No Marks on Our Final Prison Day

Mark Richardson is still sick and not able to travel with us today. He is staying behind at the guest house.

Mark Sigl has another abscess and they are going to have to put him under general Anesthesia to remove it so he will be in the hospital for the day today while we go to our final two presents. Nathan will be staying behind with him while the rest of the team does the prison Crusades.

We have a microbus today so we can all travel together. John has come from Pokhara to be with us for our final day of ministry. He was with us in 2016. It’s great to be with him again.

We went to Thamel to purchase the humanitarian aid. Today we are taking 50 jackets to the smaller prison and 150 thermal underwear sets to the larger prison.

We are expecting the same level of restrictions at the prisons today. This is been a very difficult week of ministry in that we have not been able to share the gospel and we have been very restricted with our access and the amount of time we have been given in the presence. However, we are optimistic that we have been doing a great job helping Yakub and Manju to gain favor with the prison officials. They will be able to come at Christmas time and share openly because that is the Kristienn festival time so they are given more freedom then. The work we are doing here should open the doors of the prisons for them for future visits.

We are taking lots of humanitarian aid to the inmates, providing well for their needs, both medically and physically. We know that those that God has appointed to salvation will hear the gospel if not from us then from the nationals that are here on the ground. The training that we have provided has encouraged the nationals to want to become more involved so we know that our work here is not in vain but is all to the glory of God.

Dhulikhel prison is about an hour outside of Kathmandu. We passed a water park with a giant Buddha feature in the park and the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue (the world’s tallest Shiva statue) on the hilltop above it. 

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I remembered this prison when we arrived precisely at our scheduled time (noon) and waited about ten minutes for the Officer in Charge (OC). There was another secular NGO that had just finished there. I don’t know if they had a program but they work to find housing and to care for children with incarcerated parents. They pointed out that if there is no home for these children they can stay in the prison with their parent until the age of 10 with no education. Imagine how far behind a child would be if he/she lived in a prison for ten years with no education.

We entered the OC’s office and he welcomed us in English an very shortly invited us to begin our program. I presented our gifts to him and took a photograph. He told us we could bring one camera into the prison with us.

We entered the very short door into the prison, which was laid out very similarly to another prison we were in earlier this week (I can’t remember which one, they all blend together by the end of the trip). Yakub told me that many of the inmates were not invited to the service because a couple inmates broke out of the prison recently and a bunch of other inmates began fighting so they were on close security.

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We were given a lot of freedom to speak and move about the courtyard and interact with the 62 inmates that were in attendance. We were able to take a lot of photos, as well.

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Paul gave the IGL message and served as emcee followed by Dan giving his testimony and Tom preaching a short sermon. I closed the service with a call to repentance and then I presented the gifts. We gave them ibuprofen, a soccer ball and 50 North Face fleece jackets. 

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We were allowed to distribute the jackets ourselves, giving them to the men as their names were called out by the security officers. 

The men put their jackets on and gave us a big thumbs up.

We stopped for lunch on our way to Central Prison. We got stuck in gridlock in Kathmandu but made it to the prison by 3:30pm.

This is a very large prison with 1,800 inmates, all male. Security was very tight (they didn’t even let me take my passport in with me). This is a more modern prison but I could tell the conditions of the cells and the care of the inmates is poor. 

About 100 aged and crippled men sat in an area by themselves behind a fence next to us. We were given very little time to talk so I gave a quick message of encouragement that they are loved, not forgotten, and can be forgiven if they will turn to God with a humble heart an seek him. It was a message of repentance and a promise that if they seek God with all their heart he promises to reveal himself to them. It was all I could do without preaching about Jesus and the sacrifice he made for the elect.

They allowed us to hand out the gifts. We had 109 thermal underwear sets and I was pleased to see that they called forward the crippled and disabled and old men that were sitting behind the fence. What a blessing it was to see that they will be warm this winter. 

