You may ask how did we ended up in Nepal and why minister there? When you are called to serve, God is very specific in giving instruction. We were on another missionary journey and our leader, Joanne was given a dream of huge mountains with people wearing usual hats, she had never seen this type of head gear before and inquired of God what it meant. Months later would come the first invitation to minister in Nepal. When the head of our ministry arrived at the Tibet Border and saw the native hats, she knew this was of God. Our team has been to Nepal five times since and we plan to return soon.
We sorted medicines for over 50 pastors in Nepal; the Pastors were coming from many regions; I was excited to make their acquaintance. We had small red duffles bags and filled them with basic cough syrup, aspirin, Pepto Bismol, skin ointments for itching and allergy meds; each team member was responsible for carrying an extra suitcase designated for this purpose.
Our host Pastor Brian and his lovely wife Ruth specialize in rescuing young girls from sex trafficking and bringing them into their sheepfold. Once rescued these beautiful young ladies are feed the love of Christ and are taught different trades such as candle making, sewing and computer classes. Pastor Brian and Ruth also operate a slum school in Kathmandu. I cannot say enough to describe how this couple have dedicated their lives to serve in the most honorable way.
On this day we praised and worshipped followed by the preaching; a powerful message on focusing on your call and to remain humble servants. Each person received prayer with a prophetic word, I was awe stricken in witnessing this event unfold before me. I pray that I develop the same type of fire as these humble pastors, their faithfulness is unrestrained, and filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Our ministry days are jam packed with meetings at different churches, we traveled long distances to meet new pastors and to minister to congregations. After breakfast of mixed grans with yak milk we headed out about an hours drive. It was during the offering that I noticed my wallet is missing. In a quiet panic being escorted out by Brian we travel back to the hotel to look for the missing billfold. I distinctly remembered having it at breakfast because a left a tip on the table but it was no where to be found. I ran up to my room and searched but nothing. I prayed and opened my locked suitcase but again nothing, under the beds, in the bathroom but no wallet. I sat and collected my racing brain; again looking in the luggage but this time the search was more intense. There in the middle of my makeup bag was the elusive wallet. I can only say that an angel must have put it there for safe keeping; even Brian was surprised of the finding.
Our driver came to pick us up in a midsize van with seating for maybe eight persons, we are eleven. Through some miracle there was room for all of us plus Brian, our host pastor, Simon the interpreter, the driver and two of his friends (sixteen total). I wanted to turn around to see how we all fit but my arms were locked next to my roommate, we were the biggest can of sardines. Taking the window seat was both a blessing and curse; my arms were restricted like those of T-Rex and taking pictures not only with my iphone but with everyone else’s devices was a hazardous task.
We made our way through the streets of Kathmandu, the dust was thick with the movement of every vehicles around us, it was a constance powdery cloud. The infrastructure was nonexistent, as you are driving and it appeared that all roads are one way until you encounter a bus filled with passages coming head on toward you; many times I wanted to scream but I just closed my eyes and said a prayer. To add to this mayhem there are hundreds of thousand motor bikes everywhere you turn. There are few stop signs and fewer traffic signals but I did notice a police officer attempting to direct traffic; what a dangerous occupation I thought to myself.
Our job was to minister and after a ride across town we finally arrived at the first church. As we walked up the steps to the upper meeting room the smell of curry filled the air. We met with eager converts; some of them traveling for days on foot to make this assembly. For over four hours we praise the Lord and these beautiful people listened intently, taking notes and experiencing spiritual growth at different levels. Nepal is a country made up of 86% Hindu and the rest are Buddhist. Accepting Christ as your Savior comes with a price starting by being ostracized by your family. These precious gentle people formed a line for prayer and each one of them was encouraged to continue with their walk in believing God to supply their every need. Little did we know of the great 7.9 earthquake that struck in April of 2015 that these teachings would be a small part of helping them endure all the hardships to come. My Nepali family still have so much more to recover but they remain steadfast in their love for Christ.
There were so many stray dogs and chickens and cows along the road. The cows are scared and are like demi gods, they have the run of the streets. Kathmandu has over 1,000,000 residence and is a bustling metropolis with merchants selling their goods on every inch of the street; bold colored thick heavy blankets everywhere., The ominous Himalayan mountains surround this valley and stand in awe for us American gawkers.
We return to the comforts of our hotel and eat in our room; a cup of soup, still adjusting to the native flavors.
Aside from attending Mass and belonging to St. Norbert Catholic Church in Orange, Ca I also belong to a small group “Christ In You”. Don’t bother to looking it up on the internet because we have no web page. Why? we are technically challenged but do powerful work for the Lord. It is through this group that my missionary trip have come forth.
Today, an ordinary Sunday for most but not for me. I will be teaching on one of my favorite theologians, the Apostle Paul. Paul wrote the Epistles, including, Philippians (my lesson today). Paul was imprisoned when he wrote to Philippians; yet he never lost his joy or direction. How can you have joy when you are imprisoned? Our world, our country in imprisoned by the lies of the enemy. Never have I witness so much of holding back on the truth. Anything you state on social media that does not conform to the masses you get blasted and called a hater. The truth will always be the truth; Paul never once gave into lies, he was is imprisoned because he was a Christian not a criminal. How do we operate in this society with the web of lies? Remember the characteristics of Christ: humility, servanthood , merciful and loving; we are call to be His example. Our country needs God more than ever and just like the Philippians we need encouragement to know that God still sits on the throne and waiting for us to unite in prayer. Pray for our country and that God remains in all that we stand for, our closing hymn at Mass today was America the Beautiful “America, America God shed his grace to thee is thee…” Have a Blessed Forth of July!
“Even now,” declares the Lord, return to with all your heart with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12