Youth in Focus

Lessons from a Nepal mission

May 2013    

AS PART OF TRACKERS, a three-month discipleship course organised by Truthmin (Trinity Annual Conference Youth Ministries), our team comprising seven participants and two group mentors embarked on a mission trip to Nepal from February 18th to March 1st this year.

Below are some of the reflections from our final debrief at Nargarkot, Nepal.

Highlights

Experiencing the majesty of God’s creation through the snow-capped Himalayan ranges and the plummeting valleys found in Nepal brought new perspective to Romans 1:20. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

God showed us a beautiful rainbow as we approached the bottom of the hill in Phulbari – He had a purpose for the rain!

The importance of being effective, versus being efficient. We learnt this in our interaction with different pastors and missionaries as they shared with us the struggles they faced, alongside juggling responsibilities as God’s servants and parents.

The unity of our team, although many of us come from different churches, and had different working styles, personalities and spiritual gifts.

We were very encouraged by Pastor Saba, one of the District Superintendents, who affirmed our unity of spirit.

A constant awareness of God’s presence, through consciously doing daily devotions and debriefings at night.

Biggest take-away

Better understanding of the challenges that the missionaries and local pastors in Nepal face. The time we spent with these missionaries and local pastors, as well as their families, allowed our team to see how they lived out their faith in a country like Nepal, where the political atmosphere is unstable and poverty is pervasive.

Our plan to travel to Phulbari on the second day of the mission trip was disrupted by a strike that very morning. All shops in Kathmandu were closed and hardly any vehicles were on the road. However, we took this change of plans as an opportunity to observe Nepali life by going for a prayer walk through the streets.

What we learnt from our mission trip

Better understanding of what missions means and the role of our missionaries in Nepal, as we observed them serving the Lord and acting as catalysts for God’s work there.

Greater awareness of how culture affects church practices. For example, Holy Communion was administered only to those who have been baptised even though Methodists usually practise the open table.

Instead of greeting with the word “Namaste” which means “greeting the god in you” in Nepali, Nepali Christians say “Jaya Masi”which means “Victory in the Lord”. In this way, we would immediately know that the person is a fellow believer.

A memorable experience

We can confidently say that each of us in the team has learnt much from this trip. We will remember experiences such as helping to lay the foundation for the church annex in Phulbari for the first week. We also prepared

an evangelistic event reaching out to the Nepali youths through songs and games in the second week, where 30 out of the 70 youths that attended were pre-believers.

Now that we are back in Singapore, we hope that God will continue to do His will and work in the lives of the pastors, missionaries and locals in Nepal. “Jaya Masi!”

This article was jointly submitted by Benjamin Lau, a Youth Worker in Wesley Methodist Church, and Nicholas Hui, a member of Barker Road Methodist Church.

PRAY * for God to stir the hearts of Phulbari church members to fulfil the Great Commission in Kavre n for God’s favour on the children’s ministry as they use the new church annex at Phulbari for their programmes n for God to grant strength and wisdom for our missionaries in Nepal, and that His love and grace will be reflected through their lives and ministry.

Mr. Benjamin Lau, a co-mentor of the mission team, using the traditional Nepali method of carrying construction materials required to lay the foundation of the church annex building in Phulbari. Photo by Tan Minqhee.

By Benjamin Lau and Nicholas Hui

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