There were three Europeans in the prison crowd. One of them came up to us and talked to us through the fence while we were handing out the gifts. He was telling us that the conditions are terrible and that we are only enabling a corrupt system. I told him that we are well aware of the conditions but we are unable to do anything about that. He told me that we should see the conditions, we would see that they are inhumane. I told him that I have seen prisons all around the world, I am well aware of the inhumane conditions. We are here to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, I told him. He said that there are many innocent men in the prison, to which I replied that that is the same in all countries and all prisons. 

He was telling me that I need to let the world know about the conditions in the prison – I told him that the world knows about it and that is not our purpose as a ministry, but that people discover the conditions when they learn of what we are doing, but we are unable to help that. 

It turns out, according to Manju, that these men are incarcerated for human trafficking. I have little sympathy for them, they are where they deserve to be – in fact they probably deserve worse. I wanted to share the gospel with him but I was not in a position where I could talk to him any longer out of fear of offending the officers and getting myself thrown in a cell.

After leaving the prison we returned to the guest house to find Mark Richardson sitting at the cafe and feeling better. Paul and Dan went to the hospital to pick up Nathan and check on Mark Sigl. Mark stayed the night in the hospital and the rest of the team returned to the guest house and we went to dinner at the same place we ate a couple nights ago. It was a late dinner so we returned to the guest house around 9:00pm and got to bed late.

A Big Prison and a Bigger Badder Drive

It was almost a four hour drive to the prison today and four hours back. These were some of the most treacherous roads I have ever driven on.

We were driving along steep mountainsides on two-way one-lane roads. We were constantly stopping to let oncoming cars pass. The roads were (at least partially) paved at one point in time but due to mudslides, possibly the earthquake, and lack of maintenance  there is little pavement left – it was at least 50% very rough dirt roads and the rest of the way was paved roads with enormous potholes. The prison was 13 miles away as the crow flies but it’s on the other side of a few mountains so it was 50km of driving and it took four hours. 

I began the day with a good run, I’ve been very consistent this trip. Tom has run with me a couple times, as well. We met for breakfast but Mark is still in pain decided not to travel with us today. Mark Richardson is still sick so he stayed home, too. Paul came down with an upset stomach and a headache overnight and wasn’t sure how he would do with this much travel so he stayed behind, as well. 

Dan led our devotional time this morning talking about the holiness of God. After breakfast we prepared to leave. Our hosts were about 15 minutes late but we weren’t prepared because we didn’t have the gift bags prepared. Four Americans of our team of seven left the guest house at 8:00am.

We stopped along the way to purchase some water filters for Bimphedi prison and then began our treacherous journey. Tom mentioned to me after we got back to Kathmandu that it was a really rough and difficult ride but it was exciting and it’s what we came here to do. We all know that we are going to have to travel some difficult roads to get to the prisons. I loved his attitude.

The prison was separated into two different buildings, each with about 450 inmates. There are no women at this prison. We split our team – Dan and I went to one cell block building with Yakub and one of the volunteers. Nathan and Tom went with Manju and another volunteer to the other cell block. We were only given 20 minutes to speak. I’m not clear what Nathan and Tom spoke about. 

I gave the IGL message (International Group Leader introduction and welcome) with a modified structure. I told them that we have come from the other side of the world to bring them hope. “Many of you have done very terrible things in order to be here. We all have done terrible things. You may think that you are forgotten. I’m here to tell you that you are not forgotten. There are people on the other side fo the world that sent us here because they love you and care about you and they have not forgotten you. You may think that there is no hope for you. Perhaps you have given up thinking that you can ever have a better life. I’m here to tell you that there is hope for you. God loves you. God has not forgotten you. God wants you to have a life with a purpose. God wants to change you into a new man and he promises to do that if you will turn you life over to him and follow him”.  I really had to simplify my message and make it generic. I rest assured that God will save those who are his and will take our feeble attempts and use them to his glory. 

Dan gave his testimony and I then began to try to give a short sermon and I was shut down. The security officer told me to tell them about the gifts, so I did. We went into the infirmary where the medications were and we showed the “nurse” what we had brought. 

