Wow! Life in the USA has such a way of swallowing us up! We have hardly had a chance to keep you updated on our happenings since arriving back to the USA in late June. And now we are only weeks from departing back to South Asia.
In this blog post we will reflect back on the past half-year sharing some thoughts about making the most of each moment, focus on our family’s various activities, and look at what’s ahead for the nomadic Beine tribe in 2012. We hope you enjoy!
A 6.9 earthquake rumbled across Nepal and Northern India on September 18th, killing 112 and injuring thousands. A week later, a sight-seeing flight headed to Mt. Everest crashed killing all on board. Last April we had sent Ana and Nick on this exact same airline and flight as a gift. Both of these recent events reminded me of the fragility of life and encouraged me to continue making the most of the life God has given me. None of us knows the number of our days. What have you been doing with the gift of life that has been given to you?
After arriving back to the USA on the final day of June we did some camping with friends and our church, enjoyed swimming and hiking in beautiful Washington State, and hung out with our Bhutanese refugee friends. Beyond this each of us had various other things that kept us busy as well. Dave spent two separate weeks in Alaska. First, he was invited to speak on a father-son rafting/fishing trip near Fairbanks, and he took Nick along for his thirteen-year-old “becoming a man” father-son trip. Second, he spent the last week of August near Ketchikan fishing with Joshua for his “turning seven” father-son trip. This trip was only supposed to be three days but they were stranded (along with their friend) an extra three days (in a 10x10 cabin) in the Alaskan wilderness when bad weather prevented the float plane from returning to pick them up. During the Fall Dave’s primary responsibility has been teaching anthropology and intercultural communications at Moody Bible Institute, Spokane, where he serves as Professor of World Missions. Dave loves the opportunity to infect students with the mission bug (we know firsthand the huge remaining need for others to join in the task) and to equip them for that task through these practical offerings. Dave also published a landmark academic article within his specialty of medical anthropology (see http://www.sil.org/sil/news/2011/hiv-aids-research-journal.htm) in October and kept busy with several other consultant responsibilities as well. Beyond teaching, the highlight of his year was hanging out with his family.
Musings from Kimberly
Last year I shared with you my unique position of rest and my musings on how God might use the energy that I felt I had to give. I wondered if I might find work, or if we might get to adopt the little girls that we hope for. Well, God provided the job. In July, I started working for On Site for Seniors, in Northern Idaho (http://www.onsite4seniors.org). This is a small, non-profit company that provides medical and spiritual care to the elderly (and their caregivers) in their homes, or assisted living facilities, or skilled nursing facilities. I recently learned that we serve the top 10% of the nation’s sickest patients, who are often those rejected my other care providers because their care is complicated, fraught with mounds of paperwork and not highly reimbursed (through Medicare or Medicaid). So, I embarked on this ministry of caring for and loving these precious and complex elderly folks. I have been inspired by those on my team whom I have joined; daily they demonstrate incredible dedication and a unique ability to continue to LOVE and SERVE in the face of great grumblings in our society about the cost (on multiple fronts) of serving these sometimes neglected people. I feel like we are on the front lines of continuing the work that Jesus began when he walked the earth.
Just to give you a flavor…many of my patients are on over twenty medications; I am getting an education in drug interactions. Many of my patients are in their 90s; even one is 103! Many of my patients have endured a recent hospitalization and are facing the difficult reality that they may never be able to thrive in their own homes again. Many of my patients have more than ten diagnoses simultaneously; I am learning to consider multiple systems in formulating a treatment plan. Often we coordinate care for patients who are seeing multiple specialists; I am learning the abbreviations of multiple medical specialties. I am driving about 250 miles per week for work; I am learning to overcome my navigational handicap, and for those who have ever driven with me, you know that this is an amazing transformation.
When I started this work, I requested a 50% position but eventually signed up for 60% as the need is so great. Then I found myself working 40 hours per week and realized that it was more than I was prepared to give. The home front was going through changes as a result of my absence (although Dave is doing a stellar job stepping into the shopping and dinner preparing roles), and then our teenager moved into a stage that we did not properly anticipate and I became quickly overwhelmed by the needs both on the work front and on the home front. I began to long for the year of unemployment. But, as is often the case in our faith journeys, I held on, casting myself before the God who cares for me and all of the others whose lives touch mine, and resolution came. Our company hired a nurse practitioner who is partnering with me now to care for all of the patients on my roster, and we have learned a bit about parenting in this next stage which is enabling us to press on. PRAYER is essential to our survival and to thriving in our current situation of great demand. All I can say is that I have great anticipation for my time of REST when that day comes when Christ will call me home. In the meantime, I press on, spending myself for the Savior and for His dearly beloved ones here on earth; I hope He will be fully pleased when my time here is finished.
In regard to our deep longing to adopt, we have transferred our case to a domestic adoption agency. It turns out that they could not accept our international Home Study, so we are in the process of repeating that for the domestic arena. It is a continual heartache to wonder why God has called us into this longing, without any fulfillment over this eight years. We continue to HOPE, even when it seems that there is no reason to hope. We still would love to raise up two little girls whose biological parents cannot do that. We have thought in practical terms that when Dave turns 50 (in 2013), we should probably stop the search for our daughters and look to God for some other reason that we have been on this journey. I do not know if this is of God, so I ask you to please pray for us. I understand so much better why Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, and why he accepted. Do not worry; we do not have any such plans; I simply understand a little better the pain of waiting for a HOPE yet unfulfilled. Please LORD Jesus, help us rejoice in your plan and gladly lay down our own expectations.
