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Nepal 1997

 

Had a safe flight to Bangkok and stayed at the Christian Guest House there. Sunday I gave a program at the International Church as part of the Kids of the Kingdom time.

Somehow my travel agent booked me into Nepal on Thai Air in business class, what an elegant way to arrive. No problems at immigration and Richard Rasmussesen met me. On faith he had a schedule set up for me. For the next 18 days I told stories at schools, orphanages, churches etc.

The first day I went to KISC (Kathmandu Independent Study Class) the secondary school with 65 students. The next day I was at Kathmandu Learning Centre in the morning and Kathmandu Tutorial Group in the afternoon. Friday I spent in the Paten area making string figures in the little squares. That is the old town with temples that are hundreds of years old. Saturday I attended a Nepali church and worked with the Sunday school and told stories and taught string things to those children. Sunday I went to the International church and met “Mumy" Mindies. She said she had heard of me and that I was coming (this she proclaimed with authority) to her orphanage for lunch and to tell stories to her kids. What a great time. Sunday Evening I went to the Youth Group and told stories and taught string stuff.

Monday I took the “Buck” to Butwal. Upon arriving, I went to one of the homes where children were and told a couple of stories and did string stuff. The teacher was in an in-service that day. The next day was spent with the tutorial group and then I took the bus to Tansen. I love Tansen. Worked with the tutorial group 3 days and did two evening performances at the Hospital Guest house for children and adults. I also visited Bethel school, a Nepali school and told stories to all 200 children and worked with 15 or so of the biggest kids with string.

On Saturday I took the bus to Pokera. There was a lot of fear on the first part of the trip and a lot of prayer. I was saying, “God would not bring me this far to drop me over the side of the mountain." When I changed my “panic” prayers to making a gratitude list and thanking Him for all the things He had done for me, I became comfortable enough to look down and enjoy the scenery. The trip was 60 miles and took about 6 hours over very mountainous one lane roads. What a trip; never again.

In Pokera, I stayed at Hotel Castle the first night. The manager’s husband is a Nepali minister and we connected. He is diabetic and I happened (through God’s Hand) to bring a bag full of Sweet-n-low.) I was invited to have breakfast and lunch at their house, and I went to the orphanage/school that his children go to. It was not a school day but we had about 40 children for stories. I moved to the INF (International Napali Fellowship) Study Center. On Sunday night I went to the prayer meeting. I met with the children all day Monday, telling stories and teaching strings (even the Kindergarten and Nursery)

That evening I went to Gandaki Boarding School for three days. What a grand place. There were 550 students, all so receptive. Spent each day meeting with classes and then after school or in the evening I worked with some of the students in groups. It was so exciting to see how fast the string games were passed along. The staff was so open and inviting. Elwin Kelso is the token Christian and was my contact. She did so much to help me. She had the 18- 20 year olds to her house one evening so I could do some intensive teaching with them. There was certain electricity at the school. The staff joked that they knew which area of the school I was in because of all the laughing.

The English department spent hours cutting string for the students. By this time I had run out of the 500 strings that I had brought to Nepal. Everywhere you looked you saw someone with string. That one can be “Happy, Joyous and Free in Christ” does not have to be preached. I think that the students received that message without saying a word. I spoke to the full student body at morning assembly and to the facility at a special meeting. They gave me some very nice gifts.

While at GBS, the principal of the school across the road heard about what was going on and came over to ask if I would so a program for his children. I went and spoke to the assembled student body, about 400. They also brought the very little ones, even though they couldn't understand English, because the teachers wanted to watch.

Then back to Kathmandu on the “Buck”. On the ride back I taught the drivers some string figures. They bought my tea. I thought that was so nice if them. I was invited to many homes for meals of tea, Nepali and expiate. I was touched by so many lives from so many places. A visiting teacher from Norway, a church leader from India, or a water specialist from England...

WHO DID GOD REACH THROUGH THIS TRIP?

ME…To see children in a setting not swamped with activity and media was the perfect place to see the impact of my work. In the States, I do not get to see the children in their homes, or on the street of the village or in their dorms. It was exciting to see how the stories and string figures were passed on, and on and on.

To go to a home for Thanksgiving and have the children put on a play abridged from one of my stories; to have a parent in Tansen tell me of the weekend phone call from their teenager at KISC raving about the string stuff he could now do; to have a parent in Pokera stop me on the street and want to see something that their child had been talking about; was very validating for me.

CHILDREN…What a treat to be able to bring laughter, joy, success, wonder, sharing and all the other things that happened to the lives of these children.

ADULTS…Just the joy of sharing and being appreciated was wonderful; to capture that child in all of us. It was good to be able to talk with and listen to teachers on a professional basis. It was also good to show parents some things their children enjoy.

A FEW ADULTS…There were 4 or 5 adults who saw the usefulness of string in their work. To be able to help them grow in skills was rewarding. I even got a report back from India where one of the men took his string and found some one in Naugaland who knew the figure, an opening for discussion.

MY CHURCH….It was good to be able to include my church and its members in the planning and providing for this trip. They gave me money toward my ticket. They also supported me in prayer. Many of them can’t go but can send someone.

I visited orphanages schools, Sunday Schools and Churches. I did two evening concerts in storytelling and spoke with over 1,500 people in small groups. I talked with many individuals. I traveled many miles. Did I save any souls? That isn’t for me to know. I just did what I needed to do. A piece of string, candy, a story or a smile was all given in His name.