Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Begin the begin

This is the letter we'll be sending out to some of our nearest and dearest this week:

Dear Friends and Family,

Throughout the past 15 years, our family has enjoyed numerous adventures. We’ve experienced the nomadic existence of a journalist, living in multiple states before settling in Washington nearly 9 years ago. We’ve welcomed children biologically and through adoption-- sometimes for even just a few days as a foster family. We’ve run the educational gamut: Christian preschool, homeschooling, and special needs public schooling. We’ve had cats, dogs, fish, (too many) rabbits, and even lambs who slept in our bathtub. We’ve driven cross-country in a well-loved Volvo station wagon. We’ve even been offered a reality show to showcase our slightly off-beat family. (No, we’re not kidding.)

A lot of people have called us crazy. We’re writing you today to confirm that fact. We are, in fact, crazy. To quote the Apostle Paul: If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you (2 Corinthians 5:13). In other words, the Blandings do a lot of nutty things ... like being foster parents ... like founding a nonprofit ... like getting our hands dirty in places like Mexico, Haiti, and Burma ... but we do it all because we feel called to do so by a God whom we both love and fear.

With this in mind, we are writing to invite you to join us on our next great, crazy adventure. For several years, Mr. Blandings has been traveling through Southeast Asia, ministering to and encouraging national pastors as they seek to bring the Word of God to their people. Our nonprofit, The Global Missionary, has been raising funds for those efforts. Thus far, we have been privileged to build churches, supply Bibles, train pastors, support orphaned children, and meet the practical needs of people in some areas of the world that are considered most hostile to the Gospel. Now we are taking a bigger step of faith--some would say a crazy step of faith--and working to move our entire family to live and serve among the Hindus and Buddhists of Nepal.

If you’re on The Global Missionary’s mailing list, you already know that we have partnered with Reach Nepal--a group of Nepali Christians--to take over the financial concerns of Abba House Children’s Home and the Nepal Baptist Theological Seminary in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal. While these are vital ministries and we look forward to being involved in them in a more hands-on fashion, our main call involves discipling and providing encouragement and ongoing training for the seminary graduates as they sew seeds in villages and small towns throughout the Nepali countryside. We plan on being based in Lalitpur, with Christopher traveling regularly into the rural areas to work with pastors and graduates of the seminary.

The first stage of this journey requires us to spend a year in Thailand. During that time, Mr. Blandings will work directly with others who do similar work among other people groups, receiving their guidance and taking their materials and using them to piece together a training plan for the Nepali nationals. Meanwhile, the rest of the family will have a chance to transition to life in Asia. We’ll be leaving behind many of the niceties of Western life, but Thailand still offers a stunning array of Americanized goodies. In other words, you can still send us Starbucks gift certificates if you feel moved to do so!

We are all looking forward to this amazing adventure. The idea of being united at long last with our Nepali daughter, Bee, as well as serving God full-time, has us wishing we could leave tomorrow! But, of course, there are several things that must happen before we can buy our plane tickets and set off for Asia.

First and foremost, as field missionaries, we must raise support for our work. At this time, we have calculated that our living and ministry expenses will require approximately $5,000 US per month. If you feel led to partner with us in this calling and would like more information on our expected expenditures, we’d be happy to provide you with that information. While we will most certainly be looking to work with churches and groups, it is our heartfelt desire to engage as many families and individuals as possible in supporting this work. It’s one thing to have a financial director at a church cut a monthly check from the tithes and offerings of the congregants, but it’s another thing altogether to have people actively supporting and praying for the needs and works of a ministry!

We are praying that God brings forward a small army of believers focused on sharing the Gospel in Nepal. For our part, we’ll be engaging our supporters with more than just the typical newsletter updates. People who commit to supporting us will receive an information packet filled with details about the people and culture of Nepal. We want this ministry to be yours as much as it’s ours. After all, isn’t that what the word “partner” really implies?

The entire Blandings family thanks you for your support and encouragement throughout the years. No matter where we’ve landed geographically, we’ve always known and felt the love of the beautiful individuals and families that God has placed in our lives. We know that Thailand and, eventually, Nepal, will be no different ... no matter how crazy we are.

With many blessings,
The Blandings family
Us, minus Bee

Mr. Blandings and Mary Grace
Bee, Jo, Atticus, Logan, Oliver, Manolin, and Seven

For more information:

Chiang Mai, Thailand:
Lalitpur, Nepal:,_Nepal


Heidi said...

What wonderful news! I'm so excited for you!

Kate said...

Excited to see how God will use your family and talents and commitment in Nepal!

The Reader said...

Wonderful news; praying for success!

Also, you've left in a first name in the end of one paragraph; not sure if that's intentional or not. Just in case, thought I'd let you know :)

Liz said...

oh, wow! this is great news..i would love to be doing such a big thing :) i will be praying for you!!