Archive for January, 2011

First day of classes at GBC!

Today was the first official day of classes at Grace Bible College for this semester. We have a total of 15 students to start and more are coming soon. We had a great first day. We begin at 8:30 with devotional time followed by Scripture review from 9-9:30. We are having the students read 5-10 chapters a day and then a very short test each morning on the reading to ask for questions. Then the schedule is as follows…

9:30-10:45 Vic is teaching on the Trinity and Christology

11:00-12:15 I (Kirk) am teaching Soteriology (the study of Salvation) beginning with the Covenants.

12:15-1:15 Lunch

1:30-2:45 I again teach on Biblical Pastoral Counseling/Understanding the Human Heart (you JCF’ers will be familiar with this!)

3:00-4:15 Vic teaches on The Gospel in NT Symbols (Baptism/The Lord’s Table/The Lord’s Day)

4:15-5:00 the students have personal study time.

The material moved pretty fast today so we should have time before it’s over for another round of subjects. Please pray for us and the students that God would be in our midst! It is such a joy to be here and again thanks so much to everyone who has helped to make it possible!

With love in the Savior,

Kirk

A New Day

Today is the first day of school. Will is beginning with math, which is his hardest subject. When we were planning his schedule before we arrived here, he suggested that we put math first so that he would be well rested with a full stomach. That is a very good idea! We do not need any issues when it comes to math. Today is the  first day of Grace Bible College also, as many of you know. Please pray for Kirk and Vic as they teach God’s word. May the presence of God be in their midst. May God grant understanding to each student and may the language barrier come down. Please be in prayer with us for these things.

The children have devotionals morning and evening. Their singing can be heard rising up from the dark basement, as there is usually no power. Amit or Pramita give a devotional or in some cases, the children pick among themselves to lead. Leaders are being grown here. Pastor Tika was raised here, as was Amit. These children have truly been “called out of darkness and into His marvellous light” 1st Peter 2:9. I was privileged to be asked to give the devotional. I’ve been praying about what to share for close to two weeks! Bear in mind that both devotional times are when I am preparing meals. I had settled on Sunday evening. Was I surprised when Kirk preached on the same passage, Psalm 139. This passage exemplifies God in three ways. 1. Omniscient-all knowing, 2. Omnipresent-all seeing, 3. All-powerful. Our God, the true and living God, is in control of the universe but he also knows everything about us every moment of every day of our lives. I wasn’t prepared for it to be so dark in the basement. I had to use a flashlight to read my Bible. In addition, I didn’t anticipate needing an interpreter, which Pramita fulfilled. Please pray for these precious children. I want to tell you more of their personal stories soon.

Love to all,

Liz

Error Correction

I wanted to make known an error from my last post. It would cost $30 per MONTH for each child to have an egg. Sorry about that. I am always in a hurry when I post  to use my electricity wisely. Sometimes I need to cook since the oven is electric. Pramita is making us curry for lunch (YEAH), so I have some free time. Amit, the resident worship leader here at Covenant Christian Fellowship (CCF), is giving Will a guitar lesson. Last Thursday was the first day. Will is excited about learning. Amit is teaching him thoroughly. I’m impressed. Will told us after last Friday’s lesson that Amit noticed his too-long-to-play-guitar finger nails. Grabbing some clippers, Amit cut those nails in a flash. The thought of that scene still makes me chuckle. Because of the fact that Will is allergic to dairy products, he takes a calcium supplement. His nails seem to grow so quickly. Well that’s my excuse for not giving my son a proper grooming! I wanted to point out though, more importantly, Amit’s servant heart. His humble attitude, his passion for worship, and his love of the gospel, are a blessing to behold. May God use him mightily to reach the people of Nepal. Amen.

Liz

Update

I just wanted to give a quick update on the Hindu family that we went to visit this past week. I had related in two previous posts that the mother had been coming to church and wanted to know more about the Gospel. A team of us went there day before yesterday and after Pastor Tika spoke to her about turning from idols (from Ps.115:1-8) and turning to the true and living God who made heaven and earth and then sharing the Gospel with her, she was ready to surrender to Christ as her Lord. She was in church this morning and her countenance was markedly different! She truly had the joy of the Lord! What was so awesome to me was how the believers here confront the idolatry question head on, no compromise. When conversion happens there is a total break from Hinduism. It is so evidently God and so full of Glory! Please pray for her that she will be strong as she will inevitably suffer persecution as she follows Christ. Pray also for her son to come to the Lord. He was there when we shared the Gospel and was very open but he left the room when we prayed and then didn’t make church this week. He is though under heavy conviction and we believe could be very close to the Kingdom of God.

