Nepal Update – Day 4

Well, we are almost done with our trip and it feels like we have been here about 1 day (Yolanda said she feels like its been a month :). Today we went to the Botanical Garden for a picnic with the kids about five miles out of town and it was beautiful. We were surprised at how lush and green the forest area was in comparison to the city. We also experienced the “price gouging” of foreigners with the fee to get into the park. For the kids and managers it was 10 rupies and for Yolanda and I it was 100 rupies (this is still like $1.40 but still way more expensive) It was another wonderful time hang out with the kids, playing games with them and just loving on them. We then had a great dinner of chicken curry, rice and lentils for dinner with fruit cocktail for dessert.
I have found since being here that its not necessarily what we DO with the kids as much as BEING with them. Its a lot like our relationship with God. We often get caught up in doings things for God instead of just desiring to spend time with him. When I first came to Kathmandu I didn’t really know the kids and just thought they wanted me to DO things for them. As I spend more time with them, I can see that the things I do for them are ancillary to just being here with them. When we really get to know God we learn that all He wants from us is our time and the rest will be an overflow of that time spent with Him. God wants us to live our lives for him not out of duty or a sense of “have to” but because of the progressive and organic nature of a life surrendered to him and ready to do things based on love.
Today, take a few minutes and just spend time with God. Listen, maybe write down some things God shares or just sit and be silent. It will make all the difference in your relationship with Him. Have a great day and tomorrow will be the final update from Nepal!

Nepal update Day 3

Today was another great day with the kids. Its like I can’t spend enough time with them! Today we went to a field of cows, goats, lots of dirt and hardly any grass which to these kids is a palatial plot of land to play soccer and other field games. I tried to play goalie but was not good at all. My team lost and I owed the winning team 5 bottles of coke which to these kids was like winning the World Cup itself! The more time I spend with them the more comfortable I can sense they are with me. Mina, the little girl I just adore here, held my hand all the way back from playing games. She was repeating everything I said and was laughing and talking with me which was much different than last time. When she smiles my heart just melts. All of them are really good kids and I can see future potential in each one of them. Emmanuel and Hannah, the orphanage managers, do such a great job with them and we can see greatness in their lives.
I was thinking about the greatness that God sees in us if we would give him control of our lives and let him adopt us into his family. When we commit our lives to Jesus we make changes in our lives and choose to live with him and have him take care of us. As we walked back from the field where we were playing games the level of despair and the condition of the city is so apparent and just breaks my heart. I think of each one of our kids and the life they would be leading if they were not in the orphanage. Then I consider the ways my life would be different if I was not under Gods covering and care. Just another reminder here in Kathmandu of what God means to me and what the orphanage and care we can give these kids means to them. God has been so good to the children’s home and we know that the greatest days are yet to come!! See you tomorrow with another Nepal update! Have a great day

Nepal Update day 2

Our second full day in Nepal was all about spending the money we brought on games and food supplies for the picnic we are doing tomorrow. We were so blessed to have people give us supplies as well as money before we left to be able to buy some things for the kids. They are so rough on everything! We bought them a soccer ball in February when we were here and it had all of the leather disks off of it! This is why we are always open to people donating things including money so we can help improve their level of daily living. With them being out of school right now they don’t have bikes or a city park to go play in. They have to stay inside the compound pretty much everyday which can get monotonous.
Also, we apparently had 2 earthquakes last night while we were asleep! Yolanda and I slept right through them but our waiter this am said he felt them last night. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing that we didn’t feel them. 🙂
So for today, I wanted to share something I read in my devotional when we first got here and I have been thinking about it ever since. The city just finished a Hindu holy week and I was listening to our orphanage manager tell us about how confusing it is to be Hindu and the rules that are a part of that religion. Then I read in my Watchman Nee book an interesting concept; God gave man the law in the Bible as an order to live by, but did it with the full knowledge that we would break it! If the law was able to be kept in our own power (or now days, that we would be able to follow Christ if we could just “do the right things”) then we wouldn’t need Christ. This just blew my mind! My success as a Christian doesn’t come from just doing the things that make me a Christian. It comes from me totally surrendering my life to Christ and asking Him what to do next. It is simple from the standpoint of surrender to God but difficult in calming my mind to think like Christ and have my actions be an overflow or reflection of the change that has happened in my heart. So today, think of what motivates your actions? I want Christ to be the light in my life and for my life to be the mirror that reflects his love and power to lost, dark and hurt world. See you tomorrow!!

