Short and Simple and Sponges (Post Trip analysis)

Two months ago I was leaving the country for the first time. I would be traveling for 41 hours to a place that is literally halfway around the world. I think I can say for my entire team that we expected something entirely different. Upon arrival, we immediately realized what it meant to be a foreigner. It became challenging in some ways in that we couldn’t understand the language and didn’t really know what to expect when it came to adjusting to something new like this.
My time back in the States has been filled with me thanking the many that supported my team and me through prayer, telling the many stories of Ram, sharing stories of riding in a 12 passenger van that packed 36 people in it, and sharing the many fun memories in-between. If I could have brought something back to the States it would have been a recipe for momos or the dedication that each individual had. I have tried to apply the devotion that they have into my own life whether it be me accomplishing something or just sticking to my daily devotion and making that a priority.
The people of Nepal have a determined heart and always finish what they start. Christ does the same. Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Christ does the same.

Since being back in the States I have had to come to the realization that Christ is constantly growing me and equipping me in some form or fashion for whatever He has planned for my future.
This trip taught me many things, but the two main things that He taught me are:
1. We can conquer anything that is of this world because Jesus is greater, and He lives in me.
2. He is continuing to grow us no matter what season of life we are in.

When I got back, the first thing that my youth pastor talked to me about was a sponge. Now you may ask, why a sponge. Well, he put the illustration this way. Sponges soak up water. They can either soak up clean water or dirty water. Sponges also can get squeezed out. Sometimes God fills us up with all the resources that we need. That is exactly what he did for us in Nepal. He supplied all 7 of us with what we needed to be successful. We poured out and were squeezed out, and we used all those resources that were given to us. Now after being back for two months we have a choice. Do we replenish the sponge with dirty water or clean water? The devil tries to contaminate the water that we absorb but how do we filter it? That is the question I am asking myself as I have transitioned from coming back to the States and moving on with my life in another new culture here back at home.

Stone Woodham
Team Member | Nepal 2017

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