Wow! What an incredible week spent in some of the most primitive, yet beautiful villages of Nepal. Nine of us from the Kathmandu Vineyard Church joined a team of ten from the Inspire Church in Hawaii: pastors, dentists, doctors, nurses, and more. We spent three days in Gatlang and four in Nessing, including a day trip to Haku. Our days were filled with hours of clinic, house visits, playing with children, worshipping together, and praying for the people in the village. Well worth the long drive and several hours spent hiking to reach the villages.
On any short term missions trip you’re always faced with the question of “What is the purpose?” While this trip was only a week long, the Nepal and Hawaii teams have been in an ongoing relationship for the past ten years, visiting the same villages every year. Yet even after the tenth year, all of the symptoms are still the same – “cranaba, menaba, sonaba, chepanaba, phonaba, shyanaba” (headache, eye pain, toothache, back pain, stomachache, body pain). So what good has really been done? Under all of the medicine, the hours of clinic, and who knows how many teeth pulled, our real purpose is to share the love of Jesus Christ. And amidst our frustrations of not just one, but two language barriers (English to Nepali to Tamang) that love is found, worshipping the same God with one voice.
While a pill may give us strength for a few hours or days, Jesus gives strength for a lifetime. Through the relationships built over the last ten years, the churches in the villages are growing, God’s kingdom is being built, and people are being strengthened not just physically, but spiritually. What a joy it was to witness that growth as eight people were baptized in Gatlang this time! Another highlight was being able to honour the pastors and leaders in Gatlang with foot washing during the Saturday church service.
~ Natalie Hamm