Monday in Nepal

Its so great to be back in Nepal to see our kids at the orphanage. It was a total of 23 hours of just flight time and 2 days total of travel with layovers but worth every moment to see the kids. We had 18 kids when we were here in February and the orphanage took in 3 more kids since then so they now have a total of 21. Its interesting that the things with the greatest impact for me when I come here is the little things. Like seeing the kids faces when we brought in a few footballs, popcorn, 3 movies and vitamins. In America we would have been like “woopdie doo” but those kids were so excited and I thought about how grateful I am for all the things I have back home. I was thinking in the back of my mind how it was inconvenient to not have a computer at the hotel where we are but I am typing this blog on my Blackberry from work and if I got bored with this phone I have my iphone I could use as well. I also called my sister and my parents yesterday over the internet on my blackberry for free. I guess I don’t have it so bad after all. I mentioned on my facebook about a girl from America who was complaining about everything at lunch yesterday and I wanted to walk over and tell her that she was embarassing herself, first of all, and then invite her to the orphanage to see just how good she really had it. The pace of life for me is the greatest deterrence to keeping a healthy perspective about the way I am blessed. Yolanda and I have planned trips back here at least once a year for the foreseeable future and have also had some people say they want to come with us when we come in May of 2011. So, for today, take a step back from whatever you are doing to appreciate the little things in life and don’t let your desire for convenience get in the way of your understanding of gratefulness.

The health care plan and Gods possible future for Christians

I was talking with a guy on my airplane flight home about the health care plan that is being proposed for the US by President Obama. He said that he actually voted for Obama but had “voters regret” with some of the choices the president has made in recent days concerning the health care of America. We were talking about the “prioritization” of health needs that would be in the current version of the health bill which led me to share with him about my eye condition I had and that I would have probably lost my eye if I was “prioritized” under the national health care being proposed. I am a firm believer that there must be some sort of reform in healthcare because of the wicked medical bills my wife and I have endured for the past 5 years and the crushing blow of getting sick and especially the doctors not knowing what was causing my sickness. After I settled into my seat for the remainder of my flight I felt like I had a moment with God sharing something with me. Please hear me; I DO NOT want the current health care bill to pass, but what an amazing opportunity for the church of Christ and Christians to pray for people and their healing if something like the proposed plan would go through. I believe the Bible when it talks about future events that need to happen before Jesus comes again but I think we have a hard time believing it would be in our lifetime. Can you imagine it? The healthcare bill goes through, people are denied care from their doctors because of some government regulation in place so all they have is having a Bible believing person ready to pray for them and Expect them to be healed. Talk about amazing testimonies from all around America! They would be on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, local, national and even probably world news. I really feel like God put this thought in my mind because of an incease of trust I need to have with God and nothing else. As a Christian I need to do my part to let my voice be heard when I disagree with decisions my government chooses, but at the same time, I don’t want to stand in the way of God having a greater plan for us and this country than we could even imagine, dream or think. I only pray that God increases our faith to a point that if we as Christians are called on to lift those kinds of prayers that we will not let the United States of America down. That may just be the hour of thier greatest need. I am now not praying for the healthcare bill to fail, but for God to have his way in this country. Are you with me?

so you think you know pain?

Here is a picture of my eye when it was at its worst.  I was looking at these again with Yolanda and she said she didn’t want to see them.  When we look at them, it really does bring back a rush of emotions from the past and the pain that I was in and our family in general.  We all have pain from our past and sometimes we have little reminders that can keep us trapped in how we used to feel.  I had thoughts of suicide, i asked yolanda one time if she was going to leave me because of the physical and emotional liability I felt like I was to the family, I was out of ministry and my call felt stalled, I was getting about 1.5 hours of sleep each night and would get up at 2:30am to take a bath and pull on my hair because it hurt so bad, we still have lots of medical bills to pay, I went through a period of time where I didn’t want to leave the house and see ANYONE or talk to anyone and I am now taking a pill that is helping my eye but could give me bladder cancer if I take it too long.  These are just a few of the things that I have been going through the past 4.5 years, but I also have to think back on the good things that Have happened like…many people in the church blessing us with food, money and prayers, a church that re-hired me when I could have still been a medical liability for them as an organization (thanks Sarah and Reece), knowing that there are literally hundreds of people around the globe that are praying for me, a wife that loves me and only see’s me as already healed, a new perspective on life that has changed my relationship with Jesus FOREVER, a loving mom and dad that have both offered me there eyes and countless people that God has opened my eyes to (pun intended) that need Jesus and will listen to me because I have actually had my faith tested and I know what I believe.  All that to say this; you have an option whenever you go through something in life.  You can easily look at the negative or the bad, but you need to seek out the positive and not ask God WHY but ask him WHAT.  Not WHY is this happening to me, but WHAT are you teaching me and what do I need to learn about myself and my purpose in this life.