Sunday, July 14, 2013

What 22 Taught Me

A couple of weeks ago, America and I had a birthday. I celebrated 23 years of life with watermelon and a poolside cookout. As I watched the sky explode with fireworks I thought back on what "22" taught me (not the T-Swift song). This is what I found...

 There is wisdom in knowing that you don't know everything.

 There is beauty in being who God made you instead of who you think someone else may want you to be
 There is joy in being honest. On our good and bad days, in struggle and triumph, its of utmost importance to have integrity.

 God delights in honoring our tiny, seemingly insignificant desires....because he loves us. 

 Family is a beautiful gift. 

 We can not change the decisions of others, but we can change the way that we respond

 If our greatest dreams come true, but we don't have the presence of doesn't seem that great at all.

 When you follow the Lord with blind faith, he will lead you to places you could never go on your own. 

 Thats all for now....Have a great day :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Recap of Nepal:12

This is Pratima. If it weren't for her and her lovely daughter Kathrine, Georgina and I would have been pretttttty lonely. But Pratima came to visit us everyday, and after some time, we all became very close. It was very hard to leave them, but we were comforted in the hope that we would return soon. So THANKYOU to Pratima, the worlds greatest sister. 

I should also give a shout out to Mama Soba. She cooked for us on this cute little outside fire ALL the time. She was always making sure we had everything we needed, and wanted. Thankyou, Soba!

Nepalgunj isn't exactly a tourist when Georgina and I met another white girl, we were pretty fascinated....and she had awesome you know she had to be cool :) This is Millie, from Danmark. We instantly clicked with her because we understood each other, and we were both far from home. Millie was volunteering in a School nearby for 6 months, and through her friendship I was introduced to "The Little Prince". This is a shout out to Millie for being one of the most compassionate and down to Earth people I know.  

This is Karuna...she is HILARIOUS and so cute. She was my source of joy throughout the whole trip. So THANKYOU Karuna! 

This is James...I mean...come on...I think you get why he needs a shout out. 

My number one shout outs go to Pasotor K.B. & Sushilla Basel, Uncle Rick & Aunt Bev Zachary, and Georgina Ball. 
They all inspire me to follow hard after the plan that God has for my future. They sacrifice, they trust, they pray, and they LOVE loud. 
God bless them all. 

.After two months of excitement and adventure, Georgina and I got an awesome chance to relax for a couple of days in the lovely city of Bhaktapur before returning home. For the most part, we spent our time shopping and touring and relaxing and reading. We also got to visit a dear friend of mine from Moldova who moved to Nepal 4 years ago…small world huh. and for the grand finally, we got to see Mt. Everest!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Recap of Nepal: 11

A Perfect Picnic Party-
I don’t know why, but I've always dreamed of riding an elephant….I just stinking love those animals. And this dream finally came true.

Not only did we get to tower through the jungle on this monster, but we also enjoyed a lovely picnic with our church family. It was full of dancing, singing, eating, and more dancing of course.

You see that man in the picture above? That is Doct. He was part of a 200 year linage to become a Hindu priest…that was until his water buffalo got sick.
 In much desperation, he prayed in the name of Jesus that his water buffalo be healed….and of course….it was. NOW Doct is one of the leaders of the Gospel ministry in Nepalgunj. In fact, his father and his whole family are also Christ followers.
All because God healed a water buffalo.

Recap of Nepal: 10

GAN Nepal- Dec 1

Towards the beginning of the trip, I went walking a the field for some time alone. I was feeling confused about why I was even in Nepal in the first place, and I didn't feel like I was being used the way I hoped  (Which was pretty silly and prideful…but anyway) I just so happened to run into a man named Tilak.

