Nepal Travels


We arrived in Kathmandu at around noon on October 7th, but I didn’t stay long.  There were some pressing things that Mike Keator and I needed to address at our team site in Biratnagar, so we left the next morning for a short flight to visit the team.  Biratnagar is southeast of Kathmandu close to the India border.  We spent some time teaching, encouraging, and correcting some things.  We hope and pray that God works in them and allows them to be fruitful in multiplying their T4T groups with generations of churches being planted.  We flew back to Kathmandu on October 8th.

Biratnagar team photo.


I flew out on Friday October 11th and spent nine nights there.  Nepalgunj west of Kathmandu near the India border.  It is a low-lying area with standing water in many places.  Its elevation is 150m (492’) above sea level.  Kathmandu’s elevation is 1500m (4921’) above sea level.  They grow lots of rice around the city.  One of the first things that weekend was a big celebration for all the house church members in the area.  It was a 3-hour program with teaching, worship, and great fellowship!  I was able to share a few minutes for introduction and for sharing a word of encouragement! (VIDEO)  (PHOTOS)

Worship from the celebration service

One day when we were our sharing the Gospel, I saw a rice threshing machine.  I have seen other harvesting machines but hadn’t seen one for rice (VIDEO).  I also got to attend a wedding reception for a family member of our team.  We also attended some T4T meetings and I had the opportunity to share a word of encouragement with the group.

The temperature is warm, very warm. It was high 80’s low 90’s for temperature each day. We spent a good portion of our time training/teaching NPJ team here, but also training/teaching our new teams from India. One from New Delhi and the other from Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Those teams are formed and getting up and running with training others to reach India and plant churches, share the Gospel, form T4T groups and so on. Here is a video of the Bageshwani Hindu temple in the city (VIDEO). Lastly, here is some photos from NPJ -> (PHOTOS)


We flew out to Jumla on October 20th.  Jumla is in the high mountains at an elevation of 2514m (8,248’).  The weather there was like the weather back in Minnesota.  It was cool at night, but when the sun came out it got warm.  It might have been warmer than Minnesota at this time of year which might be due to the latitude and elevation (closer to the sun).  When we flew there, we didn’t get a round trip ticket because our work there wasn’t well defined.  But when we arrived we had more opportunities to share, teach and encourage the leaders and their growing team so we made the best use of the time.  Mike also spent some time interviewing team members for possible hire as full time team members.  (PHOTOS)

Me sharing with the Jumla team during a break.

We ended up spending two full days with the team Monday/Tuesday and then planned on leaving Wednesday afternoon to travel back to NPJ for a few days, then take a bus to Surkhet.  When we tried to get a flight, everything was booked up.  The planes are small and infrequent so they told us it might be a couple of days.  We didn’t want to wait that long, so we booked a van to drive us the ‘short’ distance of 268 km (166 miles) from Jumla to Surkhet.  The “road” between the two towns resembles a spaghetti noodle (MAP) with all its twists and turns and is called the Karnali Highway. 

One section of the Karnali Highway.

Did I also mention that this is in the mountains?  So, that short 166-mile trek took 11.5 hours with 1 hour of stopping.  I don’t remember many stretches that had pavement.  I have been on minimum maintenance roads in South Dakota that were better than this. 

Karnali River

Enjoy this (VIDEO).  Despite the road and the time, the views were absolutely breathtaking.  From the light blue colored Karnali River, to the terraced mountains, to remote villages built right on these rugged mountains, it was amazing!  You was Dhērai Sundar (dairy soon-dar), very beautiful. (PHOTOS).


We spent another few days in Surkhet.  Surket has an elevation of 1000m (3280’) and is in a valley like Kathmandu.  There are also lower mountains near and around the area.  We did some more encouraging, teaching, training, and interviewing at this site.  Saturday is church day in Nepal and India, so on that Saturday I attended a church about 1 hour outside of Surkhet.  I rode there on the back of a motorcycle.  The air is hazy here, mostly from smoke and partly from dusty roads.  I am sure the views would be tremendous if not for the haze.  So on that drive I wore a respirator. (see respirator story below)  It was a fun, really fun service, hearing their worship and beautiful voices praising God!  I shared a message on trials and persecution.  The message theme was how in God’s kindness he allows trials to purify us and to make us more like his son!  Here are some (PHOTOS) and (VIDEO) from the church service and time in Surkhet.

Listening to worship…

When we arrived in Surket it was during a big Hindu festival.  On Tuesday of that week, everything shutdown, even our hotel.  The hotel was locked and we had to call the owner to let us back in that evening.  If you would like to see a few views of Surkhet and the team, take a look at this (VIDEO).


We took a large van from Surkhet to Nepalgunj.  It was a short drive, but lots of twists and turns.  I was amazed at how many people they packed into the van.  They made “extra seats” by placing boards across the aisle.  It was packed.  I thought I would have a great spot next to the door until someone was sitting next to me in the aisle and 3-4 people were standing in front of me hanging out that door.  As my stomach was churning with every turn (MAP), I kept reciting, Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Next stop after Nepalgunj is Dhangadhi….and that will happen in November.

A Bit of Culture…

We arrived in Surkhet during their big festival.  It is called Tihar festival where people string up lights, do some drinking, and party late, well at least that is what I understood.  They also do these colorful powder pictures on the ground.  They then light candles hoping that the good spirits will enter their homes and bless them. (VIDEO)  You will see some photos of a few of these in the album.  They also have some sort of custom where “mobs” of people with walk around the city and do a song and dance in front of your house or business and won’t leave until you pay them.  There were children doing this on our way back from Jumla right in the middle of the road.

Food made for Tihar festival

I have made some friends with a shop owner and her daughters.  The owners of the shop are Ram and Rukmini with their daughters Rubina (22) (roo-bean-ah) and Rojina (12) (row-jean-ah).  The daughters speak English very well and have been a help with learning the Nepali language.  I went to the shop last night to pick up some vegetables and Rukmini said her daughters have missed seeing me.  So today I went to the shop to pick up some yogurt (it is called daihee (pronounced da-he)), when Rukmini saw me, she went to fetch her daughters.  In Nepal and many countries in south Asia they eat a bread called ‘roti’.  It is very similar to pita bread, but not as thick.  They also use to term ‘roti’ to describe many things other than the pita like stuff.  This morning Rojina came in with some roti they made for me for the festival.  Here is a quick video of Rojina telling me what they are (VIDEO).

Respirator Masks…

Before we left the country we were made aware of perpetual dust in Nepal.  The road system is not very good and with little to no tax base, the roads remain in disrepair.  Without knowing what we would find when we arrived, we decided to take some masks with us.  So I called up some of my co-workers at the Aberdeen, SD 3M manufacturing plant to see if I could get a bulk supply of masks.  Adam, Jason and others came through for me and I was able to pick them up when we visited town.

Wearing a 3M mask

The fun part about the story is that I am wearing a 3M mask, picked up by my friends, made by the company I used to work for, in the town I grew up in.

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