It was December 31st 2019 when we as a family boarded a plane for Asia. We had great expectations about what our journey would look like, never imagining that a pandemic could transform the world of possibilities so drastically and in such a short time. Our initial plans for long-term access to India were laid sacrificed on the altar of COVID lockdowns yet strangely enough became an answer to prayer in an unexpected ironic way. We had been praying for a way to stay in India beyond our six-month limitation, never imagining that it would be COVID lockdowns that had us happily trapped inside of India for a year. Overstaying our visa during lockdown eventually made it so we would have to leave the country when the border reopened. We are so grateful for God leading us through all of the unknowns of that season to Nepal.

We arrived in Nepal in January 2021 during a small window when travel reopened just to face a second wave of COVID and lockdowns in a new country. In spite of all the challenges and difficulty we faced along the journey, God had been present and active through it all. We can make plans but God directs our lives. We’ve learned to trust that His directing is better than our planning.

When we left the US in 2019, we knew we needed to return in 2021 to keep Cat’s green card valid and reapply for permission to stay out of the country for another two years. We planned to leave Nepal for India in December to be a part of a Mission school there and then fly back to the US from Delhi. In the end, it became clear that a short trip to India wouldn’t be possible at this time because of quarantine rules for the unvaccinated. As we began searching for plane tickets from Kathmandu to Seattle, we found that we could save a substantial amount of money if we flew home the first weekend of November during Nepal’s Hindu festival of Tihar. After praying, we decided to to book the flight on short notice and come home a month early. I’m writing you from my parents’ living room in the Seattle area after our 15-hour flight from Dubai and our 30-hour total travel time from Nepal. We expect to fly back to Nepal at the end of December but have no specific plans at this time. We look forward to getting to see and spend time with as many of our American friends and family as possible.

We’re excited for this holiday season in America. In many ways, it feels like the country we left in 2019 no longer exists and the one we’re in now we don’t know what to expect. What we do know is that God is sovereignly reigning and ruling over all the systems and power structures of tradition, religion, and politics; redeeming a generation in the liberty and freedom of His love. Whether in Asia or America, our lives have been purchased by God’s love for us so we live as yielded instruments of grace to reconcile a lost world back to the heart of the Father who loves, calls, forgives, transforms, and restores every lost son and daughter who will come to Him. Let us rise up and carry this message with more zeal and conviction than ever before. I believe the harvest is ripe wherever we are. God has gone before us and has softened and prepared hearts. Let us seize each opportunity to bless others and see the power of God revealed and demonstrated in and through our lives to those around us.

Love and blessings from the Kinders in Washington.