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
For over 15 years the mantle of the homeless ministry has fallen on my heart. I will never forget the encounter with Michael, a scrawny, medium height young man in his early twenties. After handing Michael a sack lunch I asked him if he needed prayer. In a soft hurting voice he answered yes. As I looked into his eyes I asked him what he needed prayer for, he stated that his father recently died of a heroin overdose, he added that his grandmother also died of the same thing. Michael wanted prayer to be freed of the bondage of heroin himself. This prayer encompassed going back three generations. The Bible speaks of this type of affliction and its attachment to the bloodline as a curse brought on by the sins of our fathers.
“The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clean the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generation.” Num 14:18
You can break these curses off your familys’ bloodline by this simple prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, I humbly come before you and I ask that you would expose and remove (name curse here) off of my bloodline. I command this (name curse here) curse off me and and any family members. If there is anything in me that is culpable and keeping from serving you remove it in the name of Jesus. I thank you and praise you for the work you are doing in healing of my family. Amen