Saturday, January 29, 2011

Overall, a Good Journey…

It was 44 hours from our home in Spokane to our friends’ home in Kathmandu.  This time we had no layovers long enough to rent a room for sleep.  We did catch an hour or two of sleep on airport seats, but there wasn’t much opportunity for good rest.  Maybe that is why we all slept pretty well the first night in Kathmandu, even though we forgot to take the melatonin: we were all completely exhausted.  The luggage trials all turned out quite well; when we reached Seattle, we were only checking six bags for Beines and two for Ana, but nothing was overweight (according to Asian standards)…but then they weighed our carry-on bags.  They declared those overweight and made us check three of them.  Nick looked a little like a hobo with his few items retrieved from his bag (computer, slippers, camera and hat) placed in a large plastic bag (usually used for car seats) slung over his shoulder, as he was adorned in his recently torn jacket that was held together with duct tape.  In the end, we did not incur an extra charge for baggage and everything made it all the way to Kathmandu.  We feel so fortunate; and then our load on the plane was very light, and the in-flight entertainment (movies and games) kept everybody quite occupied.  

The flight was a great weight-loss program for two Beines.  We got placed at the very back of the plane between Seattle and Seoul, and all the motion led to the filling of at least seven of those little bags that you find in your seat-back pocket.  And jet-lag finally got the best of Joshua at the end, so that he basically sleep-walked from the final flight, through the airport, to our taxi, where he got a good nap all the way to our friends’ home.  Really the challenges of the flight were few and we were incredibly blessed by how great all seven travelers did over that 44 hours.  Thank you for praying for us.  Today, we celebrate with our Nepali “family” the birthday of their two-year-old daughter.  And we seek God’s guidance to do His will during our few days here in the capital city of Nepal.

Kimberly, for the whole nomadic group

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Final day before departure- Leaning on God!

Hi all:
Less than 20 hours now until final departure!  The kids are (hopefully) enjoying their final day at school and Kimberly and I are progressing through our final packing check list items and finishing up last minute tasks around the house.  Tonight we go out for our final hamburger (remember cows are holy in Nepal) for six months, get a good night’s sleep and then are on our way!

I wanted to get one more update out before we take to the air.  I had intended to do so yesterday, but due to an unforeseen electrical issues (the power company was putting an electronic meter on our house and discovered deeper electrical issues in their main) we were without power for most of the day yesterday.  This also meant that besides the update, several other items (like clothes washing, house final house cleaning, etc.) got postponed until today. 

At church on Sunday I shared that one of the biggest challenges we face in South Asia is not having control of so many things in our environment.  Here in America we really have developed a comfortable and controlled life so contrastive to life in South Asia.  I shared that this biggest challenge is also our greatest blessing as it forces us to lean on God for EVERYTHING (which is what our hearts really desire to do).  Frankly (and honestly), this is just harder for us to do in a place where everything is comfortable and controlled.  Perhaps our pursuit of safe and convenient lives has led to our spiritual atrophy as a nation?   

So, as yesterday’s unexpected power cut hit, I just had to smile and say “okay, God, what do we do now?”  How ironic to be in a place with such steady and regular power (power cuts are rare and almost romantic here) and be reminded of this fact, while we are headed to a place with half day power cuts are still the norm! 

We also have one more upcoming known “opportunity” to lean on God tomorrow and we would like to ask you to join us in praying for God’s provision.      We will be attempting to check our luggage (with US limits) from Seattle all the way to our final destination (Kathmandu).  We have done this before but are flying a new airline from Bangkok-New Delhi-Kathmandu and our Asian carrier tells me that we may have to collect our luggage in Bangkok and re-check it in with the second airline.  If we have to do this 1) we lose our US luggage allowance (2 bags 50 lbs each) en route and will only get 1 bag at 44 lbs each from Bangkok (which means having to pay overweight charges for some and for extra bags as well) and 2) we will need to pass through immigration to collect our bags (and pay visa and airport tax fees) and re-check our bags paying all of the extra costs noted above.  And we will also have a time factor to worry about as well (we only have about four hours in Bangkok). So, please pray 1) that we lean on God in the process, 2) that we could find favor and grace from the staff in Seattle and Bangkok who may be able to facilitate seeing our luggage checked all the way to our final destination without further cost, 3) for provision if they can’t do this, and 4) for wisdom about how hard to push at Bangkok if necessary. By the way, one of the bags contains refrigerated lab supplies for the hospital, so there is particular urgency that our luggage not get lost. 

