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Monday May 23 – Mario

28 05 2011

“Nga Maya Laba”

From nessing to Gatlang to Syafru Besi

At 5AM this morning I wasn’t sure whether I’d be down the mountain or still in Nessing at the end of the day, but here I am at 7PM in Syafru having chia and writing in my journal.

This morning was crazy as we discovered for sure that the strike didn’t happen and we were indeed hiking out of Nessing today. Down came the tents, Devo’s in the midst of villagers and porters crowding the church, breakfast of noodles and Daal Baht, packing up, one last restroom run and then the goodbyes.

We’ve gone through the drill before, for the most part. But as everything else on this trip was a little different, this goodbye proved to be true to form, and for some reason, a bit more difficult than previous goodbye’s.

This is the way goodbyes work in Nessing and Nepal:

Everyone gets ready then they line us up in no real order, either in the church or like today outside. It was a gorgeous day. A speech is usually made by the pastor who brought us up, this time it was pastor Raju, they speak gracious words of thanks and then the pastor of the village gets up and does more of the same. Then they present each of us with a Khada, a blond semi translucent silky scarf like thing, then they say Pheri Vetaula or until we meet again.

It happened pretty much like that, but this time all of us had bonded a little more with the villagers than previous in precious times and this time the goodbyes were thick with choked back tears. First Kuni, the pastor of Nessing church, presented us with the Khadas he had, and then a group of girls that kind of act as our groupies presented us with two more each. That almost made me lose it right there. I had seen them 20 minutes prior at the water source washing them to give to us. They were dirty, some had twigs and leaves still in them, they stank like smoke and Nessing and they were the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen. All they said before presenting to us was “We have nothing, but we have this to give you”

That just about sums up the Tamang/ Nepali people. They have nothing, sometimes less, and when they see an opportunity to bless you with something they give the best they have, even if it’s all they have.

It reminds me of the story of the widow’s two mites. Out of her absence of tangible wealth, she offered up all she had to the Lord. Nessing, Gatlang, Haku, these places are full of simple people that live off the land and have very little if anything. When we go, we try and give them something we know they need – medical attention, but as we’re there and caught in the middle of a crazed group of sick villagers, filthy lice infested children, and gaja ( marijuana ) smoking ladies yelling at you one second and proposing to us and laughing the next – we are changed forever.

This trip began different, so why wouldn’t we think the goodbye would be as well?

Break –
Nancy, Ryan and I are being accosted by 10 Syafru kids running around wild in the streets, each telling us 5 different names for every one of them and petting my head to see how smooth it is.

Back to my story-
This trip had been bathed on prayer for months before we came, and every day we did clinic we prayed for every person we saw, up to 3 times per person or family, Christian or not, we prayed. By today when we left, people were walking in just asking for prayer.

Our love for these people grew exponentially this trip. Every one of us has sensed this. We have been stretched from our heart out. We fell more in love with Nessing and the remote villages as well as our nepali brethren from Dhakbari church in Kathmandu. We danced and sang the most this trip than any other I have been a part of. As usual the children watched our every move, but this time we were more intentional about bringing them into our team a little deeper. They weren’t simply curious from a distance, we almost didn’t let them just watch from afar. We made a considerate effort to interact with them as we were acting ridiculous singing praises and dancing for our Lord, Jesus. It created a thicker tighter bond between our hearts than times past.

They saw us having fun and dancing, they saw is being worshippers all the time, and then they joined us. We were more open with our family ties this time, and at least for me it seemed a bit more intense. As a result there was a unity and a much tighter knit love between us.

Our goodbyes are always tough, but this time I truly felt as though I was leaving my family and going on a year long journey. It was funny, but this trip my anxieties seemed as though they were nowhere to be found. The kids and adults are just as bug infested and dirty as ever, but I held them close and played with them even more. I never got sick of or from the food and there was a serene absence of trepidation in my spirit regarding anything that involved loving and blessing them.

There was a moment a few days ago in Nessing that I lost my patience with Pasang, one of the little girls that got a bit greedy when I was handing out coloring books and stickers. I had told her to share something and she of course went and hid it at her house. Dealing with these kids is like dealing with basic raw humanity and if you’re not ready it’ll wear you down.

