There’s a few things you notice when you fly from Kolkata to Kathmandu, apart from observing that they both start with the same letter there are some refreshing differences. Unlike Kolkata, before you descend into the smog cloud you get a truly breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountains and if the smog is light you can see them reasonably clearly during the day. People smile a lot more and the pace is a bit slower. Kathmandu is a bit easier on the nose too but still has its “what on earth smells that bad!” moments.
Overall though I do miss Kolkata a bit. The Indians are very friendly and will really take bargaining with you almost as a bit of fun but also they’re a lot more receptive to you trying out your bargaining skills. One of my successes was buying two sets of buttons for my punjabi shirt (shiny with a fake diamond in the centre of each button) and they were asking 500 rupees (~$8.50) for each set and I wound up getting both pairs for a total of 150 rupees (~$2.50). So I’m definitely getting better. The taxis are (although crazy) really reasonable about pricing if you show you know what the price is supposed to be. Nepal however seems to have missed something with the whole bargaining thing or maybe I’m just doing it wrong but they’re much less open to working with you on the price of anything, taxis included but I’m keen to learn how to bargain the Nepali way!
We have had some great ministry opportunities here. We got to spend a few days working at a home for children who would be living on the street, barely surviving if it weren’t for our friends taking them in. It was great to just play with them and in my case get utterly destroyed in a soccer match. Turns out a 6 year old Nepali boy is both fitter and has better footwork than me. Embarrassing. Moving on however, we are also shooting a video for some friends here that has us travelling to 3 villages all over eastern and central Nepal so I’m really excited!
Another thing we will be doing media wise is continuing to shoot stories for our mini series Hope Through Hardship. Hope Through Hardship is a series of short stories of people who, having gone through a time of persecution and hardship, have come out stronger through their faith in Jesus Christ. Here is just a sneak preview at what is to come!
The team and I are really excited to add to the stories we are already able to share in the hope that the resulting stories would greatly encourage you in your walk with Jesus.
This week Sam Brokenshire, a friend of mine from back home who happens to be my school leader came and visited the team and I. He brought me Vegemite which brought me far more joy than it should have but there’s really nothing like a good piece of Vegemite toast in the morning. Bliss. Having him here has really been a breath of fresh air for me. I have been able to relax a bit and spend some great time with God in extended quiet times that have really revitalised me. The team is doing really well, it’s great because we finally have a kitchen for the time we are in Kathmandu and instead of being split up into two halves for ministry we are together all the time so it’s brought a lot more of a family feeling to the team.
One of the days this week we had the opportunity to go out on the streets and talk and pray with people. I struck up a conversation with a man called Ramesh. With the help of my friend who translated for me I got to talking about this and that and then asked him what he believed. I told him what I believed after that and explained how we do not need to fulfil a set of rules to receive Jesus’ love and forgiveness. He seemed interested because he asked a few more questions and I was able to answer him. I was praying the whole time I was talking to him and at one point he asked me if Jesus was right here sitting with us and could I talk to him whenever I wanted. I told him he could receive Jesus into his heat etc and told him that yes, Jesus lives in me. I got some specific prophetic words for him. When I told him what Jesus had just told me about him, he was on the verge of tears for the rest of our conversation. He said he would like to give his life to Jesus but he’s scared of what his family would do to him. He’s coming to church though so please pray for him. He had to leave after that and said a very emphatic goodbye to me and the other two guys with tears in his eyes. What a privilege that was!
I’m not sure how much reception I’ll have in the other parts of Nepal so the next update will probably be a wrap up of outreach and DTS. Also details of what I’m doing next! So keep your eyes open there’s some very exciting things in the works!!
PRAYER – for if you’re the praying type…
- That God would give me strength to lead well in my second time staffing
- India! We had a fruitful and victorious time there
- Health, the team is getting used to the cold but no major issues
- Team India/Nepal (keep updated with our latest HERE)
– Wisdom in our projects
– For God to really move through us in a powerful way
– For health as we go all over Nepal
– That we will finish well and be a huge blessing everywhere we go
- That I would grow even more and develop further in my leadership.
- That God would continue to work on me so that I continue to grow in my knowledge of Him and in leadership.
- For work during my time in Melbourne
- Preparation and provision for what I’m doing next
God bless you!