Val Harris travelled as part of our 2013 prayer trip to Nepal.
Tearfund’s prayer trips have been set up to provide the opportunity to encourage each other and our partners, and in turn to be encouraged, through prayer and fellowship. This year’s team were hosted by our country rep Steve and his wife Jude, and were able to visit different locations to learn about the local needs and to meet people making a difference.
Our trip began at terminal 4 at Heathrow, where I met three of the others in the group. We travelled with Qatar Airways to Doha , and spent an interesting couple of hours in the airport, stretching our legs and viewing just sand outside, plus an array of Arabic dress and religious garb inside.
Then on to Kathmandu….an awkward arrival for me, as first my hearing aid fell off and disappeared as we came in to land, and I needed the services of a helpful but puzzled flight attendant and three mystified French passengers in the row behind to locate it.
Then I got separated from the other three who needed to purchase a visa (I already had mine) and having struggled through passport control and collected my luggage, I was stopped again, and found that the name on the label on my case was not mine, but one of the other three, who of course were nowhere to be seen! After an uncomfortable few minutes, the official let me through, and I spied the large yellow Tearfund flag at Arrivals with great relief.
A high point for us was to travel several hours east in jeeps up into very wild country to visit a lady called Kumari. We had to get out and scramble up the steep craggy hillside to her house where she now keeps goats and bees, having received a loan to start.
Her village of a handful of houses perched on the hillside were proud to show us their water project and a fragile hose snaking across to the next pinnacle along , from which they are receiving their first ever water supply!! Wow!
Our schedule was curtailed for Sunday, a working day for Nepal, as the government decreed at short notice a national ban on motorised traffic, so the roads were full of….skateboards, football games, hoop bowlers, games of chase, pedestrians, but no vehicles. So we could only walk, which we did, many hot dusty kilometres in the heat of the day, to visit another NGO having a conference nearby, and to revisit the hospital, and buy some of the goods they sell.
We also had the chance to meet a group of women who were being taught how to make beaded goods , so that they could go back to their community to teach the skill.
It was totally exhausting, but a wonderful experience…one I am still evaluating.
It has shown me another culture, I have met the people who are part of that culture, and I have seen how God is working in and through many dedicated and inspired individuals and cooperative groups. And I am looking at how it affects me and my community moving forward…