“What do I know?” I asked myself when the thought of writing for publication was a mere seedling. Then it dawned — I knew the importance of living from the truth of who God is.
Gaining that knowledge came with a steep learning curve. It began in a Nepalese village where I spent the first two years of my marriage. My husband, Gene, worked as a civil engineer on a hydroelectric power project, and I taught basic health care. Electricity and indoor plumbing didn’t exist in our wee mud and rock dwelling.
Unfortunately, spiders, scorpions and snakes did. So did culture shock and fear — specifically the fear of death by tropical diseases and receiving unwanted visitations by aforesaid critters.
Eight months after moving into our village and three weeks after delivering our first child, I begged the Lord to send us back to North America. “I can’t do this any longer,” I cried.
God stooped that moment and gave me a heavenly hug through our shortwave radio. It came packaged as a male quartet singing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Melodious harmony and magnificent lyrics replaced my anxious thoughts with peace. I knew beyond a doubt that God was with me.
My perspective did a complete turnaround and several months later, Gene and I committed to spending the rest of our lives in Nepal.
Twenty months later, our second child was born. “Your daughter has hydrocephalus,” said the doctor. “She needs surgery. We lack adequate resources. You must return to North America on the first available flight.” His declaration steepened my learning curve. It ramped up several more degrees the next day when the airline agent refused to issue me a ticket saying, “You’re a medical high risk.”
On the third day following Stephanie’s birth, I tried to memorize her features as I nursed her. Then Gene wrapped her in a blanket, threw a diaper bag over his shoulder, kissed me and headed for the airport. He took Stephanie to Seattle for surgery, and I remained behind wondering whether I’d see my baby alive again.
Beyond that stressor, our missionary career was over. We had no job, no car, no home, and no insurance to pay NICU bills.
God met me that morning in the midst of uncertainty and tears. Once again, peace replaced fear as “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” took up residence in my mind. I clung to the truth that no matter how our future unfurled, God would carry us through, and I found hope.
Living from the truth of who God is transforms us. Conveying this message is my passion as a writer and speaker. I long for others to know that understanding God’s faithfulness means courage overrides fear.
Understanding His holiness prompts a godly lifestyle that He honors. Understanding His grace enables us to enjoy the freedom that comes when we forgive our offenders. The list goes on.
Stephanie is healthy and in her 30s. Gene and I once again are career global workers. Based in Canada, we co-direct an evangelical sending agency with 225 missionaries in 26 countries. Lessons learned in our Nepalese village helped prepare us to now train church leaders in Nepal and the Middle East. In 2018, those lessons led us aboard a sailboat to live among an unreached people group in a Vancouver marina, but that’s another story for another time.