Author and speaker Naomi Reed had a unique childhood. Growing up in Sydney on a quarter-acre block, she had one brother, one dog, two cats, four hens, nine ducks and even a turtle! Her life changed when in high school she went to a Christian group with a friend and heard about the Lord Jesus for the first time. The message of the gospel has impacted her ever since.
Naomi recently joined Matt Prater on History Makers, to share how God is using her incredible journey of self-discovery as a platform for impacting the world through meaningful storytelling.
It was also in high school that Naomi met her future husband Darren and they studied physiotherapy together before embarking on their inspiring journey overseas in 1993. They served in Nepal with the International Nepal Fellowship, an experience that forged an unbreakable bond between them.
Committed To Serve
‘We heard of the great need for physiotherapists overseas, particularly in Nepal,’ says Naomi. ‘There were only two Nepali physiotherapists for the entire country of 20 million people. We just felt convicted to go to Nepal and serve in whatever way we could, so that’s what we did for the next three years.’
When Naomi and Darren joined the International Fellowship, a Christian medical mission, it was an amazing opportunity for them both. Naomi was stationed at the Leprosy Hospital while Darren worked in the regional hospital nearby. Their time there was spent both training local physios as well as learning from them.
The local church was quite small but passionate and Naomi and Darren developed a deep bond with their brothers and sisters despite the language barrier. They were blessed to witness hours of singing and sermons, all in Nepali, a language that eventually became more familiar to them over time.
Six of the next 13 years for Naomi and Darren were spent in Nepal. During their third monsoon, their first son was born. By 2003, Darren was training Nepali physiotherapists at Dhulikhel Medical Institute and Naomi was home-schooling their three sons on a Himalayan ridge.
Finding Her Voice
‘We spent three years there in the nineties before returning for another three-year stint,’ says Naomi. ‘We’ve been home in Australia for 15 years now, but we keep going back every year or two to do some training. The relationships have gone on over a period of nearly 30 years, and it’s been such a privilege.’
Naomi has also authored several books, though she says it wasn’t something she set out to do. As her family was nearing the end of their time in Nepal, civil war was raging and many of their Nepali friends were struggling. Writing became a way for Naomi to process what she was going through.
‘I was home-schooling my boys through civil war and through monsoon season as well,’ says Naomi. ‘The monsoon went from June to September, and it rained solidly for 120 days. I was really hemmed in by rain, war and home school.’
Writing helped Naomi reflect on the seasons of life, and what God was doing. She learned to trust Him on a deeper level, even when she didn’t understand. ‘As a thinker, it got the words out of my head and onto a page,’ she says. ‘I find the process very helpful, particularly in terms of my prayer life and my journey with God.’
After returning home to Australia, Naomi began writing other people’s stories as well. ‘That’s what I love to do,’ she says. ‘To help other people find their voice and to share their stories.’
Listen to Naomi’s full interview on History Makers below.