Just then an inmate came in behind me and told me that he was very thankful for all that we had brought but he wanted me to know that it won’t last long with 450 inmates. The real point of what he wanted to say, though, was “We know why you are here and we know what you wanted to say. We know that you can’t say what you want to say but, as a Christian, I want you to know that we are glad that you came and we thank you. We know what you wanted to say but I want you to know that we are doing that in here.”

This was very encouraging – everyone knows why were are here. That is why the officers are shutting us down. But the inmates also know and the Christians are thankful and encouraged.

I told this man that we brought many Bibles for them, as well. We have distributed many Bibles on this trip but we can’t distribute them personally. They won’t allow us to but Yakub is distributing them discreetly to inmates and making sure they get into the hands of the Christian inmates. 

Since we are not able to preach the gospel appropriately we are doing all we can to keep the doors open for Yakub to continue to serve in the prison, to show that he cares about them, and to help him establish and stronger relationship and good report with the prison officials. 

We returned home around 6:00pm after a really long drive home with a very aggressive driver. It was tool late to purchase humanitarian aid for tomorrow – we will do that tomorrow.

We walked to dinner at a local Chinese Restaurant where we met Yakub’s Mid West Nepal Regional Director, Manoj Pulami. He has been doing prison ministry for seven years and is getting great support from his church. Manoj took the public bus 13 hours to get here so he could meet us. We ate dinner an he left to find a guest house for the night. Tomorrow morning he will catch a bus to make the return journey. 36 hours of travel so he could meet us and have dinner with us. This is devotion and passion.

I will write more to update you tomorrow. It is 10:45pm and we need to be at breakfast at 7:00am tomorrow, Monday. We are scheduled to visit two prisons tomorrow. We need to buy humanitarian aid in the morning, drive two hours to the prison, then drive two hours back to this town for another prison.

Mark Richardson is feeling better but he didn’t come to dinner with us. Mark Sigl is doing much better and we are hopeful he will join us tomorrow. Paul is also better and will be joining us tomorrow for our last day of ministry. Please pray for health of the team, travel safety, open prison doors and open hearts to receive the gospel. 

Quick Update – Please Pray

We just bought three water filters for the prison. A couple of these photos will explain why.

Last minute update: Paul is sick, too. It just hit him this morning. He is staying home with the Marks.

We have departed for the prison. We are running late and praying for light traffic.

Mark Richardson is now vertical, he came down to see us before we leave, but he is still sick and will be staying behind at the guest house today.

Mark Sigl is doing better but does not feel he can drive eight hours so he will be staying home today, as well.

We are 13 hours 45 minutes ahead of Seattle. It is now 7:21am Sunday morning. We are leaving for our next prison in about 10 minutes. It will be a four hour drive there and four hours back. Please pray for travel safety and a fruitful and well-received prison service. Pray we will find favor with the prison officials and we will be able to preach openly.

Please pray for healing for both Marks.

Yesterday, Saturday, we had worship service at Yakub’s church and then walked to his and Manju’s house for a very nice home-cooked meal of rice, chicken, greens, lentil soup, pickle and pork rinds. We then went to a pharmacy and bought A LOT of medicines and first aid supplies for the inmates of today’s prison. Six of us gathered for dinner at the restaurant down the street.

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Kathmandu Conference – Nov 9

Everyone seems to be sleeping well but I still can’t seem to sleep longer than six hours at night. Mark also didn’t sleep well last night, once again, even though he had his medical procedure yesterday. He said he has not improved but is optimistic, assuming he is likely sore in part due to the procedure itself. I was up at 3:30am so I took the opportunity to do some Bible Study and prayer before Paul came down about 5:00am. We had some great discussion about the Trinity and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 

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I started hearing the bell ring at the corner temple at 4:30am. There are small temples (idol houses) all around the city, one of them on the corner across the street from the Guest House. There is a bell outside every temple that worshipers ring to wake up the God so it will hear their prayers. I’m so thankful that the true God never sleeps but Christ always lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

I couldn’t get outside the gate for a run until an employee came to the coffee shop at 6:00am. The gate is locked overnight so we are locked into the building at night. This wouldn’t fly back home, that’s for sure.