Okay, that’s all to report for now.  I am sure other things will arise during the journey (they always do) so pray that we will use those opportunities to lean on God!

Dave (for all the Beines)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Progress… Six days and counting

First of all, to answer the most common question, no, we are not ready yet; but we are on schedule.  We will be ready next Thursday morning.  This time we more smartly (and realistically) scheduled our time, events and packing.  This has even left us significant relationship time to spend with friends and family in these final days.  Our goal has been to be “all here” in both of our homes on the globe, thus limiting the transition time (and stress) it takes to prepare.  And it feels like we have finally struck a good balance in this endeavor.

Kimberly’s surgery and ensuing recovery went very well.  Thanks for praying!  She is healthy and cleared for “take off.” The vascular surgery was 80% successful and she has had far less discomfort than before the surgery.  We will likely follow up on the remaining 20% upon our return next July, although there is also a chance that the remaining vascular issue may spontaneously resolve with time.

Ana update-   Ana reports that she is now approaching about half way to her needed financial goal (and this amount does not including some promised gifts that have not yet reached her).  She has a speaking engagement at her home church this Sunday and we have a feeling that it will all come together in the end.  Keep praying! 

Nepal  update- We just learned that the day we arrive to Nepal (January 29th) there will be another national strike and so ground transportation will likely not be running that day.  This means we will need to figure out how to get seven people and 12 bags 5 miles across town (you may recall that I have had to walk much of the distance in similar situations in the past).  Likewise, the power cuts are now up to 12 hours daily in the capital city.  And the political stalemate continues.  In one way this is what I love about Nepal.  Life is so out of my control there that it forces me to rely on God to figure things out (and that is what my heart desires most deeply) rather than taking things into my own hands (which is my tendency here).  Our overly-controlled life in America (as comfortable as it is) seldom pushes us to this level of absolute dependence on God. 
And for those of you who continue to express concern for our safety, thank you.  Today there were several accidents across town when freezing rain turned the streets into a skating rink.  And last Monday there was a bomb diffused down town that could have created massive devastation.  Don’t worry, in just six days we will be out of this dangerous place!  :)

Dave (for the Beines)  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

quotable quote

Dave took the boys out to a restaurant this weekend.  Josh came back to the table and asked, "Dad, are we Jews or Gentiles?"  Dad answered "Gentiles."  Josh replied, "Good!  I went into the one that said 'GENTILEMEN.'"  I give thanks for laughter, and sweet little boys who bring it on.
:-) Kimberly

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nepal 2011- 21 Days and counting!

The "staging area"
Wow!  We depart just three weeks from tomorrow (January 27)!  The final push for Nepal 2011 is well underway!  As the days get closer we will try to get better about updating our bog on a weekly basis.  We are now busy packing, preparing the house and making preparations for our arrival on the other side. 
In regards to the other side, as is the constant norm throughout South Asia, things are still politically unsettled as the UN’s peacekeeping mission  prepares to pull out of Nepal in two weeks (see ) and infrastructure remains challenged as power cuts are back up to eleven hours daily in the capital city.  For those of you who worry about such things, we remind you that it has been like this for most of our 23 year history with the region.  Take heart, God is still in control and He will guide us. 
Things are progressing well toward our departure, but you can remember us in prayer in a couple of ways over the next three weeks:  1) Kimberly has a small surgery scheduled on January 07th to repair a troublesome vein in her leg.  Following surgery she will need to stay off her feet (and avoid lifting) for about ten days.  Pray for our packing (and for me as I try to play Mr. Mom for everyone WHILE we are making the final preparations).  2)  Anastasia our teacher is still in need of support (she is currently at 12%of needed funding for her entire trip). Let us know if you want to help Ana get to Nepal (and back)  :)

The Beines