Heart restoration (20.08.08)

Wfteamnepal Posted by Team Ramro on Wed, 20 Aug 2008 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

On Sunday, 13 of the 15 members of Team Ramro left Kathmandu and began their journey back home. It would be fair to say that they were all looking forward to getting back to Belfast. It’s been a long and busy trip, at a time of year when the climate and the bugs in Nepal can have a significant impact on pasty white visitors. The team have had a range of incredible experiences and return to Ireland with a much deeper understanding of life, work and mission in Nepal. They have been blessed and they have been a blessing; it’s been a great trip!

In Lamjung, we started a wee devotional series on God’s Big 2 – Loving God, Loving Others. In Pokhara, the team had time and space to really go deeper with some of these things and explore how to develop hearts that were more loving.

Last week, some of the team members e-mailed me from Pokhara with messages and stories they wanted me to share with Stephen, in hospital. Here’s a few of their comments:

“Just got back from our lodge in the hills, it was lovely. We had a camp fire and sang, and went for a walk to a waterfall. The devotions have been cool. I’ve been really challenged to think about how I give and how truly I love others, especially strangers. The Nepali people we have met have been so generous and have such open homes – it’s really humbling”.

“Our devotion times have been awesome – going deaper about showing God’s love. So I’m excited to get back to Belfast and start uni etc!”

But maybe the idea of loving others wasn’t being applied to each other…

“We all went out in boats yesterday on the lake in pokhara. Jasper thought it would be funny to steal our boat when we got off at the island! So we stole Sam’s”.

One one of my hospital days, I was reflecting on how Stephen’s physical heart condition was so much like my own spiritual heart. It’s so easy to allow things to prevent the flow of love and life from our hearts. Without even realising it, our love for God and for others can become restricted and obstructed by pride and selfishness. And in turn, this can limit our ability to receive the love and acceptance that make us whole.

On Monday, the surgery required to open up Stephen’s two narrow arteries was completed successfully. His heart no longer has to work quick so hard to ensure that blood flows around the rest of his body. He is already feeling the benefit of these procedures and is on the mend. We are hoping he and Jasper will be back home by the end of the week.

It seems that God brought Stephen to Nepal to reveal that something wasn’t quite right with his physical heart and that it needed to be fixed.

My prayer for the team members, for myself and for all who have engaged with mission experiences over the summer, is that we would allow God to reveal to each of us own heart condition and that we would submit ourselves to his healing and restoring hands. Let us all submit to the One who wants us to Love God, with everything, for ever, and to love others, with passion and with action.