There are two stories I want to share with you from Nepal. I will do my best to retell them, and any errors to the facts are completely unintentional.
One of our local Nepal partners was orphaned at an early age. He was the youngest of many siblings and according to their Hindu belief, it was his fault. So a 1 year old kid was completely rejected by his village, his people and his family. He was placed in an orphanage and forgotten. This kid grew up and became a follower of Jesus somewhere along the way. Instead of letting justifiable anger consume him, he wrestled with his pain and allowed God the slow process of healing to take place. After the great Gorkha earthquake of 2015 left his home village damaged, the people did not know what to do. So God sent back the man they had rejected. He came with a servant's heart and food and supplies. The one they rejected became the one who saved them. Today, he is well respected and they are beginning to investigate why he can be so forgiving. Because they do not know anyone else like him. Jesus' love is being shown rather than preached and it is making a difference. Nothing happens quickly in this culture, but when change comes, it is real and deep. We are so thankful to be a small part of this story and look forward to the continual progress of changed lives.
We also met an artist who paints in the typical Buddhist, highly detailed circles. In his shop, I looked closely, and noticed Christian symbols and Scripture. We asked him his story. Binod had a large collection of 300 works of art he was planning on selling. A colleague asked him about God and he responded by saying he was his own god. The monsoon rains came and destroyed all his art. He had nothing left. He was so discouraged and afraid. If he was his own god, that was not a good thing. So he cried out to God on several occasions asking if He was real and if He would help him. God did. In major and definable ways. So He finally choose to follow Jesus, but his family rejected him. So he stayed true to seeking God and over time, his other family members discovered their own journey to Him as well. Now he finds himself back with the Buddhist artists he trained with for so many years having the same conversations that another had with him. And God is using Binod to share Christ's love and grace with them as well. They are listening and actually helping him paint some Christian art pieces as well. Again, this is a slow and steady culture, but decisions that are being made are real and life changing. One of his drawings will be hanging in our house when I return home.
God uses our pain and suffering to break away from our self-dependency and pride. When we are fully dependent on Him, we are most free. When we try to take God's place we are full of fear, anxiety, insecurity and start believing our own lies. I am so thankful that I get to meet people like these guys to help remind me of where my dependence need to lie. I thank God for the freedom he gives me and the others that I meet along the way.