Some thoughts from Nick (age 14)
My experience in Nepal has been a truly unforgettable one. I learned first-hand so many things about people and life in foreign countries. I was also able to make lasting memories and friends. Back in America, I’ve enjoyed participating in sports and church and community events. I enjoy playing music with my friends from our church, school band, and anyone and everyone else. I’m looking forward to the coming winter, especially Christmas and the opening of the ski resorts. Hope y’all have a joyous
Christmas. Peace off.
A Note from Nate (age 12)
Hi Nate here. So far it’s been a good year. I’m enjoying school and having a good time in the States, but I’m still glad to be going back to Nepal. I’ve been making new friends and hanging out with old ones. We have a new teacher named Ethan and I’m looking forward to getting to know him better this year. I would like to thank you all now for your support both in funding and prayers.
Contemplations from Jason, a.k.a. Jake (age 10)
Merry Christmas! I have had many good experiences this year…experiences that I think every kid should have. Some of these are: Taekwondo, being with Nepali kids, teaching people about Jesus, etc. And I think God has been with us this year. I am glad that we get to go to Nepal and America.
Addition from Mom: Jason has explored his thespian passion this year. He started with a drama camp in the summer, and then went on to be a policeman in “Oliver Twist” with Theater Arts for Children and just finished up being Tiny Tim in Dicken’s “Christmas Carol,” with a small company that does dinner theater. It has been so enjoyable to see this natural talent and passion find its expression.
Joshua’s Life (age 7)
Joshua continues to bring laughter to our home. He is a challenge to discipline since you want to laugh most of the time. His brothers have tried to get in on the parenting when they think he needs more discipline; poor guy…who can survive with five parents? His second grade teacher says he is an absolute delight. He played football this year, instead of soccer, and was praised for being the most teachable and cooperative kid on the team. In his leisure time, he is found either out on the lawn, with Jake, playing football, or curled up on the couch, reading a book. He is devouring so many books this year; I hope we can find enough books to keep him engaged in Nepal.
We are excited to add Ethan Smith as an honorary member of the Beine clan as he spends the next half year living with us and teaching our kids in Nepal. Ethan is a recent graduate (Biology and Chemistry double major) from Whitworth University here in Spokane, WA. So the kids should find a good science-related challenge this term! And before you classify Ethan as an “egghead” you should know that he recently completed a 4.5 month, 2,663 mile hike on foot from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. Following his adventure with us in Nepal, he is slated to serve as a science teacher for the Teach for America Program (http://www.teachforamerica.org/ ). To learn more about Ethan see his bio at http://www.trailjournals.com/about.cfm?trailname=11751 and check out his journal at http://www.trailjournals.com/EthanSmith/ . His amazing feat also holds special significance for the Beine family since Dave’s dad was responsible for acquiring much of the trail’s land or securing necessary right of ways when he worked for the US Forest Service over a decade ago. For those interested, Ethan is seeking financial partners to help him get to Nepal and back. Please contact us if you are interested in helping.
On January 23rd we will be back on an airplane headed for the second part of our strange nomadic life that has us splitting our time on two very different halves of the globe each year. This year we end our air journey in New Delhi, India, where we will do a little touring, visiting various places where Dave formerly spent years surveying the need for Bible translation. We will first visit the Taj Mahal and then explore the hinterlands of the tribal Gondi people of central India whose unwritten language served as the basis for my Linguistic Anthropology Master’s thesis at San Diego State University (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondi_people). We will then make our way overland from there to Nepal to begin our next assignment at Tansen Mission Hospital (see http://www.tansenhospital.org.np/ ). Once in Nepal Dave will be busy with his Chepang Literacy and Scripture Use Project facilitator’s role and he will also continue his HIV and AIDS consultant role with the Community Health Project for Tansen Mission Hospital. Beyond this he will also be working on finishing a book on Chepang culture and a second edition of his book on HIV and AIDS in Nepal (see http://www.amazon.com/Ensnared-AIDS-Cultural-Contexts-Nepal/dp/product-description/9993310182). Kimberly will continue her work as a general practitioner at the same hospital and the kids will continue their schooling under the capable tutelage of Ethan Smith, our teacher for this term.
And Finally, the holiday season is often a time for giving thanks: we give thanks first and foremost to our God for making a way for us to know and enjoy Him forever through the coming of his son, our Savior. Also we are thankful for family and friends who have spoken into our lives in so many ways throughout the past year. And certainly we give thanks for those of you who have partnered with us through prayer and/or financially during the past year. We are grateful! In this past year we have seen some long-time supporters pass away, a supporting church decrease their support due to financial difficulties, and Kimberly reimbursed financially less for her work than expected, yet God has met every need we have had. Praise Him with us for his abundant provision in our lives always!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and bon voyage from the Beines!
Wanna hear more (or go deeper)? Would you like to know more details about our various Beine adventures? Follow our blog here where we document our life experiences (including those noted above) and/or get our periodic newsletter (The Beine Banter). Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.
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