Like Asia in America

by Samantha W (New England Team Outreach)

“Ready to go?” Pastor Dan asked us, while his hand twisted the doorknob.

It was the first official day of our team’s outreach and I was ready enough to run past Pastor Dan and jump in the car.  Finally, we could meet the people we had crossed eight states for!

We met with Pastor Dan at his apartment in Belmont, MA.  His wife and two sons permanently moved there from Nepal eight years ago, and now his goal and vision was to bring as many Bhutanese refugees (ethnically and culturally Nepali) to Jesus as possible.

We passionately shared the same goal, and were excited to work with him.

Already, Pastor Dan had established three Nepali churches in three different states, and wasn’t stopping there.

“Never be satisfied with your ministry,” he told us, “There’s always more to do.  Always more growth.  Never be satisfied.”

So we left his home that morning with the intention of finding as many Nepali people as possible, building friendships, and inviting them to his church.

“This seems impossible,” I thought.  “I grew up in New England.  I’ve never noticed anyone from Asia, let alone Nepal, in Massachusetts before.”  My assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong.

As we walked and prayed and looked, I heard that familiar, and gentle Whisper in my heart say, “Let Me open your eyes and ears.”

My senses weren’t prepared for what met me.  On every corner, in every Dunkin Donuts, Subway, gas station, grocery store, sidewalk, even at stop lights, I saw not just Nepal, but all of Asia!  China, India, Korea, Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Vietnam, everywhere.  I could see the faces, smell the spices, feel the clothing, hear the languages.  Here they were, hundreds of them, and they had been here all along!  People from so many countries, right here in my backyard.

“Tapai Nepali, ho?” Jen, our team leader, asked again and again.  She was asking if the people she met were from Nepal.  And nearly every time she asked, she received a “yes.”

“God, how could I have been so blind?” I prayed. “All the nations I’ve asked You for. They’re right here.”  My eyes had been opened.  Opened wide to see Asia in America.