Nepal 2018_Day 6_Wednesday
Panchkhal Youth Camp
Pui Yuk Fong
After spending the last few days in Chitwan, our team split into 3 groups and went to different youth camps. Jonny, Elliot, Isabella, Sharon, Pei-ling and I set off to Panchkhal - one of the agricultural and cultivation places in Nepal. We felt excited and a bit concerned at the same time as none of us had ever been to this place.
It was the first morning we were in Panchkhal. Thank God for bringing us safely the night before. We managed to sleep and recharge ourselves after long travelling from one place to another. We walked to the youth camp after breakfast. The camp was only a 5-minute walk from where we stayed. When we reached there, there were about two hundred people aged between 5 and 30 who were desperately hungry for God’s love and salvation.
Before we joined the congregation, I was troubled in spirit and unsettled in my soul. When I shared this feeling with the rest of the team, we all felt we needed to pray for ourselves, especially for the messages that we were going to share in the camp. So, we quieted down and prayed together.
‘Praise the Lord, because he heard my prayer for help. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him, and he helps me’ Psalm 28:6-7
About noon, we headed back to our place for lunch. We were generously treated by one of the local pastors. He and His family welcomed us with their love, care and generosity. We were well-fed by the delicious food they prepared for us. It was a blessing for us to stay in his house and pray for one another.
‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in’ Matthew 25:35-40
There were two particular moments where I could strongly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. The first one was Elliot’s message. Although he had prepared what to share beforehand, he submitted himself again to the Lord and let the Holy Spirit guide him through the preparation. When Elliot was preaching on the stage, I was amazed by how God spoke to him in a completely different way. I could also feel the Holy Spirit pouring upon the whole camp and brought everyone back to His word.
At night we got a chance to pray for the youths. It was the second time we experienced the super-natural power of the Holy Spirit when we prayed for healing and strength. God empowered and anointed us to heal and free the souls that had been captured by the evil ones. Through their tears and sorrow, we witnessed how much pain and hurt these youths had been suffering. Through prayers, we asked God earnestly for his comfort and compassion that could mend their hearts. It was amazing that the Holy Spirit was so close to us that we could speak boldly and cast out demons in the name of Jesus.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4:8
I was grateful to be a part of this little team. Though it was only six of us, we supported each other in prayers and fought the spiritual warfare together.
‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us’ Philippians 4:13
Khanikhola Youth Camp
So I was sent to the Youth camp in Khanikhola, along with Dr. Mike and Joshua from the OMMA team. It was quite an adventure as we all knew nothing about what the place was like, how large the camp was and what would we be expected to do prior to going there.
So we got ourselves ready in the morning and waited for our vehicle to come pick us up. We met Pastor Keshab and our translator Ram at our hotel, then we set off for Khanikhola. On our way there, we started talking to Pastor Keshab and Ram to find out more about the camp, and we realised that we were invited to be sharing a message in the youth camp, and there will be 2 sessions for each of us. Pastor Keshab showed us around his church before taking us to the youth camp site. Their church was destroyed during the earthquake in 2015 and they have been slowly rebuilding it for the past couple of years. It was quite a hike to get up to their church, which explains why it took so long to rebuild - it was difficult to get all the building materials up to where the church is.
We arrived at the camp and there were around 100-150 youths. We were warmly welcomed at the start of the camp, being given a hoop of flowers to hang around our necks. Despite the cheesy-ness I just felt how much they appreciated their speakers and the thankfulness for someone to come and share with them. Being a 26-year old guy, it suddenly dawned on me that I'm here to share at a youth camp. There could be many in the camp that are only a few years younger than me, I just felt extremely inadequate, inexperienced and under equipped to be seen as a guest speaker at such a youth camp. However before spiraling down a whirlpool of negative thoughts, God reminded me at that moment that He put me there for a reason, and it is in my weakness that He is made strong and thus glorified.
Dr. Mike being a long-term missionary in Kathmandu, was a lot more accustomed to the short-noticed preaching and message sharing, also being a much more experienced trained preacher, it was natural for him to take the first opening session, after Aaron, a returning guest from last year from Sydney. Aaron started off with a heartful encouragement to the youth to follow Jesus, with Dr. Mike following up with why should we follow Jesus with the story of The Prodigal Son.
I was scheduled for tomorrow and the last day. So I took the opportunity to talk to the youth in between sessions, get to know them more and shared a few worship songs. I found out that tomorrow they have a talent show for their camp and they invited me to sing the Nepalese 'I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever' that we've been practicing, I was hesitant as I wasn't sure if I was correct in the Nepalese pronunciation. So I decided to have a think about it.
On the first day, we finished at around 6pm, we joined pastor for dinner, and headed back to our roadside hotel to rest.