“Can we move to Nepal now?” asks our seven-year- old, on finding out that mum and dad are confident that it is right for us as a family to move overseas and serve the people of Nepal. She is incredibly keen to start the adventure that afternoon, planning to climb Mount Everest as soon as she gets there. We absolutely love her enthusiasm and energy, but climbing Mount Everest, as moving a family of five to a developing Asian country, requires preparation. Lots of it. So, how should we best prepare for living and working in Nepal, a developing country where 50% of the population live on $1 a day? The starting point is that we trust that God has prepared a road forwards for us. We believe he has prepared a place where our skills and personalities fit, and will bless people.

Ephesians 2:10 reads: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are delighted that Headington Baptist Church has prayerfully considered this vision with us, and share in the conviction that there is work for us to do in Nepal. We also draw on the knowledge that God has been weaving an interest in working cross-culturally even before we met and married. We would therefore like our children to also grow in their understanding of the world beyond the UK.

“Where are you off to?” asks our nine-year- old, as Pippa drops the three off them off with friends in Oxford before school. “Training in Birmingham” is the answer. The transition period has started. We know the next 3-4 months are going to be very intensive, given the planned move to Nepal in January 2018, in order to support a local NGO in development work and resilience building. As parents we are still in full- (and part-) time employment, and children are in school routines. In addition, there are training sessions to be attended, vaccinations for all of us, an awareness and support raising campaign to be started, a house to be readied for letting out, where do I stop…

Trusting God does therefore does not start with exiting the plane in Kathmandu, and catching the small Yeti Airlines plane to Pokhara. Trusting God starts with living in the now, living with the stresses, living with the conflicting demands, living with limited energy to achieve everything, and living with the uncertainties that remain. Maybe this is good practice for the coming year; after all, life is about to get a bit more challenging. As a family, we are excited about what 2018 and 2019 will bring.

If you want to share the journey with Toby and Pippa, check out their blog at  http://annapurna-murmur.com/blog/

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