Sunday, April 5, 2009

From Last to First

Check out the photo...see the man in the middle with the hat on? He's the President of Nepal. Look 3 people to the left of him. Yep, that's me. Oh yeah, I had tea with the President of Nepal. That's the sort of thing one does while hangin' with a famous person. Salena called him a rock star and he just about is in India and Nepal. Whether you know his name or not, just about everyone on the face of the planet knows his grandfather, Billy Graham. That's Will Graham just to the left of the President.
So, that happened the last day of the trip. I decided to start with the end of the adventure for my web chronicle. That's because just about one of my favorite things happened the first day and I'm saving the best for last.
I was in India and Nepal with an organization I am involved with (AIM) and Will preached a 2-night/day crusade organized by AIM in both countries. The last day of the trip started for me and Salena at a leadership meeting. I gave a message from 2 Timothy 2:3-10. After the meeting Salena and I went back to our hotel. After eating restaurant food in foreign countries for over a week we just wanted something that reminded us of home. We both had peanut butter in our suitcases and we were able to get some bread on the way back to the hotel. I called room service and had them send up some jelly and 2 bottles of Coke -- we had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich picnic in my hotel room. (now aren't you glad you stopped by for that information?)
The crusade in Nepal was in the afternoon and the venue was a soccer field. It was super windy that day and I had on a wrap-around skirt that I bought in Burma a couple of years ago and a scarf I bought in India. As I walked onto the stage to give a short testimony I was handed a mic. I was trying to hold my notes and my flapping Bible pages, my skirt from blowing open, and the scarf from blowing off so I had to ask for a mic on a stand. I tried to regain my composure once I had 2 hands free but soon a young woman from the choir was kneeling in front of me, pinning my skirt with a safety pin while I was speaking. The people were sitting what seemed to be a mile away so it was completely impossible to read facial expressions or to really get a connection with them. I really consider myself a teacher, not a public speaker, so I was already out of my comfort zone. So here's the deal -- I think I did what God wanted me to do and what the president of our organization asked me to do. The results are up to God (glory to His great name and thank goodness it's not up to me!) so I just have to rest in that. Will preached shortly after that and hundreds of people came forward. Some came with faces expressing brokenness and sorrow. Some came with curiosity. I pray that lives were genuinely changed.
We went to the President's house after the crusade and had a dinner at our hotel with some local leaders following that. I made a contact with a woman that I hope will be useful for future ministry in Nepal. We had to get up to our rooms to repack and, get this, I watched American Idol (yes, American Idol on tv in Nepal) while I packed.
The next morning we started for home. We arrived at DFW about 32 hours after we left our hotel in Nepal. I like to go on mission but, even more, I love to be home. It's home, sweet home for me.
Serving the King,

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