jet lag is crazy! Praise the Lord that all of this is for His perfect purpose!
   
     Highlights of the day:
     *Sprinting through the airport shouting 'Sliced bread! No bread crumbs! A communion clump!' and having people stare and take pictures of us crazy people! We stay together like sliced bread when traveling. And then shouting 'TAG- Get with your TAG!' Encouraging each other not to stop but to keep running!
     *A hot shower. That's right. We have hot water! The Lord is good to give us this gift! AND we got eight hours of sleep to recover from jet lag! It is so good to get to sleep!
     *Sierra in her jet-lagged state, blowing through her pipe that is used as a prop in our drama, but shouting 'I just harpooned you!' and then blowing multiple times at the birds. Everyone is a little loopy...

     Oh my goodness. That was one of the craziest days. I remember the craziness in the airport and I remember finally sitting down on the flight to Kathmandu and crying as I shut my eyes. I didn't even know why I was upset. I was just SO tired and I didn't know what else to do. All day I was up and down emotionally and looking back I know I just needed sleep. Seriously, jet lag feels like you just want to go lie down and be unconscious for the next week. I did not like it AT ALL. But thankfully, we were well recovered the next day.
     That night when we had session, it was so hard. We went to the roof and it was dark, no lights. We worshipped but I couldn't keep my eyes open and I kept falling asleep standing up and then I would start to collapse and the girl next to me would catch me and wake me up. When she would fall, I did the same. We sat down and were urged to stay away and listen to Deepak, our partner in Nepal. But the only thing I remember him saying that night was something about ministry in the mountains. That was it. I don't remember anything else at all. How insane.

                        
Everyone was excited/shocked to be in Nepal, especially after all it took to finally get there!


Some of the worst swollen feet/ankles that we had. Hurt so much.


We are ready for ministry...right? Maybe after a shower and a nap.


This is where our bus was parked, and we would walk here everyday from our hotel. There always seemed to be kids everywhere.


We were slightly ruffled from over 30 hours of traveling, but remember that this was pre-shower. We were all feeling much better after that.
(P.S. Steph, I love you and miss you!)


Our bed! Three little monkeys are sleeping in this bed... Our just my little Mag.


See what I mean about the shower?


This was the view from our room. It was lovely, and usually we would see people pull up on their motorcycles. A fun little lookout.

This is what jet lag looks like.

Flight Time (Day Five)

June 15th, 2012      Qatar & India
     When I write this, it is technically Saturday an 2:33AM, but my body is still on Kansas/Texas time and I am not asleep. All day I have been on planes. At 7:15 PM, Doha, Qatar time, we transfered to a new flight in one hour. We rushed off of our plane, found our TAG and headed for our next gate, and went through security again. Then we boarded our flight to Dehli, India! I am thirty minutes away from landing in India.
     Then we have a layover until we fly to Kathmandu, Nepal! For the past eight months I have been waiting for this moment! Our hard work and God's perfect faithfulness has brought us to this moment. I am so glad to be sitting on a plane next to people who love the Lord and getting ready to spend the next two months doing ministry together!
     We form a bond that is deep and born of a need for great Christian fellowship. I absolutely love the people I am with, but we have to give up what is most important to us and what we lean on to find true dependance on Him. He is so faithful and being where I am right at this moment confirms much in my heart. I am EXACTLY where He wants me!
     I feel a sadness for Dove, one of the girls in my MAG who didn't get what was needed for her Nepal visa and ended up on GE campus for the next month, in hopes that she can come with the India B team.
     She had such a great attitude when she found our and we know God has great things for her, but we will miss her! May the Lord bless her abundantly.
     I am about to land in India!!!

     Highlights of the day:
     *Laughing about swollen feet and eyes and praising the Lord for His faithfulness, and booking it with my TAG through the Qatar airport, and getting on our next flight with little time to spare.
     *Talking with the flight attendant and even though it wasn't mentioned that we are missionaries, she said it sounded like we were going to help people! They will know us by His love...

Oh my, I wrote this right before I landed in India and had one of the most insane airport expieriences of my life! But, more on that later. As I type this out, I remember Dove and am so sad she didn't get to come to Nepal and India with us. She ended up getting to go to Panama, which is great! But she was in my MAG and we would have been SO close! Well, God is faithful and I know she is exactly where she was supposed to be. I trust Him and I know she did too! It was a GREAT reunion when I got back to Texas, two months later, and saw her. I gave her a big hug and asked her how everything was. She ended up going to Panama for a month, and just staying on campus while we were in Nepal. What an amazing, flexible follower of Christ!
 
Our progress! We were on that plane for a very long time!

 
Everytime we were asked what we wanted for a meal on our flight, the three of us would ask for the same thing, even getting the same drink. This was a lovely breakfast and great Columbian coffee. (Or at least I think that's what the flight attendant said it was...)

 
Before I left on my trip, I promised a dear friend that every time I saw a butterfly I would pray for her. This is the first butterly that I saw.

 
First sunrise on the other side of the world...