Dear <<First Name>>,
As we move towards spring we want to give you an update on our trip to Nepal and what is coming up in our life.
In This Issue:
Micro-enterprise Development Program
Candy Update - possible trip to Washington!
Calendar of Events & Links
Our Trip Report:
As stated in our earlier letter, there were three main parts to the trip: Education, Micro-enterprise, and Medical. We participated in the educational and micro-enterprise portions of the trip, which was comprised of the PFN kids, the Trisuli teacher training, and a 2 day seminar for aprox. 35 participants interested in micro-enterprise. You can check out a short video summary of our trip at www.vimeo.com/766097.
Prison Fellowship houses 9 girls in Pokhara and 22 boys in Katmandu were pulled from the prison system. When we were at doing an assessment for the Trisuli teachers, one of the trainers told us she taught Sunday school at a local church. Out of the blue she told us about her class of 14 year old boys and how a few are well behaved and knowledgeable about the Bible. We started asking more questions and came to find out that she was talking about the PFN boys. It was good to get such unsolicited positive remarks and even more exciting to pass them along to Dinesh and the boys.
An organization called Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) in Nepal provides training and follow-up for schools in Nepal and was hired to train the Trisuli teachers. Our group’s efforts were put into mini seminars for the trainers at ECEC so they gain more insight into: how to elicit change, 2nd language issues, and how to spot the child who needs special educational help. We also did teaching assessments for Trisuli teachers, where Candy was given the offer to come and teach English at three different schools. Schools in Nepal are in great need of native English speakers willing to teach the “language of commerce” to both their children and teachers. It brought to light the challenges these faithful, ambitious, and fledgling teachers face and we pray that God will help them overcome the hurdles of language and new teaching styles. Please keep the school in Trisuli in your prayers.
We believe the unexpected on the trip was where God used our prayer partners to their fullest. First a visit to a small, well run Hindu school resulted in an invitation to present Christianity to 6th-9th grade residential student who’s backgrounds ranged from many Hindu, some Buddhist, one Islamic child. We were floored at the open invitation and had 1 ½ hours of presentation and questions combined. God was ever present during the tough questions such as, “Am I going to hell because I am a Hindu according to your Christianity?” Your prayers were showers of blessings as we interacted with these children. Also, the transportation strike almost canceled our trip to Dulikhel with the PFN children. Again God’s mercy was ever present as you prayed; and it worked out better than we ever could have orchestrated it.
Micro-Enterprise Development Program
Our group provided training for board level or loan officer level people interested in starting micro-enterprise programs. These people provide small loans so people can start a small business like a tailor, internet café, or even a group of women making jewelry to sell. Those businesses pay the loans back with interest creating more money to loan to new people. This creates viable income for families and helps provide jobs inside the country.
All of you play an integral part in our lives, especially as we participated on this mission trip. It is a blessing to be used by God and we can only participate in opportunities like this through the support of people like you. Thank for your prayers and financial partnership. Your active participation and affirmation of our missions mindedness is a blessing that is beyond measure. And we pray that the Lord blesses you as you continue to be involved in your unique role in God’s global impact.
Well another semester started while I was in Nepal. My two (very manageable) classes this semester are "The Social Construction of Gender" and "Positive Psychology;" both are very interesting and touch on somewhat controversial themes in today's society. Hopefully I gain insights into how to disseminate what I learn without over simplifying it or making it too complicated.
With spring semester comes the task of organizing our year. My summer class keeps us close to MA with a few visits to PA. But what excites me is the possibility of a trip to Washington. We need to use our airline miles before they expire, so we think we have enough to fly to Washington. Our hope is to be there for a week between September 2nd and 13th. Although I am really excited about visiting our Duvall families, we really did not budget for a trip this year. So if some of our Duvall families can offer housing and/or a car we can borrow for any portion of the trip, we can use our normally budgeted funds for meals and gas to make it all possible. This would be an awesome blessing!
Life is returning to normal after returning from Nepal. Life at MIT continues to be interesting as a number of fundraisers are moving on to new opportunities, so we will see how things shake out in the near future. I also started doing a little work on the side with a for profit business providing executive level education for companies in the middle east. It is an interesting business model, and there is a fundemental desire to educate companies and people in the middle east.
I am also diving into IMAC (International Missions Advisory Committee) at Grace Chapel. It is both refreshing and challenging to see that even though it is a larger program than what we had at Duvall Church they struggle with some of the same issues. The budget is tight, and the number of partners that the church supports is very large. Please pray for us as we navigate how to effectively engage the congregation and the world!