It's hard to believe I've been here 3 weeks! So far my trip has been fantastic. I have seen lots of interesting and rare medical cases, been encouraged by the missional community here, and I have seen how the Gospel is changing the lives of the Nepalese people.
Nepal is a crazy place, the people are amazing and the scenery is incredible. The country has a very strange mix of poverty and affluence: you will see a cow just lying outside an Adidas shop or a teenager in rags by the side of the dusty road with an iPhone in his hand.
WHERE I AM
I am currently staying in Tansen, a small town about 10 hours drive west of Kathmandu. When I arrived in Nepal I stayed in Kathmandu for a few days before making my way to Tansen. Whilst in Kathmandu, I saw some beautiful temples which are scattered around the city; yet paralleled also by a lot of the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2015. In Tansen, I am living in a guesthouse on the hospital compound. The hospital is called 'United mission Hospital' and is supported by United Mission Nepal (UMN), a Christian Charity founded by the collaboration of many mission charities in Nepal. The Hospital is in a rural area of Nepal where the health needs are extremely great working faithfully for over 50 years since Nepal became an open country in the 1950's. It boasts 170 beds and is the biggest hospital for miles around.
The key message of the hospital is; to make healthcare accessible to the poor and vulnerable in society and to preach the Gospel to patients, doctors and other healthcare staff. The medical staff are made up of both Nepali's and missionaries from many different countries. The Hospital has become a teaching centre in recent years, helping long-term sustainability and improve the quality of healthcare. There is a great pastoral care team, who help support the poor in getting the treatment they need ( no NHS here, unfortunately! ), praying for and telling and showing the gospel to the patients of the hospital and holding daily chapel services for the hospital and wider community. Due to the hospital, the numbers of Christians and churches has risen exponentially in recent years. In the last 10 years, 6 new churches have been planted in Tansen. One of the churches here have planted 19 churches since 2000. I have been so encouraged to see the Nepali church growing here as I have spoken to, prayed for and worshipped with some of my brothers and sisters in the churches. Despite numerous threats, government opposition and family alienation of Christians in this Hindu-majority country the church is continuing to grow and nearly every day someone in the hospital gives over their life to Jesus. Today (24th March 2017) I walked to a village not far from the hospital to meet a leader (Mina) of a new church plant; it's amazing to think that 10 years ago There were no Christians in this area and now they have a church full of life with 45 regular members. I had the privilege to pray for this incredible church and its members and I would love if you could continue to pray for them, that they are bold in proclaiming the gospel in this village, that the school in the area will allow them to share Jesus and that they find a regular pastor for the church.
I had the privilege to pray for this incredible church and its members and I would love if you could continue to pray for them, that they are bold in proclaiming the gospel in this village, that the school in the area will allow them to share Jesus and that they find a regular pastor for the church.
WHAT MY DAY LOOKS LIKE
A day generally consists of eating far too much rice and working in the Hospital's medical and surgical departments, assisting the doctors from 8 am to 5 pm. In the evenings we take time to pray for the hospital's mission with the pastoral care team and spend time with the missionary doctors and their families from all over the world, preparing bible studies/devotional, catching rats and take some walks around some of the beautiful scenery here in the mountains!
I have been so encouraged to hear the stories of the missionaries here. To see them leave the comforts of their homes and families to serve God is amazing; answering the call of Christ in their lives telling as he tells all of us: "to go and make disciples." It's a small glimpse of Heaven living in community with people from all over the world, from many different backgrounds united around the message of Jesus, serving Him wholeheartedly. I am learning a lot about what cross-cultural mission looks like, particularly in a medical context and I think this may be where God is calling me in the future.
I want to say a massive thank you for your prayers for me, God has been so faithful this far during my time here thus far:
SOME PRAYER POINTS:
- For the church plant that I mentioned above.
- For Dr Samir, a Nepali general surgeon which God opened an opportunity for me to tell him the gospel. He is from a strict Hindu background and would face much opposition if he made a confession of faith. Pray that God will continue to provide more Gospel opportunities and his heart will be convicted by Jesus. Pray also that he accepts the invite to come to church with me.
- That the time I will set aside to be in Gods presence will be good, to listen to what He wants to teach me whilst I'm here.
- For more opportunities to share the incredible news of Jesus to the people and staff here at the hospital.
- For general energy and health as I continue my medical learning and invest time in the staff here at the hospital.
- I am currently learning Nepalese, please pray the language will stick in my mind and that I can communicate effectively with patients.
- I am hoping to organise a fundraiser to raise money for one of the churches here to buy a projector and plant another church.
- For all the Christians here in Tansen, leaders, missionaries, doctors, the church. Pray that they will continue to grow in godliness, that they hold firm to the truth of the bible and that will proclaim Jesus in their communities.
Thanks for reading, I am missing home very much and am praying for everyone back home! God bless.