CMS news letter
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It is not always easy to give thanks when life is difficult and when going through a hard time. In the months after Andrew suffered a heart attack, there were dark moments of questioning that made us wonder what God was saying to us. Our experience made us feel vulnerable, realising that our lives are fragile. Many of you reading this letter, facing similar challenges, will understand what that feels like.
During the past five months, we have lived with the sense that we have left part of ourselves in Nepal and that things there are not complete. We have been aware that many in Nepal are waiting for our return. We struggled when our plans were completely turned around, and yet with hindsight we see this time in the UK as God’s gift and realised, as it says in Proverbs 16:9, “in their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their step”. While Andrew is recuperating, we are staying in North Yorkshire and Andrew’s sister lives across the road – having family close by has been very special. The unexpected extra time in the UK has also meant that we have been able to visit close friends who have made us feel cared for and listened to. Being in the same country as our children and grandchildren has meant spending more time together. This has been a delight and one we will cherish. Being able to attend Andrea‘s father’s 95th birthday celebrations at the end of June will also be very special. We give thanks for all the people in our life who are the tangible expression of God’s love and care for us.
The recovery from the heart attack has included frequent visits to our GP, cardiologists for tests and routine medicals. We have been getting more exercise and losing weight is now our mantra! If only it were so easy. Most recently, Andrew received the great news that his heart is now in normal working order! Please pray for continued good health.
A spring walk, post heart attack
The time of illness and recovery was a wakeup call for us! In our darkest times, we discovered that God was there in the stillness, waiting for us, wanting to draw us even closer to himself. In times of retreat, we experienced God’s renewal of spirit, especially through times of silence and meditation and particularly on the wind swept beaches of Lindisfarne. This experience has affected how we see our pastoral role with UMN. The vision of a retreat centre that we had in 2016 is beginning to become reality. This came about as the flat below us (in Nepal where we live) became vacant and we have been able to rent it.
Over the next year, we will begin to use this space in different ways in order to strengthen the spiritual life of those working at UMN. Our vision is to provide a place where people can find a quiet place to pray, to be silent before God and to listen for the “still small voice”. We will also use the extra space to work from home and use it to see people for mentoring and counselling. We are excited about this and ask you to pray with us in this new venture.
The lower flat we will use for quiet days (we will still live on the first floor)
I have remained in contact with Nepali counselling colleagues by email and Skype. Jamila (of whom I have spoken about before) writes: “I am excited to share a story; a few weeks ago, at Patan Hospital’s play time, I met a young boy (aged about five or six). He was in hospital for many weeks and in ICU for 12–14 days. His mother said: ‘nowadays, he does not speak or laugh.’ We gave him toys to play with and slowly he started to talk, smile and respond, even walking a little bit. I am glad that toys are helping but I wish I could do proper play therapy with him. It’s true – play helps traumatised children.”
Jamila is passionate about working with children but there isn’t currently a play therapy course in Nepal. Please pray with me, that I may be a catalyst for bringing the right people together to make this happen.
Play skills in Kathmandu
A recurring theme of living in Nepal is dealing with our visa situation. We heard this week that the government has become much stricter about who can get a visa and are seeking to take away the gratis visa status which UMN has had for many years. Please pray that whatever happens, we will still be able to obtain our visas.
It has been wonderful to meet many people from our link churches. If we have not seen you this year, then we will be back again next June and July when we plan to make a visit to you a priority. It is always such an encouragement to meet people face to face and we are thankful for your partnership in our ministry. We are so grateful for your prayers and financial support which enables us to continue in our work. Just to clarify that all of the financial support marked for the “work of Andrea and Andrew Young” goes directly into our CMS budget for our work. Therefore, we want to say a big thank you because we would not be able to do this work without you.
Sharing lunch together at link church St Peters, Tewin
Recent experiences has taught us to hold all our plans lightly and, as one of our good friends reminded us, “God rarely fits into our well laid plans but is waiting at the edges”. We pray that we can be mindful of this as we return to Nepal.
We send our love and prayers
Andrea and Andrew