Nepal 2018_Day 0_Thursday
21 hours in with 11 more to go, waiting on my last connecting flight from Baiyuan (CAN) to Tribhuvan (KTM). I can endure all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)...
2 hours later, the WhatsApp ‘BLi Nepal 2018’ group chat lights up with messages of delays and missed connection flights. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10)...
Touch down on Nepalese soil, waited until the last of the luggage was collected by their rightful owner. “Sorry sir, your baggage is not within our system.” Are you serious right now?!?...no...My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9)...
Whoever said “It's not about the destination, it's about the journey” really needs to recheck his/her philosophy. Nevertheless, we’re here, all 14 of us, for the first time together face to face. Through the grace of God, we quickly got acquainted and reacquainted at the airport. And onto the coach we go, whizzed off to meet the bigger team from Australia, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand.
The city of Kathmandu can only be described as organized chaos. Cars and motorcycles zoom past each other with little to no formality. Rats nests of wires and cables, an electrician’s nightmare, hangs overhead. A flurry of colours and billboards in all types of languages in Thamel as we reach the hotel where the other team had been staying.
Like typical Asians, what better way to get to know each other than to go eat. A satisfying meal both in sustenance and community ensued and we headed off as a big group to travel to our main base camp to meet our local partner, Pastor NP out in Banepa, and of course BLi counting off as we go.
On the way, the Australian team who have been here in Nepal before, explained the situation and the culture of the people to us. As if on cue, we passed by the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, the tallest statue of the Hindu deity; Shiva. Just shy of the Statue of Liberty in height, this giant in copper and zinc overlooks the valley leading into Banepa. As impressive as it stands, we are reassured that our God is greater and this country is His and His alone, in Jesus’ name.
It was well into the evening as we arrived in Banepa, we carried our supplies and our luggage into the multipurpose church, which acts as a gathering hall, the residence of Pastor NP’s family and a home for the elderly. Warm and hearty greetings were shared and even more so, the meal that was being prepared for us. A round of Charades was enjoyed by all to break the ice and revealed defining characters within the group. Joshua hands down was the most animated out of all of us.
After the meal we gathered in the hall to press in and seek God through worship and prayer. Pastor John from the Australian team encouraged and prophesied over the combined team with the Word. Together we stand and ask our Heavenly Father to guide and bless us with unity and direction as we head into the days ahead. Pastor NP followed and spoke about the situation within the nation, their church, and more recently the banning of evangelism, both sharing and conversion.
Within all of this, what captivated me the most was his sharing, the humble journey that God had led them through over the past 20 or so years. Starting as a father of a young family, leading their church of 6 individuals. To the present, having planted 20+ daughter churches and they in turn planting more to equate to over 200 churches within the region! PTL
So maybe the quote was right. It really isn't about the destination. This country, how many or how big the gods or how religious the Hindu people are. But it’s about the journey, this Pastor and a group of Christians and their journey of obedience as they follow Christ’s commands in making disciples and loving one another. And as for us, we may be here at our destination, but our journey in this mission has only just begun.