It happened when I was handing out something really little like stickers. I was at the window and immediately 10 hands were in my face telling me “mero lai” or “I want”. I gladly handed out 3 stickers to each child as I went from left to right. And then I got to Pasang, she was there just like all the others, but for some reason I snapped. I was upset that she hadn’t shared the coloring book like I told her. I raised my voice and told her “hoina!” or “no!” and then in my very horrible broken Nepali pidgin I told her she didn’t share the “copy” or what they call coloring books.

I continued handing out the stickers to the other kids and then I noticed Pasang was no where in my sight. Immediately God spoke to me and said “That’s my child you lost your temper with. My precious baby. She believes in me and you are not just some person handing out stickers to her, you are so much more to her! You are here to bless her with the spirit of love I have given you to bless her with, so do it. Be patient she’s growing up, and you represent me to her!”

I was pierced through my heart. I was an idiot and had made a huge mistake. I immediately went outside looking for her, ready to knock on every Nessing door. But there she was with her head hung low in her best clothes, eyes full of tears that had not yet fallen, sitting at the base of the church. I walked up to her and lowered myself to below her eye level. I looked her in the eye and told her I was sorry. I then told her I loved her, handed her some stickers and gave her a big hug.

As I moved back from our embrace she had a smile that would have melted your heart. She was radiating like the sunshine. She had not only understood my apology but I think she was absolutely astonished that I sought her out to say sorry.

In Nessing, as a child you are low on the totem pole, as a female child, you’re pretty much last. Since I am seen as someone important to them, they elevate me high above everyone. As they do with all of our team. For me to lower myself to below her eye level and make this gesture, it didn’t just mean I was sorry, it meant that I deemed her worthy above me. And to see her little face radiate as it did after I hugged her, something they don’t really do, and tell her I loved her, words she doesn’t really understand in English, meant she understood whole heartedly and she knew what I was doing.

That’s the way the trip seemed to go. We would work, maybe get discouraged, or do something out of Gods character, He would speak and we would do our best to correct course then and there. God’s voice was near audible this whole trip and it was lovely to be in his constant, precious presence.

Upon saying goodbye today, I learned that “I love you” in the Tamang language is “Nga Maya Laba”. I said it to every child and adult I came in contact with that last day. Especially Pasang. I took her tiny face in my hands and said “Nga Maya Laba” and she looked at me and beamed saying it back to me almost blushing.

The rest of the last day was nothing short of crazy fantastic. After a very emotional morning of saying goodbye to our Nessing family, we hiked a miraculously quick 2.25 hr hike back to Gatlang, were presented with more Khada by Pastor Prem. We then threw all the bags in a makeshift work truck that Prem’s cousin owns, jumped in the back ourselves and descended the hill to Syafru, bouncing, laughing, singing and bruising the whole hour to Hotel Sky.

We’ve had cold cokes, showers, dinner, more chia, prayed over our rooms and are now off to bed. It seems just yesterday I was getting on that United flight to Japan in Hawaii, and already we are back down the mountain. It goes so very fast, but the lives we touch along the way have forever changed us, they have me for sure.

The journey to Nepal is always intended to bless the remote villagers with better health, but somehow it’s always us who get infused with heart transplants and a much bigger dose of the Holy Spirit.

Nga Maya Laba means I Love You in Tamang, the language the people of Nessing speak. I heard it and used it for the first time today. It was amazing to see the children react to me when I said it to them. They were so very eager to say it back. They know they’ll see me again, and they know that the Maya or love I have for them is true and real and that it comes directly from the Lord Jesus himself.

May 19- Ryan

27 05 2011

Uncle James Tims hit this devotion right between the eyes for our first full day in Nessing. This day was absolutely incredible. Never have I understood or felt a clearer understanding of Jesus’ unfailing and perfect love like today. I felt like Jesus unveiled my eyes to His heart for me and you as I met the people of this village. There is something special about the people here in Nessing, and I mean REALLY special. They have this joy and this sense of purity that makes you fall in love with them instantly. Looking at the faces of the children makes James 1:27 come to life like it was meant to. From the moment I set foot in the village and had the first snot nosed kick tackle me I felt like Jesus was right there saying in my ear now THIS is what I am talking about when I talk about undefiled religion. And when the single mother and her two little children come into the clinic dirty in rags with worms and malnourished, but they are still able to smile when you tickle them. And when you put your arms around them to pray and you feel them hug you back or you see tears in the mom’s eyes after you pray, THIS is when I would feel Jesus standing in the room looking at me with eyes that would plead for me to understand the need for me to get THIS SIMPLE MESSAGE. HIS SIMPLE MESSAGE. Its not about us, its not about what we get, its not about blessings or rewards or give and receive. Its just Love. Not even our love, more simple. His Love. He is Love. That’s it.

