Nepal is a small agricultural country nestled in the Himalayas between the super-powers of China and India. To the western mind, Nepal brings thoughts of meditation, nostalgic mountain terrain, and freedom to find and live out your inner identity. We often hear opinions like this: “Nepal sounds like an amazing place where people are free to find themselves and live out that creative energy. I would love to live in that culture…”
That isn’t how life plays out in Nepal’s caste-structured Hindu society. The need there is breathtaking and the oppression, created out of what the west blindly lifts-up as freeing and admirable, results in staggering statistics of depression, suicide, and hopelessness that leads to women and children being easily victimized into trafficking of all types.
It can be easy to look at statistics like these and not connect it with the reality that human life is attached to those figures. David Platt’s new book, Something Needs to Change, speaks directly to this type of removed viewpoint. Although humanity is poorly suited to know how to address or even psychologically grapple with severity like this in the world, God is not confounded by all that is occurring around us. It is in the greatest valleys of history that God has advanced His Kingdom the most, and if it be His Will, this will be no different. Let us follow as the LORD leads, and willingly live costly and courageous lives for His great purpose.
Our family entered Nepal in 2015 with intent on long-term service. At that time, Jeff had a background in nursing and a doctorate in clinical hospital pharmacology. We were serving in a highly revered mission hospital in the rural town of Tansen in the Palpa District. Kim, as a veterinarian, planned on informally using her degree to build relationships with the local community. Our two boys, who at that time were in 4th and 2nd grade, simply enjoyed running around the countryside and playing with new friends. Very soon after entering the country, however, severe political turmoil began, and within a year, all the foreign staff in our medical organization (International Nepal Fellowship) were forced to return to their home countries. This forced exit rocked our faith and created a lot of confusion. During these last six years in the US, Jeff returned to school to gain a doctorate as a nurse anesthetist, Kim worked full time as a veterinarian, and we prayed fervently for God to guide our family as we sought out how we were to utilize our lives and skill sets for Kingdom purpose.
We have recently been given an opportunity to return to Nepal this July and are trying to quickly ready ourselves for this venture. Due to many restrictions accompanying this visa, we need to be ready to leave no later than July 27th! We are excited and humbled at this opportunity to minister to Nepali people. In addition to that, we feel very strongly that this ministry should feed into the faith of those that partner with us from the States as well.
After reading this, write out a prayer for Kim and Jeff and family in the comments.