Nepal Mission Trip, March 7-19, 2007
A report by Bro. Soong See Choo

 

"Thy Mercy, O LORD , is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgment are a great deep: O LORD, Thou preserve man and beast." (Psalm 36:5-6)
 
Namaste (Nepali greeting).  First and foremost, I want to thank Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, to grant me the rare opportunity to an outreach mission to Nepal.  Secondly, I thank Bro. Richard Gan who has been caring and patience with us along this trip.  Thirdly, I thank my wife, my son and sister Eunice, who came along and shared much fellowships and joy.
 
Only a few countries exist in the world is as fascinating as Nepal. Within its small area, I can find the highest mountains of the world, a collection of enchanting cultures and exquisite temples, thundering rivers, long cable suspension bridges, and far beyond my imagination, the thick tropical jungle holding a wide range of wildlife.
 
Kathmandu, Elevation: 1,355 M (4,445.5 FT), 7th March 2007
Day 01 : At 12:51 pm local time, we touched down safely at Kathmandu Tribuvan International Airport.  Bro. Lukram Thapa received us at the waiting hall. After checking into a hotel, we walked free and easy around Kathmandu City. We had local Indian food (bill was 235 Nepalese Rupees for six persons), before we retired to our rooms.

Road Trip to Gaindakot, 8th March 2007
Day 02 : By 7:10 am , we left Kathmandu by bus. The morning was cold, even vapour appeared while we talked. All our luggage of big bags and boxes were hauled and stowed on top of the bus. I saw one motorcycle on another bus. The sight of crowded streets and noisy city traffic horning were slowly replaced by scenery of rocky mountains, as the bus ascended and descended the rough mountainous terrains. The road was barely two trucks wide on the mountains' side. As I was sightseeing those scenic rivers and views of forests, stone-huts, wheat fields, buffaloes, country-folks along the journey, I was reminded of the verse "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; O LORD, Thou preservest man and beast" (Psalm36:6). About 9:30 am, we stopped at a highway restaurant (Malekhu) for breakfast. After half an hour we journeyed on; I saw an elephant-calf
along the way. And soon, we reached Chitwan, at 12:00noon. We unloaded our bags and boxes from the bus top and transferred to a three-wheeler cab to proceed to the guest house, near Gaindakot, Bro.Lukram's home town. This guest house belongs to Vijaya Development Resource Center (VDRC) a co-operative which help to contruct bridges, water pumps, and other public facilities for poor villages in Gaindakot.

Gaindakot, 9th March 2007
Day 03 : Believers from different regions arrived. Due to the civil unrest, many believers found it hard to come for the convention. We walked thirty minutes from the highway to get to the church area.

This first service started at 4:30 pm till 7:00 pm, Bro. Gan preached, while Bro. Lukram translated the sermons into Nepali for the local listeners. Some foundationals points were laid:-
1.When you go to church meeting, what are you there for?
2.Three things needful, (i) Fellowships among saints is good; (ii) Going to worship God is better; (iii) To learn the Word of God,  Hear what God is saying, is best.
3.You must know the Word of God in order to do His will.
4.To teach, make it simple.
5.To grow spiritually, you must know the basic.
6.Listen, pray, check the Bible.
7.Pay full attention to the Lord Jesus Christ, never let things distract you.
8.Do you know what your heavenly Father is doing now.
9.James 1:27 -- Pure religion and undefiled .....
10.As a Christian, I have more than a religion, I have salvation. No pure religion can give eternal life, I need a Saviour for my soul's salvation.
11.True believer = true worshipper. Only very few true believers among the Christians.
12.There is a rapture for the Bride.

 

After the service ended, (7:15pm), five of us walked thirty minutes to the guest house in almost total darkness, using only the LED light from mobile phones to as 'torchlight'. We had a simple Nepali meal (candle-lite dinner, due to electricity rationing in the area) before we slept at 9:00 pm.

 

 

