06 January 2015

Christmas Trip to Nepal 2014

Our Christmas trip to Nepal has become an annual scheduled event.  The project is important because we make a visit to every sponsorship program  to get progress reports and new photos of the children. It is a huge project because the Nepal ministry is huge.  We have children sponsored in children's homes (which are not really orphanages).  We have children, who live with their families, sponsored under churches. Some of the churches are quite a distance to travel.  We need to take a  1 hour flight to reach the area of one of the programs.  It takes about two weeks to  visit them all. At each stop, we gather the children for the Christmas story.  We distribute Christmas bags.  We  line the children up and take the photos--and each child must fill in the progress report that will be given to his sponsor.  I talk with the leader of each ministry about any questions or problems he has had.  We talk about children who are ready to "graduate" and finish our program and  about new ones who need to come in. We take a team of women for this trip because we need many hands to complete all of the tasks. The Christmas bags are the first big task.  By the time the team arrives in  December, we have already gathered the items to make up the contents of the bags.  I have carried  the things to Nepal in previous trips throughout the year or they have been purchased in  Nepal.  Typical contents are toothbrush,  Christmas craft, school supplies, candy.  Some years they have received  T-shirts,  hats, shoes,  Bibles,  English- Nepali dictionary.  All of these need to be packed individually  in a bag  marked with each child's name.  Any letters from his sponsor needs to go into the bags as well. For  Nepal, we need about 500 bags. Wow.  We are grateful for our team.

Pam and Rebekah

When we take mission teams into any of our countries, we usually have sponsors with us who are eager to meet their child. It is always a special moment, but this one stands out from the rest. Pam is among the sponsors who started with us in the very beginning.  I wish that  I had  kept a record of exactly who it was who first joined with us back in 2003, the one who was  FIRST to be attached as a sponsor with a child.  I do not remember.  I think there were just so many tasks to be done when we first started, that now my memory blurs.  But Pam was certainly  one of those in the first group and what a tremendous encouragement they were. Pam and that group were the ones who first confirmed to me that a genuine ministry had been born- and in its infancy, it demanded my constant attention.  Rebekah was still an infant when her sponsorship started.  We have taken care of her for a long time and will probably continue until she graduates.  When I wrote to her older sister that  her sponsor was coming to Nepal, the reply came very quickly. "Pam  Aunty is coming?"   Yes.  After years of writing back and forth, exchanging photos, Pam   Aunty made a trip to  Nepal and the two met. Sponsorship makes genuine relationships with real people and it meets real needs.  We are never going to know what Rebekah's life would be if  Allow and  Pam had not come along.  The sovereign Lord could certainly take care of her in many other ways.  But I am humbly thankful that He let us be a part of it.   I love this job.