Holly uses traditional Nepali body art to tell Bible stories to the women in her community. Each Sunday afternoon ladies of all ages gather in Holly’s home for temporary Henna tattoos and the everlasting message of Jesus Christ.
In Nepal, it is very common to see women with red artistic designs coving their hands and arms, particularly for special occasions. Not only are the Henna curls and shapes absolutely beautiful, for the women who wear them they tell stories and hold meaning. Holly saw this culture’s love for Henna as an opportunity to share the gospel. Using a book called “Henna Stories” she began creating her own designs that reflect stories of women in the Bible.
When the group meets, Holly and her Nepali translator Pawanna, share a story of Jesus’ love to the women. Stories are told in simple fashion in hopes that women will remember and share the stories with others. One at a time, the women are painted with designs helping remind them the week’s story. Each painting has a purpose, and each stroke holds the message of the Lord. These women are pampered and loved for an hour each week, participating in a vibrant part of their culture, and learning the truth of the one true God who can save their souls.
The Inspiration Fellowship Children’s Home was dedicated in the name of the Lord on June 11, 2012 by a group of church members and missions intern Sara. The orphanage which will house the Khadka Family (including 9 adopted Nepali children) should be completed within the next month. Those in attendance prayed over the ten room home to be used as a place of love and learning. Construction and fundraising continues as the family anticipates move-in day.
The women of Nepal’s Inspiration Fellowship are some of the most heartfelt and courageous women I have met. These ladies meet weekly for prayer, fellowship, and Bible study in one another’s homes. Occasionally, the group ventures out into the community to experience their weekly meetings in a new environment. In early June, the mountains south of Kathmandu were chosen as the perfect location to meet and worship the Creator.
To arrive on the green shaded mountain side, these mothers, sisters, and daughters walked several hours and endured a bumpy van ride. The solace and beauty were well worth the hardships of climbing mountains in kurtas and high heels. I wearing my Chacos was simply amazed as I watched one after another jump puddles, avoid potholes, and continue climbing. I felt at the time if any woman deserved the title ‘Superwoman’ it would have to be one of these ladies.
Getting there was very much an adventure, yet nothing could compare to watching these Wonder Women shout praises to the Lord and lift up their church members in prayer. We sang together, shared lunch together and prayed together from morning until afternoon.
Inspiration Fellowship had the pleasure of hearing two graduates from Bible college in Nepal share their passion for ministry this weekend. Ishoor and Nowa both graduated from the Himalaya Bible Institute on June 10 after completing a five month ministry program. At Bible college Ishoor and Nowa studied the Word of God and were taught to share the gospel throughout their country, specifically in the remote village areas. Both men have a desire to move to the Dumbrea village area to plant churches amongst the evangelized. Both men also have extraordinary testimonies of how God changed their hearts and called them to be pastors.
Ishoor comes from a Hindu background serving as a Hindu priest for seven years prior to his conversion to Christianity! This man was one of the leading Hindu scholars having attained vast knowledge of Hindu religion and history. His intelligence stood high above many of his colleagues. Pastor Bishwa knew this man and began building a relationship with him. Though Ishoor seemed to have everything he could have wanted in his religions position, he sensed Pastor Bishwa possessed a peace that he did not. Ishoor knew something was missing in life. Hinduism could not fulfill all it promised. This priest felt restless and that his life held no purpose. After some time, Ishoor approached Bishwa asking to know more about Jesus. And Jesus became the peace and the purpose this man had been searching for. He says God has provided him the strength to complete Bible college and his desire now is to share his life transformation with others.
Nowa accepted the Lord later in life. With a delightful sense of humor this man made jokes about his old age. Everyone knew he was the eldest in his graduating class, but that won’t stop him from serving with all he’s got. Though his eyesight and hearing are both dwindling, Nowa is living proof that God is our strength. He gives Christ all the glory knowing without his Savior he would have never completed his Bible training. Before his relationship with Jesus, Nowa was a persecutor of Christians. He explained that he would physically beat anyone who tried to share the gospel with him. He himself has now experienced many beatings like the ones he used to give. In the past five months of schooling Nowa has shared the gospel to groups of over 500 people. Knowing it isn’t going to be easy, this future pastor relies on the strength of the Lord remembering how faithful God has been to him.