I set a few PRs as I ran into the city past everyone opening up their shops and vendor carts. There is no way I could run out there later in the day as it becomes so busy and dangerous due to the traffic. I felt totally safe and comfortable running through the city, even thought I sure caught a lot of looks (a white man running through the center of Kathmandu).

I led our devotional this morning as I read a passage from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. We then had a  great discussion about Christ’s condescension and ascension. It occurred to me this morning during my study that Christ not only gave up his rightful place in heaven for a short period of time (33 years) but, being that he was crucified as a man and was raised with a glorified body, he is in that body until today and will be throughout eternity. He became a man for all of eternity, an even greater sacrifice than I had ever considered before. We talked about the state He is now in in his glorified body and the glorified bodies we will one day receive when we become like him. None of us have settled this completely in our minds – perhaps we never will – this may be one of the mysteries that will be revealed when we are in his presence.

Marko is not feeling well today, he may have caught a bug or just has some stomach upset. He elected to stay home today and not participate in the conference. Please pray for his full healing.

Just as we were departing for the conference I received a very disturbing video from Susan about Marissa. She is in a disturbing news story on KIRO 7 news. It was a very difficult ride to the conference as I processed it. Dan, Nathan and Tom were very comforting and they prayed for me and my family and Marissa when we arrived at the conference. I’m fine, but it’s tough to see. Please pray for my daughter, Marissa.

Paul went with Mark S to the hospital to have his dressing changed. He is in a lot of pain so he went home in a taxi while Paul came to the conference.

As expected, and as usual, very few people were present when we arrived at the conference. We waited about an hour and started at 10:30 with about 40 people in attendance. There were 56 within a short time and 60 in the afternoon.

The hosts were preparing lunch outdoors when we arrived. I called home to talk to Susan for a few minutes while the other guys met some of the nationals.

There is another man attending who is working closely with Yakub. He spent 23 years in prison and was saved while in prison. He has now been serving in prison ministry since he was released ten years ago. He wrote a book called Shade of Cross Inside the Prison. He gave his testimony to start the conference after we were presented with Nepali caps and scarfs.

Nathan served as emcee today and the conference went very well. This is Tom’s first conference (first mission trip) and he did a great job sharing about How to Start a Prison Ministry. Everyone presented well. I have traveled with Dan four times now and I am so pleased to see how comfortable he has become when teaching this conference.

Lunch was chicken, beans, very spicy soy beans and rice. I don’t know if I have ever seen such a big pot of rice. We restarted the conference at 2:20pm.

The conference ended at 4:00pm and we said our goodbyes while waiting for a taxi.

We stopped in Thamel, a tourist and shopping area and an old area of Kathmandu. I didn’t bring hiking boots so I hoped to find some. I will search elsewhere later by myself. I was holding up the team by searching. We decided to get dinner and found a hotel with fair fare but certainly nothing to write home about (although I guess I just did).

I bought some tea to take home to some friends who have fallen in love with the tea I brought home in April. I managed to delay the team even further so we didn’t get home until 8:30pm. Nathan still has some sermon prep to do so he began working on that right away.

Marko has been in bed all day. He sounds congested and has been having chills. He may not be joining us for church tomorrow, either. Yakub led us in prayer for him. Mark S is feeling much better but still has the same level of pain he has had the past couple days. They still need our prayers. The enemy is working hard to keep them from doing the work they want to do. 

Tomorrow is church, they worship on Saturday in Nepal. It’s now 9:30pm – time to turn in.

Temple Tour – Nov 8

I will be brief so everyone can have an update and I will fill in the blanks later.

