Wow, it has been a very busy two months.We want to cover two main topics in this letter.First we want to tell you about our friend Eileen Lodge who has lived in Nepal now for fifty years.Second we want to share with you what took place during the three-week short-term mission of two friends from Chinese Grace Bible Church in Sacramento, CA.
Eileen has become a sort of mentor and prayer partner for Htway.It is always a treat to visit with someone whose life has been spent here in the service of our Lord.Eileen came to Nepal in 1953 when she was 28 as a mid-wife and, with the exception of home assignments, has been here since.At 78 she is still working.She began her work in a town called Pokara where she lived for 15 years in a thatched house.In 1962 she founded Green Pastures Leprosy Hospital.While in Pokara she began a women's literacy campaign and encouraged a former patient to start a school for the children of the leprosy patients.She is the founder and is still running the Nepal Leprosy Fellowship (NLF).In 1969 she abdicated her British citizenship and became a Nepali citizen.Through the years she has been instrumental in starting schools, helping the leprosy patients start and run small businesses and leading people to the Lord.She is a prayer warrior and prays for Nepal, the people and conditions here.A visit to Eileen's will nearly always take an hour as there are many things to talk about and she is not one to be hurried.We guarantee though that it will be an hour well spent.We hope that you have dear saints around you that you can sit and talk with who have walked long and faithfully with the Lord.There is always ease about them that they know that God is in control and have seen this fact proven many times over the years.Seeing and spending time with her has increased our hope and a vision for the change that is possible here in Nepal.Pastor Alan and Todd had a chance to spend some time with Eileen and later see some of the NLF patients.
Pastor Alan Ginn and Todd Wong from Chinese Grace Bible Church (CGBC) arrived October 1 for a three-week stay.It was a great blessing for us to have someone come and see what it is that we do here and work along side us for a time.We pray and trust that the experience was also enriching for them as well.We know that it will be memorable for sure.The trip started with a couple of days here in Kathmandu to adjust time and see life here.Early October is Dashian one of the biggest Hindu festivals of the year.During Dashian many hundreds of goats, bulls and chickens are sacrificed.While Todd and Pastor Alan did not get to witness a sacrifice they did see the before and after with a bull being paraded to slaughter and pools of blood in front of one of the idols from previous sacrifices.The large number of temples and idols is striking when you first come.Walking around our house in a circle less than a half-mile diameter there are probably 100 temples.To help them see the other side of that disturbing coin we also visited a Christian orphanage where they were able to share Christ's love with the children and the children were able to sing for them.Pastor Alan gave the message at the church we normally attend on Saturday.They also were blessed to hear the praise singing coming from the church near our house.To be here is really a study of contrasts.Sunday Oct. 5 we traveled to Itahari in the southeast of the country.We planned for Pastor Alan to teach in a small Bible school there and for Todd and us to build a training center in a village near there.Pastor Alan was able to teach.However, the Maoists had just that week blown up the village headquarters so we were unable to go to the village to build the training center.We did go to the village for a day and saw the adult literacy training taking place and saw the burned out office building.Flexibility is key in coming to a place like this.Todd was able to share with the students at the Bible school through leading the morning devotions and repairing some plumbing at the school.
We were able to come along side a small church, Hosanna Baptist Church that was planted one year ago.They have been meeting in a 10'x18' room with over 50 people.Crowded is an understatement.They often put the pulpit in the doorway with half of the people inside and half outside.Through some rather quick discussions a decision was reached and permission granted to build a room on the roof (the roof is flat concrete).This room will more than triple their available room and allow for the children to be downstairs in their own room.Hosanna Baptist Church understood that we didn't have the time or resources to finish the project but could help them get started.Todd and Alan were willing from their side and the Church was committed to finishing the project.It was a great opportunity to facilitate growth without creating dependency.What was provided was an idea and an amount of seed money.
Todd and Alan visited another orphanage that is not run by Christians.It was a good opportunity to share Christ's love with the workers and the children.Htway and Todd took a day and visited portions of Nepal Leprosy Fellowship's work in the area.It was a very moving day to see the struggle of people crippled by this disease and the faith and compassion of those who are working to help them.
The remainder of their time was back in Kathmandu.Where Pastor Alan was able to teach at both Ebenezer Bible School (B.Th) and Kathmandu Institute of Theology (M.Dv).All of us worked on the construction of the floors at Lalitpur Baptist Church.A portion of one day was spent visiting with our friend Rajendra who we have told you about before and requested you to be praying for.It was good to continue to build the relationship with Rajendra and his family.All in all it was a very busy and fruitful trip.They were able to see the growth of the church in the midst of idol worship, animal sacrificing, extreme poverty, crippling disease, long drives, beautiful scenery, political violence and uncertainty.To visit Nepal is to see the contrast between darkness and hope.
Please as requested in our earlier letters continue to pray for:Bishnu, Suman and Rajendra as they wrestle with the gospel and the cost of discipleship.Continue to pray for our language ability.Bishnu in particular has taken a big step and discussed with her family that she is considering becoming a Christian.Praise God that they reacted fairly positively.Her Uncle had become a Christian some years ago so her parents are more receptive.Please continue to pray for her as she seeks the truth of the gospel.
Bruce, Htway and Chatterjee Aiton