Final Day – Departure for Home

It’s been a great week. Our team of four has conducted two conferences (one leadership conference and one Prison Ministry conference), held crusades in five prisons and shared the gospel with 744 inmates, and saw 87 men and women come to faith in Christ. We distributed 500 New Testaments, 100 full Bibles, 900 of bars of body soap, 600 bars of laundry soap, 944 toothbrushes, 924 tubes of toothpaste, 106 bed sheets, 60 sanitary masks, 12 umbrellas, 240 pairs of shorts, 100 meters of foam pad (for bedding), one battery and an inverter for lighting, antiseptic, feminine hygiene napkins, and 5 soccer balls.
It was very hot much of the time, the traffic was terrible (one day it took 8.5 hours to travel 120 miles), rough roads and lots of horns honking. The fellowship was wonderful. We now have new lifelong friends with Pastor Yakub and his wife, Manju, and two members of their church, John and Puza.
We worshiped in a Nepalese church twice. We experienced a 4.5 earthquake during lunch for a rapid restaurant evacuation. We drove to 7,000 feet to look at Mt. Everest but we were clouded in and couldn’t see it.
We are now departing for the airport for a 4 hour flight to Dubai, a 7.5 hour layover in the middle of the night and a 14 hour flight to Seattle. We are all healthy (for the most part) and ready for our journey. I will update my blog with much more information in the coming days. Thank you for your prayer support and comments to encourage us. Amen.

May 13 – I’m sick and we leave tomorrow

I’m sick and Monte also does not feel well. My body aches, my stomach is upset and I’m laying in bed freezing (the chills).  Monte has a sore throat. It was a long day in the car. A great prison service during which I started feeling not right. After 6 hours in the car and a 2 hour wait for lunch, I’m wiped out. Please pray, we have church tomorrow morning and we leave tomorrow night.

Update: I’m awake Saturday morning and it seems my fever may have broken. I’m not healthy but certainly improved. We leave for the airport in 12 hours.

May 12 – Chitwan and a Long Drive

The rain came down hard this morning. It was a downpour and we were somewhat concerned that it would affect our ability to conduct our service, but we knew we are hear for the purpose of sharing the gospel and God would see to it that it happens. This will be the largest prison of the week, about 500 men.

We have a very tight schedule today. Breakfast at 6:30, bags loaded and driving to the prison at 7:15, crusade starting at 8:00, on the road by 9:00 so we can get across the pass before they close the road for construction at noon (supposedly). We are shooting for being across before 11:00am.

We were able to hold our crusade and the rain stopped before we arrived at the prison. We were welcomed in without much delay and we started our service a little after 8:00am. I opened with the IGL message and Greg emceed, introducing Monte for his testimony, Dan for the short sermon and me for the second sermon.
The service was great! Everyone did a great job. Our team has really worked well together and our two “Newbies” have done a great job, really culminating in a clear presentation of their testimonies and sermons today.

Greg offered the altar call and 14 men came forward, many more having raised their hands before that. Three men came forward for Dan to pray for them for healing and I offered gifts to the inmates and the OC. Another man, a leader in the prison started speaking and kept on talking. Greg kept telling Yaku that we had to go but the man kept talking.

I presented and the men were joyful. There are a little more than 500 men in this prison, the largest so far on this trip. We gave enough toothbrushes, toothpaste and body soap for each inmate to get one. We also gave 300 bars of laundry soap for them all to share. We also provided them with a battery and inverter to provide lights when the power goes out, which happens regularly.

All of our planned times worked out pretty well, but we wound up leaving the prison about 9:15am. We immediately hit a traffic jam at the edge of the city. Fortunately an officer directed us to turn and sent us on the “scenic route” along the river. This was a road with no trucks so it moved quickly, despite the twisty road and unpaved sections.

It should have taken about an hour and a half to get there with normal traffic. We wound up getting there just in time, two of the last vehicles to get through. Thank you, Lord, you always watch after us. If we had not made it we would have had to sleep in another town and we would have missed our prison service Friday.

We stopped for lunch at the same restaurant where we were eating yesterday when the earthquake hit, I had Chicken Sea Momo again, my new favorite meal. John left us after lunch, he has to go to a different town to take care of a few things. We will see him again Saturday at church.

We then headed for our final destination and fought traffic the entire way. We traveled less than 120 miles today and it took 8.5 hours of driving time, plus an hour for lunch. We arrived at our guest house at 6:30pm. The road is treacherous, very narrow roads and traffic that will take time to explain, more time than I have tonight. We climbed very steep hills with drop offs on either side. This country is extremely mountainous and the Nepalese people use every bit of it, carving terraces in the steep hillsides to grow rice and other crops. Homes are placed in very bizarre and scary places, and homes and stores are built hanging over the edge, supported by stilts.

