40 days. A holy number. A time of testing, of refining. A time of being in the wilderness with God taking care of you.
Welcome to my own 40 days of blogging! I will be partnering with the blogger's team with Gospel for Asia. This means I will be hosting at least 40 days of my own blogs this year related to helping women, girls, pastors and the persecuted church around the world, particularly in Asia to reach more people with their message: They need our help and our love and our prayers.
1 John 3:18- Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Rolling out the red carpet to welcome Gospel For Asia to my blog! As part of the mission of this blog: to GO where God calls me, to shine as His daughter, I am stepping up to help the thousands of women, young girls and all of his children, including the persecuted church around the world who desperately ache for their loving Heavenly Father's arms to embrace them and rescue them.
Here's the 411:
(muy importante, Hěn zhòngyào 非常重要 (translation in Chinese for crucial, important info) on the Gospel for Asia team-
Check out this short 2 minute video to see who Gospel for Asia is-just scroll down the linked page to see the video.
1. They are an awesome ministry that does the work needed to bring native missionaries to crucial areas.
2. They help women, children and families in need to come to know Christ through sharing God's love in practical ways to meet their needs and get them involved with the local church family to care for them.
3. They provide a sponsorship program for children that has shown God's love to over 70,000 children and they bring Jesus home to their families who come to know Him as well many times
Each day will represent the need of one girl, woman, or any child of God that needs your prayers and your action to spread the word of their great need- they are your sister, your mother, your daughter and they need to be loved, they need to be found, they need to rescued from slavery, violence or poverty (or sadly, all of the above.) Please do what you can to pray for that one girl, woman or man in desperate need of God. Please pray for them all. Focus on one country or pray for the featured person or family in need. Challenge yourself to praying over this precious child of God, over their family, over their country as you read the post and as you join with me in prayer for God's precious daughters and sons.
Day One: Her name is Shiuli. She lives in Kathmandu, Nepal. Please pray for her now and as you read!
When you were 14, what were you doing?
Most of us can say we were safely in school or with our friends. Busy with a school sport or activity. Spending time with family. Fairly free to choose our own path, aside from following the rules and expectations.
But imagine for a moment, that instead of this scenario, you found yourself being married off to someone you did not know. You are suddenly taken from home. You have no choice but to go off to your new life. You are taken to the city after growing up in a rural mountain village. Your bags are packed, so to speak, but you might not be bringing much with you. Certainly not the creature comforts you might be used to.
Either way, those things don't matter so much anymore. You are alone in a new town, no friends, no family of your own that knows you and cares for you.
Your new husband might be interested in you at first and treat you kindly enough. Or he might barely glance at you, except for caring for his needs. Or he might mistreat you when you don't quite meet his every expectation of being the perfect wife at age 14.
You soon have your first child. It's a girl!
Not to be celebrated quite so much in this society though. Since boys stay connected to their birth family all their lives and girls do not, boys are much more favored. Daughters virtually become a member of their new husband's family, no longer a part of their own.
Your husband is mainly busy with work and you soon join him with work; to help build up your house, along with taking on all the cares of the household, and your in-laws house as well when they call upon you to help them, though rarely.
After your first daughter, you continue working and taking care of your husband and your family grows. You have 3 daughters. You wonder if there is more to life. You don't know much of love. Or if your husband is kind to you, you feel some kind of disconnect and want to know if there is more. Of course, you barely have time to think of this with all of your responsibilities. But those moments at night make you wonder with the sounds of the city crashing down on you, quite different from your peaceful, yet vibrant mountain village that you grew up in where at least you knew everyone and knew somewhat what to expect.
Your name is Shiuli and you are doing all you can to make ends meet as your family grows in the capital city of Nepal; Kathmandu.
Suddenly tragedy strikes. You are left alone without your husband, He is gone. Died from sickness.
Your in laws are not near enough to help you. You don't know if they would have helped you. You don't know where to turn. You are left very much alone in the big city of 700,000 people in Kathmandu.
You have three young daughters and no way to help them get what they need. No way to pay for your home and have enough to feed them. You don't know how you made it work before. Suddenly you are penniless and struggle to find a new place to lay your heads or you go without shelter and without food for some time. It gets worse and your daughter cries of hunger. Nowhere to turn. You give them everything you have and go without yourself.
You seek help and answers from the many religious centers and temples in the city. You give all you have when you hear that if you give gifts to the gods to make them happy, they will save your family.
It's too late. Your youngest daughter dies of starvation and malnutrition.
Your world goes black.
You keep pulling yourself up for work, knowing you are your remaining two daughter's last hope.
You would give anything to bring your daughter back.
You feel the stares of the men in the city, as if they are waiting to strike like snakes with venom in their teeth at the right moment. With their cold smiles when they stare right through you.
You need help desperately. You cannot return home.
One day at work, the darkness and fear and hopelessness threatens to overtake you.
When suddenly, a flash of light enters the factory. In the form of a woman gently, lovingly smiling at you and asking you what you need.
You break down in the moment that she reaches for your hand and asks you again what you need help with- she wants to help you. She asks if you need food.
Your sobs pierce the air, though you are silent until you leave the factory and speak with her.
She brings you hope and gives you words of life that encourage you and she tells you many stories about other women who got the help they needed. Who found peace. Who found their answers. She tells you about her amazing, loving God. Who always cares about you. And makes all things right again.