Saturday, March 19, 2022

Let's Try This Again...Nepal Visit 2022

St. Louis to Chicago to Istanbul to Kathmandu
A couple of weeks ago, my plan was to travel to Bangladesh and spend two weeks working alongside the pastors and leaders of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission (BLCM). From there, I was to fly to Nepal to spend a couple of weeks working with the HCLCN. All of those plans came to a screeching halt when I was informed at the Chicago airport that the Bangladesh government had recently and unexpectedly suspended the visa on arrival program, so I was not able to board the plane without a Bangladesh visa...which takes at least three weeks to process. So, I headed back home disappointed, discouraged, and a tad bit bewildered with what the Lord was doing. I needed a day to regroup and refresh. The Lord was faithful as He lifted my spirits (again) with His love and promises!

I got to work and was able to reschedule the Nepal portion of the trip with just a few minor changes to my flights and itinerary. 

A little later today (Saturday, March 19th), I will head to the soccer field to watch my daughter play the game she loves and then to the airport to catch flights from St. Louis to Chicago to Istanbul to Kathmandu. I'll have a quick overnight in Kathmandu. Then we'll head out of the valley for the first of several pastoral training seminars in the districts of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal (HCLCN). If all goes as planned, the trip will culminate with a big gathering at the newly completed Bible Institute and headquarters building of the HCLCN in the Chitwan District. Pastors, leaders, and members of the HCLCN will gather to dedicate the new building in our Savior's name and for His service. We will also host and conduct an HCLCN conference and pastoral training seminar. We will conclude with a long-awaited, opening worship service for the new cohort of Himalayan Bible Institute students who will begin their training as faithful preachers and teachers of God's saving word.  It should be a wonderful couple of days blessed by our Lord. 

As I have begun to learn over the past couple of years of attempted travel and constantly changing plans and circumstances, these are my plans for now, but the Lord will ultimately direct each step according to His love, mercy, and perfect will for His Kingdom and He will bring His blessings through it all. My last attempt at visiting Nepal in 2021 didn't go according to my plans either and yet the Lord's will was done according to His plan.  I don't begin to think that I know all that the Lord has in mind as He allows my plans to crumble, but He has allowed me to see at least some of the blessings behind the curtain of His wisdom. For example, by not allowing me to get on that plane to Bangladesh, l have been blessed with being able to see most of my children and grandchildren over Spring break, watch my youngest daughter play soccer and perform in a musical, hear God's word, worship, and fellowship with fellow believers for a mid-week Lenten service, develop additional pastoral training lessons, complete an online correspondence course with a pastor in the Philippines (and begin planning for a first visit sometime soon), and come up with a "plan" to provide enough time to apply for a Bangladesh visa and reschedule a visit with BLCM in May! In all of this, the Lord has been faithful and abundant in His love and mercy...therefore, I will rejoice in the Lord! 

Your prayers for safe and uneventful travel and that the Lord's will be done are requested and much appreciated and will most certainly be heard by our Savior!!

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

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