Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Lied...

I know I said the last post was the last post, but here is one more of a few of my favorite photos. Enjoy.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Aftermath

A couple weeks back and I know I speak on behalf of all of our team that we are pretty shocked the whole experience is over. We now transition back to our daily lives, completely changed in ways we did not really expect. Processioning our experience has been interesting to say the least, but I have such faith that God is continually working through us, through the seeds we sowed in Nepal and through the people we met. I am going to post a couple posts for all of you still actually reading this blog of some links to check out of groups we met/you should know about in Nepal.

If you were not able to watch our speech Friday night in Anderson, you can check out the video for that here.

Also there is this:

Its been real NWMC. Serving christ through this conference has been such an incredible blessing that I truly cannot describe. God is doing awesome things through this conference. Spread the word.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back Home...

Hi everyone! We hope you enjoyed our updates throughout our Summer Service trip in Nepal. If you were unable to be at New Wilmington Mission Conference, you can watch this video of our Friday Evening presentation. We hope it'll show you just a glimpse of the wonderful people we met and the lessons we learned in Nepal. Blessings, Ellen

Saturday, July 13, 2013

An American Meal for our Nepali friends!

Last night, the Summer Service Team cooked an American meal for our friends here. We invited Anil, the Administrator at Koinonia Patan Church; Ma, our cook and caretaker at the Mercy Home along with her husband Prem and her daughter Prameda; Rita, our friend from the church who has accompanied us on several outings; Michael, the Pastor for Evangelism and his wife and son; and Tulsi, the manager at the Mercy Home along with his wife. (A few other people were invited but they could not make it.)

It was quite a feast! We found spaghetti and spaghetti sauce at the grocery store, so we went with that to save us from having to buy any meat or poultry at the market that we would have to butcher ourselves! I made green beans with tomatoes--one of my Aunt's favorite recipes. The girls made garlic bread, with fresh garlic that the grandmas were drying on the roof. And dessert, well that was the most challenging of the courses. We didn't have an oven. No 9x13 pans. No time for Jello to set. So Staci, Rebecca and I thought of apple crisp. We bought brown sugar, cinnamon, and oats, and heated that on the stovetop with the sliced apples. Staci then sent the guys out to get some vanilla ice cream. It all turned out great! We actually had to keep Ma and Prameda out of the kitchen, though. We had to remind them that they were our guests! 

It was a wonderful way to say goodbye and Thank You. I'm so proud of how the team came together--everyone pitched in (Sam and Jon did all of the dishes). 

Only a few more days here in Nepal. Blessings, Ellen


Thursday, July 11, 2013

From 6 Weeks to 6 Days

Our team arrived back in Kathmandu last night after a 7 hour van ride through the mountains. (Needless to say, several of us didn't eat lunch because of carsickness). We were greeted by Ma who gave each of us a huge hug. We all were so relieved to be back to our familiar beds with familiar bathrooms and a familiar meal for dinner. 

As it poured down rain last night, our team enjoyed our devotions -- we shared and talked about how we felt only having 6 more days here. There is a mixture of emotion for all of us. We are sad to leave our friends here, yet excited to see our friends and family in the States; we are anxious to tell people about our experiences, yet afraid that people won't understand or listen; we are ready to see what God will do, yet we are not sure what God is doing!!

Please pray for our last week in Nepal: that we will use our time wisely; that we will say "goodbye" well; that we will seek Christ's guidance; and that we will transition smoothly back to our time zone and culture. Thank You all! 

Blessings, Ellen

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Prayer Walk in Patan

On Sunday, June 23rd, our team did a prayer walk through Patan. Patan is a suburb of Kathmandu, located in the south-central part of the valley. It is where Koinonia Patan Church and the Mercy Home are located. We have spent a lot of time walking and shopping and riding through Patan, so I decided to have a prayer walk here.

Anil (our buddy and trusty contact from KPC) arranged for a few of the Young Adults from the church to lead us in and around Patan Durbar Square, the town's center and famous tourist attraction (with temples dating back to the 1600s and earlier). It is an ancient and beautiful -- yet dark and intriguing place. So we relied on our guides--Rita, Pranesh, and Prabin to help us know where to walk and how to pray. 