Our hosts are in Pokhara today so we had a day for exploration. We elected to make it a day of education and cultural learning. We took a tour of a Hindu Temple and a Buddhist Temple.

We took Mark to the hospital in the morning and they helped him with his ailment. He is doing better – it turns out there was an abscess and infection. They took care of the bases and gave him some antibiotics and pain relievers. We are hopeful he will be doing better in short time. The total bill for the ER visit and the procedure was $35.

Below are photos so you can SEE our day. I will tell you about it later.

Please be praying for us today (Friday in Nepal). We are 13 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Seattle. As you read this Thursday evening we will be heading to or teaching our conference. Marko (Richardson) was not feeling well last night (stomach unrest), we are hopeful he will be better this morning.

Pray:

1. That our conference will be well attended, that all of us will be in good health and well-prepared to teach our topics, that the Nepalese nationals will be encouraged to become involved and/or get more involved in prison ministry in their country.

2. That everyone will remain healthy for the remainder of our time here.

3. We have two more prisons scheduled – pray that the doors will be open to us to enter the gates of the prison and to preach of God’s salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ.

An Encouraging Day and Needed Prayers

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I ran into Tom while running this morning so I joined him for an extended run. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and encouraging each other. 

Breakfast was quite good this morning, it came quite quickly even though everyone ordered anything they wanted off the menu. Mark shared the devotional message while we drank our milk coffee, which we discovered is basically a cappuccino (although I suspect it was Nescafe). 

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Yakub’s uncle is in the hospital, apparently in ICU. He wasn’t really clear about the problem but from what he was telling us it sounds like he may have had the flu which has become pneumonia. He is 65 years old. It was decided that we would hold our prison service this morning and then Yakub and Manju would go to Pokhara to see him. We also learned that Anema’s mother is going into the hospital so he needs to go home to care for his child. Please be in prayer for Yakub’s father, Daina Sin, and for Anema’s mother.

 

The prison was only a five minute drive from the hotel. We had a 30 minute wait to get in while Manju met with the OC. Once again we did not go to his office to meet with him. This is unusual – we almost always meet personally with the OC. The situation is sensitive and Yakub does not want it to appear that the white man from America is coming here to convert the prisoners. We are here to support and train him and there is no training we can give him for this, so we support him. He is truly in a very difficult situation with the current state of the government.

 

There was only one gate to this prison, we did not enter a holding area but were immediately in the prison after entering the metal door. We turned left and walked along the inside of the wall, past a cell block and around the building to the right, passing between the outside wall and the prison building. There was a garden on our left and, as we rounded the corner, an area where the inmates are making stools. I will assume the stools are being sold in the market to support the prison. 

 

The prison guards walk along the top of the wall with their automatic weapons – although I assume there is rarely, if ever, a need to use them. As we rounded the next corner to the back side of the courtyard there were about seven prison workers standing to our left and 36 male inmates seated on the ground in front of us. There are many more inmates in this prison but many of them wouldn’t come out because they are ashamed to be there and don’t want to be seen by the Americans. Apparently many others didn’t come out because they are Muslim or Hindu and don’t want to come to our service.

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There were several Christians with Bibles in the front row. Several of the men scooted back a body length to make room for the women that were coming but, when two women arrived, they sat on stools next to Manju. There are 15 women in this prison.

 

Before we began the prison leader led all of the inmates in singing This is the Day (that the Lord has made). What an encouragement for our team.

I began our service by giving the IGL message and introducing our ministry and our team. I spoke about the places we have been and encouraged them that they are not forgotten, that we have come from the other side of the world, supported by friends and family at home in the United States, and we all care about them and want to bring them hope. I told them there is hope for their future and they can be forgiven for their crimes. More importantly God loves them and has not forgotten them, God will forgive them for all of their sins and will receive them as sons and daughters if they will come to him with humble and contrite hearts.

