Archive for April, 2011

Final Countdown

Kirk here…

We are fast coming to the end of our stay here in Nepal. It’s hard to believe that in 3 weeks we will be back home! Next week will be the final week of classes for GBC and I just wanted to give a quick update. So far this semester I have taught Soteriology (covering the Covenants, the Doctrines of Grace and the 5 Solas),  Biblical Counseling (covering a wide range of subjects), the Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit and lastly (no pun intended) a crash course in Eschatology and the Book of Revelation. Vic has done an exhaustive study on the Doctrine of the Trinity in both OT and NT, Christology and the Person and Deity of the Holy Spirit. He also covered NT symbols (Baptism and the Lord’s Table) and an overview of the Book of John. Also each morning at devotional time he did a verse by verse study of Genesis as an exercise in how to study the Bible. Sooo, point being, we both talked…alot! Vic’s voice is almost gone and mine is not far behind. But, this has been such a time of  blessing in our lives! To get to share the Word of Life with such hungry hearts is a joy unspeakable and I want to say to each of you back home who have prayed for us and supported us that we are eternally grateful. Without you none of this would have happened and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please continue to pray that we would finish strong and bring glory to the Savior.

On a more dire note, please also pray for this nation. It is in crisis and is literally falling apart at the seams. There is an impending shortage of fuel and the paper said today that there are approximately 2 days of supply left. The line at the petrol stations are miles long and the wait is currently (and literally) 2 days in some places to get gas or diesel. At the center of it is a struggle in the government for power. The politicians won’t raise prices for the Nepali Oil Corporation (a state controlled monopoly) but neither will they subsidize prices, so bottom line India (the only fuel supplier) has cut off the flow. It’s very serious as all commerce, food and water supply etc. could stop dead in 2 days. We were a day late getting water last week due to fuel shortage and you can imagine how it is with 50 people here and no water. Please pray that this crsis will soon be over.

Love in the Savior,

Kirk

Three’s A Crowd

Roda, Alisha, Dina

                            These three little girls as cute as they can be,

                                             Where you find one, you find all three!

Around one year ago, Pramita was contacted with an urgent request to help three little girls in need. Roda and Dina were  friends in the village of Dhading. They are of the Tamang tribe, which speak a different language than Nepali. Dina and Alisha arrived here at the children’s home at the same time. When Roda arrived five days later, she and Dina thought they were just here to play. They both wept bitterly after realizing that they were here to stay. Alisha did a lot of interpreting for them especially in the beginning! Alisha is from a home where spousal abuse was common and food  scarce. She never shed a tear and said “I am happy to be here where there is food”. Dina and Roda’s parents are Christians and still stay in touch by phone and talk to them now and then. Alisha’s mother is a Christian as well. All of these parents attend the same church, however they are so desperately poor. I’m told their hearts were broken as they were forced  to part with their beloved children. However, this is a sacrifice they were willing to make.  Here the children receive nourishment for their bodies and an education for their future. Here they are in a safe place, a haven.

April Rewind

Kabita, Nitu, Santosh

Hello, Everyone!

We’ve been so busy concentrating on the profiles of the children that I missed a couple of highlights of the month that I wanted to share. Rewind to April 1st. Who knew that April Fools Day would be celebrated here? Kirk was awakened around seven when Will (an accomplice) came in to tell him that Pramita wanted him downstairs. ALL the children were gathered to yell a big “April Fool’s”. Next was my turn, Will’s turn had proceeded Kirk’s. When I made my way down the stairs to my “surprise”, I acted like I was mad for getting woke up. Then I turned the tables and said “April Fool’s” to them. We all had a good laugh!

On the 16th we had a great big monthly birthday party for the kids. The evening began in the sanctuary with singing & joke telling.  There were three to celebrate this month, Nitu (15), Santosh (12), and Kabita (11). They sat up front in the place of honor. Pastor Tika gave a devotional to encourage them & Kirk said a blessing prayer for them. They then blew out their candles & we all moved outside to eat.  The menu included brownies, prawn chips, popcorn, potato curry & flat bread along with Tang. After that were ice cream cones. Next everyone moved back inside to dance to praise music for a fun, wholesome time.

There are several children who don’t know when their birthdays’ are. I’m hoping that they can choose a day & they each can have a day of their own so they won’t be passed over any more. I takes so little to make them happy! May God bless them every one.

Love,

Liz

Dear Sisters

Kabita and Sara

These dear sisters came to New Life Children’s Haven only two years ago. They were from a village located near the base of the Himalayas called Baglung. Baglung is 170 miles from Kathmandu and with travel the way it is, almost a world away. As members of the Dalit caste, they were suffering from desperate poverty. When their mother passed away and their father deserted them, they were left all alone. A local pastor from the area contacted NLCH to see if there was a place for them. There was and is a place for them thanks to all of the faithful people who give to this ministry. Sara is the elder at 12yrs and Kabita is 11yrs. Despite their painful past, they are always smiling! They are also the two top students in their class! Kabita was deeply touched last week when we celebrated her birthday along with a couple of others in April. After the party, she went to Pramita weeping out of gratitude and joy because of the celebration. She didn’t even know that birthdays are celebrated! I know that to see them full of joy brings joy to her Father in heaven.

