With all that has been going on in our lives since returning from Nepal, I haven’t had the time to finish unpacking from our trip yet. So Saturday I was putting away the things in my backpack that I carried around for those two weeks in Nepal, and I started to get so sad.
I want to go back! I miss all the people. I miss the power of God I felt among those believers as we worshiped together in different languages. I miss the power of God I felt working through me as I sought to bring His love to the Nepali people. I miss Nepal!
If my husband would come home today and say, “Honey, I think God is calling us to live among the people of Nepal.” I would say, “O.k.,” and start packing. That’s how much I loved it. Now, before you get worried that we are moving to Nepal, don’t. Michael hasn’t said anything of the sort, and I don’t expect him to do so. I’m just saying…that’s how much I loved it.
When I stopped to get a sandwich the other day, there was an Indian-looking family in the restaurant. I’m learning, though, that many of these people are actually from Nepal. I smiled and said, “Excuse me,” as I walked by, then got outside and thought, “I should have said, ‘Namastay!'” (which is the Nepali greeting–their version of “hi”). Boy do I regret missed opportunities like that. Next time I’ll be ready.
I promised to share with you the rest of our first full day in Nepal, so here’s the rest of the story….
After lunch, Udaya Bhatta spoke to the church-planters about the ServLife Children’s Home in Kathmandu which he and his wife Bhakti have been running since 2003. Then Mark Storm shared with them about ServLife’s Hope Fund–micro-business loans for the poor–and how it can be an outreach tool for them in their villages.
Finally came the moment for which Sasha and I had been waiting: we got to go to the Children’s Home! Mark took Om Maya, Asha, Sasha and myself to the Children’s Home while Michael and Gil stayed to teach and interview the church-planters. We were so ready to meet those children! They were very shy at first. The school-age children were in the middle of studying for exams, so we met them as they came in from school or came down from the study room. Shortly after we arrived, however, most of them were there to greet us.
Udaya and his wife Bhakti introduced each child to us, telling us if they were a full-orphan or half-orphan, a little of the story of how they came to the home, where they were from and if they had a sibling at the home. Then the child would greet us (“Jay mahsee!”), tell us their name and which class they read in (i.e which grade). It was so precious!
One little guy named Bikash, who was three years old, had only been with them for 15 days (he is front-and-center in this photo). He was wide-eyed and very nervous about these white-faced foreigners–something he had never seen before. He just sat and stared at us, not sure what to do. The next day he really warmed up to us, especially to Michael.
After introducing themselves, the children stood up and sang “Welcome to the Family.” Our hearts totally melted at this. They sang it again the next day for Michael–here’s the precious video he took of them. “Welcome to the Family”
Since the kids were taking exams the next day, they had to head back up to their study room and hit the books (that’s the room in which the video was taken of them singing). So we visited with Udaya and Bhakti some more, and Udaya gave us a tour of the home. It was agreed that what was most needed of us while here was to paint the family room for them, so that became our plan for the next day. Can’t wait to show you those photos in my next blog. 🙂
Next we headed back to get Michael and Gil, then we were off to meet Abraham’s parents and family for Asha’s 1-year-old birthday party! That was such a fun evening! The electricity was out (as it frequently is in Nepal), so we were by candlelight and couldn’t really see faces very well. But we were warmly greeted by Abraham’s brother-in-law to his home and by all the family gathered to celebrate with us. Moments like these are what made this so much more than just a mission trip. This is when we felt like we were part of a family on the other side of the world. We were so blessed to experience real life and family like this!
We enjoyed a delicious Nepali dinner of rice and lentils with chicken (same as we had for lunch). Then we sang to Asha (as she slept) and blew out her candles on her cake for her. This was the first time the Tamang’s relatives in Nepal had met Asha, and they were so excited to be part of her birthday celebration. Abraham’s family is just as lively as he is (we now see where he gets his hilarious sense of humor), and we thoroughly enjoyed visiting with various family members. Their pastor even showed up while we were there!
About half-way through the evening, the lights suddenly came on. Hooray’s and applause filled the house, and we could finally see all their faces. There must have been nearly 30 people in that home! Abraham’s brother-in-law also uses his home as an orphanage for 8 orphans, so we met those precious children, too. I had fun taking videos of Abraham’s parents telling him “hi” and sending their greetings to Alpha and Omega (Abraham and Om Maya’s other two daughters). Sasha was about ready to take his sweet mom home with her, the two of them hit it off so well (even though they couldn’t understand a word the other was saying)!