Dear future us,
Today marks our one month anniversary of being in Nepal. It must feel strange; us all reading this in our homes in the UK, hundreds of miles from one another and trying to fit back into what used to be normal life. It may feel strange to think back to a time when you knew so little about what God had in store for us and the year ahead.
The thought that one day I will have to leave this country, its people, my team and that it will all come to an end, sitting on a rooftop in Pokhara with the Himalayas and the next five months stretched out in front of me simply, doesn’t seem real.
I wonder how different the Lucy writing this is to the Lucy reading this – I hope you are different. Grown, shaped and moulded. Knowing how everything will have turned out. If only you could tell us how each of our worries and anxieties will play out, but I guess those are answers we will have to find out for ourselves.
Dear future Gemma,
Today is our 1 month anniversary of being in Nepal! It’s been a crazy adventure already and I can honestly say I have loved 99.9% of it. I can list at least 5 new things I’m grateful for at the end of everyday. I hope you keep the habit of mentally listing what you’re grateful for. Although I don’t think right now I’ll miss the dogs barking, the awful driving, the people staring or the weird bugs. But maybe when you read this letter, you’d pay a lot of money just to experience those things again.
The hundreds of photos I’ve taken of the mountains certainly don’t do them justice. Nepali people are so friendly, I particularly love how people call us ‘bini’ or ‘didi’ and the real sense of community felt here. I am loving being busy with all the various projects; Nawajeewan, the women’s rehab centre, can be a challenge with the language barrier but girl you prayed for a challenge, be careful what you pray for!!
Oh, and I’m sure you know you have made some very special friendships with your teammates. Some of my favourite moments of this month have been laughing with them, creating inside jokes and knowing that they can fully understand all the emotions I go through. In real high school musical spirit: ‘we’re all in this together’. 😉
I hope you have a change of perspective about control and trust. Everyone says ‘God’s got it! Trust Him’ but oh man He really does!
Naomi and I got lost in the centre of Pokhara after my bike tyre got a puncture. I prayed and prayed as we wandered with no clue how to get home, and eventually, completely randomly, I realised I knew where we were! That right there was God making sure you were safe. He is your shepherd.
I wonder if you feel as though the time altogether in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Besisahar flew by. I keep reminding myself to live in the present and not wish the days away until I can be back in the familiarity of home and my loved ones. This season was to stretch and grow you, to develop your servant heart, to learn incredible things about God and serve Him in new ways. I hope you can say you did that.
Ps I’m so proud of myself for liking tea now. If you’re still drinking it, you’ve reached proper adulthood.
Love from Gemma
Dear Future Hannah,
Dear future Naomi,
I have been in Nepal for exactly one month now! And although at first, I never thought I would get used to the aeroplanes zooming low past our window, the dogs barking or car horns beeping throughout the night, now I don’t know how I will ever manage to sleep without them! I am starting to get used to the little quirks of Nepal such as having to dodge the potholes and cows that lay in the middle of the roads and how we are casually invited to climb on people’s roofs when we go to their houses. One thing I hope I never learn to overlook though is the amazing mountain views that I have had the pleasure to wake up to. I hope that as I become more familiar with the sights of Nepal, I will never forget the feeling of Gods power and talent especially when I look at the mountains, and I will keep reminding myself of how blessed I am to be here.
I have so many stories to share and have learnt so much already, I am sure you have much more to add now, 5 months later. Some of the skills/ lessons I have learnt so far include; how to make Nepali tea and that crows are scary. I have also learnt that God truly is with you wherever you go.
I now know the true meaning of the phrase ‘actions speak louder than words’, whilst playing dobble with the girls from the Rehab centre I realised that although we can’t have a meaningful conversation with them, we are still able to have fun, laugh and build connections which when we first started this project I thought would not be possible.
I am so thankful for the kindness and hospitality of Nepalis and that we can feel safe walking around Nepal by ourselves. For example, when we unlocked a random Nepalis gate and walked into their front garden while we tried to figure out where we were on the map, they kindly directed us to an English person’s house.
I have had my ups and downs especially where technology is involved. I am still unsuccessful in connecting my phone to the Wi-Fi and all my music spontaneously undownloaded itself, also my brain decide to randomly forget the password to unlock my phone for a day, which was super weird. However, I am sure there is a lesson to be learned from this and I am just unaware what it is at the moment. Maybe you have figured it out by now.
I hope my legs now match the colour of my arms and that my post arrived. This experience so far has really helped me to grow in my faith and strengthened my relationship with God. I am so grateful for my team and believe God has put us together for a reason.
I look forward to the many more months to come…
Dear future Lucy,
I always though that the reason I wasn’t nervous about coming to Nepal was because it didn’t seem real and a month later it still doesn’t quite seem real – I’m beginning to think it never will. The projects in Pokhara are going great, working with the kids in the expat school is a super fun, helping at the Nepali kids club has been an amazing experience, helping at GLOW is a well needed relaxed part of the week and although helping at the rehabilitation centre has been challenging we’ve really gotten to know the girls and although we’ll see them again in January I’m sad to say goodbye. The community of BMS workers and other expats here is so tight and everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. Although sad to leave Pokhara I’m excited to go to Lam Jung and see a more rural side of Nepal that we haven’t seen yet.
We’re still struggling with the language barrier and making connections with Nepali people because of it but we’re getting better at the language each week. I’m still getting used to the stares we get when we go out but I’m sure that but the end of our time here it’ll feel so normal that we’ll barely notice it. Nepali Church is another thing I’m still adjusting to although I’m very much enjoying the process. I’m still getting used to sitting on the floor for two hours and not pointing my feet at anyone because in Nepali culture that’s rude.
I’m surprisingly looking forward to having a Christmas unlike any other I’ve had before and to spend the whole day at church with my Nepali Christian family, although being way from my family and home will feel strange.
I hope that the Lucy reading this is stronger in faith, more confident and ready to serve God’s people in the UK. I hope that you’ve made plans to stay in close contact with your team as well as well as the rest of the Action Teamers as they’ve been an ever present source of support both at training and while overseas. I can’t wait to go back to BMS Birmingham and see not only the other teams but how much each of us have changed and grown.
I hope that we look back on this year and smile at the good memories, laugh at or mistakes, marvel at the amazing work God has done and feel proud of the way He has shaped us through the challenges, triumphs and failures. I hope that we love the Lord and his people more than we did before and that we love one another even more than we do now. This year has tied our four lives together. I know that when we read this again we will have seen each other at our best and at our worst and laugh at the fact that at one month we thought we knew all there was to know about one another.
All that is left to say is that we love you future Nepal Action Team and that we hope you’ve had an incredible year.