Paul then gave his testimony followed by Nathan giving a message about the wedding feast and Tom finishing with his testimony. Everyone did a fabulous job. I was then able to tie all of the messages together by telling them that Paul was serving God but God made it clear to him that He had a different plan and Paul was willing to change his direction and follow God in obedience. He received blessing from God for his obedience. Are you going to follow God or are you going to ask God to follow you?

I told them that according the parable of the wedding feast we must not take lightly the call from God. When God calls us we must prepare to meet him. Those who take lightly the call of God will be condemned. Will you repent and turn to God as He is right now calling you to do?

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I then explained that, as Tom had told them, many times we may not even be paying attention to God and we are going our own way but when God calls us we need to respond. Tom knew he was doing wrong and when God called him to repent He received him as his own and has received eternal life. Are you calling yourself a child of God yet walking in a way that dishonors him? Turn back and seek Him that you will find truth and life.

 

Dan distributed the gifts to the lead jailer on behalf of the OC and then gave the medicated soaps and shampoos and medicine and the soccer ball to the inmates. Bibles will be distributed by our national hosts. It is important to them that we don’t appear to be coming from the US with Bibles. The situation is really sticky. 

Yakub told Nathan that the current communist Hindu administration is in the third year of their five year term and he is hopeful that the laws will change at the end of their term if not sooner.

 

I went with Manju to meet with the ladies. Four of them came out from the cells and she presented them with the feminine napkins that my mom had made. Manju later told Nathan that one of the girls was inn prison because her husband had committed suicide. In Nepali culture if a man commits suicide and his parents don’t like his wife they can charge her with murder and she likely be convicted. This girl will be released in a couple months – she has been in the prison for eight years.

They told Nathan of another lady that came to faith in Christ through the ministry of Yakub and Manju while in prison. She has now been released and has been on fire for the Lord, sharing Christ with everyone in her village and family and many have come to faith in Christ through her. 

 

We returned to the hotel to gather our bags and drove over an hour to the end of the 10 mile dirt road. The Scorpio (SUV) we are in has no shocks in the rear and it bounces terribly. The road is in horrible condition making for very tough travel. When we arrived at the village at the end of the road we found a hotel and had lunch before our team split up.

Nothing was prepared so we had to wait while they made food for all of us. Nathan made the wise executive decision that we would wait but we would all eat the same thing, Dal Bat. We were there about 90 minutes in total, having some good fellowship and a good meal. 

Manju, Yakub, Jabez and the driver departed for Pokhara and we went the other direction to climb the mountain to Kathmandu. This is a very windy road an a steep climb though the mountains. Eight grown men in an SUV is a tight fit but we did fine. We were back at Five14 at 5:00pm. We settled in and went for a walk into the city. 

 

 

This week is Tihar, the festival of lights. Tihar is the second greatest festival of the Hindu Nepalese after “Dashain.” It is celebrated for 5 days. Today is the day that they pay homage to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Most of the stores and businesses have circular colorful decorations on the sidewalk with a line leading to the cash register. It’s hard to explain, look at the pictures. 

I just spoke with the gal that works in the coffee shop, she explained that Hinduism isn’t practiced the same way in Nepal as it is in India. Most of the people here follow the traditions but don’t understand why they are doing it. 

Tomorrow they pay homage to the cow. This is far too involved to explain here. 

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We found a good restaurant with a variety of fare. Four of us had C Momo, Marko had spaghetti, Nathan had a Schitzel Burger and Mark had chicken and rice. This was the hottest Momo I’ve had, there were tears coming down my face.

Please take a moment to pray for the Yakub’s uncle, Anema’s mother, and the people of Nepal.

Please also pray for Mark as he is still struggling with some physical pain.

Return to Gorkha Prison – November 6

Today began with breakfast at the same restaurant where we had dinner last night. I suggested ordering breakfast last night and telling them that we would be here at 7:30. We decided, instead, to order in the morning. When we arrived we were told it would take an hour and a half to make our orders unless we got omelettes and “bread toast”. This was my fear – I’ve learned this after numerous trips. So it was. Our omelettes were scrambled eggs and each of us had three pieces of warm white bread with butter and jelly.