 To my surprise, he spoke very good English and we struck up a conversation. I found out that he worked in the G.A.N. Nepal office, which is a nonprofit that the Basel’s had started (I had no idea it even existed….but that isn't surprising since we found out about new ministries that they were involved in everyday). The nonprofit existed to meet all sorts of needs in the community. They dug water wells, provided medical assistance, and rescued girls from the risk of being sold into trafficking.  That day I offered to help them out in any way that I could, but I never imagined the surprises ahead.
It turned out that G.A.N. Nepal (Gospel Assembly Network) did need some help, and we were just in time and position to take action. Georgiana and I began helping teach Mr. Tilak English skills, and we were able to write many English reports about the recent rescues of many young girls.
Since Nepalgunj is only 1 mile from the India border, many crooks migrate through the town with young girls who they are planning to sell into slavery. G.A.N. Nepal has a counseling booth on the boarder that stops any suspicious characters for questioning. After hearing all of this, we were anxious to visit. So, we hoped on a rickshaw and rode on down to India…well almost India.

There at the booth, we met a young girl named Keshari. The day before, 13 yr old Keshari was on a rickshaw headed to India with her husband (who she was forced to marry). The G.A.N. Nepal staff spotted Keshari crying after she overheard her husband talking about how they planned to sell her when they got to India. G.A.N. Nepal staff stopped the rickshaw to ask a few questions, and immediately the husband fled… I guess he knew he was in big trouble. To keep Keshari safe, some of the local church ladies took her into their home. Then, the day after we met her at the counseling booth, we saw her again at church. That very day, she accepted Christ.
I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have that kind of a testimony. The same dreadful rickshaw ride into what she thought would be slavery turned out to be a ride that brought her to salvation and freedom.

Recap of Nepal: 9

Thanksgiving- Nov 24

You know what’s cool? 
They don’t even have to celebrate Thanksgiving in Nepal, but this year…..they did. Hundreds of church members flooded in for a time of prayer and thanksgiving and feasting. Even though the lights went out during worship, no one stopped singing. We continued service as if nothing ever happened, lifting our voices to the Lord in the dark.
Later on that night we all sat around and watched home videos from the past. For the first time, I began to feel at home in Nepalgunj. There were children in my lap, there was laughter and the air, and I decided then that I could stay forever and that would be just fine.

Recap of Nepal: 8

School- Nov 14
One day, Georgina and I got a chance to sit down with Pastor KB Basel and hear the story of how Sophia English School got its start. 

Honestly, I could never even begin to explain all that God did to orchestrate the plan…so ill just be brief. 
In a nutshell, the Basel family depended on God for EVERYTHING. There were some days when they didn't know if they would have food, and there were some times they didn’t know where to go next…but God always provided. Now, through that seed of faith, the family manages a flourishing ministry for the Lord. Sophia English School is just one small part of it.

You know what else is really awesome? Most all of these children were brought up in the Hindu religion. While at Sophia School, some of them came to know the goodness of the Lord. Not only did they receive the abundant joy of knowing Christ…but they also took it back home into their families. Hooray for childlike faith!

Recap of Nepal: 7

Youth conference- nov 12

After only one week of teaching English at Sophia, Georgina and I found out that there would be a 10 day holiday from school for a huge Hindu festival. I must admit that I was a little disappointed at first…I mean what was I going to do with all that free time? Luckily, there was a youth conference that I didn’t know about yet, and our home was going to be flooded with 1,000 teenagers 
(and I got  to share my testimony with them)

I love teenagers really…they’re just so inspirational…and a bit silly.
These particular teenagers were some of the coolest people on the continent of Asia….and they really loved the Lord. They would wake up at 5 am everyday for prayer (not because they had to…but because they wanted to), and each week they would go out into the community to share The Gospel with friends, family, or just someone they met on the street. Sometimes people wouldn't receive it, but then there were those other times when miracles happened. 

I remember one particular day when a few girls were going to the local prison. When they first arrived, the guard scolded them and told them they had no business bringing their Bibles around…..but after they shared their personal stories, that same guard had some sort of change of heart. They even invited the girls to come back for devotional time as often as they wished.

They didn't back down and they didn't stop praying.
They knew they couldn't do it alone, but the power of God could.
They were willing to risk everything for their prison bound family members to see hope.
It was more valuable to them than life.