NLCH/CCF Support Staff

We continue highlighting some of the children here at New Life Children’s Haven but I also wanted to introduce you to some of the support staff here. When you give to this ministry you are not only feeding the children (which is always the highest priority) but you are also supporting these indispensible members of the staff.

Kumar

This is Kumar. He is one of the most valuable players here at NLCH. He is the security guard and basically takes care of all the needs of the building and property. He is ex Nepali Army and has served here for 18 years! He constantly works and as a hobby (I think) he does elaborate landscaping as seen in this picture. He had to be laid off last year for a few months due to the inability of the ministry to meet his salary. He went for almost seven months without pay before he was forced to find other work. He later returned when the ministry got on its feet a little bit but was still 5 months behind when we got here. Thanks to the generosity of many back home we were able to get him completely caught up. His salary is only 8000 Rupees per month (that’s only $115.00 US)!

Pottam

 Next we have Pottam. She too has been here for many years. 17 to be exact! She is responsible for cleaning the church building as well as the living quarters of all who are here (4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining area, 3 offices and 5 stairwells) plus she does everyone’s laundry! To say the least she is one busy lady! She is also very active in the church and in the women’s fellowship. She does all this for the sum of 4000 Rupees per month ($57.00 US)! 

Sarrita and Sunjana

 These two ladies are the cooks for both the children and the students of Grace Bible College. You can imagine how hard they work in daily preparing food for over 40 people! All for 3000 Rupees ($43.00 US) per month.

Precious Family

Sunita, Joon, Amit, Anita

These 4 are some of the long term residents of New Life Children’s Haven. They are from left to right, Sunita, Joon (John), Amit (the worship leader at CCF) and Anita. They are brothers and sisters and they have a unique story. They were all born in Assam India which is a 3 day bus trip from Kathmandu. When they were very young their father deserted them and they were forced to do child labor to survive. Their mother is the niece of Meena Nepal, Ram’s wife. Meena heard of her plight and invited them to come to NLCH where their mother could be employed as a cook. Not too long after their arrival she found out that she had tuberculosis (she was already infected when she arrived) and she died a few days later. Amit was only 14 when she died, Anita was approximately 9, Sunita was about 6 and Joon was around 4. This was 12 years ago and they literally grew up here. Soon after their arrival Amit read Heb.13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”. Through this Scripture God drew him to Himself and a short time later he was converted. Then followed his siblings. Today they are all serving God with their whole heart. All 4 are on the worship team here at Covenant and Amit is part of the paid staff as worship leader. He hopes in the future to open a school of Worship here in connection with Grace Bible College.

Sujata

Sujata was born in Chitwan (elephant country) and is 7 years old. She came to New Life Children’s Haven in 2007. Her father died and as a result her mother could not care for her. As is common with most of the children when they arrive Sujata was malnourished with a distented belly. Children at this stage can eat huge amounts of food, I’m told, up to 4 times the amount of a normal child their size. She has had no contact with any family members since coming here. She is a sweet, active litte girl.

Please see the post “Our Burden Before Leaving” for more information on the children of NLCH!

Keep Praying!

Hi to all. Hope everyone is doing well.

I would like to ask for some extra prayer from you. Starting this week, I gave the devotional at the ladies meeting after church, and will be for the next five weeks until we leave. I have to choose my words so carefully, no Christianese. Pramita’s mother is coming now and doesn’t know much at all about the Bible, or Christianity in general.  She is beginning to grasp the way of salvation little by little.  This week was titled “Our Glorious God”. What a joy (in spite of the fear) it is to proclaim our God in a land of idols. The gospel is truly good news!  I am also having the class on Thursday nights for the girls still. It takes quite a bit of study, hence the huge need for prayer. I want to make the most of these opportunities and know what the Lord is leading me to say.

    I ended up having to go to the dentist today. I lost the crown off a tooth and had to have it cemented on. I am so thankful that I didn’t lose it AND that I could get it taken care of today! The office was nice and so was the dentist.

Thanks & Love to all,

Liz

A Wild Ride

Greetings Everyone!

Kirk, Will & I went to a movie matinée with Momita & Prajowl today. It was a cute c.g. animated, 3D film called Rio, & rated G  no less. We all enjoyed it very much! It is housed in a modern style mall. I must say that the highlight of the trip wasn’t the destination. We rode in the open air via scooter & motorcycle! You may be wondering how five people ride on two bikes. In two words, Nepali style! I rode behind Momita. Kirk & Will rode behind Prajowl (yes, all three). Here in Nepal, only the drivers are required to wear helmets. The traffic wasn’t too bad. I’ve seen worse. I did throw up several prayers, asking God for an uneventful ride down the back streets of Kathmandu! I also thanked Him for the opportunity to have such an adventure.  A couple of times I started to pinch myself to make sure this was really happening but I was holding on too tight! There are two things that reveal that we have ceased being mere tourists. One is that a person can travel the streets in any kind of vehicle without experiencing stark terror & two, that a person doesn’t take her camera everywhere anymore. (but should!)