Gaindakot, 10th March 2007
Day 04 : 8:00am breakfast, each of us were served a bowl of cornflakes with diluted buffalo milk and a cup of "char" ie. tea with buffalo milk. I helped himself with some fresh peppermint leaves from the garden.
Bro. David Thapa, (Bro. Lukram's eldest son, age: 20) came with a three-wheeler cab to ferry us to the church. Though the journey was dusty, still I thank God.  "I rejoice when I hear them say, let us go to God's house today! "
Morning service started at 9 am, Bro. Richard Gan preached on :-
1.The sufficiency of the Holy Bible; (2Timothy 3:16-17); 'inspiration' = 'inbreath' appeared only once in the Bible.
2.Only One God, only One Spirit, only your spirit can know the One Spirit.
3.Believe what? (John 10:38).
4.Are you influenced by traditions? Or is the truth influencing you?
5.Seal of God in the Scriptures; Bible Numeric and Theomatic; (John 21:11; 153 fishes = elect number); "fisher of men", add up to 2142, divided by 153 = 14; "multitude of fishes" add up to 2448 =153x16; "the net" add up to 1224 = 153x8; "casting the net" add up to 3060 = 153x20)   Satan's number 276; "Evil One" (in Greek) is 276; "accuser of the brethren " is 276.  Antichrist is 666; man of sin is 666; Judas (son of perdition) is 666.
Number representation  (=)
1 = God (1 Spirit) ;
2 = Testimony ;
3 = Completeness (1 point ,2 plane, 3 shape);
4 = Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (4 Gospels); North, South, East, West (4 Directional Points); 4 riverheads flowed from Garden of Eden (Gen 2:11-14); 4 represents the world;
5 = Grace; Human skull with 5 holes; Jesus Christ's 5 wounds;
6 = mankind; Created on the 6th day; 66 books in the Bible (66 = 6{man}x11{disorganise});
7 = Seal of God; God rest; Perfection;
8 = Beginning of a new day; Resurrection; IESOUS (Jesus in Greek) is 888 = 8{resurrection}x111{power of resurrection});
9 = last number of single digit; Holy Spirit;
10= ten commandments;
11= one short of government perfection; disorganised;
12= Twelve tribes; Twelve disciples; Perfect Government.

At about 12:15 pm, we had our lunch together at the church compound; menu was rice, raw onion, buffalo meat curry, lentil soup and black tea.  At 2:30 pm, we resumed our church service, with more Bible teachings from Bro. Gan , until 5:00 pm.

Gaindakot, 11th March 2007
Day 05 : In Nepal, the rest day is Saturday. Work days begin on Sunday, and some believers had to return to their respective hometowns.
In the morning, church service began at 9:00 am till 12:30 pm.  Many different subjects were taught by Bro. Gan:-
1. from Romans 8;18-23; Gen 4:8-15; The earth's condition prior to the Flood and after the Flood;
2. Revelation 21:1
3: Two kinds of people during "new heaven and new earth" (i) Bride-saints with glorified bodies (ii) Natural people like Adam with mortal bodies but will not die.
4. 1Thessalonians 4:16-17; the three phases of the coming of the Lord for His Bride; Matthew 25 (5 wise virgins and 5 foolish virgins) explained.
5. Matthew 13:24-30, explained.
6. Hebrews 12:22-23, Church of the firstborn.  Firstborn within the general assembly. Who are they? explained.

After lunch, we resumed the service. Upon request by Bro. Lukram to teach the doctrine on the Biblical teaching of water baptism, Bro. Gan expounded to them using Bible verses from Acts 8:26-38; Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:36-40; Hebrews 10:4-10.

Later, eleven souls were water baptised at the Narayani River by Bro. Lukram Thapa.  I assisted him in the baptismal ceremony.  We rejoiced together with the 11 souls on that happy day.

Next Destination, Bhairahawa,12th March 2007
Day 06 : After a lunch treat prepared by Bro. Lukram's wife (her name is Manmaya) at 2 pm, we started our bus journey from Gaindakot to Bhairahawa, road distance 129km. Due to the civil unrest there, at one point, we waited from 4:00 pm till 4:50 pm for the army escort team to accompany the convoy of public vehicles to travel the 'troubled stretch of road'. Two public buses were stopped by rebels and burnt just two days earlier.  I thank God for safety. And it was already dark, when we checked into the first hotel in Sunouli, at 7:25 pm.

Sunouli, 13th March 2007
Day 07: Sunouli (formerly known Belhia) is a small town, by Bhairhawa, and about 100 meter away from the border crossing into India. After breakfast, we moved to another hotel as water was not readily available.  At 11:20 am, we gathered in a small room and began the service. After a simple welcome introduction from the local assembly, Bro. Richard Gan preached, while Bro Lukram translated, from :-
1. Acts 17:24-31, about Christian life.
2. Why do I 'eat' (read & study) the Bible? It's to feed my spiritual being.
3. God want men to feel after him (verse 27)
4. John 4:24 verse 20-24. Knowing what you worship; present truth; Jesus is The Way, the Truth and the Life.
5. What is my purpose on earth? Genesis 12:1-3
6. Jacob's life a type of our Christian life. Genesis 31 onwards.

After a short interval for tea and biscuits, we continued on until 5:00pm. Then Bro. Birendra Thapa (also known as Bro. Daniel, but not related to Bro. Lukram Thapa), a young man, who left the Trinity denomination church, was ordained and dedicated for the Lord's service. Another man, 29-year old, was delivered from drug addiction and came to the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation. He testified that it was his fifth day free from drug abuse. Praise God!   At 5:30 pm, six of us had our lunch-cum-dinner. The second hotel was not any better than the first one which we checked in last night. I could not sleep well due to the noisy crowd (two buses loadful of Hindu pilgrims) who checked in at night, and the mosquitoes.

