God is Moving in Nepal

Some friends of mine from church here in Edinburgh were part of a mission trip to Nepal a few weeks ago. They helped make a very special Pastor’s Conference happen and, among other things, also began looking into the possibility of helping with the great and grave issue of human trafficking there. This is especially a problem among young Nepali women who are often lured to India with the promise of work, and tricked into forced labour in the continually burgeoning sex industry there. They also visited a wonderful native of Nepal named Nima who was a classmate of mine at the University of Edinburgh. He studying in Edinburgh, but doing field research back in his home country, because he has a heart to see the Gospel effectively spread in Nepal through church planting. Through Nima (whose family currently resides here in Edinburgh) these connections between our local church and the people of Nepal have begun to form. Exciting stuff!

A friend of mine named David was among those on the trip — some of you may remember the story of how he was my first letting agent in Edinburgh, (translation for the Americans: he rented me my first flat/apartment) and was a great blessing to me as my life started here. David shared the following story with me. It is both inspiring and challenging. I hope it touches your heart, too.

One Day a beggar woman that lived in a temple was going down to the river when she saw in the distance a man throwing a sack into the river. He noticed her and ran away. She thought he may have stolen something and so she began to walk over to investigate. The dogs beat her there and were dragging the bag and trying to open it. She arrived and scared them off. Slowly she opened the bag to find a small baby inside, only a few days old. She gathered the baby up and took her back to the temple where she lived and begged for money to survive. She cared for this child for 9 years until she died.

A woman from a church heard about the child (called Didi) and contacted Shanta (pronounced “Santa,” this woman runs the Peace Rehabilitation Centre the team visited) to ask her if she would take the child in. Shanta of course said yes. Sadly the day that the beggar woman died the gurus at the temple raped the girl. Shanta went the next day to see the little girl and asked her if she would like to come with her. She said yes and PRC would become her home and family where she would be educated, find healing and love.

Fast forward many years. Didi had many offers to marry as she grew to be a beautiful young woman, but she turned them all down. One day another man came to ask her if she would marry him. He had been stricken with tuberculosis of the spine as a child, which left him very disabled. To everyone’s surprise, Didi said yes. Shanta asked her why she would choose to marry this man, and this was her reply. “Mommy if I do not marry him who will? You took me in when no one else would, and showed me love. Jesus sacrificed his life for me when he did not have to. I will sacrifice all I have to care for and love this man.”

We had the privilege to meet this couple in our last few days in Nepal. They have two children and you can see the love in their eyes for one another.

Wow. We have so much to be thankful for. And so much work to do. Lord help us to remember, despite how much so many of us have, how BIG, how great, how amazing, and how magnificent a gift the sacrifice of Jesus is, to those of us who have received Him and for those who still need to know.

Can you spell Kyrgyzstan?

I complain way more than I should about living in Scotland. I’m working on it. The weather leaves much to be desired, and sometimes so does the customer service. And things are pretty darn expensive. Except for groceries at Tesco. But I was reminded today of how much I have to be thankful for. Besides my tortilla chips for 18 pence a bag.


A friend of mine is a missionary in Kyrgyzstan, and some new laws have been passed there that, if they were passed in Scotland,  would make church planting a much more difficult task than it already is.


The new law stipulates that …

1. Two hundred adult citizens permanently living in Kyrgyzstan will now be required to register their membership before a religious community can apply for state registration, compared to 10 in the current Law. It says 10 registered religious organisations will be needed to form a ‘religious association’. (So groups of less than 200 won’t be granted permission to assemble).

2.The Minister of Justice can only register a religious organisation/church after local authorities, and then regional authorities, have approved the membership list, and local authorities have the power to decide if a particular religious organisation is needed in their area.

3. [This is the kicker for me.] There is now a ban on children being involved in religious organisations, which puts an end to children’s ministries such as summer camps and Sunday Schools, and even means parents cannot take their children to church with them.

Fortunately, an investigation commission visited my friend’s Christian Children’s Home, and they received high reviews. Pray that the favour will continue.

I cannot IMAGINE not being able to bring Asher to church. Or trying to minister to anyone who has a kid — how do you convince someone to join you for church on a Sunday morning? What do they do with their kids?

The Sermon in a Nutshell: Even if popsicle stick crafts and stained glass painting aren’t your idea of a good time – be thankful that those special childhood memories were made possible by your delightful local VBS!