Debbie S, who returned home with the first mission group, writes about having to say good-bye to the children with whom the team spent the week...
When I mention how emotional and tearful it was leaving the children at the Tuition center in Pokhara, the question that follows is, "How did you develop a closeness [to the children] in such a short time?"
We have also been asked how we communicated since we didn't speak Nepali. But children are the same everywhere.
They like to be given love and attention. They can read acceptance and love in your eyes, facial expressions and hand gestures and some words can be recognized both ways.
[As we spent] time with them, whether through the use of hand clapping games, which they are quick to learn from us, or they taught us new ones; to singing songs with us; to listening to the gospel messages through an interpreter; to hands-on [activities with] team members going around and helping each student with the craft that reinforced the Bible lesson; we laughed and loved back and forth. [We loved] to hear their little voices saying, "Miss you!, Miss you!"
[Click on triangle to see video. Turn volume up.]
Andrea C, who is winging her way back home with the Jumla team as this posts, writes the following of her time in Pokhara with the children...
The Tuition Center's leader Tej and his family seated us at the front of the room, all in a long row. They had the children sitting in front of us on benches. This is not the normal layout of the room.
All of the mission team sat in the chairs at the front, and one by one Tej, his wife, his daughter, and his niece wrapped scarves around our necks as well as flower wreaths, flowers in the girls' hair, and gave us each fresh bouquets of flowers wrapped in paper. I'm sure this was a costly gift, and I am not worthy.
This morning, I read briefly a part of Acts 20, when Paul says: "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." And I kept thinking as we stood at the front and all the children clapped for us, "I am nothing. I am nothing."
Then we said goodbye to the children at the Tuition Center. Some of our team were crying, but the children were happy and eager.
Please continue in prayer for our final four today as they land in Chicago and then take their flight to Pittsburgh and then travel on to their homes. Coming home is a heady event after such a time away. Pray for their health, rest, and hearts which are sure to be tender as they settle back in to life among family, church family, and friends.
"Let us live out of the world as to its spirit, maxim, manners,
but live in it as the sphere of our action and usefulness;
May we be alive to every call of duty, accepting without question
thy determination of our circumstances and our service."
~Valley of Vision