Anyways!! This was our first day of clinic in Nessing and what an amazing day it was! Mario and Saat (Pastor of Nessing’s younger brother) did intake: sidenote Mario is also the full time photographer, nurse assistant, prayer assistant, referee, phys-ed teacher, coach, hygiene instructor etc…! Then we bring the villagers one by one in order to Umila (a wife and mother from the Kathmandu team aka my translator and prayer warrior teammate) and myself at which time we check their intake cards to see what they got going on. In which case Umila and I then pray over them ( and often other team members join us as well;-) and their sicknesses or pain before they see the doctor to try to emphasize that Jesus is the healer! (Yesule Niko Parnu Huncha!!) Then we try to take care of whatever little things we can to save Dr. Tim and Dr. Allison (and also’ Dr. Tara’ and ‘Dr. Q’ the ear man!) time. Almost every time this involves giving the patient their “chuga” pill (or worm pill), since almost every villager has worms! They get the worms from drinking water from the streams without boiling it so to save the doctors the time Umila and I explain to each person that their “diarrhea, gas, and stomach aches are all caused by worms from drinking unboiled water. So you must make sure you only drink boiled water! after we give you this pill it kills the worms and you get rid of all the other symptoms but they will just come right back again if you drink water that isn’t boiled or purified!” Memorized that one after saying it a hundred times!

After they get prayer from us and the doctors are ready then the patients sit with either Dr. Tim or Dr. Allison who each have a couple of translators since the villager speak Tamong and not Nepali. Often times one sentence has to go through a couple people so naturally it can take some supernatural patience as the hours stretch on! But I must say we truly serve an amazing and awesome God because I have never experienced the body of Christ working as a team like I did on this trip! We all had a place in each and every moment but at no time was anyone ever stubborn or unwilling to be used or stretched in any other way. Tara or I should say Dr. Tara pretty much stepped in as a third doctor taking care of as many patients on the fly to mitigate over flow. Hugh, or Dr. Q, stepped up as the ear wax surgeon seeing as we had a number of villager that had never cleaned their ears ever whose ear wax had fossilized and well I will spare you the rest. He also “McGyver-ed” a number of medical tools for the team to use and stepped up helping with lots of hands on medical work. Nancy and Syndi run the “pharmacy” AND are the full time nurses so they pretty much are the glue that holds EVERYTHING together!! Oh and Syndi also runs the daycare and arts and crafts with Mario! Oh man just thinking about it makes me want to press rewind!!!!

It is so amazing to interact with these people through the power of the Holy Spirit. When I am conversing and talking to them Umila or one of the other team members translates for me, but when we pray over them we don’t translate prayer, we call upon the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ and we trust and put complete faith in the Lord that He will speak to the individual how He chooses. And just the look in their eyes is enough to know that the Holy Spirit has spoke more to that person during the prayer than my words ever could. So awesome! And on more than once we had villagers come back to the door of the clinic waiting to be seen and I would tell Umila that we had already treated them thinking they were trying to get extra medical care, and Umila would take to them and find that they simply came back for prayer…talk about being hit with conviction straight to the heart…
Anyways!! I could go on forever! But an amazing day to say the least!!!!!! An amazing team an amazing town and above all an amazing God!!!!!!

