After an early morning breakfast with the president of Tiny Hands International, John Molineux, we had the privilege of worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ at Gyaneshwor Church.
The taxi dropped us off on a narrow street bustling with people. I looked around for obvious signs of the church. Nothing. John’s wife, Aksha, was with us and she indicated that it was behind the gates. Again I looked … nothing.
We walked a few yards and passed through a wire gate into a courtyard pooling with people. We went up a few steps and slipped our shoes off. They joined lines of other shoes on long shoes racks. the sanctuary was an enormous room covered in rugs. Two rows of plastic chairs lined the back of the room. We positioned ourselves in the chairs in order to be less noticed. Let me tell you, this blond hair sticks out!
Then the most beautiful thing happened, the worship team took the stage and we worshiped with our fellow believers. I lost track of time as the room filled with people and we sang praise to Jehovah. The congregation recited Matthew 6:33, which they had recently memorized together. Then the pastor BROUGHT HIT HOME with a terrific message on righteousness. I was undone as they prayed for the salvation of their city.
After church, Doug Dworak (executive director of THI) and I met with Jon H., the director of research and analysis. For the next two hours I interviewed him about the various forms of intelligence that’s gathered and analyzed when girls (and some boys) are intercepted at the border. I was blown away at the cutting edge data THI is gathering, analyzing, and using to change the stories of these girls and their traffickers.
We grabbed a taxi and hustled back to the TIbet Guest House where we met our team and made our way through the rain to one of the children’s homes. It was pouring when we parked and when two of our taxis took a steep, gravelled downward slope, we lost the third taxi. The children’s home coordinator climbed up the hill in the downpour and attempted to find the taxi. No luck. We trekked down water-filled alleys to One Way Children’s home.
Oh. my. goodness! What sweetness awaited us there. Thirteen little ones sat on the floor around a table that sat 14 inches off the floor. One very dim light cast a glow on the table where they were preparing for year end exams. We made beaded bracelets with the kids, then moved upstairs where there was more space and slightly better lighting. The rain made it so dark that it was incredibly hard to get pictures. The kids sang several songs for us. The theme of their songs consistently focused on defeating Satan. Demonic warfare is very real here in Nepal, so this wasn’t a big surprise.
Our mini-concert was followed up with a rousing half hour of balloon tossing. Five-year-old Asha parked herself as close as she could get to me. She told me many things. I told her many things too. Neither of us knew what the other was saying, but we became fast friends. Our God is a great connector of hearts.
The evening was spent with several THI staffers as we gathered and John and Aksha’s home for food and fellowship. We met Brad and Autumn and their two children (6 and 4) who moved to Nepal just 4 months ago to work with Jon H. in analysis. We met Kara who is helping to open a home for boys with HIV. Megan has only been here 7 weeks. When she gets some more of the language under her belt, she will also be working with Jon and Brad in analysis. Jon and his wife Jenna joined us as well. They recently committed to 2 more years here in Nepal. Kirk only just arrived on Thursday, the day before we arrived. He recently finished law school and will be working with the team as they navigate legal issues. Sarah is finishing up with THI as the Vision team Coordinator.
In addition to hearing them talk about what they are currently doing with the ministry, I also asked about how they got connected with THI and Nepal. What a blessing to hear how God has directly intercepted their hearts for His purposes here in Nepal. I was moved to hear them talk about the fact that this … leaving their homes in America, selling everything, and moving to a third world country, was not a sacrifice. Autumn said something that I won’t soon forget …
Obedience is better than sacrifice. I wouldn’t say I’m happy because this is hard … every day. our lives aren’t about “happy” though – they are about living the great commission. I’m honored that God weighted in and now we’re not enslaved to a mortgage. We’re here.