In 2011, we went on a two-week mission trip to Nepal. God melted our hearts and we fell in love with the country and its people. As friends, we yearned to return to Nepal together, never imagining God would lead us there this year, and use us this way…
We departed Singapore for Nepal on 22 July 2015. Going there after a recent major earthquake was a seemingly crazy decision. We went with few plans and resources, trusting that God would guide and provide. It turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.
Our purpose was a 20-day stay at Sophia’s Home (SH), a home for destitute and needy girls in Lalitpur. The Rev Sabashtain Lepcha and his wife Grace serve as godly parent figures. The girls call Grace “Mummy”.
SH provides 29 girls, aged 4 to 19 years, with a hope and a future. Coming from single-parent and poor households, the girls previously had few opportunities to prepare them for life ahead. At SH, they are in a loving and safe environment. They are given education to enable them to fulfil their dreams of becoming doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers and teachers. They learn that they are daughters in His kingdom.
Our most precious experience was entering into the girls’ daily routines. This included morning (6 a.m.!) and evening devotions, which were so meaningful and a much-needed time of remembering God’s presence. We led devotions on topics such as ‘How is God real in your life?’, ‘Hopes and dreams’, ‘The Person of Jesus’, and ‘Hearing God’s voice’. Despite minimal preparation before the trip, God led us in our actions and sharing, helping the girls to reflect and grow closer to Him.
As we spent time with the girls, we gained understanding of their faith journey, their families, and their futures and struggles. Their personal sharing was heart-warming. During leisure time, we taught drums, guitar, keyboard and even Korean! The praying, daily meals, walks to school, “doing life” – all seemingly mundane but done together – captivated our hearts. It drove home the lesson that we are all beloved children of our Heavenly Father, and that all are similarly broken, yet masterpieces in the eyes of our Creator.
There is so much from the trip we hold dear, but have space to highlight only a few. To celebrate the end of the girls’ exams, we organised a Games day. We played Captain’s Ball, and challenged each other on creativity and even photo-bombing skills. It was an unforgettable day of unadulterated fun with the girls.
We also visited a nearby ‘forest’ on a hill. To get to it, we had to cross a stream. On reaching the hilltop, we did quiet time, prayed and reflected on God’s creation and majesty. Our return trip included splashing in refreshing spring-water and rolling down a grass slope with glee. Coming from Singapore’s concrete jungle, we were awed by what God has blessed Nepal with, right at the girls’ doorstep. We were able to share our awe of God’s handiwork with them, who, like us, often miss seeing God’s blessings.
We were truly encouraged by the girls’ faith, prayers and hunger to experience more of God, despite their many challenges. As He reveals His presence and will in their lives, God is slowly but surely transforming them to grow in Christ-likeness.
We were humbled by how God used us to create lasting impact in the lives of the girls and in ours too! Ours was an adventure led by the Holy Spirit when we tasted and saw for ourselves that God is good, good beyond measure. Would you consider going on such an adventure yourself?
For the girls in Sophia’s Home
For God to do His work in this country where spiritual needs are great
Photo courtesy of Rachel and Cheng Yi
Rachel Koh and Loo Cheng Yi worship at Pentecost Methodist Church. Rachel is studying Social Work and Political Science at the National University of Singapore and Cheng Yi is a third-year medical student at University of Edinburgh, Scotland.