Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pravu le timilai Aashish Diun

It means, "God bless you" in Nepalese.  Yes, Nepal.  8500+ miles from here.

I'm quietly ecstatic about a new project that I believe the Lord has birthed in my heart over the last couple of weeks.

Beautiful children of Nepal
Fr. J came to our church to speak to us about missions at the end of October, and though his main field is Zanzabar, he brought up his work in Nepal.  I was immediately bonded to the people in that country in a way I can't explain.  I want to work with them and help their ministry, and the thing I know the most about is wool.  I asked J if he had any contacts in Nepal and he hooked me up with Pastor Satis.  This man leads a small church and was very interested in my idea of importing handmade woolen items from his church members to sell here, and sending the money back to Nepal for their ministry.

It sounds so crazy!  But... it's working!  Tonight I sent a bit of venture capital to Pastor Satis in Bhaktapur, and by the wonders of technology, he is picking it up today.  (It's 12 hours later there.)  I sent money to Nepal, people!  Unreal.  And in a week or so, he will be sending me wool products made by his church members: hats, scarves, mittens, slippers, etc.  Not sure how long it will take them to arrive here, but when they do, you'll be the first to know.  It's hard to imagine that I'd have them in time to sell for Christmas, but stranger things have happened.

Please pray for this church and its pastor.  I've been doing some research on the country, and it's an enormous spiritual war zone.  The country is almost entirely Hindu and Buddhist, with some Muslims also present.  There are Maoist insurgents, a pervasive caste system, wild topography, spotty infrastructure, and not nearly enough Christian missionaries.  Pastor Satis says they are free to worship openly, so that's a plus, but evangelism is not encouraged.  The people need Christian study material in their own language.  Where on earth does one get Bible study materials in Nepalese? (Note to self, tap my contacts at Wycliffe Bible Translators...)

These are some of the issues I'll be researching in the coming weeks and months.  Please pray with me for the Lord's beloved in Nepal.  He died for them, too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All My Bags are Packed

Goodbye, beach retreat...

I'm ready to go.

Handed my daughter and her future over to the Lord, as I'll continue to do every day till I see her again.  If she's like me, she should be feeling pretty much at home here now.  I'm finding that after three weeks, I've actually gotten a bit settled in myself.  Without realizing it, it feels like some roots have taken hold.  I know my way around town, and I can find stuff in everybody's kitchen.  Not a house guest anymore.  Good thing I have a long plane trip to help me transition back from relaxed Island Babe to busy Farm Girl.

Time to trade my flip flops in for my muck boots.
Today I'm praying for my step-mom who's having a bit of day surgery, and for my sister's family, to whom I owe nothing but gratitude.  I feel attached to people at both the Anglican and Nazarene churches that I've enjoyed attending, and will keep them in my prayers as well.

Now, just five more minutes by the pool...

Ke Akua pu a hui hou...
God bless you, see you later...

Monday, October 24, 2011


I'm leaving Hawaii in just over 24 hours, and the melancholy and grief has paralyzed me most of the day.  Spent hours on the other blog, and avoided some jobs I promised myself I'd have done before I left.  Just can't make myself think about the stuff that's waiting for me on the other side of that long plane ride.

Walk Across the Sea - Dyptic, Pegge Hopper
I'm off to my sister and brother in law's home Bible study in a little while, in an effort to get my head together for my departure tomorrow.  Goodbyes are so hard for me, even temporary ones.  Leaving my only child is probably the hardest one in my life.

How Calvary must have ripped out the Heart of God.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Surfer Surrender

On the north shore of O'ahu, in the town of Haleiwa, the surfers and skateboarders who love Jesus have found a very cool way to communicate it.

With this strong graphic logo printed on a rubber bracelet (perfect for surfers who spend most of their waking hours in the water) they express a core Christian concept: He is greater than I.  This idea is backed up by the scripture printed on the other side of the bracelet, John 3:30, "He must increase and I must decrease."

I've seen this dramatic mark on vehicle windows and tailgates around town, but not nearly as frequently as I see Christian logos on cars in Texas.  Hawai'i is nowhere near the Bible belt.  Christians here are much fewer and much further between.  As a result, I wonder if they are stronger?

Most of the surfers I knew in high school wore crosses or crucifixes, but the significance was mostly superstitious.  There's a lot of that here in Hawai'i as well.  It's a veritable smorgasbord of religious persuasions, including a lot of DIY spirituality.

But this is where I met the Lord in the most significant way ever before, as a teenager, and I know He does great things for and through His island people.  That's why I even dare to leave my daughter here, with her aunt and uncle and cousins and grandmom, and a church that believes God's Word.  Jesus is lord here, and His influence is growing more and more.

Friday, October 21, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.  My sister loaned me this book during my time here in Hawaii while my daughter began to settle into her new living situation.  For the first time in a long time, I didn't have an anvil of responsibility dragging behind me, and I was able to rest my mind and concentrate on the printed page.  My sister had shared one of Ann's blog posts with me, and I was so deeply moved by her style and insights, I asked to borrow the book the next instant.

Sitting on the beach in Kailua, bathed in the sound of waves on sand, I began to read.  Her words shifted my reality.  Shifted it back into the comforting stream of the truth of God.  Once you've ever sipped from God's truth, the taste is unmistakable.  You can settle for less after that, but you know it.  If you've settled for less for a long time, you can find your taste buds have been dulled into sleep.  But the minute you catch a whiff of Truth again, the senses startle awake, and you ask yourself what on earth happened?  How did you manage to drift so far?

I can't do the book justice in just a few sentences - I encourage you to read it for yourself.  But briefly, Ann recounts her journey to make sense of living as a Christian in a world defiled by pain and horror and fear and the million heartaches that beset us between birth and death.  The key to a full life of joy, Ann finds, is thanksgiving, or eucharisteo.   She begins to keep a journal of "gifts."  Much more than a sappy list of Hallmark affirmations, her list matures into a sonnet of gratitude for all the ways God gives Himself, as gifts--the good, the bad, and the ugly.  This deceptively small book is heavy with God's truth, the kind that makes you gasp for air, and offers reams of practical help in moving from despair to joy.

I returned my sister's well-worn copy of the book, and ordered several copies for myself.  Well, for myself and anyone who'd like to read the book with me, and plumb the depths together.  If this sounds good to you, please let me know.  If more of us want to study this together, we can get more books.

Figuring Life Out - One Thousand Gifts (720) from Jacob Forrest on Vimeo.


This is my first real post on this new blog.  "From the Fold" describes a couple of the important facets of my life: my cherished identity as one of Christ's beloved lambs, and as a spinner of wool, where spinning "from the fold" is a way to turn fluff into yarn.  In this blog, I hope to share more of my spiritual life than I do on the farm blog.  Everyone is welcome here, and over there as well.