2017 Nepal – Rachael Boyle

The Secret to Serving

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

In the month leading up to my mission trip to Nepal, I was overflowing with excitement and expectation. In fact, I think I was the most excited out of our 12 team members. This was mostly because as soon I had heard from our Missions Director, Lisa Kim, that I was being sent to Nepal, God immediately connected me to a Nepali pastor who is currently studying for his Masters of Divinity at a seminary in South Korea. I was so inspired by his strong desire to see his people saved and also the Church of Nepal built up, trained, equipped, and encouraged by mission teams like ours. I really wanted to take part in the work that God was doing in this nation. Thus I was a little surprised that by the time our airplane landed in Kathmandu, the excitement had died down. But I wasn’t too worried, because God had assured me that I was prepared and ready. Our team was greeted by our native contacts, Pastor Saul and Mona. And little did I know that these two people would impact me more than all the powerful ways that God moved while we ministered.

On our first day of ministry, after our team washed up, had team devotions, and ate a delicious breakfast with milk tea, Pastor Saul and Mona picked us up. We walked through the small town of Bhaktapur as we made our way to Bhaktapur Masihi Church, where we’d hold the first healing service, give seminars to the church leaders, and do VBS (Bible songs) with about 60 children. As soon as we walked into the church building, my eyes directly landed on the banner right behind the pulpit. It quoted Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

While we ministered that day, Pastor Saul translated while Pastor Susy, our team preacher, gave the message on faith for healing. Pastor Saul also translated during our seminars for the church leaders. He would not only translate the words that were spoken in English into Nepali, but he’d also act out the scriptures and sermon with dramatic facial expressions, body motions, and voice intonations. Our team had so much fun laughing with the congregation. Often I’d think some people came just to see Pastor Saul. Later that day, during our ministry time with the children, we taught them some songs and dances. One of them was called “Making Melodies” and it’s quite silly. By the end of the song, the children had to bend many body parts, stick out their tongues, turn around in circles, and still sing the song. Pastor Saul was right beside the children mimicking all the same silly motions and enjoying it immensely. That night our team ate Mona’s home-cooked meal at the home of Pastor Saul’s sister and enjoyed the warmth, joy, and jokes among their family members. We discovered that Mona is especially funny with her side comments and dry humor. This was just the first day of ministry, and our hearts were so full.

During our time in Nepal, every day at 9 o’clock in the morning Pastor Saul and Mona would come meet us at Sweet Home Hotel, our lodging place, with beautiful smiles and joyful hearts. They were full of expectancy for how God would move that day. Every day they carried fresh joy, lots of humor, sincerity, and humility. I was especially amazed at how far they’d go and how persistent they were in pursuit of bringing the lost to Christ. One day, when our team broke off into two groups for home visitations. Three team members and I joined Mona to see a science professor named Dulci. Mona had been visiting him often. Dulci had many questions about the Christian faith, and Mona brought us believing that God would move that day. We were able to minister to Dulci and his family, answer some questions about his faith, and pray for healing. Mona especially wanted him to come to church, so we also prayed for that as well. The following day, Dulci joined the church service! And not only that, but he testified that God had healed him of a back injury, and that he’d received revelation about Jesus in his mind during ministry time. Praise the Lord! But the story doesn’t end here. During our conversations with Pastor Saul and Mona, we found out just how intentional they were in follow-up ministry. Throughout the week, they’d personally go visit families in their homes. If Pastor Saul and Mona themselves were unable to go, they’d send someone else from the church in their stead. Traveling far distances to visit a home, just because the person asked them to, is a common practice for them.

I believe Pastor Saul and Mona have found the secret to serving as full-time ministers day in and day out. What our team did while ministering in Nepal is what they do every day. Like the banner I had seen on our first day of ministry, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” these two overflowed with joy. While many times during the trip I struggled because of the food and motion sickness, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me of the power of rejoicing in Him. And many times, it was Pastor Saul and Mona or another team member’s joy that would help pick me up again. As I saw them minister, pray, or praise the Lord, I’d be reminded Jesus is worthy of it all. Truly, as Nehemiah 8:10 says, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Moreso than emotional excitement, I believe God wanted to show me how to serve from a place of rejoicing in Him. Pastor Saul and Mona practiced this every day. They were living and breathing examples, right before my eyes, of what Jesus meant when He called His disciples to follow Him. They obeyed and served in joy, and no place was too high, too low, or too far for them. My desire is that wherever God sends me to serve, whether it be close or far, that I master the practice of rejoicing in Him at all times. And from this place of rejoicing, I would overflow with joy and pour it out like Pastor Saul and Mona did for me and as they continue to expand the Kingdom of God in Nepal.