Life after the earthquake

Our days in Nepal have rapidly, and busily, passed by. First two days our local director and I rode around Kathmandu visiting several organizations with whom we network – i.e. had taken our training – and some which are now interested. Always inspiring and encouraging to see progress and enthusiasm on their parts, desiring to serve ever more effectively.

Our next 3 days had been scheduled in the plains – but not one of the 3 nights did we sleep where we’d planned! “Alan” and I loaded up our motorcycles and headed out to take the ‘scenic route’. We were happy to have our own bikes (more wiggle room). All was going well 4 hours into the ride when on a still-wet-from-the-dew left curve, “Alan” for some reason, applied the rear brake, and down he went. We were doing, oh, maybe 15 mph. Bike was fine, but he’d twisted his knee, and couldn’t put any weight on it. After a bit of coordinating with the trainers we were going to meet, ‘Alan’ was taken back to Kathmandu where his family was waiting for him. Nothing is broken but he is on crutches and unsure what exactly is injured.

Continuing on without ‘Alan’, I took one of the trainers on the back of my bike and the other took the bike ‘Alan’ was riding. The last hour of “twisties” and narrow road – in the dark – was NOT FUN…as much of an enthusiast as I might be. Better part of wisdom dictated stopping when an occasional bus or truck came our way, dust and narrow road – couldn’t see anything…continue when it passed. Eventually arrived safely at the home of another group’s leader in the next town, staying the night…thankful for their hospitality for unexpected guests.

The next day, we set off for the destination, picking up one more trainer on the way. The ride was pretty exciting with some streams forded and dusty, rocky and narrow roads that seemed more like a dirt bike course than a road. Parking our bikes and unloading the stuff at a local friend’s place, we walked the last 45 minutes to our destination – only a footpath along the side of the scenic mountain ridges. This was an area in which the community health and education program has had a huge impact over the years. A local group started, and is growing, as well as reaching out into neighboring communities across the valleys & ridges.

The EARTHQUAKE had damaged homes and several small gathering houses in this district, so it was an area where relief help was given…roofing, small trusses and pillars – the rest they had to build – and they’ve all done so. Below are two meeting houses that have been rebuilt with funds that some of you sent in a year and a half ago. Several other groups also received help from what came in from you. So, from them, again, receive their THANKS! We met two groups … and they both thanked us profusely for the help with these buildings and their houses. Many of these people raise bees for honey – in traditional ways – I even saw two holes on the outside of several newly rebuilt houses – they built boxes into the wall for the bees.As a Thank You gift, they gave us each a jar of honey and a kilo of special hill lentils they had just harvested. The honey I can bring home.

One enthusiastic man we met said our training totally changed his life: thinking and life-style, and how to relate to others. He’s already started meeting with those who are interested on a weekly basis, and asked me to urge the team to get to his place to train his people as soon as possible – and he’d call other friends from up the valley who needed to hear all this!! I just have to include his quote here. We were talking about the kingdom of God and how it was so relevant to our daily lives (i.e. the Lord’s prayer and Jesus’ teachings etc). “The kingdom is directly linked to our blood,” he said enthusiastically “…meaning He wants to use us in practical ways to prepare the soil for the kingdom to be planted and grow!!”

After a good curry meal we walked back to our bikes, and descended the hill – harder to go down than up, actually! That night, again, was an unplanned stop-over at another leader’s home who was happy to take us in since it got too late to go to the next place in the dark on that road.

Once back on the main paved road, and after seeing my three good friends to their homes, I said good-bye and headed east, alone, on the main east-west highway, arriving back at the first house we stayed at the day of ‘Alan’s’ accident. I’d phoned earlier, so this time they expected me. Next morning, Sunday – yesterday, after filling gas and oiling the chain, I headed ‘home’ to Kathmandu, looking forward to the ride again. On the way back up (climbed around 6,000 ft), I counted 76 ‘switch-backs’ in the first 60 miles, with no stretch of that distance being straight for more than 100 yards… took me close to 4 hours – including one tea break, of course, and some picture-taking stops. I never tire of seeing these majestic snow mountains!

We are so thankful for your prayers and financial support which enables us to keep encouraging our brothers & sisters out here.

Coordinator ‘G’