Nepal 2018_Day 7_Thursday
Kathmandu Youth Camp
It was Day 2 of the Youth Camp. The group in Kathmandu consisted of Yang, Herman, Brenda Lee, Wai Yee, Souk Lien, Brenda Chin and myself from BLi, and the Australian team consisted of Pastor Perry, Pastor Aileen, Lael, Jiwon, Sally, Eve, Michael, Tina, Jessie, Elizabeth and Angela.
More spiritual warfare! First thing in the morning, Brenda was having a dull headache despite having an early rest the night before. I felt the need to pray. This verse came to mind:
‘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
If anything, I felt that it was because the Holy Spirit was so evidently with us and also at the Youth Camp, that the devil felt that attacking God’s children was what needed to be done to stop the work of God. We claimed that we will not be defeated.
We read and proclaimed Isaiah 42 The Lord’s Chosen Servant on ourselves. We were physically tired but prayer strengthened us once again. We felt drunk in the spirit and were ready for what the day was going to bring forth!
Yang and Lael shared powerful messages which hit us hard too, and I hope it challenged the youth there too.
Yang shared on us being an ambassador of Christ (which was the theme of the camp) and that we were a royal priesthood. Imagine being royalty, having royal blood and being princes and princesses! With these we have authority and we have resources from heaven. And not just royalty, but we are a priesthood too! In ancient days, only a selected few could enter the Holy of Holies, and even they had to have a chain on them due to how holy the place was, and the chain was tied to their leg just in case they died inside the sanctuary from the holiness and presence of God. But now, with the blood of Christ, we have been given this privilege to minister in the presence of God. And we can bring his presence to the world. And he ended the message with…
‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany THOSE WHO BELIEVE. In my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up snakes with their hands, and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all, they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well.’ Mark 16:15-18
Lael, who is Pastor Perry’s son, shared on the story of Joshua and Caleb and how they rose up to the challenge of going into the Promised Land (the land flowing with milk and honey) which the other spies were hesitant of. They were faithful to what God had said and believed that God would be faithful to them. With that, they were set apart from the rest. It was 2 against 10 others spies who were negative and pessimistic about the promised land despite the promise of God. God blessed them both, and those around them were blessed as well. The youths of these country can be like Joshua and Caleb, being faithful to God and setting themselves apart and bring revival for the country! He ended with, “If not you, then who???”
These two powerful messages were so inter-linked and we ended the evening with Pastor Perry asking for those who want to be prayed for to make themselves known. The whole camp came forward for prayer, not one single person left behind. We prayed not just for the participants, but for the worship team and the leaders too. We were praying and anointing them with oil, but God had much more in plan. The holy spirit was so evident there. We were ministering to his princes and princesses, there were people falling from the power of the Holy Spirit, there was crying and tears and laughing, and some were even casting out demons in the name of Jesus. It was a true sight to see how God worked in his people. One word to summarise the evening; shiok! (the Oxford English Dictionary says it is an exclamation expressing admiration or approval, just like ‘cool!’ and ‘great!’). And the camp committee felt that this act was so powerful that they asked for us to do it again the next day and shortened sessions to accommodate another session before the camp ended! It was truly God at work in his people, his nation, and not us.
Khanikhola Youth Camp
I had prepared the message for today’s sharing. I decided to share my testimony combined with a message of needing to be transformed by God. I ended by encouraging them to pray for one another, to support one another in seeing God transform their lives. Joshua shared his passion for sustainable farming and fertilisers along with a message for us all to be ambassadors of Christ and to hold true to our identity. Even now looking back, it was so amazing to see how all our messages fitted so well with each other and how God had His way of bringing people from different backgrounds together to serve His people.
Then came the talent show, I was amazed by the boldness they all had, and the pureness of heart to simply offer what they had to share with brothers and sisters and not worry about being judged or criticised. This moved me to decide to sing that song as a gift to them in broken Nepalese. So I went up and did sing the song.
In the afternoon, Dr. Mike continued sharing about how to follow Jesus, with a catchy dance to remember the points. This led on to the massive dance party later that day. After the organised programme ended, you can't expect 150 energetic youths to just gather and listen to some sermons without some singing and dancing. It was a great experience for me to learn the moves to their songs, one of their favourites was a stomping action and doing the devil’s horns, which I figured out was about how Jesus crushed the serpent's head. That moment for me was eye-opening, these kids aren't just dancing around having fun, their actually proclaiming Biblical truth with their dance, loving the Lord with all their might and strength, i.e. dancing till you're tired, and the joy in the singing and dancing was not just happiness because we have a group of friends together, but rejoicing because Jesus has the victory. They are living out 'The joy in the Lord is our strength' very literally.
After the dancing, we returned to join pastor for dinner, then back to our hotel to rest and prepare for the last message for tomorrow. It was an exhausting day, but many friendships were made and moments shared.