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It is another beautiful day. The weather is mild and comfortable. Sunshine and expected to be mid-seventies. There was a beautiful view of fog in the valley today.

Tuesday is the day that the worship the dog. I saw a couple dogs with symbolic paint and flowers.

We walked five blocks downtown to buy humanitarian aid for the prison. We waited next to the barber shop while the nationals negotiated prices for the buckets, pails, cleaning supplies, brooms, soap and bed mats. I seriously contemplated getting a one dollar haircut but I knew that a bad haircut isn’t worth a penny.

We walked to the prison and carried the aid down the hill. There is no road to the prison so everything must be carried in. This is a small one-acre compound and the prison sits on about half of the land. The prison is made of solid brick and plaster walls with towers at each corner and razor wire coiled along the top of the walls. The OC’s office was 30 feet up the hill from the prison. We did not go into the OC’s office but Yakub and Manju met there with him to give him all of our names and the purpose of our visit. 

We left our bags and personal belongings outside with the prison guards and the OC escorted us into the prison. They allowed us to bring one camera with us so I brought mine. When we entered the first doorway we stood at the entrance of both the women’s prison and the men’s prison. There were several women doing their laundry in the courtyard and a few other women standing around. We went through a very small doorway in the prison bars to the men’s prison where there were 58 men awaiting our arrival. 

Once again we were not allowed to talk about Jesus. Instead I gave the IGL message, explaining who we are and the basic reasons why we are here. Tom then gave his testimony and did the best job I could ever imagine anyone doing a presentation of the gospel without speaking of Jesus. I can’t even remember what he said right now, I just remember how pleased and proud I was of him at his choice of words and his invitation to turn to God for forgiveness of sins.

The entire service lasted only about 15 minutes and we were told that our time was up. We distributed gifts and left within 20 minutes of when we arrived.

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We were not allowed to enter the female prison because men are not allowed there so Manju and one other woman took our gifts to them. She took washable feminine napkins and Bibles.

For the past fifteen years my mom has been going to Moldova where she learned that the girls cannot go to school when they are menstruating. She learned about a group that is making washable feminine napkins and, since that time, she has been spending countless hours every week making them for the girls in Moldova. After we returned from Moldova a couple months ago my mom thought about giving these to the women in the prisons that I go to. She sent me with 97 of these

We left the prison and walked up the hill about a mile to the hotel, gathered our belongings and departed for our next destination. We are there now so I won’t reveal our location at this time for safety sake. It was short drive by distance (about 100km) but very slow windy roads and the last ten miles was a VERY rough dirt road. We switched up the seating in the vehicles so we could sit with other team members.

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Lunch at Three Sisters

We stopped at Three Sisters Hotel for lunch. This is the same place we ate a couple years ago when an earthquake hit. We ate at the same table and I ordered the same thing – Chicken “C” Momo. This is my favorite Nepali meal and it is a little different everyplace we go. Marko and Mark both had a traditional meal set called Dal Bat, directly translated this means Lentils and Rice.

Mark is still not feeling well and it was a brutal drive, even though he was in the front seat. When we arrived at the hotel he took the rest of the evening off to rest, read and sleep. We have four rooms for the seven of us so I bunked with Marko, Paul with Mark, Tom with Dan and Nathan had a room to himself.

Nathan went shopping with Manju and Yakub to find a special shampoo that we are taking to the prison tomorrow. Apparently there is an endemic skin problem in the prison that is affecting all of the inmates. They were gone for about an hour, they visited five pharmacies and were not able to find any of the shop. We purchased 34 bottles in Gorkha yesterday but, at this point, we may not be able to get enough for every inmate. They may have to share for a short time until our national hosts can get more of the shampoo or everyone else. In the meantime we are going to pick up a special shop that will also help with this problem.

Five of us had dinner at the hotel restaurant and dumped another $20 to feed all of us with Chow Mein, Chicken Butter Masala and Fanta.