We discussed our plans for tomorrow and then Greg, Dan and I went to the same restaurant where we ate earlier this week and I had…..you guessed it, Chicken C Momo (spelling differs from restaurant to restaurant). Greg indulged, too, and has also discovered his new favorite meal. Spicy and yummy 🙂

Bed was late tonight. I was able to talk to Susan and Shalyn for a few minutes before I turned in to write my blog and head for bed after 11:00pm. It’s now pouring down rain in Kathmandu as I lay down my head.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for another blessed day!

Thursday, May 12 – It’s Pouring

We need prayer, right now. We have been blessed with some rain to really cool things down. However, it is pouring, and it may affect our ability to hold our prison service at 8:00am. We need it to stop raining for at least 45 minutes, from 8:00am – 8:45am, so we can hold our service. This will be 7:15pm-8:00pm Wednesday evening in the Pacific Northwest. Please be in prayer for us.

We are then leaving for Kathmandu and need to get over the pass before it closes at noon.

Please pray that we will be able to hold our service and that we will have safe travel after such a heavy rain. As with every day, we have our challenges, and God always works through them to bring glory to His name.

Sunday, May 8 – Central Women’s Prison 

We left the guest house at 9:30am to go shopping for humanitarian aid for red of the prisons we will visit this week. It took about 4 1/2 hours in the central market. It was quite busy. We are getting many supplies that we have not purchased before, including umbrellas for the ladies, toilet sanitizer, antiseptic, and shorts for the men at one institution. We also bought bed sheet sets for one institution, where every man will get new bedsheets and pillow cases. We also bought feminine napkins, toothbrushes, toothpaste,
We went to lunch before heading to the prison, a Nepalese meal, where seven of us ate with beverages for about $11.
We had stored the materials at one of the stores where we purchased a lot of the goods so we returned their to gather our things and rented two taxis to take us to the prison. The taxi drivers did t want to take us because we only had to go about 5km, so we offers them more money – it was $3 per taxi altogether with the additional fee.
We arrived at the prison and had to wait a while before they let us in. The administration wanted to see our receipts to prove we were bringing the items we said we would bring and hen we waited in the officer’s office for about 30 minutes while they got our clearance. We met with several of the prison staff, leaders of the different facilities. We took photos with them and our gifts and finally received clearance to enter.
This was the tightest security of any foreign prison I have ever entered. They searched all of our bags thoroughly, made us leave all cameras and electronics, and even some other items, at the office. After we were cleared we walked along the side of the prison, past some homes and civilians, and then arrived at the gate to the women’s prison. The whole process of the security check ultimately made virtually no sense since we walked right back outside into public areas on the way. It seemed as if we could have just walked right up to the prison entrance and bypassed the security process.
We entered through the smallest gate I’ve ever walked through. The opening was about three feet tall so we had to duck down low to get through. When we entered the “chapel” room here were about 40 women there.
There are three separate prisons in one complex. There are about 315 women in the prison. Our service was held in the chapel for about 40 women, many quite young. We were welcomed with warm smiles from the women, most of which I believe are already believers. They were very attentive to our program and many of them understood us in English, although most did not. Yakub did all of the translating. After Greg’s President’s message I served as the emcee an welcomed Dan up to give his testimony. This was his first exposure to the inside of a prison and he did an outstanding job. I then gave a sermon which brought tears to my eyes as I spoke to these women. I could see the conviction in the hearts of many and the joy in the hearts of others. Many of them were crying and several were smiling from ear to ear and nodding with acknowledgement of the joy they have for what Christ has done for them. I almost couldn’t talk for a moment as I shared with them the love Christ expressed by going to the cross – I reflected on the life they live and what Christ had done for them and I began to tear up – I thought of my own daughter as I looked at many of these young women. Yakub then gave the long sermon, which was quite short, and Greg gave an altar call to which six women came forward. I then shared with them how Jesus came and healed all the people of their illnesses and infirmities, how he opened the eyes of the blind and caused the lame to walk. I told how people had come from far away as news spread about Jesus’ healing and teachings and I asked any that had illnesses or physical problems to come forward so we could pray for them. Jesus charged his disciples who, in turn, charged us with praying for one another. Several women came forward, I couldn’t help but notice the sobbing and tears from one particular woman the entire time I was sharing. We prayed for about a dozen women and then I presented the gifts.
Thanks to the generous support of so many friends and family in the US we were able to provide them with toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, cleaning supplies, antiseptic, umbrellas (which seemed to recieve the most applause), soap and a couple other items that aren’t coming to mind at the moment. Of course, these were in addition to our regular gifts of Bibles, a book of Bible Study lessons, some “Yard Out” newspapers, bottles of Ibuprofen, and a soccer ball.
We were told we had to leave because they were closing the gates of the prison so we departed through the same Alice-in-Wonderland-size door through which we had entered. After exiting the gates we were each given a somewhat cold Coca-Cola, a nice treat on a hot afternoon. As we slowly sipped our sodas we were wondering why we were standing around (why the prison guard wasn’t leading us out). We were then told they were waiting for us to finish our Cokes so they could collect the bottles. As I guzzled my lukewarm syrup concoction I thought “Enjoy Coca-Cola” isn’t applicable when you’re forced to guzzle it.
We were walked back to the main gate where we collected our belongings and caught taxis back to the guest house. There was such a traffic jam in one direction that traffic didn’t move AT ALL for ten minutes. We were finally able to move and we worked our way across the traffic to head in the opposite direction, where there was not traffic and we drove quickly through town with the exception of when we had to stop and wait because the vehicles coming the other way often try to squeeze each other so badly that they block the oncoming lanes as well. Horns, as usual, were blazing.

