Bridge to Nepal Blog

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reflections from Bryan Besette: Nepal Team Member January 2011

Our recent trip to Nepal was a great success! I'm excited about the long term connection we have established with the church and teachers in Tikapur. The majority of our time was spent working with the teachers of Grace School and PremNagar School, mentoring, and co-teaching. Others we journeyed with worked on building bunk beds for an orphanage, engineering a zip line to cross a river during flood time, and repairing a clean water line.
Team member Kim Mayo teaching children at PremNagar School
One of the questions I often hear from Christians inquiring about the trip is, "How did you communicate the gospel?" I could tell about the conversation I had with a Muslim man and his son or the Hindu student Sam & I met in the market. In both situations we shared the story of Jesus and how it connected to our being in Nepal. I could tell about the daily devotional time we had with the teachers or how as an illustration of the gospel, we gave away 10 goats to women who lost all they had in the floods 3 months ago. But the real answer is that there is such a visible difference in how the Christian community lives as compared to the majority of folks in the villages, that no one has imagined going out to "do evangelism" as an event in the way we often think of it in the States. Both the Muslim brothers and the Hindu student were well aware of the Church and had genuine interest and positive things to say about it. In Tikapur, the church is beginning to lead the larger community, meeting needs with integrity and establishing a more healthy living environment without disrespecting the beliefs of the people around them. 
Ten women received goats thanks to the generosity of several donors
I could spend time explaining how the Christian community lived differently from the majority culture in Nepal, and some of it would carry over and would be challenging to us here. But I think it would be more fruitful to encourage each of us to spend some time evaluating the priorities of our lives and how they effect the way we treat people, schedules, and resources and ask God to show us where we've bought into American culture rather than the Kingdom of God. God is moving here, in Nepal, and all over the world establishing a people who are set apart to him. And though persecution for living the way of God is real and possible, like Peter writes in his first letter, there's a good chance that if we live such good lives among non-believers they will praise God and that it will silence ignorant talk. I've heard it said that if the gospel is good news at all, someone becoming a follower of Jesus ought to be good news for everyone in the family, neighborhood, or work place. May our lives in Christ be good news for the people around us...