Changed Forever

Josh_and_NatalieJosh and Natalie Case joined ServLife on our last trip to Nepal. It was a life changing experience. Josh has taken the time to share how their hearts were broken for the children they encountered. 

PURSUED

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7, 8)

God pursues us all. It is only when our eyes are opened that we see Him running after us with arms wide open.

My eyes were opened to this reality when I was a young boy. My clouded vision rolled away and I saw God’s beautiful pursuit.

Still, even though this revelation is a glorious event, it leaves one begging. What is next? What does it mean?

For me it has led to a running of my own. A slow and steady pursuit of God’s plan for my life. There have been many sign posts along the way and one of the biggest demarcations recently led me to the dusty and bustling streets of Kathmandu, Nepal.

But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I must back up to five years ago when a different sign first led me down this path.

kids1MOVED TO ACTION

One Sunday, my wife, Natalie, and I were nestled comfortably in our seats at church when God placed a sign directly in the middle of our path. It was bright as the morning sun and shook our reality. The sign: there are thousands and thousands of orphans around the world. Orphans who desperately need to be loved and cared for daily. And we can be their caretakers.

That day we were introduced to the humble and breathtaking mission of ServLife International, a group who takes care of orphans on a daily basis through financial support that allows these dear children to attend school, be fed, and have a warm, dry place to lay their heads at night.

That day the Spirit of God moved and we answered. He showed us how we can be a part of something bigger than ourselves, His Kingdom, and we answered.

It has been an amazing journey that has led us to sponsoring two little ones so far, Aruna and Rohit. This constant tugging on our heart, the ever present reality that we are all connected in Christ whether we live in America or Nepal, led us to our most recent sign post.

A little over a month ago we embarked on a journey halfway across the world to the mystifying and breath-taking land of Kathmandu, Nepal.

Not knowing what to expect but in eager anticipation of God’s path that lay before us we took the two day journey. It sounds cliché but we will never be the same. And this is why…

EMBRACING WEAKNESS

I woke up at 6am the morning before we left after barely sleeping a wink throughout the night. My nerves get the best of me when I’m about to embark on a journey and my mind starts racing. Sitting in bed as the sun came up I decided to work on my devotions for the trip. One of those devotions was on strength in weakness. It is a topic completely foreign to those who do not put their faith in God and even for one who does it is a tough subject. But, as I thought through it that morning I thought about Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians where he writes, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

There are many times when Natalie and I would be overwhelmingly weak in our humanness during the journey. But, I knew that Christ would lift us up and cause us to shine with his countenance and we would be mighty warriors for his kingdom come.

playing_chess“All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them.” ― J. Hudson Taylor

The focus of our time in Nepal was to meet the local ministry leaders and spend time with the orphans that ServLife sponsors. We met some wonderful people. From Udaya and Bhakti who take care of over twenty orphans, to their biological kids who help in immense and loving ways to care for their little brothers and sisters, to Ambika and Prim who take care of five little girls as well as running a women’s ministry and a fast food restaurant, to Lazarus who not only pastors a church but trains people to become pastors and plant churches. We met many humble servants of Christ while we were there but nothing will compare to the experience we had when we led a vacation bible school for seventy kids.

CHANGED FOREVER

kingsThis is the experience that rocked me the most spiritually and emotionally and continues to shape my heart for the blessed little children of Nepal to this day. It was the best day we had there. Natalie and I agreed on this as we sat at Cafe Soma across from our guest house later that same evening.

It began after the first real restful night we had since arriving. All the previous nights were filled with dog choruses – endless barking in resounding and ever increasing exclaim and repeat. But the night before, silence. At least after 11:00pm when people stopped singing karaoke in celebration of the new year. We had just rung in 2070 (Nepali calendar).

Sitting around the breakfast table we began to think through the day and how we were to lead 70 kids through a bible school from 10am until 4pm. A worship leader (now non-profit Executive Director), a medical researcher, and a financial counselor! Good luck to us.

But, it unfolded in what can only be described as God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. From songs about animals to Noah and his ark, from paper crowns for princes and princesses to the Good Samaritan, from praises in English and Nepali to stickers and mo mos (Nepali dumplings), and from letters from sponsors to letters written back, it was a beautiful day.

But, the reality is even though we laughed a lot, learned a lot, shared a lot, and were all blessed a lot, there was a point where the heaviness set in.

All the kids in the room, all 70 of them, have been sponsored by ServLife to go to school. Many of them are orphans living in homes like Udaya and Bhakti’s home or Prim and Ambika’s home.

They are children full of beauty. Children full of hope. Children longing after God. And still, children who need our help.

Even though ServLife sponsors all of these kids many do not have actual individuals who sponsor them. So during the letter writing session many did not have letters from individuals who have reached out in love and support. So, while some kids had personalized letters some did not. While some had gifts like coloring books, toys, sunglasses, and stickers, others did not. While most were very happy some showed signs of sadness and confusion. One boy started to cry because his friend had a toy car and he didn’t. Natalie grabbed some stickers to try and comfort him but by the time she came back the friend had given him his toy car.

Beautiful.

praying copy

RESPONDING

Lila Katuwal-1The whole idea that some kids have sponsors who love and pray for them and some don’t is so overwhelming that it brought me to tears and nearly to my knees.

Most will agree that education is vital. Education is the path to success. Education is the path to making it in our world. These kids, as every other kid on earth, deserve and need a good education. And while I can, am, and will continue to pray for each of these kids, the reality is that Natalie and I cannot sponsor them all.

But, you can help. Your friends can help. Your family can help. A little goes a long way. And $30 a month changes a child’s life. It educates a child, an orphan, God’s princess or prince.

It is amazing to hear an orphan sing, “God will make a way, when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, God will make a way for me.” For many of these children, their pasts are filled with darkness, but God intervened and has provided a bright future for them, specifically a safe Christian home and education through support from ServLife.

If this story, if the story of ServLife, if our story, if the story of these children touches you I ask you to consider, pray about, and possibly join us by taking one step more and making a lasting impact on a child’s life.

A child like Lila. A child whose father died soon after she was born and whose mother then abandoned her and her sister. A child who then was taken into the Nepali Children’s Home and raised by Udaya and Bhakti as their own child. A child of God. God’s princess.

We all can and have been called to play a part in God’s Kingdom come: “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, ‘He scattered abroad , he gave to the poor , His righteousness endures forever .'” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)

God pursues us all. The linchpin rests in the space of our response to that reality with a generous and open heart.

To join the work that God is doing in India and Nepal by sponsoring a child through ServLife, click here.

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