Life can be really crazy sometimes. Full of ups and downs, surprises, transitions, tragedy, and joy all crammed into one week! When so much is always happening, it can be tempting to either numb yourself to circumstance or become completely overwhelmed by it all. We have seen so much happen in Nepal lately and are always faced with the choice to laugh or cry.
A couple weeks ago we had one of the most powerful moments at church that I have seen when one of our friends who had left his wife and daughter about five months ago returned. We all prayed and rejoiced with them and now have the joy of seeing complete restoration come to their family. A few days ago we spent some time ministering to a single mom whose husband left her and her daughter a couple years ago. She cannot find work right now and is faced with a terrible decision of leaving her daughter to work overseas (usually in very bad conditions). A couple weeks ago we were able to spend time with some women who work in a "massage parlor" (brothel) and pray with them for healing, freedom from addiction, and for new work. A few weeks ago some from our family prayed for a man whose arm was completely paralyzed and Jesus healed him. He literally danced for joy! We've also experienced the joy of expanding the school, the frustration of corrupt government leaders, and even more than I can list here.
There is so much more to each of these stories, and many many more that I haven't mentioned. In the midst of life in Nepal, one thing that I have learned is to keep my eyes fixed on what does not change. In the face of great need, terrible tragedy, constant chaos, ecstatic joy and awesome miracles I have become more convinced than ever of the goodness of God. He does not change. Some may ask why bad things happen if He is so good? Not completely sure, but He does tell us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. And in those moments his love is tangible. From His side, unaffected by time, He does not change. From our side, life is dynamic, not static. Snapshots don't show the whole truth. So as for me, I am learning to fix my eyes on the One who does not change, and learning to love like Him.
In other news:
Iris Children's School: We have built 2 new class rooms, and are in the process of getting the government approval to extend the school up to grade 6. This has been quite a challenge, but are believing it will go through. Part of the new building additions included wheelchair accessible rooms and toilet. Schools in Kathmandu are not usually handicap-friendly and we have recently had the privilege of taking in many handicap children, some of whom lost limbs as a result of last year's earthquake.
Kids home: The kids home remains one of our favorite things about life in Nepal. They are currently going through some really big transitions. please continue to pray for them during this time.
Camping trip: Last month was a the holiday between school years. All the girls had a fun time in Kathmandu and all the boys went camping! It was a blast! Check out more of the photos here.
Chitlang and Janakpur Outreach: We had an amazing outreach to a nearby village where we were able to encourage some believers from a local church and saw God move in peoples lives in a powerful way. We saw God restore people eyesight, hearing , and also heal many other issues! In a few days we will be going on another outreach to the southern region of Nepal. Please pray for us!
Miscellaneous: We are praying a lot about the upcoming year. There could be lots of changes coming and we are seeking God for His vision for this time. Gwen's involvement with BFA will be changing in the near future, we will also be focusing on providing pastoral care to our team, and we will be visiting the U.S. this summer!
Thank you for your continued support and relationship!
Benj and Gwen.