Nepal 2018_Day 3_Sunday
Travelling from Banepa to Hope Orphanage, Chitwan
We are joining the rest of the team at Hope Orphanage today. Hope Orphanage is at Chitwan district which is about 200km away from Banepa. 200km doesn’t sound much. In the UK, it will probably take us about 2 hours. However, in Nepal, it is a 8 hours journey. YES! 8 HOURS!!!
Flat and smooth roads are a given in the UK (and in many other places in the world), we don’t really pay much attention to it. But after you experience what the roads are like in Nepal, you would start to appreciate the roads back home. The roads leading into and out of Kathmandu are OK. However the road conditions get worse and worse as you move away from the Capital city. Driving in Nepal is like driving a boat on a rough sea; bumpy, shaky, rough, sudden drops, sharp turns…
Potholes + Road slides + Nepalese driving culture + Driving along the cliffs + front passenger seat (Benson and I saw everything…!) = Lots and Lots of Prayers!!!
Thank God for bringing us to Hope Orphanage safely (we saw a few road accidents on the way) and thank God for the smooth roads back in our home countries.
On the bumpy road, up the mountain, along the curvy river - the road is extremely narrow that we could probably have touched the vehicles that were moving pass our van if we stretched our hands out the window. Seeing cars and buses coming from the opposite direction and passing us by scared us a little, so close! I guess some people sitting at the front seat might have felt like they were on a roller coaster ride. We finally arrived at Chitwan after about 8 hours. As we were told that we were approaching Hope Orphanage, all we saw was the van moving into a place with a signboard written ‘Chitwan National Safari Resort’. We thought to ourselves what this place would look like. So exciting! When we arrived, we saw a building that looked like a castle’. The view is so beautiful and feels like fairy tale.
So glad to see the rest of the team. They have just finished the morning clinics and we arrived just on time to join them at lunch. We have found out that Hope Orphanage is founded by a Korean missionary couple (Ps. Lee and Missionary Cho) which means Korean food for lunch! YAY!
Medical / Dental/ Eye Clinics
The BLi and OMMA team ran the medical clinic in one of the buildings – a school. There were so many people queuing in the line, waiting to have their check-up. Everyone was busy with the role they were assigned to. The queue at the registration counter was a bit messy in the beginning. Both BLi and OMMA team members were working together to sort out the messy ‘traffic’. I was standing in the middle, looking at what was happening and felt quite lost, not knowing what to do. I asked Ben (from OMMA team) if there is anything I could help out with. He answered ‘Yes, crowd control!’ Basically, telling the people where to queue and wait for their number to be called. It was difficult especially when some people completely didn’t understand what we were trying to say, and we couldn’t have the translators with us all the time as they needed to help the receptionists, doctors, and dentists to assist the patients. But thank God we managed to get our messages across to the people by our creative actions and ‘sign language’. The translators are amazing. They not only speak Nepali and English but Korean too.
We spent the whole afternoon running the Medical / Physio / Dental / Optical clinics. It was so great to see all members serving the locals with love and care; health professionals applying their gifts and the rest of the team doing triage and crowd control which are as important as the medical work. I want to share 2 stories.
A. Sharon’s willingness to open a physio station
Our lovely Sharon was encouraged by the team to start a physio station. This means…
1. The locals can benefit from the physiotherapy treatment.
2. Sharon and her ‘assistant’ Yang can ‘lay hands’ on the patients and pray for healing upon them…silently… God’s wisdom upon us to work around the local law which stops Christians from publicly preaching the Good News. God is so wonderful!!
B. The ‘VIP’ Guests & Persecution
A government official brought his whole family over to the clinics. They ignored all queuing system and demanded to be seen first. After being briefed by the local leaders, the official and his family became our ‘VIP’. We got to hear the story behind it and the persecution Hope Orphanage is going through. The local government has pressured and exercised restrictions on the campus to the point of having guards and officers cover the grounds 24/7 to prevent any large gatherings and more. The missionary parents who have raised the kids for the past 20 years have had their Visa renewal denied. Kids from broken families and poverty have been forced to return to where they ran away from or rescued from where possible. The number of children has reduced from over 500 to now 250 in the past few years.
I got reminded this verse from 2 Timothy…“everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” God bless Hope Orphanage.