Panchkal Youth Camp
This is the second day of the youth camp. We arrived the night before last. We were told some lived in the mountains had to walk for two days to catch a bus, then rode for two days, after that walked for another 20 minutes to arrive at the camp which is at the local church. The church is a brick building with tin roof about 20 feet by 40 to 50 feet. When we arrived, I saw some women brought duvets with them. I thought they have just been shopping for beddings, not until the evening that I knew what they were for.
We were asked to get ready for 6:30am because our translator Ashish who was born in Panchkal wanted to take us out for a coffee, the best coffee one could experience, organic coffee grown and roasted in house. After about 15 minutes' mountain road we arrived at a shop probed up on stilt on the mountain side. Part of the shop was like a veranda sticking out on the side on the mountain looking out to other mountains. The view was breath taking. It was misty, you can hardly see anything in the distance but the tip of the mountains floating on clouds like a scene in a fairly tale.
After coffee, (we really only went for the coffee), we winded round the mountain back to our host family to have breakfast. The campers had already started worship. They had their quiet time at 6am, then worship even before breakfast at 8:30am
The church was only about 100 yards up the road from the host family. We leisurely strode over after 9am ready for the 9:30 session. I shared on Jesus' parables of the pearl of great value and the lost coin. I don't think I did very well. I cut my talk short being conscious of the time as there was another session straight after ours. I shouldn't have worried. For them, time table is for reference only as I discovered later that evening.
The next session was by their own speaker. We didn't understand their language so we just return to our lodging for a rest then we had our lunch prepared by the pastor's wife. Many a time we asked them to sit with us and eat, but the always said no. Then they said it was their custom to let the guests eat first before they eat. I think it was because they didn't want their guests not to have enough to eat. As our next session was not until 4pm so after lunch our host Sanjiv took us to have a little tour around Panchkal town. When I say town, it was a stretch of shops, may be about 200m along the high way and a few more behind them set back from the road. We walked through fields of rice and different vegetations, saw many fruit trees of fruits that I have eaten but never knew the tree, nurseries supported by the government that they cultivate their plants. Due to the location being in the mountains, all the farm lands are of little pockets of fields, like our allotments but of a bigger scale and more randomly scattered out.
We got back to the church before 4pm for the afternoon session. Sharon and Pei Ling shared their testimonies. The plan was, after their sharing, I would give an alter call for anyone wanted to be prayed for to receive the Father's love. Their dinner time was 5pm. By the time I went on stage it was well past 5 o'clock. So I said whoever wanted to go can leave and those wanted to be prayed for could stay behind but the translator instead of translating he said to me that everyone would stay and after I prayed for them their own team would carry on. So our team started to pray for them. When I said whoever wanted to be prayed for come forward, there were no one came forward, because the whole congregation moved forward
There were over 200 people in the hall. Even when they are standing up it was quite tightly packed. As we hugged them and prayed for them, they started crying, falling over. It was so difficult to squeeze pass the rows of bodies to pray for each one of them.
5 o'clock, dinner time, nobody moved. 6 o'clock came and went, nobody left. 7 o'clock, they were still there waiting to be prayed for. I was ready to leave but seeing so many of them were still waiting, and the team were still praying, so I carried on. At the end, well pass 8 o'clock, people had already thinned out. I put on my jacket, picked up my rucksack ready to go. Then the translator Ashish signalled me to the stage. About 6 or 7 ladies with a young girl were kneeling on the floor wanting me to pray for them, so I did. By the time I finished it was about 9pm. The hall was cleared of men, but the ladies started to bring out their duvets and made bed. The hall was their place of rest for the night. The day was supposed to finish at 7pm after dinner. Of course, time table was just for reference only. On time was accidental, run over was expected.
We finally came back to the house and be served with noodles which was a welcome treat. Their stable diet is curry. After dinner we wanted to pray for the pastor and his family who rented their accommodation there. So we all squeezed into their daughters' bed which also served as the sitting room to pray for the family. The pastor and his family have lived with Sanjiv's family for many years and only about 2 years ago Sanjiv became a Christian and about 2 weeks before we arrived, his mother became a Christian. After we prayed with the pastor's family Sanjiv's mother came in and asked to be prayed for. She had pain in her legs. I thought I had a very long day, I had enough now, let the young people do that, so I sat back and pray silently, and the rest was praying in Jesus' name. So we pray healing over her but after a couple of rounds of prayer the pain was still there. Then Elliot felt there was a blockage. After asking a few questions we were told of her unfortunate life story and her un-forgiveness towards her sister-in-law. Elliot indicated I should pray for her to receive the Father's love. I helped her to forgive those who hurt her and caused her pain, release them and give her hurt and pain to God and receive from Him peace, joy and love. Then we prayed again for her leg. After that she smiled and said she felt good.
For the whole trip, I felt I was receiving all the time. Being very well looked after by my team especially the Birmingham lot. Being so honoured by all our hosts. They prepared meat for us when they don't have meat very often themselves. Let us eat first to make sure we had our fill. Treating us as esteemed guests. The only thing significant I feel I offered was helping this dear lady, after over 50 years of emotional pain, find joy and peace in the Lord. And for me, if it is just for this one lady, it has made my trip worthwhile.