Also, we start classes at GBC on Monday. We currently have 15 solid students. Tika and Pramita are screening them very carefully as regards to their walk with the Lord and their sense of calling to the ministry. Many are back from last year and there are a few new ones as well. We hope to add more as funding is available.

Finally, we never want to be remiss in thanking each one of you for your support, either for the kids of NLCH, GBC or for our family personally. We could not be here without you and from the bottom of our hearts we thank you.

We’ll post again soon so stay tuned! Hopefully with some new pics as well.

Kirk

Practical Matters

So much is happening that is exceptional that it’s  hard to find the time to tell you what our new normal is. We have no routine yet. The bible school starts on Jan. 31st. Also the school children have had a break due to cold weather, since there is no heat to be found. I believe it’s been about a month-long break. We decided to keep Will on the same schedule and it’s given us all adjustment time also. I warned him that he may have to be schooled a little longer because of this. I fix breakfast, usually eggs and toast a lot. Will has cream of wheat or rice with toast. I see my main priority as making sure my family eats as well as we can. Oh, and we found corn flakes! We also found shelf stable milk that’s good. We use a French press coffee maker (thanks to Steve W). I can’t believe how expensive food is compared to the income here! It looks like we’re spending about the same amount of grocery money, the best I can tell. I wish I’d kept up with receipts, but it’s been too crazy. I plan to next month. Chicken breasts are $4 a lb. They are sold in a pack of two (frozen), which feeds us three plus Vic, who will be co-teaching with Kirk. We’ve had a lot of pasta and rice. One day we had an American meal of oven fried  chicken, canned corn, fresh green beans, baked potatoes and bread. Some people showed up at lunchtime so we had to make it stretch. I had to cook our big meal at noon because the power went off at 1:00p.m. Thank God we have gas for the burners. The stove is electric. I also want to mention the price of eggs. They are about $1.64 a dozen! They are cheaper if you buy a larger flat but there is no wrapping around them so we’re afraid of dropping them on the walk home. There are two small stores within walking distance and a vegetable shop. Back to the eggs. It would cost more than $30 dollars a day for each child to have an egg. Inflation is very high. I really don’t know how the people make ends meet. Good news! We have not been sick! Thank you for your prayers!

 Liz

A Night at the Party Palace!

Kirk here…

Last night was one to remember! We had written earlier about the Newarri ceremony we were invited to attend by Momita’s family. It was a very traditional Hindu ceremony with very ancient rituals at the center. Last night was the follow up to that. It was anything but traditional however. It took place at the “Party Palace” and was basically dinner (very good traditional Nepali food) and lots of “Disco Danc’in”. Not even Nepali dancing, just disco. Bee Gees, Lady Gaga, and lots of Nepali Hip Hop! Before it was done everyone got into the act, except for Vic, whose strict Baptist background made his feet unable to get any rhythm going!  He did say at one point he found himself tapping his foot but that he had repented. Most danced at the insistence of our hosts. This morning my left knee feels like a horse kicked it. I am evidently too old for such shenanigans! It was all good fun and we built some bridges with this precious family. Momita is the only believer among seven sisters. Please pray that we will be able to share the light of the Gospel with them!

Also I had mentioned in an earlier post the Hindu lady who had come to church. She returned last Saturday, this time without the Hindu markings on her forehead. She said that there was a pronounced change in her son that we prayed for and tomorrow we are going to her home to share the Gospel further with her. Please pray for this opportunity as well that God would open her eyes as He did Lydia. 

Also keep GBC in your prayers. Classes start on Monday and Vic and I have been hard at the study. It is shaping up to be an awesome semester with some great students. Also we have had some real miracles concerning financing. Many of you back home have responded to help with some immediate needs here as well as for GBC. For all of your help we thank you from the bottom of our hearts . I will try to write again later with more specifics. Blessings to you all!

Perilous Journey

The drive  to Chitwan last week was breathtaking.  There were beautiful terraced mountainsides and foot bridges across sweeping valleys. Since we were driving on the left the trip was enjoyable. Will gave you an account of the great elephant ride. The “ride” home was equally as memorable but in another way. This time our vehicle was hugging a sometimes shear drop only inches away. Sections of the road were eroded, and twice (at least) we came within a foot of a head-on collision with one of the many large trucks and buses that travel that road, overloaded, mind you. This was the most terrified I’ve ever been. The first couple of hours into the trip, I was pretty much at peace. Fatigue set in and one too many times of passing on one too many blind curves, which you would not believe, almost made us lose it! Kirk had traveled the highway (very high) before, but it had always been at night. I truly did not know if this was our trip to heaven, well, not this time.

