She smiles her toothless baby smile. Her eyes sparkle as she looks at her mother with excitement, putting one foot in front of the other as she toddles taking her first steps, her older sister walking behind her to assist her if she starts to fall. A couple of days later she is daring enough to walk unsteadily from one room to another, always a big smile on her face as she does, thinking she is now big stuff. Within a week she is officially walking; no more crawling for this girl.
The stage of learning to walk is something we all have gone through and something many of us have experienced young children learning to do, yet the excitement of the child as they know they are now able to do something so big never gets old. There is just something priceless about watching a baby take his or her first steps.
Have you ever related the simple stages that a child goes through and the excitement a parent feels as they watch them learn and grow to us as we learn to walk with the Lord? We learn, little by little, our desire to be able to live up to the example our heavenly father has modeled for us. One step at a time, trying to walk in his footsteps, us wanting to learn all that we can and draw as close as we can to him. As we do, looking at our brothers and sisters around us and reaching out to them to help them as they also strive to follow in our Father’s footsteps.
The last few weeks have been spent in a large village located in southern Nepal, time spent with some of the most servant-hearted, Godly leaders that I know. I was privileged to arrive here a week before the rest of my team to do some research and help set up the apartment that we would be calling home for the next month. The apartment is located just above the apartment of a young family who has become very dear friends to me and the rest of the team over the last two years. This family has two precious girls who are the ages of 1 and 6. On my arrival here the 1-year-old was just taking her first steps! I was so privileged to be a part of this moment,watching the excitement of the family as they watched their beautiful girl go through this exciting stage of growth. To those of you who know me well know that I love children, especially babies. To be able to witness this was such a blessing and gift for me.
Our time in this village has been spent educating teachers to do a children’s camp, then assisting them as they put on a children’s camp for around 250 kids. Last year we were able to come and be the guest speakers for this camp. This year it was neat to see the teachers from the area be able to step up and lead their kids and the kids of the churches in the surrounding areas in a time of dramas, games, and worship for the glory of God. The children’s camp was then followed by a three-day youth camp. This camp we were honored to be the guest speakers at and there were around 500 youths that attended–youth hungry for God! The camp theme was to Glorify God coming from 1 Corinthians 10:31. A lot of our messages were focused on the Holy Spirit: who He is, the fruit of the spirit, and the gifts of the spirit. Our time spent with both the youth and the kids was amazing! Their hunger to know more of God challenges my walk with God, which is a wonderful thing. I ask that you pray for this generation of children and youth as they continue to grow in God.
I am continuing to work here in this area in research. Some of my team remains here with me as we continue to connect with the people here and work to learn the language. I ask that you pray as we are here that God continues to open up doors as we build relationships.
From here we are doing a 2-week trek in the area just below Humla. This trek will be a lot of research and experience to see the needs of these people and their openness to the gospel, so I ask that you pray that doors will be open during this time. Pray also for safety, and for ourhealth. This is the first trek we are taking with the young boys that are now a part of the team. I ask that you pray especially for their health as we go and that they will be used by God in an amazing way as we connect with different children in this journey.
As a young child learning to walk, with unsteadiness and determination to get up after each fall, trying again and again to get it right. Pray for us as we work here. It is easy to get frustrated with the language barriers and different cultural mistakes that we accidentally make. Sometimes it is hard to always get back up after we are humbled by a mistake. However, the only way to press on is to get back up again, knowing that even through the struggles God is there encouraging us each step of the way.