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Nepal, 2016, Part Three

April 18, 2017

Today it is back to work laying bricks for the new Church of the Nazarene in Dhangadhi, Nepal. We start off with a walk to the job site where we see many sights that are strange to us but common here in Nepal.

Local vegetables for sale

Local vegetables for sale

Each day we arrive at the job site we find new people who come to help. As we do not speak the language we communicate with a smile and a hand shake. Everyone seems to know what to do so we pitch in to help and continue to see the wall get higher as the day progresses.

The wall continues to grow

The wall continues to grow

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The local workers start adding door and window frames to the wall

Nepal is a country where most people are Hindus or Buddhist, but there is a growing Christian population in the country. In or near the town of Dhangadhi in western Nepal a missionary from India came a few years ago showing the Jesus film. As a result,  and from other showings of the film there are now 15 Nazarene Churches in this region of the country. Most of the churches, like the one we are helping build,  are currently house churches.

As the walls continue to rise we are in need of scaffolding to be able to reach the top of the wall. The next day when we arrive at the site we find materials have been rented to build the scaffolding. It consists of bamboo poles and sheet metal to walk on to be tied together with rope.

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Material for building Scaffolding to stand on

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The Scaffolding starts to take shape

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We are finishing up the week and preparing for the weekend. In Nepal, the day off from work throughout the country is Saturday. As a result, church groups meet on Saturday when people are free from work and able to attend. After the day’s work we returned to the Hotel for supper and a good night’s sleep before church tomorrow. Following supper we meet for devotions and are able to reflect on the day’s work.

We have found that the people we meet are always polite and friendly and most of all they seem happy and make us welcome. The more we get to know them we find that many of them know some English and begin to communicate with us making us feel at home here in Nepal.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to church services at the pastor’s house and some sightseeing around the city of Dhangadhi.

Zambia, 2016, The End and Trip Home

January 19, 2017

We were privileged to hear a concert from a recording star, Ephraim, known through southern Africa for his gospel music and this is his story.

Ephraim with missionary Gary Sidle giving us a concert

Ephraim with missionary Gary, giving us a concert

Ephraim had wanted to be a musician since he was a little boy.  As he entered his teen-age years, he had given his life to Jesus.  God gave him the gift of a beautiful voice and soon he was being sought after to sing in many venues.  He desired to sing on the radio so that his voice would be heard all over Zambia!  He was approached by an agent who promised backing financially and publicity….if he would not sing Christian songs!! After much soul-searching he knew that his voice had to be used to sing praise to Jesus so he contacted the agent to tell him he could not accept his offer.  Despite a feeling of wondering if he would ever fulfill his dream of singing “on air”,  he knew in his heart that he had made the right decision.  Some time later he was approached by a Christian agent who offered funding and his career was launched!  Today he is a much-loved and popular singer, heard all over Zambia and in to South Africa, singing songs that share the gospel message!  What a blessing his music was  to us…and to our national brothers who knew his songs by heart and sang along with him!

Our last day was full of packing then saying good-by to the local people we worked with while in Zambia. A trip to Lusaka and good-by to the our missionary friends. Then it was off to Dubai in the United Arab Eminence. Most of the team continued on to return to the US, but four of us had arranged a short stay in Dubai.

Once out of the airport and off to a hotel for the night we arranged for a tour of the city the next day. We were amazed at the opulence of the city which can best be described in pictures.

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We visited the Burj Khalifa It is the tallest structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m. tall. The bottom floors are a mall which is also the largest mall in the world. The highlights of the mall were a huge indoor aquarium, a spectacular water falls and over 1500 stores and shops. We also toured one of the Palm Islands called Palm Jumeirah.

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Palm Jumeirah consists of a tree trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometer-long breakwater. The island itself is five kilometers by five kilometers. It adds 78 kilometers to the Dubai coastline.

Residents began moving into Palm Jumeirah properties at the end of 2006, five years after land reclamation began. The Palm Island address is considered a status symbol in Dubai.

It all seemed a bit overwhelming to us but it was an experience we will always remember. In the end we were happy to return to the U.S.A. and our own home!

We thank God for all the blessings we received on this trip and express our appreciation to the Chicago Heights Church of the Nazarene for the opportunity to participate in this adventure and opportunity to do God’s work.

Nepal, 2016, Part Two

January 18, 2017

Our first work day started with breakfast at the hotel.

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Soup and flat bread for breakfast

It was a three-quarter mile taxi ride to the job site the first day. After the first day we walked to the job site. We passed many shops and witnessed a lot of traffic on the way.

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A typical taxi

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Other transportation was a common site.

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One of the many shops along the way to the work site

Once on the work site our task was to help the local people lay brick walls around the newly built foundation.

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We started with a water level around the building to be sure all the bricks would be level

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Bricks had to be hauled to the site in wheelbarrows.