Bhairahawa,14th March 2007
Day 08 : We took ride on rickshaws to a little church in another district, Basdillahw. Bro. Rudra Kunwar and Bro. Vishnu Thapa are the two believers here who shared the One God teaching with Bro. Birendra Thapa, who formerly believed in the Trinity doctrine. He even threaten them to chase them out of town, but praise God for opening his heart to the truth, and now he believes the truth.

At 11 am Bro. Gan started the preaching service, teaching and expounding the Word of God, from John 1:1-4,14; Ephesians 1:9-11; John1:18; Numbers23:19; Col 1:19; Luke 1;18; 2:40; 2:52; only one throne in heaven; Lord Jesus Christ sits there. Proving "trinity doctine" is a false teaching. Bro. Sambel Raj Aryan, 22-year old, and Bro. Lukram helped as translators during the preaching.

Our meeting ended at 3:00 pm. We were invited to Bro. Daniel's home. One sister-in-Christ offered her hospitality to prepare dinner for us at her home. After a warm and wonderful fellowship, we bade the local believers farewell. Let God's grace and mercies continue in their small and young church, we prayed.

Next Destination, Pokhara, Elevation: 941 meters (above 2700 ft.), 15th Match 2007
Day 09: From Bhairahawa to Pokhara (known as the Switzerland of the East), road distance is about 261 km. On this bus trip, many events happened:-
1. A Nepali soldier's cash of 100,000 Rupees (approximately US$1500), a digital camera and his ATM card were stolen by thief, at one of the bus parks. In his desperation, he tried to telephone his bank in Bombay about his lost ATM card at each small village which the bus passed by. Our journey was delayed.
2. At one point, a man and a woman boarded the bus; but she was very sick and vomitted a severaltimes during the journey. At least three vomit bags were thrown out of the moving bus.
3. When the bus stopped for a supposed thirty minutes lunch break, in a little mountain town, two passengers were accidentally left behind when we resumed the journey some ten minutes earlir. Somehow, both of them caught up with our bus; for they hitched a ride from another bus behind us, I guess. And in the midst of a heated argument between these two passengers and the bus conductor (a young arrogant man), one of them slapped the conductor on his head, but the latter did not fight back but sobbed instead.

The road was winding with "S" curves, going upwards and downwards, and more passengers came on board, squeezed inside this 22-seater 'pseudo-deluxe' bus, before it reached Pokhara at about 3:00pm.  We started our journey at 7:15 am. And I felt relief that this bus trip ended safely for us. Thank God.  We checked into a two-storey guest house (Blue Heaven Guest House) along Lakeside road from where we had a scenic view of Dhaulagiri-Annarpurna Himalaya Range. It was cold in the evening.

At Pokhara, 16th March 2007
Day 10 : I arose at 6:30am and caught the beautiful view of white-snow-capped mountains range. One of them, Machhapuchhre (aka Fishtail Mountain) measures 6,993m / 22,943 feet. Then Bro. Lukram took the four of us around Pokhara sight-seeing. Bro. Gan stayed in the hotel to rest. We visited 1. Phewa Lake, 2. Mahendra Cave, 3. Annapurna Natural History Museum (aka "The Butterflies Museum") which has almost all of Nepal's 650 species of butterflies collection. The beauty of Nepal's butterflies were collected and preserved over a period of some thirty years, are displayed in different groups to illustrate mimicry, camouflage, and the rare and endemic species of Nepal and altitude variations. Mountain butterflies of the world are highlighted with a collection of the Parnassius group, which can be seen upon request. The oriental region species are increases with samples of Leaf Butterflies and Swordtails Butterflies from various more tropical parts of South East Asia. We saw many various species of moths and interesting dragon flies. This is the most complete and best organized collection of butterflies in Nepal. I saw many samples of rocks and also some interesting fossils "saligrams" and minerals. A total of about 70 plants and 150 birds of the region are pictured on plywood strips and charts on the walls. There are 56 study bird skins of interest to the students of ornithology. Since stuffed animals are hard to prepare and preserve which means that an animal have to be killed, the museum has used life-size pictures on plywood and cement relief. About 90 different animals are depicted in this way. There are fresh-water dolphins in Nepal, too. There are also charts showing altitude zones related animals, fish and snakes, of the surrounding zoo-geographic regions. Biodiversity is illustrated with wild yak and domesticated sheep and goats. Beef are imported for consumption, even though there are local cows and bulls wandering along the roads, due to religious (Hinduism) issues.
Indeed, the exhibits in this museum provided a learning opportunity to help the uneducated and non-traveller to know more about the world beyond their neighbourhood.

