It has been a busy week here in Nepal. A group of 4 of us went trekking for 5 days, while Abba House prepared a space to cook meals over fire when/if cooking gas runs out. The last few days will be filled with crafts and final errands, but I hope to write some new articles while on the plane home Tuesday. Please pray for smooth travels from Tues morning to We’d evening central time. –Julie
The gang is certainly missed here in Nepal by everyone…especially the Abba house kids. The pace during this extra time in has been a bit slower, with a more uncertain schedule than while the whole team was here. Nonetheless, opportunities to serve have arisen every day.
I have been glad to spend some time at Higher Ground, since the team missed Bimala because she was in New York accepting an award during our trip. I attended a training seminar on Monday, which was co-hosted by Higher Ground and Mukti, which is an anti-trafficking network organization. Also, I spent a morning at the craft workshop making new jewelry color palettes, visited the NGO offices, and today interviewed Oliin Rai then wrote an article for the HG blog.
It has been good to spend a little extra time with the older boys in the transition home. They are good cooks…dal baht (rice and lentils) and curry are their specialties, imagine that! I am impressed by their teamwork both cooking and quickly cleaning after dinner. We have played cards, watched movies, and the like to show me their favorite downloaded music videos. Tonight we’ll have a house meeting so that I can talk to them about personal finance and budgeting.
Also, I managed to squeeze in the mandatory birdwatching expedition, which turned out to be quite an adventure pushing bikes uphill for about 2 hours, and some downhill mountain-biking. We were rewarded with some new bird sitings and a beautiful view of the Kathmandu Valley.
Sincere thanks and gratitude to an amazing mission team. I truly believe that the four of us complemented each other well and we were able to provide an incomparable service to our partners in Nepal. How great it is to do God’s work and have fun doing so.
Pictured here from left to right are Barbara, Julie, Cherrie, David (the mission team), along with Arbin Pokharel of Crossway Church in Nepal. The photo was taken outside the Higher Ground Bakery.
The Nepal team is enroute back to Houston. After sad farewells, Barbara, Cherrie and David headed to the airport yesterday evening. By now they should be boarding the second flight (14 hours in the air). Julie is staying 2 more weeks.
Please pray for safe travels and enough sleep on the plane to avoid jet lag. Also please pray for energy and focus as they go back to work on Monday and have lots of catching up to do.
Saturday 10/31 – Today is the team’s last day in Nepal, at least for this trip. We went to Crossway Church service this morning and visited with Bimala Pohkarel, who just returned from New York where she accepted an award from the UN to Higher Ground. We spent the afternoon at Abba House joking and playing with the kids. Also Monmaya fed us a final delicious lunch then tea and 2 desserts! We certainly have not gone hungry here !!
We will miss all of our friends and partners here in Nepal. They are already asking when we will return! It will surely be a sad departure for Barbara, Cherrie, and David this evening!
We had a great turnout for the ladies retreat, especially considering that it was over the holidays. We started with some ice breaker games that had everyone laughing. Our devotion was on the power of words, to either tear down or build up. We asked for examples from the Bible and the ladies came up with many more than we had even thought about. They really know their Bible. They had many prayer requests and they really shared their hearts with us. We were so blessed. We closed with a rousing couple of rounds of Hokey Pokey, which is always hilarious. Then they fed us. To say we have been well fed is a huge understatement! There is an acute shortage of cooking gas due to a blockage by India, which is creating serious issues for our partners here. But we have been pretty much unaffected as our partners have used what they have to take care of us.
On Saturday, we attended worship service at Mahima Baptist Church, where our friend Simon Pastor was preaching. The Abba House kids go to this church too and several were playing in the band and singing in front. Churches meet on Saturday in Nepal, because it is the one day off per week!
In a culture in which a love marriage instead of an arranged marriage is a relatively new thing, it was interesting to be in community with these Christians discussing the good, the bad, and he ugly of living in a covenant relationship. Julie and Cherrie led a really fun and energetic (exhausting is more like it!) three hour children’s program, where the children made the Apple Smileys below. Meanwhile Barbara and David worked the attendees through select sections of the Art of Marriage course. It was evident that, like in the U.S., couples here struggle with family, money, children, and sex. Also, like us, we all were reminded that marriage is a deep union between two sinners desperately in need of God’s mercy and our spouses forgiveness.
David teaches the kids how to be safe. Please click on the link to view.