Finding my team
30 Sep 2020
Right now, in Melbourne, we are going through one of the longest and strictest Coronavirus lockdowns in the world. Today as my wife and I went for a walk in our permitted exercise time, we passed an oval and discussed how sport is so important to a lot of people. One of the many reasons is that it gives people somewhere to belong. I began to think how our city has been affected, jobs lost, income lost, working from home, no sport, no church, no face-to-face meetings of any kind. Many people are missing that sense of belonging.
This reminded me of when I first went to live in Nepal as a missionary. When my family arrived there, we had only met a few people before and though they were welcoming we did not know them well. We had to start life from scratch, find a house to live in, establish a new ministry, and we needed to get to know some people. Looking back, I can see that I struggled to find that sense of belonging in those early days in Nepal. I had my family with me, and I know that God is my father and my true sense of belonging is with Him. Yet I also believe that God created us to have relationship with each other. I think that as a man it was important for me to belong, to be part of something, a community and a purpose that was greater than just myself.
Eventually, we found a house to rent and got to know some neighbours. We learnt more about the culture and learnt some language. I went to university and made some friends there. Over an extended period, we developed much deeper relationships with people in our ministry team and in our mission. We were also able to develop friendships with some of the people that came to faith in the Lord through our team’s ministry. Some of these people prayed and supported us through very difficult experiences we had in Nepal. Now, twenty years later, I am still in contact with some of these people even though we are in different parts of the world. It took time but I did find a place of belonging in Nepal.
Psalm 91:2 says, ‘I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’
I am so grateful that I had the joy of being in Nepal with my Nepali brothers and sisters and experiencing God’s place of refuge there.
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