As a young girl growing up, especially around this time of year, one of my favorite things to do after supper was sit down on our couch with my siblings crowded around my mom or dad as they read us a bedtime story. There was something amazing about the time spent together, the heat of the wood stove, and the simplicity of a story brought to life in a children’s book. Another favorite memory was acting out The Christmas Story. I believe my older sister oftentimes was Joseph and I got to be Mary and she would pull me across the living room floor on our rocking horse as we made our way to Bethlehem (AKA the dining room). As a child believing a story was true was simple, partly because of the amazing faith I had in the ones telling me the story, but it was also because the stories were read to me in a way that I could understand.
Here in Nepal I have the privilege of getting to know people of Hindu and Buddhist background who have never heard the word of God. One of the challenges for us serving here is taking bible stories and reading them and understanding them at a whole new level and then breaking them down for those here to understand. This then equips us to tell a story of the love of God as it relates to the lives of those we are working to get to know. The last couple of days I have been working with my teammates to breakdown the story of the birth of Jesus found in Luke 2:1-21. As we were working, I had the realization that going through the bible and learning the stories in depth so that you can tell them to a non-believer or a new believer in a way that they can understand is something we all should be doing. This process not only forces you to dig into the bible, but it equips us to be witnesses and assists us as we disciple new believers. There is a time where we need to help break down the bible for those who are new in Christ and then we need to encourage them to learn to read and breakdown the bible for themselves (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
Since I last had the chance to post, life has settled down a little here allowing me to form a routine. I am currently working on researching some of the different health concerns of Humla. I hope to be able to break these health concerns down into about six different pamphlets to get translated into Nepali and the Tibetan language of Humla. I am also working to see how I can connect with different health systems here in Kathmandu (pray that God opens doors for me in this).
Outside of working to connect as a nurse here I have enjoyed getting to know a young woman who grew up a Hindu but as she has moved away from home has decided to pursue Buddhism. This woman has a hunger for truth and I pray that God continues to open doors for me to share His love as our friendship continues to flourish. This woman has agreed to help me in my Nepali language as I help her in her English. She is assisting me in seeing the sights of Kathmandu and I am learning to thoroughly enjoy her company. She has been a huge blessing to me and pray that I not only can be a blessing to her in return but also a guide to the love of God.
Each day in Nepal continues to challenge me. It is hard this time of year when it comes to missing my family. Thinking back to memories and traditions my family does for the holidays leaves me both with a smile on my face for what has been and a few tears in my eyes for what will not be for a couple of years. However, I am enjoying learning the ways the Christians here celebrate. It is sometimes just nice to go back to the basics starting with the Christmas Story found in Luke chapter 2 or Matthew if you prefer. My challenge to myself this Christmas season is to share this story with at least two people and I challenge you to do the same. I know I am not the only little girl who enjoyed acting out this story. There is an awe of the sacrifice and miracle of what the Son of God did here that even me as a young child was able to grasp. Now, we just have to share the miracle, awe, and sacrifice of this story to those around us in a way they can understand.