May 7 – Sunday – shopping for aid and our first prison service

This may begin sounding like a post from any of my other trips – I fell asleep sitting up last night (chatting online with Susan) and, after a good night’s sleep, I was up at 4:00am. It always takes a while to adjust to the time change (12 hours and 45 minutes on this trip).
I discovered Friday night, after arriving at the guest house, that I left my phone on the plane. I can only pray that it will be turned in to the airline and I will get it back on my return home.
What a beautiful morning. Clear skies, cool temperatures, and no howls from the monkeys in the zoo next door. After some quiet time I went for a nice run up and down the street in front of the guest house, along the zoo fence, where the parrots and other exotic birds were cawing at me every time I went by. The elevation is high here and there is a lot of pollution in the air. Many of the locals wear masks while walking outside, I don’t have one so I just worked hard on getting a sore throat 🙂
It’s now 7:15am and the rest of the team is up, having quiet times and surfing. It’s a nice cool day so far. Our accommodations are very comfortable and the facilities very nice. We will be here one more night before leaving for Gorkha, where we will stay two nights before returning here. Kathmandu is our central hub. We will also head east in the latter part of the week and, I believe, we will stay at another boarding house one night in that region.
Today is our day of shopping for humanitarian aid for the entire trip. This, I believe, should work well. Quite often we are pressed for time to purchase aid each day before getting to the institution. This also causes us to sometimes arrive late. If we are able to purchase the aid for all institutions at once we will be able to get the best pricing from the wholesalers and we will be able to focus the remainder of the trip on the ministry of sharing the love of Christ and seeing souls saved.
Thank you to many faithful supporters we were able to increase our humanitarian aid budget by more than double the original numbers. Our national team had already purchased 500 New Testaments and 100 full Bibles (OT & NT) before we arrived. We will be visiting 5 institutions so we will be able to leave 20 Bibles and 10 New Testaments at each institution along with probably the largest supply of humanitarian aid we have ever carried with us. Such a blessing!
Our team is doing great. Dan and Monte, our two new team members, did a great job teaching at the Leadership Conference yesterday, despite their fears of the unknown. We are all having a great time together and we each have a very positive attitude with an eagerness to serve.

May 7 – Sunday – Shopping for Aid and Female Prison

This may begin sounding like a post from any of my other trips – I fell asleep sitting up last night (chatting online with Susan) and, after a good night’s sleep, I was up at 4:00am. It always takes a while to adjust to the time change (12 hours and 45 minutes on this trip).
I discovered Friday night, after arriving at the guest house, that I left my phone on the plane. I can only pray that it will be turned in to the airline and I will get it back on my return home.
What a beautiful morning. Clear skies, cool temperatures, and no howls from the monkeys in the zoo next door. After some quiet time I went for a nice run up and down the street in front of the guest house, along the zoo fence, where the parrots and other exotic birds were cawing at me every time I went by. The elevation is high here and there is a lot of pollution in the air. Many of the locals wear masks while walking outside, I don’t have one so I just worked hard on getting a sore throat 🙂
It’s now 7:15am and the rest of the team is up, having quiet times and surfing. It’s a nice cool day so far. Our accommodations are very comfortable and the facilities very nice. We will be here one more night before leaving for Gorkha, where we will stay two nights before returning here. Kathmandu is our central hub. We will also head east in the latter part of the week and, I believe, we will stay at another boarding house one night in that region.
Today is our day of shopping for humanitarian aid for the entire trip. This, I believe, should work well. Quite often we are pressed for time to purchase aid each day before getting to the institution. This also causes us to sometimes arrive late. If we are able to purchase the aid for all institutions at once we will be able to get the best pricing from the wholesalers and we will be able to focus the remainder of the trip on the ministry of sharing the love of Christ and seeing souls saved.
Thank you to many faithful supporters we were able to increase our humanitarian aid budget by more than double the original numbers. Our national team had already purchased 500 New Testaments and 100 full Bibles (OT & NT) before we arrived. We will be visiting 5 institutions so we will be able to leave 20 Bibles and 10 New Testaments at each institution along with probably the largest supply of humanitarian aid we have ever carried with us. Such a blessing!
Our team is doing great. Dan and Monte, our two new team members, did a great job teaching at the Leadership Conference yesterday, despite their fears of the unknown. We are all having a great time together and we each have a very positive attitude with an eagerness to serve.