Nepal Orphanage update! First day of our clinic

Greetings from Nepal!!

We had a great day yesterday doing dental work along with handing out some eye glasses. Our kids did awesome considering the fact that they had never seen a dentist before in their entire lives. I know for me it is always an “interesting” experience when I go to the dentist back in the states (and I don’t mean it is enjoyable – haha) Today we are doing dental and glasses for a school in the area and then packing up to get ready to head to the Nepal / Tibet boarder for help in the village there. God is doing great things and thanks for continuing to pray!!

This morning I was reading in 1 Samuel 7 where Samuel was talking to the people of Israel about requirements for following God and dealing with idols in their lives. This is what it says;
1 Samuel 7:3-4
3 Samuel spoke to the whole community of Israel. He said, “Do you really want to return to the LORD with all your hearts? If you do, get rid of your strange gods. Get rid of your statues of goddesses that are named after Ashtoreth. Commit yourselves to the LORD. Serve him only. Then he will save you from the powerful hand of the Philistines.”
4 So the people of Israel PUT AWAY their statues of gods that were named after Baal. They PUT AWAY their statues of goddesses named after Ashtoreth. They served the LORD only.

Are you PUTTING AWAY your idols that you put in front of God or DESTROYING them? Those are two different foundations to serve God from. In verse 4, it says they served the LORD only.
We can still be serving God today but have idols that we have not destroyed or hidden for when we want to honor our flesh and not God. When you get rid of something you are saying that you don’t want to rely on it anymore. When you “put away” an idol you are essentially saying, “God you are awesome…but if this thing goes crooked with following you then I have a back up plan”. Right now in Nepal is one of the big Hindu festivals and there are plenty of physical “idols” around town that people are worshipping and sacrificing to. In America, it is much more subtle but still as deadly. Don’t mistake the difference with putting something away in your life and destroying it. God is worthy to be praised, followed and honored in all circumstances and will take care of those who destroy everything else in their life that can bring a false sense of security, which is the primary definition of an idol.

We made it to Nepal!!

Today we got up and had a delicious breakfast at our hotel and (of course) Masalla Tea, which is one of my favorite beverages on the planet. We went to church today and it never ceases to amaze me how much the Napali people worship/love God. Coming to church is actually one of my favorite experiences because it helps put into perspective not just American overindulgence economically, but American UNDER-indulgence Spiritually back home. This is one of the best reasons to go on a missions trip and really experience God from a Spiritual “world-view.” The funny thing is that its not really about “loving and worshiping Jesus” like a Nepalese. It’s the seeking of God with the same wreak-less abandon that looks past the distractions of life. The love and care of the “church body” in Nepal is amazing and I love watching the team we brought experiencing God in a different way than they are used to. More adventures to follow including setting up the clinic today and working on the eyes and teeth of the orphans. Tune in for more updates and thanks for praying!!

T-Minus 3hours 15 Minutes

I am typing this post from my home computer before we leave for Nepal tonight.  Everything is packed and we are ready to roll!  Please be praying for protection as we travel as well as no sickness or lost bags on the flight over for the next 2.5 days of flights through three country’s.  Thanks so much to everyone who gave in some way financially, vitamins, scarves etc. for the kids.  We totally appeciate it and know it is all going to help build the Kingdom!!  Thanks and let the journey/adventure begin!!

Nepal May trip update

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Well we are in Nepal again and it has been another wonderful trip. We had great flights on Qatar Airlines (definitely recommended if flying in this part of the world) and it was only 26 hours of flight time which was the shortest of the three trips we have made over here. If anyone knows anything about Nepal they know that the government has “challenges” which is an understatement. There is going to be a bandh tomorrow and Monday which is where groups of people that are protesting the current government shut down the city traffic and force all the shops in the city to close down. We have really been working hard to get the majority of our shopping for orphanage supplies done the first couple of days to avoid the shutdowns around the city. So far for me this trip has been about perspective and my life back in the states. Everyone in the US will admit that the past few years we have undergone some pretty serious problems with our economy and just the government fighting and not getting a lot done no matter if you are democrat or republican. Here, it is just absolutely insane. The country has 7 days left to write and ratify a constitution for all the people, and opposing people groups are shutting down entire cities because they don’t like what is going on. The people here live in abject poverty yet these party’s find time to strike and not make income to support their families and the government in general. Things like this would NEVER happen in America and it is something that helps me be thankful for what we do have back home. What we have is not a perfect system but we don’t have the level of disorganization like what is happening over here every day.
It was also refreshing to go to an all Napoli church today and not understand a blessed thing that was said except for “Jesus” occasionally. 🙂 It helped me to gain a perspective of/for people who come to my home church who don’t speak English and how they feel. I can now understand that there would definitely be a greater emphasis on the worship/music because they could recognize the melody and sing the songs in their language.
The passion that people have for God in church is so unreal. I do believe that the US church has people who genuinely love God, but when the church here gets done singing an old 80’s song like “Lord I Lift Your Name On High” and then break into open worship for about 5 solid minutes it is no contest in comparison with America. I have always wondered what the difference is from foreign lands to America and I really feel it has to do with distractions and not quieting ourselves and letting God reveal himself in deeper ways. We get distracted with things we can’t control (work, sickness, family issues, etc) but also with things we can control (tv, music, entertainment, etc) It is so refreshing to get re-calibrated over here as well as spending time with these kids we love so much.
Tonight we get to buy the kids pizza and play some games with them. With all the crap going on with the government the next couple of days we get to spend more time with the kids because they will not be in school so that is one plus. More updates to come!

Last Nepal Post! Time to come home

Well, we have had a great time in Nepal and its time to come home! We went around town for a final day of personal shopping finding shoes for the kids for school and buying one more game that is a large board that is played like pool but with small plastic disks. I really feel a connection with the kids here now more than ever. I definitely believe more than ever that us being here consistently will help with making a connection with the kids. We were able to pray over them and then all the guys gave me a big group hug which was awesome. Yolanda tried to hug the girls but they are so painfully shy that only a few wanted to hug her. It feels so good to know that you are making a difference in the lives of children on the other side of the world. I am already exicted to come back in May!! Denver, we will see you in about 31 hours 🙂

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.