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Melissa, CVT
"To the Ends of the Earth"

**Please do Not Post or Circulate**

Dear friends,

The new year has brought with it a slew of new challenges for me.  As difficult as these challenges have been, they have been a blessing as well. Because they have forced me to start the new year truly 100% dependent on God and not on my own strength. Around Christmas time while I was in Nepal one of our farm staff suddenly quit. He was causing lots of problems and was exhibiting a very poor attitude for many months. So as hard as it was letting him go, it was the right decision. Shortly after that, there was a dispute on the land we are leasing concerning the use of grass and fodder trees for our goats. We want to keep a peaceful relationship with our landlord, so we decided to try and look elsewhere for fodder…a difficult task in the dry season! Shortly after that some of our goats started getting sick because a cold spell hit. Sadly we lost one adult and one kid. But the biggest challenge of all has been a new law regarding visas for foreigners. I now have to register with the government if I want to stay here more than six months in a calendar year. I currently don’t have the proper documents needed to register and honestly, it would be very hard to get these documents. Many foreigners are leaving, being rejected visas, being investigated and generally paranoid every time they enter and exit the country. I don’t want to live in fear. I really believe that God has me here for a reason and that my work and ministry here is not finished. But it is an election year here, and the current pro-Hindu party in control is really cracking down. I could really use some prayer these next few months as I discern what steps I need to take to stay here long term.
Nalam sharing the Good news with one of the cow farmers
Looking back over the last three years here, I have faced one challenge after another after another. But I am so grateful for each one. The challenges are a reminder that we need to constantly be on our guard and on our knees because the Devil is always actively trying to destroy what we are doing for the Kingdom. Challenges are also a reminder that the life we live is not our own. We can try to control it, make plans, and reach our goals but in the end, so many things are out of our control, and we just have to trust God. Challenges are also an opportunity to draw closer to God and experience His presence and miraculous working power in our lives. I never want to find myself in a position where I am so comfortable, secure, and feeling in control that I lose sight of these important reminders like being on guard, staying dependent on God, and drawing closer to him.
Animal health team working together to vaccinate a cow
In the midst of challenges, God has also brought encouragement to me. In November we were able to go to a different state where we had trained a team of six guys to be animal health workers. We received such an amazing reception from the local people as we went to different villages vaccinating cows and treating sick animals. The guys I trained were so encouraged because they were able to go into areas that normally are hostile towards Christians. As we went as a team, people invited us to tea, fed us, and asked us to come back to treat their animals. We had a few opportunities to share the Good News with some families that we had visited the previous year. It is always exciting to see fruit like this. The team of guys I trained is made up of men from different churches, different castes, and backgrounds, yet they are united through this animal health work and are committed to reaching Hindus by showing the love of Christ.

Thank you so much for your prayers as I navigate the challenges here and continue to trust God with my future and seek His will.



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