Football Friendly Match
We had a friendly football match with the local youths. They were not messing around. They all went back to their dorms to put on their full (Barcelona) kit whilst we were wearing trousers, (skinny) jeans and trainers… They dress like Barcelona players and they play like one also!
Final Score: Hope Orphanage 2:1 International Mission Team. It was amazing to bond with the youths in this way.
The team had a good bonding session with the volunteers after the medical and dental clinic ended. The guys went to play football with the kids, in the field with buffalos and goats happily eating grass by the side. The kids were all geared up properly as if they were going to a match, like professional football players. For girls, some were watching the game and some were playing, singing and dancing with the kids. So much laughter!
As we looked forward to the welcoming party at night, the kids ministry team were called to meet after dinner. Isabella, Yuk, Souk Lien and I had a meeting with Aunty Aileen and Aunty Jessie (from OMMA team) before going to join the welcoming party. Aunty Aileen shared with us about what God had spoken to her as she was praying for guidance, “This time, God is telling me, He is going to do things differently. All we need to do is to keep praying for God to speak to us on what to do with the kids that we are going to minister to.” By that means, we needed to get ready for God to stir the plan. Also, to remind ourselves that we needed to be extra careful of our surrounding as we speak to the children. Knowing about the persecution that the missionary parents and the children are going through was really heartbreaking. The local government had given the order to have officers and guards around the compound of the orphanage, to spy on, watch over the children. Some children have been sent home. I just can’t imagine how their lives would be, leaving the orphanage and back to where they were rescued from. We closed the meeting with a prayer, praying for more wisdom and courage as we minister to the children. We continuously asked God to break our hearts for what breaks His. May all the things we do, we do to bring Him glory. Most importantly asking God for guidance to know what we should and should not do at this moment in time. Life has been pretty difficult for them, and we certainly don’t want to add on any extra burden onto their shoulders.
Bringing all the emotions, walking towards the hall where they are having their welcoming party was really heavy. When we entered the hall, seeing how the children praise and worship, I couldn’t hold my tears. The atmosphere is so different and I could feel the presence of God so strong in that place! There is power in their voice – the voice that could make the enemy fear and darkness tremble!
Faith is praising God in the storms, trusting Him in the valley, following Him in the darkness. That is the faith that we need as a follower of Christ!
By witnessing this incredibly amazing view, it reminded me of this question - Why are children mentioned so many times in the Bible? From beginning to the end, God speaks about the importance of children through His word. Why? Because children are precious to God, they are a valuable part of God's Kingdom. Scripture often compares believers to children, to remind us what ‘child-like faith’ is. We can only enter the kingdom of God if we remain pure hearted and faithful.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
‘He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”‘ Matthew 18:1-5
Again, faith is not about knowing everything or doing everything right. It’s about trusting God – Trusting in Him and holding onto Him, even when life is difficult and terrifying. Knowing that our dear Heavenly Father will take care of us, He will never leave us alone. He will walk through the storms with us, dance in the rain with us, wipe our tears away and comfort our hearts. God loves His children!
As much as we worried about the children there, God comforted me with this insight. Knowing that He is in charge! There is no chance for the enemy to destroy His precious ones, because they are given the authority to bring heaven down. There is power in their prayer, claiming their territory in the name of Jesus Christ. All these little ones are going to rise, to be a strong ARMY of God. They are the hope and the future of Nepal! May all of us continue to pray for open heaven in that place, ARISE NEPAL!
‘“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD.’ Isaiah 54:17
The ‘Hug’ Line
Poster Lee encouraged us to show our love to them by hugging them before they go back to their dorms. We, therefore, formed a ‘hug’ line all the way down to hall so we can give every single one of them a BIG hug!!!! What an incredible end to the night.
At the debrief, all of us expressed how heavy, broken and (even) angry our hearts were after hearing and experiencing what the orphanage is going through now. Persecution is real and it is right in front of us. We could not do much but just got on our knees to pray.
God answered our prayers by reminding us:
“For in the hour of our darkest day
We will not tremble, we won’t be afraid
Hope is rising like the light of dawn
Our God is for us He has overcome
For we trust in our God
And through His unfailing love
WE WILL NOT BE SHAKEN”
Brian Johnson @ Bethel Music. We Will Not Be Shaken.
Let us not stop praying for Hope Orphanage, especially for the children and the youths as “They are the FUTURE of Nepal. They are the HOPE of Nepal”