2017 Nepal – Tae Eun Kim

A Gift from the Father

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” – Psalm 51:12

In June 2015, I arrived in Korea to serve at a children’s home. Remembering my many prayers and dreams of becoming a missionary, I entered the home fully excited and ready to serve. This began my year and a half of joyful and sweet adventures, but also of sleep deprivation, doctor visits, and identity crises. As a result, near the end of 2016, going on a missions trip was the last thing on my mind. I felt overwhelmed, weak, and tired. However, I clearly felt that God wanted to send me. Thus from the moment I made my decision, to the support raising process, God marked every step with His grace. Before I knew it, I was ready to be sent. I boarded the plane to Nepal.

Resting my head against the plane chair, I weakly asked God, “Why are you sending me to Nepal?” Then He reminded me of my old requests and forgotten desires. Years back, I had told God how much I wanted to visit Nepal, and I had tucked away the dream, believing that He would take me one day. He then gently spoke to me, “I remember you, Tae, I am the God who gives you the desires of your heart.” Tears rolled down my face as I remembered my prayers, tears, and compassion for the lost and the broken— how missions, nations, and people took such a special place in my heart. “God, I’m sorry, I’ve been so busy. I’ve been running around. I just wish I was more ready and excited to serve.” Then His loving voice wrapped around me, “This is a gift from Me to you, because I love you.” In that moment, I realized that God wanted to speak to His beloved daughter rather than to an effective servant. God wasn’t sending me on a seven day trip to Nepal because I’m fully efficient and capable to change the entire nation. He was sending me because He loves me and wants me to enjoy Him, to know Him. Nepal was a special gift from My Father, where He restored the joy of His salvation and realigned my heart of worship through His love for people.

During my time in Nepal, God revealed His heart for His people to me. I learned that in Nepal, women are often overlooked and have to work hard even during pregnancy. One day as I sat next to a middle-aged mother, I noticed her hands- chapped and rough from hours of hard labor. I rushed to my bag, pulled out some pink nail polish and waved it at her. A warm smile spread across her face. As I held her hands and painted her broken nails with fresh color, I witnessed her hands transform from unappreciated and insignificant hands to those of a beloved daughter. God spoke to me then, saying “She is seen, heard, and known. She is important and valuable to me.” God showed me His compassion for her, and nail by nail was being painted, her face grew brighter. She was beautiful. I still remember her good-bye smile so full of joy, tenderness, and gratitude towards God. She walked into the service tired and burdened, but returned home with the Father’s love lavished upon her.

And this woman wasn’t the only daughter that God was breaking through. He was also doing a powerful work in my own heart. As I realized how much God cared for and loved the overlooked woman, He reminded me of how strong His love is for me. God sees her brokenness; He sees me. As I painted each nail, I felt as if God was painting His love and comfort over the broken areas of my heart as well. God was reminding me that I am known, heard, and loved by Him. In that moment, all the questions, doubts, and fear in my heart melted away. I am loved by the Father, and this is all that mattered. I love the Father, and this is the motive behind my every action. Then I remembered the reason why I said yes to Korea in the first place. More than successful ministry, I wanted to love Him well. More than high achievements, I wanted to know Him more. More than numbers and statistics, I wanted to bless Him.

From the beginning to end, the Nepal trip was a gift to me from my good Father. God loved me so much that He remembered my little prayer and kept my request for the perfect time. I felt tired and overwhelmed going into Nepal, but truly God answered my prayer, “Restore to me the joy of salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12). During this trip, God reminded me of His love for me by showing me His love for His people. As I remembered the joy and the gladness of knowing God and being known by Him, my focus shifted from that of achievements to that of worship. I left to Nepal as a burdened servant, but I returned to Korea as a cherished daughter of the Father.