It has been a month since we returned from Nepal and it has taken nearly that long to fully recover physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s quite perplexing to have an intense, life-changing experience and then try to figure out how it all fits back into “normal life.” When I was in pastoral ministry, I would often tell our short-term missions teams that this “re-entry process or stress” is like experiencing a movie in full technicolor and dolby surround sound and then trying to synthesize it with what feels like a “black and white world” at home. There’s nothing wrong with life at home. It’s just that you’ve experienced something amazing and it takes time and wisdom to incorporate it into life as you once knew it.
Through email, I told the missionaries that Sonia and I left Nepal but Nepal has not left our hearts. One of them said in reply, “This country gets under the skin of many people who come here! (in the best of ways)” When you experience the Nepali culture and get to know the people, there is a genuine warmth and simplicity that leaves you longing for more especially when you see the heart of the Father in action amongst them! I miss the open charm of the people I met on the streets. I miss the missionaries whose faith is contagious and enviable. I miss the savory flavors of the food. I miss the rock bottom prices of the food and everything else. I miss the vibrancy of worship in the churches. I even miss the chaotic traffic of cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuk’s (gas powered rickshaws) crowding the roads. I guess Nepal really did get “under my skin” and I hope it never leaves.
Regardless of the re-entry process, I long to return to Nepal. I already have an invitation to return this Fall but it may not work out with my schedule. I trust there will be a time to come back and when it happens, it will be clear and evident to all. Until then, my prayers continue for the people, the churches and the brothers and sisters in Christ that continue to serve there. Here are some ways that you and I can keep praying for them:
- The People: Pray that fear would be cast out by the perfect love of the gospel. Pray that those who need healing and help would receive it. 10,000 were injured and over 2 million were displaced.
- The Church: Pray that the Nepali church would continue to grow in depth and number. Pray that they would be a Spirit-empowered witness in word and deed to those who are lost. Pray that the gospel may propel the Nepali church to continue being the fastest growing in the world.
- The Constitution: Nepal has been without a Constitution for seven years. While they currently are closer than ever to establishing one, it is still not finalized. This was a great concern for many of the people I met. Pray that a just Constitution would be drafted and enacted and that righteous leaders would be of influence.
- The Rebuild: Pray that new housing would be built quickly especially as the monsoon season begins. Aid is abundant but often tied up in red tape. Pray that resources would reach those who need food and housing.