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Mortar needed to be mixed by hand

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Starting the first row of bricks

Everyone pitched in carrying, stacking and laying bricks. By lunch time several rows were in place. The bricks were placed two bricks thick with alternating directions for overlapping joints.

The wall starts to grow

The wall starts to grow

We always had an audience of neighbors passing by or the children of the neighborhood trying to see what was going on. Everyone we met were very friendly and all seemed happy to see us. Throughout our stay in Nepal were met by friendly and happy people who have made this trip one of the most enjoyable experiences I have encountered.

Even though many of the people we met were Buddhist or Hindu we find they treated us as the bible tells us in Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Some new found friends came to visit

Some new-found friends came to visit

After the wall reached a height of about two feet tall a layer of cement with reinforcement bars was added to give the wall more strength.

Adding re-bar to the wall for strength

Adding re-bar to the wall for strength

The ladies of the group found a restaurant where we could eat lunch, in the neighborhood, for the first day on the job. After that they went shopping at a local market and brought food to the job site each day.  As we ate the first day it was evident that some things are the same world-wide. (see below)

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John tells us in 1 John 4:7  “Dear  friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

 

Zambia, 2016, Part Seven

January 12, 2017

On Monday morning most of the people went on a short safari in Misiotunya National Park. I had been there before so it seamed like a good time to catch up on some rest before the long trip back from Livingstone. It rained most of the day on the bus ride back to the work site and we were all tired and ready for bed after the long bus ride.

If you would like to see some pictures of the park take a look at the article in Zambia, 1012, Part Nine.

The next day it was back to work for most of us. Some of the women started preparing for Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the church. Children have been invited from several of the neighboring churches.

Finished floor with the grouting done

Finished floor with the grouting done

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Finished closet now in use

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Plumbing installed with new water heaters

 

Shower curtians and rods installed.

Shower curtains and rods installed.

The good news is on the last day of the trip we all had hot and cold running water in our bathrooms. With the first eight rooms completed there is only sixteen more rooms to be done. The next team will have plenty of work when they arrive.

In the afternoon children arrive for VBS. many arrive on foot but some come in a 15 passenger van. One load contained 48 children. With crafts, games, singing and puppet show for each session all of the kids had a good time and were able to hear the salivation message.

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After VBS some of the team and children went outside and had a small soccer game. What a wonderful thing to be able to see the children hear the story of Christ and get a respite from their normal lives. I think the blessing is as much for the team as for the children.

Luke 18:16-17 says: “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” “

Zambia, 2016, Part Six

December 15, 2016

Today we are in Livingstone, Zambia, on a Sunday morning and looking foreword to church services at the First Church of the Nazarene, Livingstone, St. Peters congregation.

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The young people of the church

We are off to a rousing Sunday morning starting with a welcome and a bible study presented by Pastor Smoke.

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We were then honored to have each group from the church starting from the youngest to the elders of the church present us with a song or dance to honor God.

Some of the young people of the church

Some of the young people of the church

The elder ladies or sanctified women of the church

The elder ladies or sanctified women of the church

We were then treated by a sermon in English from Will, a member of our team, with translation by Pastor Smoke for the local congregation.

Our morning sermon

Our morning sermon

After church we were treated to news that we would be part of the ground breaking ceremony for a new school that would be built on the church property. Our team leaders had brought some funds, donated in memory of their grandson who had recently passed on to be with the Lord, to help fun the project. We all gathered at the site with the local congregation for the dedication.

The dedication

The dedication

The ground breaking

The ground breaking

After completion of the ceremony and ground breaking we were invited back to the church for a meal. We enjoyed tasting some of the local food along with the company of many of the church family.

Preparing our meal

Pastor Smoke and his wife Loveness

Preparing our meal

Preparing our meal

Then it was back to our hotel for a little respite before our next adventure. In the afternoon we were off to board a boat to curse the Zambezi River above Vitoria Falls.

Our boat for the cruse up the river

Our boat for the cruse up the river

Wat a wonderful way to see Gods work as we cruse the river.

Wildlife all along the river bank.

Wildlife all along the river bank.

Company in the river.

Company in the river.

As the day comes to a close we are awed by what we see in this beautiful country of Zambia.

A fitting end of the day

A fitting end of the day

Genesis 1:24, And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.”

 

 

 

Nepal, 1016 Part One

December 7, 2016

It’s another adventure for me and an opportunity to serve the Lord. I am off to Nepal with a team sponsored by the Nampa Idaho Church of the Nazarene. The Lord has brought together a team of people from Idaho as well Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Michigan. Most of us know very little of Nepal except what we have heard about the earthquake near Katmandu last year and the fact that Mount Everest in there.

