I can see you there. My friends. My family. Your faces.
Sitting down with your cup of coffee or tea. That intentional look you would give. The one that says it’s safe. The look in your eyes—that listening look. The one that tells me it’s okay to share, to cry, to process. I can see so many of your faces.
[insert time of weeping—the first big cry I’ve had since this all began over a week ago.]
Writing helps. But it’s exhausting these days. All the memories to sort through. All those fears and emotions and physical exhaustion.
There came a time last week when I thought: I don’t think I can make it another day like this; and then, His presence was there. Right there with me. He sustained when I was hopelessly weak.
About two weeks ago, I found out I had another bacterial infection (i.e. remember February’s hospital visit). It began to feel the same way that felt. Completely miserable. The water in our apartment was still awful and we were searching for another place to live in Kathmandu while we were still there for 6 more weeks. We even found a place we liked a lot; but it would add some stress by moving so we were praying through what to do.
“'Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed…'”
It’s only been four months since we landed in this country.
We found a ch we fell in love with—a group of people in our area who have the same passion we have to reach the unreached and plant churches among their people. And we were attending ch that morning.
Sitting in the crowded building. 70 people surrounding us. My husband and I decided to sit by each other this Saturday as the pastor gave us permission to do so that morning. My journal entry from the service:
April 25: Sickness continues. My body must have rest from this pain. Lord, my mind needs peace from this unrest.
And the ground began to shake.
My husband grabbed me as I grabbed a little girl who was being left behind in the sea of people and chairs. I fell to ground as the floor below me embed up and down separating me from my husband. I crawled back to him and he helped me up. I gave the little girl to her mom and we headed toward the small doorway and up the narrow stairs to the open ground. The moments the earthquake began, all I could think of was that we had to get out and began to pray, “Father, Father…,” which is the most intimate Name I use for the Lord.
We knew this could happen. We have researched this country for two years now. The predictions were there. A large earthquake was due for Nepal that would bring widespread damage and deaths. Of course, they had been saying that for years.
“‘…yet My unfailing love for you shall not be shaken; nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion for you” (Is. 54:10).
We felt over 40+ aftershocks before we were evacuated from the country. We spent the next three nights after the first earthquake completely awake except for an hour or two of sleep at a time. Yet even on days when we spent the night in tents after 48 hours of being awake and spent another night in the pouring rain for uncertainty of when the next aftershock will come, He was there with His covenant of peace.
It has not been easy. The death count is above 5000+ now. And my heart just breaks over this devastation. We have so much to do to share this gospel of peace, yet so many decisions to make logistically before we even go back.
Our company graciously evacuated us a week after the earthquake to another country where we can debrief and renew. This is a time of waiting and praying. It’s a time of resting and processing. And we are thankful to our leadership and our company for providing this for us.
This last week was one of the most difficult of my life. If I were honest, the last four months have been some of the most difficult of my life. I know many of you have had so many worse things happen in your life and I won’t go as far as to say my circumstances or situation takes the cake. That could not be further from the truth. But in all honesty, it has been a time of unrest.
And all I am sure of is this: He is present. His love for us does not shake. And His covenant of peace is not removed. Even when I am not at peace, He is. And I can trust Him and rest in Him.
The ground may shake. The very foundation of what we stand on may crumble and sway. But He remains. He alone is the Rock of our salvation and He alone is the fortress in which we need to rely on.
He alone can and will take this time and renew it. He will take this circumstance and redeem this situation and this country we love. May this be the beginning of the story of how the Lord redeems the country of Nepal for His glory.