Please pray for these two gentlemen as they serve the Lord with their lives becoming missionaries in their own countries desiring to see Nepalis come to know Jesus the way that they do.
I have slowing been getting to know my neighbors, mostly thanks to my puppy. It seems everyone loves a cute little black baby dog, especially the kids. When I talk my puppy for a walk or we go outside to water flowers on the front porch people from all over the community come to watch. The puppy barks and jumps and digs in the dirt. The kids watch her like my brother and sister watch television. Who knew getting a dog would allow for relationship building? Yet, the dog has been my best outreach strategy.
Nepalis love their pets. Most have fish or turtles, but some families have dogs. Three specific dogs live in our neighborhood. I met them one afternoon. Two little boys who live across the street insisted that my puppy, named Callae, meet other dogs in the area so they could be friends. We walked around as they introduced Callae to her new friends. She met the white poofy palmeranian next door, the fattest pug I have ever seen called PJ, and another black dog a street over also named Callae. I felt quite proud my dog shared a name with another Nepali dog. I mean it’s not the most original name. Callae means black in Nepali. My American friends actually poked fun at me for naming her this saying it was slightly racist. They were joking, I think. But, it I felt much more confident knowing I wasn’t doing my dog a disservice naming her when we met other Callae.
My puppy Callae also provided the way for me to meet one of my sweetest neighbors, a teenage girl. Sadly, I can’t remember her name, but she is in her last year of school and we have had many conversations about school, reading, and traveling. This girl is brilliant. She constantly impresses me. We both love to read novels and have discussed books by Nicholas Sparks and The Hunger Games. Her parents own a store and work until dark each day, leaving her much alone time. I’ve been blessed getting to know her and spend some time with her in the afternoons.
As I have started shopping for gifts for family and friends, I decided I wanted to get this girl a novel. She said her parents don’t like to buy them for her because they feel like she is wasting her time. They don’t realize the importance of reading or see that her English is incredible probably because she reads. Anyway, I went shopping today. I noticed several book stores throughout the day and made a mental note where they were located. I figured I would need to search several before I found something I wanted. The book stores here are very small.
My desire was to find my friend a Christian fiction book that would share Jesus with her. After picking up my other presents I prepared myself for the long book search. The first store I entered didn’t look promising. Most books were travel related but I found the fiction section. I decided to look for Karen Kingsbury first. Nepal does not have a large American written fiction section and Karen is who I thought would be the most popular and the most likely they would have. The search ended quickly with no hope in the K category. My next thought was Lori Wick. She is by far my favorite author. I grew up reading her books and loved the stories and encouragement. But Lori is a lesser known author and doubted I would ever find her books in Nepal.
The search began in the W’s. It took less than 30 seconds for my eyes to spot one of Lori Wick’s novels. I couldn’t believe it! I said, “Praise the Lord!” out loud in the store. Who knows what other customers thought. I didn’t care. I was so happy. And not only was it one of Wick’s books, it was my favorite Lori Wick book. And not just my favorite Lori Wick book, but my favorite book of all time! I have read this book – Pretense – over and over many times and it never loses its impact on my. I left the book store feeling so accomplished and so blessed. It was an answered prayer. Exactly what I had been looking for! My all time favorite book, in Kathmandu Nepal! It was the only one. I believe right there waiting just for me. It still blows my mind!
I can’t wait to see this girl again and give her the book. My prayer is that she will fall in love with the story line, that she will relate to the characters, and that God would tug on her heart as she reads this story of life change. I know it’s just a story, but I know God has used stories in my past to help strengthen my faith and I know he can do the same with this. Please pray for my friend. Ask the Lord to open her heart as she hears about His love and life. I want this to also become her favorite novel and point her to the one who died to save her soul. Again, you have no idea how cool it was to find this book! To God be the glory!
This past weekend young teens and men from Inspirational Fellowship participated in a football (soccer) tournament against other church teams. Sixteen of our boys practiced for weeks to prepare for the 7th Annual Tournament hosted by the Nepali Christian Sports Fellowship. Out team in the green uniforms played very well and enjoyed the day’s event. Though they put up a good fight Inspiration Fellowship lost 0-1 and dropped out of the tournament bracket. Football is the favorite sport of most Nepalis. The boys had a very good time forming a church team and participating in the games.