I recognize it has been more than two months since I've really properly updated anyone on what's going on in my world! Thought it was about time I do so!
Many of you are probably wondering why I'm still in America and if I ever plan to go back to Nepal. Fair questions!
To answer the first question, I was originally supposed to return to Nepal back in May, which would have had me in America for a total of 8 weeks. It's now been around 5 months since I have been on Nepali soil! Originally, my flights were rescheduled a few times due to Nepal going back on a lock-down due to increased COVID cases. There came a point where I had to make a decision as my passport was expiring in less than a year and you have to have at least 6 months left before you can travel. This meant that if things kept being rescheduled (like they were last year) and it extended into September, I'd have to send my passport off for renewal in the states (originally planned to do it through the US Embassy in Nepal). So I had to decide....keep waiting and run the risk of being stuck in the USA even longer OR go ahead and renew my passport and plan on a later departure date (but don't have to worry about my passport again for another 10 years).
I chose option #2 and sent my passport off for renewal in early June. I received notice that they had received it about 6 weeks later....at which point I was informed it would take 12 weeks to process and could take an additional 6 weeks after that just to get back to me. This means a process I thought would take a maximum of 12 weeks just doubled to 24 weeks.
I will admit that had me feeling some type of way! But you know, I'm maybe more optimistic than I should be at times and decided to make the most out of my time at home. And with that...I have a couple of announcements.
Announcement #1. I have NO idea when I will be able to get back to Nepal, but have contacted my congressman's office to expedite the process to try to get back as soon as possible. Hoping for November, but as always, all things in my life and plans are held VERY loosely!
Announcement #2. In the meantime, I have decided to start a non-profit (NGO) organization called Shared Vision. (Which requires me to be stateside for a while to handle anyways). And while it's a bit challenging to describe in text format...I'll try! See, my heart is for people all across the globe who have dedicated their lives to doing the hard things and making personal sacrifices to help other people. Especially when it comes to the Gospel! So my plan for this NGO is to network people around the world with funds, skills, and resources with other people around the world who NEED those funds, skills, and resources. There will be a vetting process for recipients and longer-term, I envision an online database that will allow people to search for ways they want to help. For example, if someone has a heart for NGOs that focus on human trafficking or world hunger, they can search and filter through vetted organizations to support. Or if they want to plan a mission trip to Japan for 12 days with 13 college-aged adults, they can search those criteria as well and the database will assist them in planning an effective trip.
The more immediate goals for this NGO will be to assist a few missionaries native to their own countries in getting established as a recognized NGO to be able to receive the support and funds they need without being associated with a major denomination, church, or well-known NGO already. My first goals will be focused in Nepal and Costa Rica, but I am excited to continue expanding to other countries and NGOs as time goes on!
There is still a lot to decide about all of the NGO processes, but the important thing is that the process HAS started! I've hired a group called Start Church to help me make sure everything in this organization and in the paperwork is ALL above board and done correctly. If you're interested in learning more or partnering in any way, please send me a message! Would love to explain more!
Announcement #3. I am going back to school!! (Online, of course, so that I can still study even when I am in Nepal.) I hope to obtain my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship within the next year and a half. I figure...if I'm going to run a non-profit, I need more skills in my toolbelt to do that WELL! Classes start in a week!
I'm pretty thankful for this extended time at home with friends and family and for the memories I get to make here. I'm also really excited to return to Nepal and to see the faces I miss so much!! I'm so fortunate to have been able to celebrate so many moments with people during this time at home and it remains clear to me that God's timing is PERFECT and that even though it is rarely my own, it is always exactly when it needs to happen.
I appreciate prayers and partnership over these next steps in my journey and words will never be sufficient to describe how grateful and honored I am to have people like you in my corner! Thank you for all of your love and support! Please enjoy these highlights so far over my time at home.