 Many of you know about another couple that live here at CCF (Covenant Christian Fellowship), Prajowl and Momita Mothay. Prajowl is Pramita’s brother who also went with us to Chitwan and was our photographer. Momita’s family invited us to a Hindu ceremony last Friday at a temple here in Kathmandu. In this ritual, Momita’s beautiful little niece, 5 year-old Samridhi, was married to the bael fruit. This fruit represents her future husband, in hopes that he will be a good and kind man. From what I understand, this is a custom unique to the Newari people. After the ceremony, they served delicious Newari food. We were not given forks, so we ate with our hands, just like the rest! Tomorrow night (Tuesday), we are invited to a follow-up party. Please pray that we can be a faithful witness of the Lord Jesus to this precious family.

An Egg a Day

I’m finding many layers of need here. There is the surface shell that’s easy to see at a casual glance. After a question or three, I think I have a grasp on the situation. Not necessarily so. The yolk of the matter is either humanly impossible, or very expensive, or both. These resilient believers do the best they can with what they have and praise the Lord, in spite of the hardships and difficulty, pain and physical suffering. For example, I learned that Esther needs an egg a day and milk to take with her medicine. She does not get it every day. The other children need one too for extra protein, but, you guessed it, they can’t afford it. The yolk of this matter is this. Last week we bought eggs for the children. When Will and I walked them over to the children’s kitchen, basically a concrete room with a gas stove, we found that the refrigerator was NOT working. With the weather being so cold now, the almost daily walk to the store and the fact that they only get meat once a week this is not a critical issue. In about one month it will be one. To top it off, the frig in “our” kitchen isn’t working properly. The freezer works, but the bottom isn’t cold enough. Thank God, and Don, we have a dorm size frig in our room. The temperature gets very hot here in May thru August, so a working frig is a must. I have to digress. The children get lentils and rice pretty much daily so they are getting some protein. You can rest assured that Pramita Miss (as the children say), has her finger on the pulse (another idiom) of this ministry. She is an excellent mother to her children. May they “Rise up and call her blessed” as the scripture says in Psalm 31:28. I always sénse God’s great pleasure with her when I pray for her. She is carrying a load that is humanly impossible, but as the scripture says, ”Nothing is impossible with God.” She was made for this and called to this. God has equipped her. We are eye witnesses to His glory at work thru human hands and a humble, submissive heart. (We love you, dear sister Pramita). Please pray for this mother of 24 children. Love to all, Liz

My Early Birthday Present!

Hi, it’s Will here! I am so glad that I get to talk to everyone back home. I am blogging now so I can tell you how cool yesterday was for me. In fact, it was the coolest thing I have ever done, and probably will ever do. I went down to Chitwan to ride real live elephants through the real live jungle for my (early) birthday! To get on the elephant we had to get on a huge platform with rickety stairs. We got the biggest elephant, and she was huge! The first thing we did on her was cross a little stream. As we went, dad spotted a crane and a peacock. Then, we went into the jungle, all the while looking for wildlife. We then reached a large clearing to look for rhinos. There we saw deer, birds, and tall grass. The grass was so tall that it was probably about two feet above my head, on the elephant’s back. It would be terrifying on foot! We saw a lot of deer, but towards the end we still hadn’t seen any rhinos. Then dad yelled “there they are!” and sure enough, there were two large rhinos, in the wild! All the other elephants circled the rhinos so they did not get out. We studied them for a while, and then went back when they escaped. We have posted pictures below.

Sightseeing

Yesterday we took a day to do a little sightseeing around the city as this is Vic’s first time here. Pramita had been invited to a Hindu wedding and she thought we might like to see it as they are very elaborate. In the end though, they wouldn’t let us in. No foreigners allowed and especially not non-Hindus. It was taking place at the Pashupati temple so we took a tour of it while there. For those of you who have been here on past trips it is the one where they burn the bodies. When we left all we could think of is “I need a shower”. The smoke was thick from the cremations as they were burning about 10 or 12 bodies. It is a very bizarre place and it is palatably demonic and grievous. There is such darkness in the Hindu system. I have posted some pictures below.

On the other hand God’s grace is so very evident in the believers here. When you contrast what they came out of with their joy in Christ it quickly becomes clear that only God could have done this work in their lives. He is Awesome and by His grace they know it!

It is also becoming clear to us that we are not just here for Grace Bible College but also to be an encouragement to the believers (and especially the leaders) of Covenant Christian Fellowship. Pramita, who I believe is the most selfless person I have ever met, said something in a meeting that so blessed my heart. We were discussing their financial situation and she said “I have no worldly ambitions so I do not care if I am paid or not. My reward is to see the children (of New Life Children’s Haven) smile.” Excuse me while I blubber. It is this core group (Pramita, Pastor Tika, Amit the worship leader and the whole staff of CCF) that we believe are our primary purpose for being here. It is truly an amazing thing that God, in His providence, has done in knitting our hearts together with these precious people.

We love and miss you all, (PS-see more pics below)

Kirk


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