This week we are watching graduate after graduate leave IGSL for their countries or places of ministry. We’ll share more about some of those stories soon, but Christine and I were more personally invested in one family going home this week that DID NOT graduate.
It was a difficult journey for him and his family, but over the past 6 months since it became clear he would not fulfill his goal of getting an IGSL degree Umesh and his wife have demonstrated incredible teachability and humility, even in the face of a lot of shame (a big deal in this part of the world). From a discipleship standpoint, this experience took Umesh andI into some very deep parts of his life and past in Nepal that were very painful, but it was incredible to see God reveal his love and goodness to Umesh and his wife in pretty personal and powerful ways.
This all culminated yesterday when we sent Umesh and his family back to Nepal. Kuya Tom and myself and others were able to present a simple certificate to Umesh to honor his teachability and the classes he did get to take. Most of all – it was an affirmation that as it relates to character development, Umesh got from IGSL what God wanted him to get. It wasn’t a degree, but it is so much more valuable!
In a final dinner with our family over “momo” they shared that they were disappointed, but were confident that God had given them what they need to be faithful in their calling to reach the unreached peoples in the mountain ranges of their province in Nepal. Umesh shared humbly,“I don’t go back with a degree, but I go back with all God has done in my life here and all I have learned. We go back with God.”
What a lesson for all of us! Umesh took great comfort in the examples of the disciples as “uneducated” men, but who had authority because they had been with Jesus. No matter our education or status, it’s a great reminder that God bestows His authority and power on those who truly walk with and depend on Him. It’s a reminder too that the classroom is not always where the greatest transformation occurs!
Please pray for Umesh, Yoshida, and their two children – that God would provide for them and work through them powerfully as they ministry to mostly Hindu people groups.