Saturday, July 5, 2014
nepal - the q&a
Awesome. That's the twitter version of the story. What follows is my longest. post. ever. You might want to quit now....
What did you accomplish?
Thanks to a great team of missionaries on the field, we were able to show a group of five, interested-in-Bible-translation and really awesome college students what real life is like for Bible translators, language surveyors, office staff and Bible storying project members. At least two students are now 100% interested in working somewhere in the realm of Bible translation!
Where exactly were you?
We spent a week at a site in Dallas, Texas, learning about the ins and outs of my husband's organization both in the states and abroad. This was team-building time as well. Kathmandu, Nepal was next, where we participated in language learning, a survey simulation and met with translators and storying project leaders. We stayed in an apartment and ate our meals out at various restaurants. Kathmandu is hot, hazy and polluted this time of year. We had running water, wi-fi, sporadic electricity, no air-conditioning and regular-to-us toilets. Our next step was an authentic ten-hour bus ride with four missionaries-who-speak-Nepali up a terrifying, one-lane, switchback filled "road" to a village where we overnighted in a "hotel" - electricity from solar panels, no water inside, squatty potties and plywood beds. This began eight days of a strict Nepali diet which consists of rice, lentil soup (together this is known as dahl bat), potatoes and tea. Thrice daily. We donned 25-30 pound backpacks the next morning and hiked six hours up to an even more remote village where language surveyors have worked, but no translation has been started yet. The hike was more strenuous than Chris and I expected, but the team did really well. The last few hours were on a steep, dry creek bed, so the going was slow. Rain began falling just as we entered the village.
What was the village like?
The six-day village stay was both the hardest and my favorite week. The sleeping conditions were akin to the first village except I shared my single, plywood bed with a teammate! Our potty was outside and down a path as was the water tap that served several homes for their bathing, clothes washing, dish washing and drinking. During our stay we played with children, taught school, visited Christian homes, attended church and ate....potatoes!!! And drank copious amounts of tea. I was struck by the gasp-when-you-see-it scenery, the peoples' generous spirits and the simplicity of life. I was also amazed that school has no electricity, no heat and three teachers for five classes. Everything there takes a long time to accomplish - washing, drying, getting places, buying food....God really worked on my heart to examine my attitude toward stuff. We saw first-hand how a Bible-less people group functions. The villagers speak their own language (8 villages speak this one) with each other at home, and only use the national language, Nepali, for school and talking with people from other language groups. So most in this village rarely use Nepali. And some barely speak it because they are uneducated. This group hasn't had scripture translated yet, so their scriptures are in Nepali, leaving some completely out and many struggling to understand. but a translation project should begin in the next two years.
How did you get out of there?
We left on the day the rains came. And the dry creek bed we hiked up? Was a creek going down. We became soaked through, our packs grew wet and heavy, and little brown leeches waited on the wet leaves to attach themselves to us. There were land slides to skirt and small rivers to wade and this is the point I broke down. Chris found me weeping on the trail near a land slide. "What if there are land slides beyond the next village and the bus can't get us out of heeeeerrrreeee?" I wailed. He was very comforting, and I moved on. What else could I do? One small step at a time, we made it to that next village and got on the bus the next morning.
What was next?
Four days of debriefing, relaxing and shopping. At a resort. With electricity, air-conditioning, TV and toilets. And a buffet. From which we did not choose potatoes!
Would you go back?
Yes! God is doing a great work in Nepal!
Can I get involved?
Yes! You can pray for Wycliffe missionaries throughout the world as they seek to at least have a translation started for every language in the world by 2025. There are about 1800 languages that still need translation. You can also give. All Wycliffe members (even the executives) raise their own support. You can give to Wycliffe in general by clicking here. You can give specifically to my husband by clicking here.
What questions do you have?
linking with kelli, laura, jen, jennifer, barbie, sharita