Random pics

27 05 2011

Just a few travel snaps from KTM to Bangkok












Sat may 21, 2011 house blessing/haku/Nessing church service–Tim

27 05 2011

We had an awesome day today! It definitely had it’s unexpected twists and turns through the day, but in the end it was all God ordained! I know that He was leading us the entire day and that it all worked out according to His perfect unfailing plan. We had the opportunity to be a part of the house blessing/dedication for Kuni’s house, person overseeing the Nessing church. We along with many of the Nessing villagers as well as villagers from Haku came to pray blessings over Kuni’s house. Pastor Raju shared a message with the many people before we prayed over each part of his house. Afterwards, we had a celebration of singing and dancing/worship ‘Nepali style’ and even ended it with a Nepali ‘train dance’. It was certainly a joyful time of celebration!!!
Immediately following this we were supposed to have church service, but a messenger from Haku was sent to inform us of a very badly injured man who had fallen off a cliff. I was so impressed by Pastor Raju’s compassion for this man. He decided to postpone the church service until the evening instead so that we go and help this man. His concern for this injured man was above his agenda for church service that morning. It was a real picture of Jesus’ compassion for people. Tara, Syndi, Mario and I rushed over to Sano Haku to see this injured man. Dr Allison, Ryan, Hugh, and Nancy stayed in Nessing and did an awesome job tending to the many sick people in the village. When we arrived in Haku we found a man with multiple open head/face wounds held together with a makeshift bandage. His face had obvious facial deformities from likely fractures of bones in his face. He was grunting in pain as he simply sat there in front of us. Before we did anything we had an opportunity to pray over this man and for his healing. I do admit that as we were praying for him I also prayed “Lord please help me to close these wounds!!!” Upon removing these bandages we were able to see several wounds with 1 large 6inch gaping wound covering almost the full length of this man’s head. To make it worse, the wound was already infiltrated with dirt and grass which is a classic set up for infection. By Gods amazing grace and by the awesome help of the team we were able to get the wounds irrigated, cleaned and stitched up and closed! Mario became a pro at drawing up the lidocaine(anesthetic) in the syringes! Tara, our IV specialist, managed to give him a liter of saline fluid to replace any blood volume lost from these wounds. He appeared much better and was communicating with us by the time we were about to leave. We later found out that this man walked back over 2 hours to his village after falling!

While we were in Haku, Allison and the rest of the team did an great job at taking care of the clinic! Dr Allison was awesome her first time being unsupervised and even treated a lady who had a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting…..she recovered well!!!! She is going to be a superb physician indeed!!! Allison will share about this on her journal entry.
Wait! It’s not over yet! We made it back to Nessing and then completed clinic around 4pm. And finally, by the grace or God we were able to have the Nessing church service! The children were first to arrive! Ready and excited to worship as always ! Let me tell you…as soon as you hear their voices sing it just feels like a bit of heaven! I kid you not, any worry, any discomfort, any feeling of sickness could be washed away from these precious voices! Please go to the YouTube link to see a short clip:
(it still doesnt do justice the the real experience).

Allison shared her testimony which brought tears to many eyes, but it brought a great sense of hope to our team and the people. All were encouraged. Mario brought the house down with a challenging message to the villagers about the meaning of ‘Jaimashi’ (Jesus’ victory! ). I shared a brief message of thanks to them for their welcoming, kind and joyful spirits over the past 5 years. .
What topped off the service for Tara and I was that the congregation stretched out and laid hands on us and prayed for a baby for us! Tara and I are believing in faith that the Lord will answer their precious prayers ! It brought many tears to our eyes as we came to the village to be a blessing to them, but as always they blessed us with their kind and sincere hearts! Gosh, I just love these people! They are truly family to us, with one heart and one spirit. Please pray for these precious people who we call our family. Blessings, Tim



Waiting for our last team dinner in Bangkok

27 05 2011

Chilling at the hotel for our last team dinner…


May 25, Pheti Vetaula means see you next time – Mario

27 05 2011

A great devo from my brother Mark this morning. Psalm 100 1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

When we began this morning’s devotional session we all were on the edge emotionally. It has been an amazing trip and though we long to get home, we know saying goodbye will be hard.

We have seen and been a part of so many wonderful things this trip and have all grown so very much closer to the Dhakbari team as well as the believers in Nessing and Gatlang and even Haku.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and it’s end eternal life” – Romans 6:23

Fruit is the natural byproduct of sown seeds. Before when our hearts served Satan, when we were unsaved and lost in our sins, that fruit that we were cultivating was death and destruction. But now, the seeds sown from the Father, Jesus Christ the son, and the Holy Spirit living and cultivating inside our hearts, minds and souls bring eternal life.

