You know what? This week has simply been a great one. Filled with so much encouragement and hope for the future! And I don't want to begin writing without first acknowledging that!
One of the (many) things that I am thankful for this week is the kids I get to live with. (I know, I know. You're all shocked! Haha.) This week, my room has been under construction and so I have been bunking with the kids in their room until I can safely move back into my room. This has been both wonderful and exhausting....but mostly wonderful.
I have so enjoyed our chats, especially the ones just before bed. This past week, we began kind of a "group counseling" of sorts where we talked about some deep, personal, hard-to-discuss kinds of things that we have all dealt with in our lives. Since that day, the kids have been asking SO many questions and have been sharing parts of their lives and stories with us that we haven't heard before. Won't share exactly what we talked about, but I will say that this is a huge step in a positive direction!
The other night, one of the girls just casually walked over to me and said "Darien Didi (big sister), I don't understand why God lets people die." And as I began helping her walk through what the Bible has to say about that, the kids started gathering around to listen and ask questions. And during what would have been their "play-time" (which they don't get a ton of when school is in session...they study hard!), they instead chose to sit and talk with me for almost two hours about their faith and their questions. We only stopped because it was time for dinner. And oh! The joy it gave me! Their questions are so honest and straightforward. (Being the huge fan of communication that I am, I deeply appreciate it when people are direct with me...so maybe that's part of why I like kids so much?!) We found ourselves in the middle of some deep theology questions and not a soul in the room was over age 15 (except me, obviously). I. Love. This.
It reminds me of what Jesus has to say about children in the book of Matthew.
"Then the children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven." And he laid his hands on them and went away." (Matthew 19:13-15)
(Side note: it is interesting to me that this is sandwiched between talking about divorce and talking about wealth....so often, families are breaking and/or stressing about finances...and in the midst of it, Jesus stops and focuses on the children....so much more I could say, but that's another post.)
Our childhood has a great influence on who we become as adults, and Jesus takes the time to show them that they are important too. And I am LOVING watching these kids see how important they are to God and seeing how curious they are about Him!
Every morning, we begin the day reading the Bible and talking about Jesus. I still have a LONG way to go before I can speak Nepali fluently, much less read it, so, unfortunately, this is always done in English. You'd think that the kids wouldn't really understand much because big words like "repentance," "baptism," "glorify," etc. are not exactly words that they know, and yet, they remember all of the stories AND how they are connected! I mean, I grew up in church in America (in the "Bible Belt") and I don't recall being able to go through the story of Daniel as perfectly as they do...even as an adult! They even remember that King Nebuchadnezzar was first, then his son Belshazzar, and then Darius. AND they remember which events in the book of Daniel happened under each King. And as we read other books of the Bible, they retain information on how all of the stories are linked. I'm a little jealous of their memories, not gonna lie! Haha.
Because communication can be challenging, it has been my prayer that whether or not they understand anything else I say throughout the day, that during our time in the mornings, that God would make His Word come alive for them, and that is exactly what He has been doing! AND they have recently challenged themselves to pray with more expectancy and they have been seeing God answer their prayers.
I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but I have felt a shift of sorts in the last couple of weeks. Maybe it's just in me, but I don't know. Seems like maybe it's bigger than that. Maybe someone has been praying for me for an increase in faith and hope (and if that is YOU- I would love to thank you personally!) It feels like a new thing is beginning and whether it is all around me or in me only, I welcome it either way and am looking at the future with great expectation.
I'm falling more in love with what God is doing in Nepal each day and am in awe that He would allow me to be here during a time like this. I don't know if I will ever have big, grand things to report....but sometimes the things that seem the smallest actually matter the most. I remain overwhelmed in the very best of ways.