Lamjung Himal of the Himalayans
Valley to the east
Valley to the west
Empty OPD waiting area
Preparing the donkey caravan
Carole at Bishnu’s shop
Bucky preaching at church
At the foot of Lamjung Himal nestled in the valley sits the town of Besishahar, a 6-hour bus ride, yet only 110 miles, from Kathmandu. Besishahar, the district capital of Lamjung District, is the location of the Lamjung Community District Hospital.
The first day of the Nepal’s New Year of 2067, which started on Wednesday, April 14, is a holiday. The hospital, closed except for emergencies, had no patients in the Out Patient Waiting area.
New Year’s Day wasn’t a day off for everyone, however. Outside our apartment, a man was loading up his caravan of donkeys to take goods to unseen villages on the other side of the mountains of Besishahar’s valley. A round trip usually takes him one month. Business also went on as usual at Bishnu’s shop where Carole buys milk and fruit.
This Nepali New Year finds Bucky and I living out in Besishahar, where Bucky works at the hospital in his role as advisor to the hospital’s director and its administration section. He takes a weekly turn leading the hospital’s daily morning devotions held before work starts. In addition, at the local church we have been attending Bucky has already preached three times to about 50 Christians cramped into one small room.
Carole is establishing a daily routine for household jobs: trying her hand at cooking the Nepali rice, lentils and vegetable curry meal; doing laundry by hand; sweeping floors with a 2-foot long grass broom; buying milk from Bishnu’s shop and boiling it. She boils all our water for drinking, brushing our teeth, and washing fruits and vegetables bought at the local shops within 100 feet of our apartment. For groceries not available nearby, she takes the 20-minute walk up the rather steep hill to the bazaar.
It seems strange for us wearing our short sleeves to be saying “Happy New Year!” to all our friends around our apartment. But, that was our New Year’s Day in Besishahar!
The New Year also brings with it a very crucial deadline for Nepal. The country’s Constituent Assembly has been drafting a new constitution, required by law to be completed by May 28th. With about a month to go, it is clear that the job will not be done, which probably will result in a major political crisis. All the political party leaders are blaming the others for this impending failure. But few are offering the leadership needed in this time of tension and uncertainty.
What is exciting is how the Church in Nepal is responding to this situation. With a new sense of unity, the Nepali Christians have come to feel they can help their country at this time of impending crisis. Some Nepali Christians are calling for 40 days of fasting and prayer for this country starting April 18. They are asking Christians around the world to join with them. Please consider making Nepal a matter of serious prayer these next days in a very critical period in the history of Nepal. Specific prayer requests can be found at www.prayerfornepal.org,
Thank you for your interest and concern for Nepal and our ministry and a Happy Nepali New Year!
Carole and Bucky Sydnor