It’s only once a year that we come to Nepal, once a year to wipe crusted dirt and boogers off a child’s face, wash the gnarly bugs out of some beautiful kid’s hair (some of the bugs anyway), extract pounds of muddy, bloody, waxy buildup from huge ear canals, remind them again to boil their water so that they don’t get sick when drinking or using it, give them vitamins, antibiotics, eye drops and chugs pills.

Just once a year.

To us the cost of this trip is somewhere between 2-3 thousand dollars, 140,000 – 210,000 thousand rupees, loss of sleep, loss of comfort, loss of our own health, and running water. To those whom we come to serve it means so much more. We not only bring medicine, we bring a sense of oneness, community, a cast-less society and above all – love. It’s been interesting seeing the fruit grow over the past 2 years (4 trips), I’ve been on. We seem to only plant once a year, water once a year, and caretake once a year. But the power of God’s gardening far outshadows any efforts we may muster out of our human hands.

Rest assured that this trip isn’t made by human efforts, it is, as we have undeniably witnessed, God ordained, orchestrated and carried out. Don’t be fooled by Satan, the love of God is spreading in a small dot on the Northern central tip of Nepal and we are vessels from which God has sown seeds, we are the watering pots from which he has watered, we are the sickle with which he has used to reap His harvest. We have come because we are obedient to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and He will continue to use us as long we yield to His spirit and obey his law of love.

After devotionals we set out on our day. Today was a day of somewhat rest. We walked down to the church and then we were off to lunch in Thamel. The gang, mostly Allison and Syndi, were jonesing for pizza so we went to our favorite Kathmandu pizzeria, Fire and Ice.

It’s always great hearing Raju’s stories. He’s always so excited and looking to laugh at everything. He did give us a deeper look at one of our Nepali brothers, Santosh.

About 5 years ago Santosh was hoodwinked and lied to by his family’s then “Christian” pastor and told about a job opportunity in Southern India where Santosh would be supposedly making money to be sent back to his single mom and brother and sister. At this time Santosh was 14.

In southern India, Santosh endured harsh working conditions and physical beatings. After inquiring if his money was being sent to his family, he was shocked to find out that the people he worked for actually bought him for 20,000 rupees, which in today’s exchange rate equals to about $285 US.

Santosh was indeed a slave. That night he escaped and ran away. He walked for a week straight through india. It took him a month to get back home. Again, he was 14 years old.

Needless to say the experience soured his taste for Christianity. The family turned away from God because of what the pastor had done. A short while later a family going to Dhakbari church introduced the pastors to Santosh and His family. After a while of trust building, the family again turn their hearts toward Jesus Christ.

Santosh is our cook on all of our Nessing trips, making huge meals for 20 people in sometimes the black of night. But he’s more than that, he’s our little brother, or bai. Over the past few years we have seen him grow from a shy somewhat reclusive boy to a hilarious joke cracking young man. He has finished high school and cooking school with the help of Dhakbari and a few gracious souls from our team. He is now working in a legitimate catering business making money for his family. He’s a really hard worker. After about a year he says he’s praying about going to Chef’s school and maybe opening up his own restaurant after that. He has invited me and Mike and Dalen to eat for free forever. Right Santosh!!! Haha.

After fire and ice we were off for a little shopping in Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist shopping area that resembles a permanent flea market.

After a bit of souvenir bargaining with Nepal’s toughest negotiator, Tara, we went back to Goshen for a little rest while Tim went with pastor Raju and Uddav to the hospital with Prem, the pastor of Gatlang church. Prem’s been sick for about 6 months. They went in to do some tests.

At about 5:45 we raced to Dhakbari to have our final farewell dinner. We talked, we laughed, we had Daal Bhat for the last time. We were presented with our last Khada of the trip.

We were on the edge of tears the whole night. The Daal Bhat was fantastic. We took tons of photos and Ryan and I were given special gifts from Rabin, our newest little brother who always wants to “sing song about joke”.

After our last night with our Nepali family we were all exhausted physically and emotionally. We walked back to Goshen in near silence.

It’s been a wonderful time. We will miss you all.

Pheti Vetaula