Pokhara
Day 10 : From 3 pm till 5:30 pm, we cooked our lunch-cum-dinner at Bro. Samuel Thapa's rented one-room apartment. He is Bro. Lukram's second born son, 19-year old, pursuing his study at Western Health Science Academy.

Evening church service (6:45pm till 8:30 pm). In this service, bro. Richard Gan preached (Bro. Lukram as the translator):
1. The need for believers - (i) fellowship (horizontal perspective) is good, (ii) worship God (vertical perspective) is better, and (iii) hearing God's word (grow in the spirit ) is best.
2. We are what we 'eat' (spiritual application).
3. Lord Jesus Christ is preparing the wise virgins for the Bride's rapture.
4. Pagan tradition had invaded the Church.  Difference between pagan traditions and racial traditions and customs.

Ater the church service, five of us squeezed into a small Suzuki cab to return to the 'Blue Heaven Guest House'. The cab driver charged us 150 Nepali Rupee, instead of 50 Rp (by meter-reading) because after 8:00pm there is no bus service around the town.

Pokhara, 17th March 2007
Day 11 : Saturday is the day the local believers here gather for regular church service. We started at 10:00 am, Bro. Rup Kumah Gurung was translating while Bro. Richard Gan preached :-
1. The Foundation and 12 Foundations; (Revelation 21:14; 1Corinthians 3:11)
2. Ephesians 1;16-19, You can understand God.
3. The inherintance Christ gave the believers is The Name. The Name - Yashua (Jesus) Ephesians 1:10-12
4. God is building A City (Hebrews 11;8-10)
5. Christmas tree -- pagan religion (Jeremiah 10:3-5,23 )
6. Believing the miracles or believing  His Word (John 2:23-25).

At 12:30pm, we had Nepali lunch prepared by the host. After that, we resumed our church service, with more preaching of the Word of God. Then we ended the service with a simple ceremony of dedicating a baby to our Lord God. The young parents named their son, "Petrik" a Nepali word for "token". The young couple bought some biscuits to share with the church in conjunction of their son's dedication ceremony. Though most of them are poor, yet they are willing to share.  Praise God!

After that, Bro. Lukram and  Bro. Gan went to the barber shop. Only 20 rupees for a haircut. (US$1 = about 69 Nepalese rupess). Real cheap.  Bro. Gan could not miss the offer.

Lakeside area being a tourist attraction spot, we went there window-shopping and bargain hunting for some souvenirs.

Pokhara to Kathmandu, 18th March 2007
Day 12 : At 6:45 am, we were at the tourist bus park. A mishap happened, Bro. Lukram forgot about his sling bag and left it under the taxi's seat while helping us to unload our luggage. He realised the missing bag only after the taxis left us.  It contains his international passport, money, Bible and other items. Initially, we were in perplexity. After a whispered soft prayer for God's help, I told Bro. Lukram to go the taxi stand in town to look for the taxi driver, since he recognised the driver. The bus was scheduled to leave at 7:30 am, and passengers were told to load up their luggage on the bus.  At 7:10 am, Bro. Lukram came  back in another taxi and was happy to get back his bag, with all his belonging inside. We thank God for answering prayers.

Kathmandu to Bangkok to Singapore, 19th March 2007
Day 13 : We thank God for journey mercies.  We reached Singapore safe and sound. Brothers  Joses, Paul , Zoel and sister Sandy were at Changi Airport to welcome us.
Praise God and to God be the Glory. I like to thank Bro. Lukram and all saints whom we met at Nepal for their hospitalities and fellowships.
            "Thanawa" (Thank you in Nepali)
            "Jayamersi"


A word from Bro. Richard Gan

I thank the Lord for seeing me through this rough trip.  This was one of several rough trips I have endured since the Lord called me to minister overseas in 1981. There were so much dust, dirt, heavy exhaust gas from lorries and buses that, with the added cold dry air, took a toll on my throat and respiratory system.  A week into the journey I experienced some pain in the throat and sinuses.  Then in Pokhara, I felt the exhaustion and stayed the afternoon in the hotel room while the rest of believers with me took a tour around Pokhara.  I blew out yellowish mucus from my nose.  Sometimes the mucus were blackish.  It was only after I returned home that I felt totally exhausted. I could not speak without spasm in my throat that caused me to cough uncontrollably as in an asthmatic attack.  Then I had a slight fever and body aches and headache on Thursday afternoon.  I realized then that I had influenza.  But praise the Lord, it passed away in two days.

The Lord had kept me going during the trip and the ministration of the Word until I reached home.  Without my knowledge I had actually caught the flu just before going to Pokhara.

At the time of this posting, my throat is still bad and I could not speak without it going into a spasm that would lead into an asthmatic type coughing.

I appreciate all the saints who have been praying for my health.  God bless.

PS: The day after we arrived home, there was civil unrest in Nepal, such that land transportations were paralyzed.  We thank God that we got out before the unrest began.