Back From Kathmandu!

* This post has been adapted from a letter sent by Greg Gewin to those who supported him in finances and prayer as he went to Nepal. He and his team taught men and women the Bible for a week. 

JmaC! (pronounced Jay-Ma-See )

That’s how believers in Nepal greet one another. Others say, “Namaste,” which means they are honoring the divine in the other person. As Christians, we say Namaste too, because we know that each person is created in the image of God, and we honor that image in every person. But as Christians, the divine truly does “tabernacle” in us. Jesus Christ lives in us, through the Holy Spirit, so JmaC!

I appreciate each one of you so much. Thank you for partnering with me and with Sojourn and God in prayer and financial provision. Your generosity humbled me and blessed me and strengthened me in the sense of call I had to this trip and to missions generally and to the unreached specifically. Your gifts truly overflowed in blessing – both your giving and your praying. The Lord’s blessing was on this trip, and our national partners in Nepal told us that the teaching sessions helped these churches and the pastors of the churches understand God’s Word and mission better. Seeing the overarching theme of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ for His supreme exultation and for the redemption of the nations strengthens faith and sets the heart on fire with love for God and passion for HIs glory to be made known. I believe that is what the Holy Spirit did through this mission. I know He did that in my heart to a greater degree.

3-20-17 [1st Journal entry]

Long flight but good.
Staying up to prepare.
Love it.
Love Kathmandu.
Hari took us to an open, breezy place for pizza – tandoori chicken and yak cheese. Looking out on the biggest stupa in Nepal.

Hari is a gracious host.
I pray we are a great blessing to him and the church.
God, you are good.
Fill me with Your goodness to bless Your people tomorrow. In the Name of Jesus.

4-11-17 [Last day in Kathmandu. On the rooftop of the Kunzom guesthouse]

Isaiah 8:9-9:7
“Be broken, O peoples, and be shattered And give ear all remote places of the earth. Gird yourselves, yet be shattered;
Gird yourselves, yet be shattered.
Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted;
State a proposal, but it will not stand,
For God is with us.”

A southern doctoral student from the upper Himalayan region of Nepal met us at Himalayan Coffee yesterday morning. Told us about anti-conversion laws specifically geared toward Christianity. It won’t stand against God’s kingdom. Poor, pitiful kingdom of man, fighting a futile war against the Good King, striving futily to establish itself, make a name for itself, and reign.

I think this morning about all the support team members who sent me here and are praying. Lord, thank You for each one. Bless each one with rich, choice blessings according to each one’s need. You know best, Father.

So that’s a little taste of the trip from my journal as I experienced it at the time. Now that I’m back, I’m starting to feel back to normal, almost. We had an ambitious trip, traveling about twenty hours to Kathmandu, and after a day of church, leaving the next morning for a two day, sixteen hour trip into the mountains of Nepal, not the Himalayas, the regular mountains; we saw the Himalayas; they’re not regular. The Himalayas emerge in the sky like a vision. They are unconquerable, some of them, like Fishtail, whose two rocky spires jut into the sky, gray and jagged. Even the snow cannot conquer those peaks. A wispy white cloud hangs around the summit, where the snow is whipped off the mountain.

But we were in the mountains, and the ride was rough. We had to clear a big boulder out of the road at one point. The jeeps and busses that were backed up waiting, passed us clapping and cheering. One bus gave us Nepalese candy as they passed. Man, I love missions. It’s life in technicolor. Joining in on God’s mission to reach the nations is a powerful current in the river of God’s purpose. When you jump in, you don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s not going to be dull. And there’s power in your prayers. Praying for God’s mission in the world puts us in that current as surely as if we are there in person. I felt the living God answering your prayers and knew it. Thank you again for your prayers. I needed every bit and so did the team.

Just as you all gave in abundance, meeting the need and beyond! So you prayed in abundance, meeting the need and beyond! After I returned home, the next day, I experienced a continuation, an overflow, of the power you prayed for. The Lord kind of took over a retail environment; that’s the best way I can describe it, as He gave me the opportunity to point people to Jesus and encourage them to read the book of Hebrews, which they did not know was in the New Testament, while I fixed their credit card terminal. After years in retail sales, I know my way around a cc terminal. This was a Christian bookstore, but the volunteers running it, did not know how or were afraid to come directly to their High Priest, Jesus, in prayer. They promised to read Hebrews though. We “come boldly to the throne of GRACE…” (This was your prayers, or rather God’s answering of your prayers, at work, as surely as I sit here now. This was Lagniappe power.) (For anyone not from the deep South, that’s “a little somethin extra – like a 13th oyster on the half shell.)

After four days in Burti Bangh, teaching pastors about 1) how the Bible fits together and how it is all about Jesus Christ, 2) His gospel and how to preach Christ-centered/Gospel-centered sermons from every part of the Bible, 3) while preaching the point of the passage as your main point, and 4) how to handle the Word of Truth accurately, so as not to be ashamed before God, but a workman, approved by Him ( 2 Timothy 2:15),  we headed back the other way, sixteen hours to Kathmandu and two days later, twenty plus hours back to Louisville. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why go, if you are not going to do something worthwhile, something that counts for time and eternity.

Everyday I thought of you all and how thankful I am that you sent me there, and I prayed and do pray that God would bless you all richly with every good thing. As I said, I felt God’s presence and provision in response to your prayers, and I needed it.


Photo Creds:

Title Photo – Jay Keywood (@jkywd)

Photos in Body – Greg Gewin