Wow-zers!

We’re two weeks into our time in Nepal, and so far, apart from ‘Namaste’ and ‘Jai-mase!’ (meaning ‘Victory to the Lord’, a greeting used between Christians), our most frequently used word has been ‘wow-zers’, used to convey excitement/shock/awe. Or just to tease Rach for her habit of making up words! Most notably…

“Wow-zers – we can see the Himalayas!”

The Himalayas! With Kathmandu in the foreground.

The far mountain with the sun on it is in Tibet – what?!!

We are learning that a view of the Himalayas from Kathmandu is precious, since they are often obscured by smog. Except, it turns out, on festival days, when fewer cars on the road means less pollution! This week, Hindus have celebrated Tihar, the ‘festival of lights’. We woke up on Wednesday to the sight of our neighbours ‘honouring’ their dog by giving it teeka (a red mark, worn by Hindus on the forehead), putting marigolds around its neck, and throwing money on the ground next to it. On Thursday evening, we enjoyed a walk around town to watch as locals lit candles and created colourful, circular patterns from powder paint outside their front doors. As much as it is interesting to learn about the Hindu festivals, it was a joy and a comfort to arrive at church this morning to a chorus of ‘Jai-mase!’. The team is really enjoying attending a vibrant, youthful Nepali church on Saturdays; helping with the children’s ministry; and learning about the challenges of managing a large group of children of mixed ages and varied languages. One of these days we will arrive at church on time (8 am!) so that we don’t miss the one worship song per week that is sung in English!

Our neighbour’s dog… it wakes us up at 6.30 every morning, but here being thoroughly spoilt.

Tihar – festival of lights.

On Monday, before our projects closed for the festival-period, we spent our first full project day at Baal Bagaan preschool. Since it is situated on the far side of the city, getting there is an adventure! We have to travel on so-called ‘microbuses’ – smaller-than-minibus-sized vehicles in which people cram themselves (and their animals). So far, we have travelled on one carrying 37 people and a chicken. Once there, we are to assist the Nepali teachers by leading crafts, story-times, games and songs. This week, our chosen theme was ‘the wheels on the bus’ and we also got stuck into play time in the ball-pit! The children were very confused when we tried some of our newly-learned Nepali on them (‘my name is…’, ‘how are you?’ fruit and veg etc.). We’ve rarely seen such blank looks…

Leading craft at our preschool.

Play time!

Speaking of language and blank looks, it has been a much laughed-at theme of our first two weeks here, that Rachel is regularly mistaken for a native. Fruit sellers, taxi drivers and people at church have all confidently spoken Nepali at her, and haven’t appeared in the least bit put off when she protests “not Nepali…Indian”. [‘Ahh, Indian!’ {carries on speaking Nepali, Rachel sidles away}].

The final thing we want to mention is our two visits to the Prayer Tower. This is a community of physically handicapped Christians who are committed to living together sustainably and praying for Nepal on a 24/7 rota basis. Located away from the city, on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley, the Prayer Tower premises has been built by the residents themselves. A jumble of buildings on the side of a steep hill, they *should not* have fared well during the earthquake that hit the country in 2015. But God protected them, and they survived without a single crack! There is so much we can learn from this community about the importance and the value of persistent prayer, and we’re really excited about getting to know them better.

Beautiful views of the Kathmandu Valley from the Prayer Tower.

On that note… our prayer requests!

  • For our time at Baal Bagaan; that we would trust God to show us how we are to witness to Him there.

  • For communication; that our Nepali would continue to improve, but that we would find other ways to get to know local people, including our neighbours, those at the Prayer Tower, and people at church.

  • For good health and freedom from sickness.

  • That we would be aware of God’s presence with us in all we’re doing here; just like we know the mountains are always there, whether we can see them or not!

 

Days off to do touristy-things!

15 replies
  1. Sheila Churchward says:

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures, and great news about your interactions and steep learning curve so far. It sounds like daily miracles… of survival. Onward and upwards. Xxx S

    • Yvonne Kearsley says:

      Lovely to hear your news and see the beutiful views etc. We are praying for you all.
      Yvonne and Stan, CCF.

  2. Alison Paton says:

    So good to read your second post girls. Our little group met after church to pray for you this morning – just a tad too soon to have your latest prayer points! Never mind – everyone will catch up with the blog. Lots of love.

  3. Aileen Clough says:

    Great to read your blog. Praying that communication will get easier with practice. Love and prayers. Aileen xxx

  4. Sheila Churchward says:

    – St Francis of Assisi:
    Lord teach us to start by doing what’s necessary; then help us to do what’s possible, so that we may rejoice when suddenly we are doing the impossible. Amen.
    Thought of you all learning new things when I read this. Xx Sheila x

  5. Fiona Bradnam says:

    Thanks for bringing some of the sense of Nepal to us back in the UK. The photos are amazing and the work you are doing sounds challenging. Will continue to pray for you all out there.

  6. Grace says:

    Well done Team, we’re really proud of the great start you’ve made. Thanks for this really insightful blog and your prayer requests. My (Grace’s) brother was seriously impressed my Rachel’s Himalayas photo- he only got smog when he was there!
    Grace and Ben.

  7. Janette Henry says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures and vivid descriptions of life in Nepal as you’ve encountered it so far. Thanks too for giving us pointers for prayer – helps us focus in on your situation.

  8. Tim and Sally says:

    Great to hear about your first two weeks, Rebekah and the two Rachels. Sounds like you are having an interesting and exciting time right at the start of your time in Nepal. Will continue to hold all three of you before the Lord.

  9. Sarah Braithwaite says:

    Lovely to see the views and learn of some of your work in the community. Will continue to pray for you all as you explore more of Nepal, learning the language and continue in your mission work. May God hold you all in His hands and protect you from harm. With love and blessings Sarah xxx

  10. Penny Elliott says:

    Dear Rachael, Rebekah and Rachael, thank you for your news and views of Kathmandu. Don’t be tricked into feeling a bit helpless with Nepali, you are communicating by who you are. Gods love can flow through you at times when you feel most useless. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Praying for you all.

  11. Team Uganda says:

    Hey guys! It’s amazing to see how much you’ve already done in 2 weeks! We’re loving all of the photos, and can definitely imagine Rachel’s response when spoken to in Nepali! Praying for you all! Lots of love, Team Uganda Xxx

  12. Estelle McKean says:

    Hey girls! Exciting to read your blog and see the photos! Pleased to hear about how you’re getting on! Will keep praying. Sending lots of love xxx

  13. Fiona says:

    This all sounds great! And the powder paint looks really beautiful. Praying for you all! God bless Fiona x

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