I’d been praying about going to Nepal for the last three years, and when the time finally came this last January, I had deep fears and doubts about what I was really doing. I left a great paying job and was leaving relationships I held dear. Though I was only leaving for 5 weeks, I was overwhelmed about the decision I locked into.
But what happened to my life in Nepal was nothing short of a miracle. Though I had many plans for my life after my return from Nepal, I was open to the idea of letting God radically change my person as a whole. Halfway through the trip I decided to stay even longer because the thought of coming home left me with no peace. I knew at that point that my future plans were shattered. I knew too much to turn back to the person I was before this epic adventure with my God.
I honestly didn’t have any idea about what God would teach me while in Nepal, but what I did learn was also unexpected–the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth about where joy really lies.
In kindness, God opened a new door that led me deeper into my relationship with Himself through the beloved Helper, the Spirit of God. He often ministered to me on the heights and in the depths of my trip. He became a close friend, leading me and guiding me through all types of situations, sometimes even dangerous ones. It wasn’t ever quiet in Nepal; there was always chanting over the loud speakers near our house from before sunrise and going late into the night. In order to hear the Spirit’s promptings, I had to learn to find the quiet inside myself amidst the busy schedules of preaching and discipling and these loud chantings. I’ve never engaged the Spirit like I had in Nepal and now I have the slightest grasp on this new and renewed relationship with Him.
Again, before going to Nepal, I thought the work being done there, like sharing the Gospel with hundreds and thousands of people who’ve never heard of Christ would bring me great joy–and yet most days, after challenging meetings, saddening stories, visiting the sick and experiencing opposition, I often came home with no joy in the work I was so excited about. Yet God graciously showed me that He Himself is the fullness of joy and He fully gives us Himself, as said in Colossians 2:9-10. My joy does not lie in the work itself, but in the One who has demonstrated great love for me in dying on a cross.
And so, as I acclimate myself back to life in the States with worldly responsibilities, bills, a secular job, etc, I can remember and hold on to these revelations ever so tightly. Regardless of the heights or depths we are experiencing, the Helper resides within us to empower us, to minister to us and to walk with us. Likewise, regardless of the “work” I’m doing, whether sharing the Great Love Story with thousands of Nepalis or updating an internet website for a local business in Omaha, my joy is not in what I’m doing, but Whom I am experiencing each day.
I do miss Nepal dearly; I miss the people, the heat, my little family where I experienced such sweet and heavenly-like fellowship and the openness to the Gospel. Maybe by the grace of God, He’ll call me again someday to the ends of the earth.