Love to all,

Liz

Our Burden Before Leaving…

We are now entering the home stretch on our time here in Nepal. We leave on May 19th so that means we have approximately 6 weeks left. The one thing always on our mind as a concern before we leave is the children of New Life Children’s Haven. Over these next few weeks we want to share the stories of a few of them so you can get an idea of what they have been through. Also we are praying that God would touch many hearts to help financially with the needs here. The monthly expenses here are around $2200 to $2500 US just to keep afloat. It breaks down roughly like this – 1400 for basic food, monthly electric bill around 150-200 US, 6-8 cylinders of Propane for cooking at 20 per cylinder and finally water that must be trucked in 7 or 8 times a month at 25 US a load. On top of this is medical care (there is always a child who is sick, needs dental, etc.) as well as ongoing needs for clothing etc. Also this doesn’t count any money for salaries for the workers here. They are most gracious with respect to pay and sometimes go long periods without getting anything but obviously they have to be paid eventually. There are 2 cooks, a guard who also is the caretaker of the property, a lady who does housekeeping etc. These are essential personal to the operation here. By God’s grace and through the generosity of God’s people we have been able to supply this past 2 years enough money to basically take care of the food needs at 1200-1500 per month. All other needs however are constantly placed on the backburner. When we came there was much back debt and salary that needed to be caught up and again through the generosity of God’s people and several large one time gifts we were able to do so. We are extremely grateful to you all for everything you have done. However as I said we are currently only meeting about half the monthly budget and this is our real and ongoing concern. We have lived here for almost 5 months and if there is one thing we have seen on a daily basis it is that Pramita and all the staff here make maximum use of the resources they have. Literally nothing goes to waste. If even an egg gets cracked it is used for shampoo! Also Pramita always gives a detailed breakdown (down to the last rupee) of how all monies are spent. Every penny that comes into JCF goes directly via Western Union to here and is strictly accounted for. So the bottom line of this post is to ask number one for your prayers for this ministry and two, to ask you to consider a regular monthly financial contribution. It will be money well spent and a true investment in the lives of these children.

So, without further rambling I would like to introduce you to 2 of the kids (others will soon follow)…

Adarsha

Adarsha has been at NLCH for approximately 5 years. He is now 14 years old and comes from the Chitwan area from the “Dalit” caste. The Dalits are the lowest caste and are known as the “untouchables”. They are treated with utter contempt by the higher castes. When he was young his father deserted them leaving his family in abject poverty. Desperate and unable to care for him his mother sent him to a Buddhist orphanage. After a while there he began to exhibit very disturbing behavior. He was obviously very troubled mentally and would go into fits of rage. He also suffered from intense nightmares. This went on for quite some time with no relief despite the attempts of the Buddhist priests to “cure” him. During this time some Christians in his mother’s village began to witness to her and told her if she could find a Christian children’s home that they would be able to help him. About this time she met Shanti who is from the same village and was one of the cooks here at NLCH and she told Shanti his story. Shanti then approached Pramita about him and they took him in. They shared the Gospel with him (and he accepted Christ as Savior) and after prayer for his deliverance the problems immediately stopped. He never had another nightmare nor another outburst of rage. The believers here believe the behavior was demonic and I believe they are correct. The change was very dramatic and he has not had a problem since. In fact Pramita said he has never been sick in any way or needed medicine since he was prayed for! Praise God for His wonderful grace! Adarsha was literally saved, physically, mentally, spiritually and most importantly of all eternally! Because of his healing his older sister also has now become a Christian. His mother has not yet come to the Lord so please remember her in your prayers.

Eva

Eva

Eva also is 14 years old and came here from a very poor family and village. During the civil war here her father was one day accused of being a Maoist sympathizer. The army during this time was doing “retaliation killings” and anyone even suspected of being Maoist was killed on sight. There was some kind of mix up (he was not a Maoist and had no sympathy for their cause) and when he returned home from work one day the army shot and killed him in front of Eva, her mom and her sister. Her family was a Christian family and when her mom could no longer care for the kids because of their extreme poverty her pastor suggested that Eva come here to NLCH. She is a bright and beautiful little girl and is a joy to be around. Pramita said when she came here she cried and cried for weeks and was very depressed. She has slowly come out of her depression and is now full of the joy of the Lord! Her mother does come to see her (her sister is in another children’s home) but still cannot support her.

Please pray for both of these precious children. When you know them and see them daily they truly become a part of your heart! Any contributions can be sent to:

Jacksonville Christian Fellowship, 654 Quail Trail, Cabot AR 72023 (memo line: Nepal Orphans)


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