I started out thinking that because of the Himalayas it would be cold and snowy this time of the year. When you look at the map, you see the country is in he same latitude as Florida or south Texas. And when you look at the altitude of Katmandu at only around 4,600 feet above sea level the average high temperature this time of the year is around 68 Deg. F. (23.6 C) it makes for a comfortable stay.

After about 40 hours of travel and an overnight stay in Katmandu where we were greeted by the District Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene for Nepal. The team was off the western end of Nepal to a town called Dhangadhi. It is in the far western end of the country and only about 15 kilometers from India. We flew on Buddha Air and had a grand view of the Himalayan mountains.

The Himualays from 16,000 feet

The Himalayas from 16,000 feet

Dhangadhi is in a large valley at the elevation of only 350 feet above sea level. It has a population of a little over 100,000 people. As we flew in we could see the valley around the city was all farm country with many acres of rice fields.

Rice Fields

Rice Fields

This was the start of the dry season in Nepal and most of the rice had been harvested. The fields were now being used to graze the cattle and goats.

Our team with local Pastors

Our team with local Pastors

We were greeted by the district building coordinator who has worked with the local church to start the project of building a church building. At the local airport we were loaded in a van with our luggage on the top and transported to a local hotel. Once checked in we were taken to the job site of the new church building. The local church members had started the construction with a foundation and pillars to support the walls and second floor. Our job would be to assist the local members in putting up the walls by laying bricks.

Arrival at the airport in Dhangadhi

Arrival at the airport in Dhangadhi

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The new church building

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This was the end of a long journey and we were all tired and sleepy after crossing 12 time zones and the international date line we were happy to get a good meal and it was off to bed in what seemed like the middle of the day for us. Adjusting to the time change made it hard to sleep very long and we were up early but ready to go.

We had morning devotions and thanked God for safe travel and prayed that we would be the hands and feet of Jesus as we left for the job site.

James says in chapter 2:18 …… “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

 

 

 

Zambia 2016. Part Five

October 10, 2016

The team from the Chicago Heights Church continue working on projects for the Church of the Nazarene in Zambia. We are helping to build the Africa Central Field Conference and Training Center. It is located in the country side outside the capitol city of Lusaka. This project will serve on many levels for the Africa Central Field (ACF). It will be a multi-purpose facility for use for meeting the many training needs as the Church grows quickly on the ACF. It will provide needed facilities for leadership and discipleship development, district assembly, extension education, youth meetings, women’s meetings, men’s meetings, children’s development programs, and will provide an ideal training for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries training, especially agricultural training.

But today is Saturday and we are off to Livingstone on a rainy morning. This is a 6-8 hour bus ride giving us a chance to see some of the country side through the rain soaked windows and fellowship with the rest of the team and missionaries. in the afternoon the rain stops and we start to see a little sunshine as we check into the Ngolide Lodge in Livingstone. This is just what you would expect to see on a safari in Africa.

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The Ngolide Lodge

After a little lunch at a strip mall we were off to see Victoria Falls. This is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it certainly lives us to its reputation. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya, is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Our Work and Witness team at Victoria Falls

Our Work and Witness team at Victoria Falls

Victoria Waterfalls are the largest in the world. They measure 5577 feet wide and varies in height from 262- 304 feet. It is estimated that roughly 600 million cubic liters of water hit the ground every minute on the Victoria Waterfalls

Victoris Falls to opur right

Victoria Falls to our right

Victoria Falls to our Left

Victoria Falls to our Left

There is no way to describe the size and beauty of this place. Anyone seeing this must be convinced there is a God, for this could not be there by accident. Just around the corner is the Victoria Falls bridge that connects Zambia with Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls Bridge

Victoria Falls Bridge

After seeing the falls it was back to the Lodge and then out for some supper at the Zig Zag restaurant where one of the entrée’s on the menu was Crocodile burger. I decided to pass on the crocodile but enjoyed my meal and we were off to get a good nights sleep.

 

Zambia, 2016, Part Four

September 27, 2016

Back in Zambia to continue working on a project some of the team helped with in 2012 at the Africa South East Field Conference and Training Center. It is located in the country side outside the capitol city of Lusaka. As the week goes on the team takes on more projects. Some of the team members are given the task of putting wood strips on the trusses of the church. This will allow a ceiling to be added at a later date.

Getting started

Getting started

Adding cross members

Adding cross members

The finished project

The finished project

Another part of the team is assigned to do some finish work in the existing rooms where we are living. The task consists of adding towel holders, toilet paper holders, cloths hooks, bathroom shower curtains rods and curtains. We were also given the task of installing pre fabricated closet’s with rods to hang clothes.

Installing clothes hooks

Installing clothes hooks

Installing Toilet paper holders

Installing Toilet paper holders

New closets now in service

New closets now in service

On the weekend we will be traveling to Livingstone on the border of Zimbabwe. We will attend church there and get a chance to see some of the country side on the 6-8 hour bus ride.