My group went with Pranesh, and we walked around the main marketplace, praying for the economy, for the shop owners, and for God's favor in their lives. We passed the enormous Bhakyamuni Buddha and decided to stop and pray there. I distinctly remember when I was praying there God showing me the shops right by the Buddha. I kept hearing the word "greed" in my head so I prayed against that. After about 10 minutes our group moved on. But I asked Pranesh what that section of town was...he said, "These are the very old shops, stores that have been in families for generations. They are silver and gold shops here."  I knew I needed to pray specifically for those people and the grip of greed that surrounded them. 


As we rounded a corner, Staci pointed out a rock covered in orange dust and red flowers. She asked what they were. Pranesh explained that Hindus worship rocks if they believe a god has blessed it or come out of it. Some people will light incense and place offerings on the rock. She had noticed several of them during the walk and I had not. She and I think God wanted her to see them so she could pray for Hindu people who felt the need to worship rocks and idols. 

We then walked to a building with paintings on the outer walls. Pranesh explained it was a place where witchcraft is practiced, known as the House of Sheva. He said they do healings, but that people are not really healed -- they come back after a few days. They do spells there. So we stood nearby, not wanting to be obvious. We started praying. The darkness we sensed was pretty evident to a few of us. I definitely saw some things and felt like spirits/demons didn't want us there. That was later confirmed when another member of the group said, "I kept hearing 'they know you are here,' and I just kept praying in Jesus' name." It was a powerful example of the need for Christ's light to shine here.  

We all met up at a shop to have tea with a friend of Rita's named Robin. He and his family own the shop, and he invited us upstairs into his home for tea. It was great to connect with him and learn about his passion for photography as well as his family's business. You see, Robin is Buddhist, but Rita asked us to pray for him and and she has taken him to church a few times. His family sells Buddhist idols and artwork in a highly Buddhist area of Patan. The items in the shop are exquisite and high quality. He told us business is good. And Rita explained that if Robin were to become a Christian, it would affect his whole life and livelihood. 

Overall, it was a meaningful time for the team. We all talked later that night about how much prayer does make a difference and helps us understand our brothers and sisters here in Nepal. 

Keep praying!

The Pre-Village

This weekend we had the opportunity to go a village for the weekend! We have a longer visit to Birkhot this upcoming week, but the village we went to Friday/Saturday was the last village before leaving the Kathmandu valley, so it was truly a preview to what was going to come this week. For all of you at home who are thinking, "Hmm, why is this girl on the Summer Service Team emphasizing these village visits so much?," the villages are probably the most opposite thing from the city of Kathmandu. Barely any lighting, hills (covered with mud) everywhere, outhouses with the ever popular squat toilets, etc. Yet more importantly, it's in the villages--especially in Western Nepal--that people have never been exposed to the Gospel. As Rick told us (See "We have friends" if you do not know who I am talking about), this entire area of Asia is described as the "missionary graveyard." These rural areas are on the front lines of mission. In America, the idea of unreached people groups is such a foreign concept, yet in these villages it is everyday life.

Our visit to this village consisted of 3 bus changes totaling probably 1.5 hours, lots of cramped leg room, packed bodies and a little too much B.O. than I care to remember. After, we climbed (yes climbed) the road to the church, once again we were completely overwhelmed by Nepali hospitality. Flowers, Pineapple juice, Tea, biscuits, crackers and a fellowship time followed, complete with Nepali dancing, sharing the Word, and an english song. We then had dinner at the pastor's house and split off into home-stay groups. The girls had an interesting night to say the least, but it was filled with hilarious stories, cramped backs (Nepali houses are not built for tall Americans), and one too many bug bites.

Our bus ride home was not crowded praise the Lord! Also here are the flowers.  

The next morning we woke up at 5:30am. Something I will probably never get used to is the Nepali's love of getting up early. I am completely embracing the college student in me when I say I cherish my sleep. Yet we got up for a good reason--to trek up a mountain with our new Nepali friends. As we finished climbing, though we were slightly out of breath, we were completely in awe of the fact we were actually in a cloud.  We then proceeded to worship and pray for the people up there who did not know Christ, all with the Kathmandu Valley beautifully sitting in the background. After a hysterical time climbing down the mountain (I am estimating 12 falls), we went to a church service filled with beautiful worship, even more hospitality, a loving congregation and a sermon by our own Becca on God's blessings in life (Numbers 6).

We are all so overwhelmed by our experiences in this place, even if it were for a short time. I am so excited to see how God works through us in these final weeks of Summer Service!