Hey everyone, its been a while since we have been gone from Nepal. Right now it’s 1:30pm HK time on Sunday, we left Nepal at 11:30pm Saturday night, arrived 5:30am here in HK, and our flight leaves at 4:45pm. Yes those times are all confusing, try living it. I feel like I’ve stepped into a time vortex. Everyone else has slept a little but I am refusing to. I’m going to hold out until we get on the plane. If they don’t have Batman for me to watch, which I’ve been hoping they would all week I’m taking gravol and seeing if I can wake up in Toronto!
So this last post may be a little more foggy as I’ve only slept 2 hours in about the last 30 something hours. I seriously hate plane travel, I’ve put maybe around 300 hours in the air in the last 12 years, and I’m so excited to just get this one behind me and see my family and then visit our church in one week. Pumped for that! I’ve missed four Sundays out of the last five because of youth camps before this trip, I’m wondering if I’m going to get an absentee letter in the mail soon or get sent to the Guest Reception next Sunday!
Yesterday, if it was yesterday, was a great last day in Nepal. We checked out of the hotel, and went over to the church, the four girls were dressed in their Nepali dresses and they looked great, they even had head coverings which the women here use when they pray. The guys looked average of course. There was a lot of the ‘this is the last time we are going to do blank’ conversations as we left the hotel, drove down the same road to the church.
We were late as usual, because the music was already playing in the church to a packed house of about 200 or more people. I’m excited to show you some of the videos of this because the worship times and the prayer times will blow you away, even more so if you were standing in the room. You can’t help but get overwhelmed as God’s spirit moves among the people. It makes me want to get back to our church so badly! I love gathering and worshipping together.
They did 3-5 songs, then Norm got up to preach. What a guy. I have some experience in teaching now, and I know what it’s like when you have a ton of distractions in a room. Almost as soon as he started to teach, the room came alive with distractions. Jet airplanes were flying overhead, kids were crying, kids were crawling, kids were walking around, people were answering phones, people were walking in and out, the door to the church was creaking, people were shifting around. And then Timothy’s voice started to go.
I spent my time up the back trying to stop the door squeaking, trying to convince Samuel to go and translate for Timothy, which didn’t work, then help get Timothy a microphone as his voice was going, then getting the Nepali boys to give Timothy hot water and tea, and lozenges. Norm cut his message short because Timothy was having such a hard time translating. Please pray for Timothy because the combination of a lot of translation and plus the harsh pollution in Kathmandu give him a lot of problems.
Norm finished, they had worship music, then an ordination of 2 pastors and then 2 elders which Norm got to anoint with oil, and then all the pastors from the Harvest churches got up with Norm and Rod to pray for these men and commission them for the work of the gospel. Really powerful thing to witness, and I hope to share the photos with you this week.
Then we had a time where we gave gifts to the people who sacrificed time working on the new church building. I had designed some shirts and had them made for the workers as a gift from our church, plus in some of the tshirts we put money in an envelope based on how long a person had given up their time to complete the work. Some people worked for 70 days without pay on the building. It was so great to be a part of. People were clapping and cheering as the days served were read out after the name. Everyone was really having fun which was great to see.
After that Timothy made us get up the front, and Bishal presented us with a gift from the church, a gold coloured metal plate with Harvest Bible Chapel Nepal stamped into it by hand. We each got one. Then each of the women were given a gift from the womens fellowship, and then us men were given a gift to bring home for our wives, except for Nick and Mike, who were told that when they get married they can have one!
Then us guys were presented with Nepali hats, and we were told that we were no longer Canadians, but true Nepalis. That was so cool. It was time for us to say something and I got given the honor to address everyone on behalf of the team. There are some moments when you are truly lost for words, and I felt that when I had to get up in front of so many faces, because now instead of the room being filled with strangers, out of the 200 I knew mostly half by name, and 30-40 I could say that I am close with. It’s hard to convey the magnitude of love myself and the team had for everyone, and how encouraged we are by what we see God doing in their lives. I told them that I never wanted to leave and that I was going to sleep in the church from now on, and then I fell on the floor into the fetal position which they thought was pretty cool.
