Our visit to the villages of Nepal seemed to be more of a dream than a reality. The rural setting of these 10 churches was very peaceful and serene and we were welcomed with loving, open arms. A handful of the churches were tribals and we were given flower necklaces upon arrival. At two of the churches, young women performed tribal dances for us. Some of the songs that they danced to were songs about having victory over Satan (trampling him under foot), the love of God being the only true love, and another being a tribal welcome song.
We anointed a pastor and his wife as the leaders of their new church, and Luke named a baby. Yes, you read that correctly… okay, maybe he didn’t name it, but the people have a tradition where the community names the child, not the parents, so we were a part of the child naming, and Luke was called upon to proclaim the new baby’s name. “The child’s name will be… Paul!” We got a pretty good video of it. 🙂
Even though the villages seemed simple and peaceful, it was sort of comforting to know our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world have similar prayer requests as ours. We laid hands on and prayed for many many people. Many of the requests were for physical healing, spiritual growth, salvation of family members, and unity. It’s amazing to see how blessed and encouraged these people are just to know that they have support from people on the complete opposite side of the world. Even though there’s a language barrier, we are one in The Spirit, and that is very clear!
Pastor Vashkar is the senior pastor over the 10 Calvary Prayer House churches we visited on this trip. He is also overseeing two more churches in the “hill area”, or mountainous region. It takes 12 hours by bus and 4 hours on foot to get to these villages from the last village we visited in Nepal. We have been invited to go there next year. We’ll definitely need to bring warmer clothes if we’re going to do that!
Before leaving Nepal, Pastor Vaskhar invited us to see his home near Taratal. It was built by his father 35 years ago. It was hand-made of wood and clay. The kitchen was a small area with one shelf holding a few spices and one pot over an open fire. There was a loft area where the girls slept, and the parents bed was also the living room sitting area.
Everything was very small… even Gracia had to duck to get into the house! They had a “local toilet”, with some old tarps and ripped cloth tied together for walls. Pastor and his wife raised three daughters in this house, but are feeling the Lord calling them to move next to the church to make ministry easier. There is a 20 x 20 ft piece of land for sale that is available, but The Lord must provide financially for them to do that, so we are praying. Right now, Pastor manages an agricultural field and gets 50% of the crop. They have to ride a bicycle everywhere they go. Vashkar preaches at 2 of the churches (10 km apart) and visits the other 8 frequently, which are much further away. He was able to rent a motorcycle for our visit, which was a blessing!
Example of a “local toilet”
Side note: The village people fed us “French fries” in these super cool organic biodegradable bowls 😉 so they are able to toss them in the stream when finished.
We really had to roll with the punches again this year on the Northern part of the trip. Unfortunately, our 6 man team had to split so we could divide and conquer. Since there was a mix up on when we would actually arrive in India, a program was planned for the parents of the students at the Jesus Mission School on the 31st, so Marty and Daniel went back to Sidhauli, Sitapur, near Lucknow to preach the gospel to many Hindu families. They were only able to spend 1 day in Nepal. We were separated for 2 days and have just reunited with them today, the evening of Jan 1st. In the morning we will fly down to Chennai to meet up with Team 2.
We are very excited to meet up with everyone in Chennai, but are also sad to leave the North. Pastor Paulson has been our wonderful guide, and we have been able to see The Lord working in the heart of our driver, Mukosh. He has heard the gospel a few times now and has seen a difference in the believers we visit. He told Pastor Paulson that he can see what we believe is real and that it is not an act. Pray for Mukosh, as he is “slowly coming to Christ”.
We will update again as soon as we can. Continue to pray for us as we head to minister in Tamil Nadu.