Keep calm and sing Christmas songs

Namaste! We hope you all had wonderful Christmases, and wish you a very happy New Year! Here’s what we’ve been up to…

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

Singing has certainly been a common theme of our last few weeks. For starters, Rach and Rebekah have been rehearsing with the local choir – Kathmandu Chorale – since October. Chorale had its Christmas concerts on the 9th December, which were a great way for us to get into the Christmas spirit.

Rach singing in Kathmandu Chorale.

We have all enjoyed being introduced to Nepali carolling, which is incredibly social, fun and lively – and also mildly embarrassing, as it is accompanied by Bollywood-style dancing! Church youth spend at least one evening in the run-up to Christmas being hosted by a church family, who invite friends and neighbours to listen, join in and share food. It seems to us that these evenings are symbolic of the vibrancy and joyousness of the Nepali church, and we are so pleased to have been involved.

Carol singing!

Last Friday, we made our way to ABBS, eagerly anticipating the schools’ annual ‘Christmas programme’ but not knowing quite what it would entail…! The unsuspecting three of us were asked if we ‘could sing’, to which we too quickly answered ‘yes’, later finding ourselves in front of all the children singing Jingle Bells. This was pretty mortifying, but it was worth being there to watch our classes perform a dance each, and to wish a Happy Christmas to all of the children!

Children in Rebekah’s ABBS class, dressed up for the Christmas programme.

Making decorations with Rach’s class at ABBS.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

There has not been any snow here in Kathmandu, and we are sorry to have missed out on all the snow in the UK. But that hasn’t stopped us from making two dozen snowmen! We introduced the children at Baal Bagaan to a British childhood classic, the Flying Snowman, and they made snowman headbands… because we have learnt that they love making crafts that they can wear!

Flying Snowmen!

Also at the preschool, we have taught about the true meaning of Christmas, with the help of some fabulous Nativity hand-puppets borrowed from our supervisor, Cynthia. One girl made us laugh by, when hearing that the shepherds gifted lambs to the Baby Jesus, exclaiming that they were for Him to eat, “very tasty”! None of us had ever given a thought to what Mary, Joseph and Jesus did with those lambs!

Nativity storytelling at the preschool.

Nativity puppets.

All I want for Christmas…

…is a normal bowel movement”. Unfortunately, in Christmas week, Rebekah and Rachel were ill, and so great was Rebekah’s desperation and determination to recover, that we got this gem of a quote from her! She was forced to miss the Christmas party at Beauty for Ashes, at which we had the opportunity to give and receive ‘Secret Santa’ gifts. But in answer to prayer, both were well in time for Christmas Eve, when we celebrated with the Chadwell family. Be assured that, even though we are overseas, we ate a blissfully traditional Christmas dinner (thank you so much to Cynthia) and woke up the next morning with full stockings at the end of our beds.

Christmas dinner with the Chadwells.

Opening stocking presents on Christmas morning

Rebekah = the definition of excitement!

Waving goodbye to the Chadwells on Christmas morning was like stepping out of a carefully crafted Christmas bubble, as most of Kathmandu was oblivious to it being the 25th. However, our Nepali church was hosting its own celebration, with dancing, singing, drama and Christmas card making for the children. They then served lunch to everybody… which is how we came to be sitting in the sunshine and eating rice, dhal and curry – less familiar than Cynthia’s roast! – on Christmas Day itself.

Dinner with the Douglas family.

I’m dreaming of a [green] Christmas.

Never mind a white Christmas. Kathmandu is becoming increasingly dusty as the dry season progresses, and any greenery that there is in the centre of town is covered with a thick layer of dust. Happily, we spent Boxing Day out of Kathmandu at the National Botanic Gardens, having a picnic with BMS and other mission families from church. A massive thank you to both the Chadwells and the Douglases for embracing us over Christmas and enabling us to celebrate in the middle of family.

National Botanic Gardens.

Prayer points

  • Praise for a happy, memorable Christmas; prayer for our families at home, the Chadwells and the Douglases.

  • Pray for our project work, which we were straight back into on Wednesday – pray that God would show us how we can bless the women and children we work with in new ways in this new season.

  • Pray for good health in the lead-up to and during our team holiday (we are going trekking!) and a trip to visit and help with BMS projects in the rural province of Lamjung. Pray that we and our supervisors would work out how best to spend our time, effort and resources in Lamjung.

Thank you for reading! Lots of love.

14 replies
  1. Alison says:

    This is a joy to read girls. Please pass on our love and thanks to the Chadwells and Douglas’s for giving you such a wonderful time , home from home. The photos are just lovely

    Reply
  2. Philip & Joan Kearney says:

    We are so thankful that you’ve had a good Christmas. Every blessing for your holiday and the time in Lamjung ! Love from us both. Philip & Joan Kearney

    Reply
  3. Grace says:

    Another great blog, it’s so good to hear about your Christmas in Nepal, and I hope that health has returned to team Nepal before your trek!

    Reply
  4. Sheila Churchward says:

    So pleased to find another superb blog post and THE photos!!! before I sleep. What blessings you give and receive during this adventure in Nepal. You have opened my eyes to scenes I never imagined. I am so proud of the way you are embracing each experience on this journey of discovery and for sharing it with us.
    May God continue to bless you with vision, courage, health and perseverance as you take the next steps. Lots of love Rach, R & R….. if you need accommodation near Upton, I have a spare twin room in May ! Xxx Sheila Ch

    Reply
  5. David & Mary says:

    Echo everything Sheila Ch. says (except the spare twin room bit). May God continue to bless you, and lots of others through you.

    Reply
  6. Rachel Stockwell says:

    I too echo the above – except the twin beds but I can offer meals! It’s great to be able to read your blog and keep up with your news and adventures. Helpful also to receive your prayer points so we are able to pray with purpose. May God continue to bless you all. With love, Rachel (yes another!) S

    Reply
  7. Janette Henry says:

    Great to hear from you again. Your blog is aways so vibrant; I can close my eyes and imagine the scenes – even without the lovely pictures. May God bless you as you continue working with the groups of children and give you good health for your Team holiday.

    Reply
  8. Margaret Gillies says:

    So good to hear of the lovely time you had at Christmas, both traditional British and Nepali style! Enjoy your trekking holiday.

    Reply
  9. Jonathan Davie says:

    Hi girls,

    You’ll be visiting us at Hamilton Baptist church on your tour in June! I just wanted to let you guys know we’re praying for you and really looking forward to hearing all about your trip in a few months.

    Loving the blog posts too,
    Youth Pastor Jonathan

    Reply
  10. Alison Christie says:

    It’s wonderful to read how you are totally embracing the culture and vibrancy of life in Nepal. It sounds like you are giving and receiving so much. Fabulous pictures too – Lots love Alison Christie

    Reply
  11. Alison Christie says:

    It’s wonderful to read how you are totally embracing the culture and vibrancy of life in Nepal. It sounds like you are giving and receiving so much. Fabulous pictures too Thank you girls a pleasure to read your blog

    Reply
  12. Fiona Bradnam says:

    Thanks very much for your informative blogs. Its great hearing about your experiences – both good and bad! Have a great time on your trek. Love fiona

    Reply

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