I don’t know how interesting this post will be today. After this we spent 2 hours saying goodbye. Literally. Photos with each other, words of encouragement hugging, some crying, more goodbyes. I am the worse goodbye guy ever. Back home in Australia I was notorious for just disappearing from gatherings because I hate to say goodbye to people. I felt like that today. I wanted to remember everyone just as they were, not saying farewell.
The hardest part was to say goodbye to Pastor Sitaram, the man my heart burns the strongest for. And I think he feels the same way about me, because when we had to say goodbye to each other, he pulled away weeping very strongly and I was doing the same. I promised him that I would mail him a picture of my family, and let him know that our hearts are knitted together. I can’t wait to see him again in Nepal, or in heaven, where we can talk freely. I am committed to learning more Nepali words, I’ve been writing some down, and using some in front of everyone to make them laugh. Sitaram was hard. So was saying goodbye to Pastor Padam. He’s having a baby any day now.
There was also another pastor, I can’t remember his name right now, but I call him the Billy Goat Pastor because he lives way up high on a mountain. He is the one who has nine churches under his care, and has to travel 19 hours, mostly on foot to get home. Some perspective for me as I sit on the floor of an airport is that he is still travelling right now to his home.
We said our goodbyes though, I felt like the bad guy dragging the team away but we needed to get moving. So hard to leave the church!
As we drove away Timothy asked us to make sure that we are praying for him and his family, for his heart, for his example to his people, for the ministry there and the work that needs to be done. Immediately Rod prayed for him, in a powerful time of prayer as we drove away that left the team silent for a while afterwards. Very powerful.
The next few hours were spent winding down. We went to the markets for 2 hours to walk around and grab some last minute things, and kill some time before we went to the airport. I had a lot of fun heckling the vendors because they harass you something fierce. One guy kept trying to sell me a necklace while I was standing with Linda waiting for Wayne (always waiting for Wayne!), at one point while trying to convince me to buy one, he told me that it was made from stones. I told him that I can find stones on the ground, and that I already had a necklace that God had given me, and I showed him my chest hair, which finally made him walk away. We had a lot of laughs, but I think that the team had had enough of the dust and diesel fumes. It gets to you after a week of being here, speaking from experience. If you suffer from asthma it’s not a great place to come.
As one last treat, I felt bad for even telling Timothy that we wanted to do one more thing as he looked like he was about to pass out from exhaustion, but I wanted to take the team to Pizza Hut as a treat to Norm so he could fill up on Yankie food.
And then we headed off to the airport. Samuel came with us, we said goodbye him and Timothy, and then they took off, Nepali style. No lingering, you said goodbye, we are sad, see you later. Then we waited 3 hours to even get into the airport, so we could wait another 2 hours to get on the flight.
And bam! Here I am, sitting on the floor next to the wall charger while the team tries to survive the 10 hours waiting here (the airport is luxurious by the way, in fact it’s a little overboard. I saw the ugliest sweater that looked like it was from Value Village, and they were selling it here for $1,000 US dollars because it was made by Ralph Lauren. I wouldn’t make a dog wear that sweater because it would get beaten up by other dogs for looking stupid. It’s excess here! But I love the free cologne samples because I don’t smell as bad from the travel).
So that ends our trip. I’m going to spend this week uploading photos because I would love for you to see them. Then I’ll try to cut a video for everyone to see, then I’m going to have a few of the team members share over the next few Sundays so you can hear about it. But please come back and see the photos, and please don’t allow the church in Nepal to leave your hearts and prayers.
Thanks for all your support, all your notes of encouragement and prayers, we have really appreciated it!
All our love,
Jon and the Global Missions Team
Harvest Bible Chapel London
345 Pond Mills Rd.
London, Ontario N5Z 3X7
Banting High School
125 Sherwood Forest Sq.
London On N6G 2C3
9:00am - 10:15am
11:00am - 12:15pm
2006 — God reveals that Southwest Community Church should transition to Harvest Bible Chapel London.
2009 — God grows HIS church, Harvest London moves to Banting Secondary School.
2011 — God has done far more than we could ask, or think... Harvest London purchases 8 acres of land for church building.