Bond & Heather Gaona ~ Begging For More
It is harvest time in Nepal and everywhere you look people are in the fields to gather their crops. This week we saw a field with only two people working and the task seemed overwhelming. Then we passed another field and there were dozens of people spread throughout the field in long lines working together to accomplish the large task with ease. It was a picture of how we are not alone, but we are joined by each of you who co-labor with us in prayer, support, encouragement and love as we work together side-by-side during this harvest season.
Begging For More
This month there are 40 Pastors and Leaders in West Nepal that have set aside their schedules, left their families and traveled to another city. They sit on a concrete floor, eat rice and dahl (meat once a week), stay in a building with no running water, no air conditioning, no electricity and sleep on the floor with only a mat…to attend bible training for 8 hours a day. Unlike any other time, the majority of these men and woman are living on-site and stay with us each week. (Picture: Nepal School of Ministry Students- Pastor Sri Krishna – Middle Left)
All of the students are first generation Christians and only 4 have had any formal training. They are attentive, engaged and committed making each day a blessing. Last week, the students voted to have class on Sunday (typically our day off) in order to maximize the time they have and get the most out of the training. They never complain and they beg for more! It reminded us of Acts 13:42 “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.”
Liberated and Free
Each week, we have been able to visit various villages and churches where our students are currently pastoring or leading fellowships.
Pastor Sri Krishna invited us to the area where he lives and is overseeing two churches. The region is home to former slaves (referred to as Kamaiya) where whole families were bonded by indebtedness to landowners and forced into slave labor for generations. That changed in the year 2000 when the Nepalese government abolished slavery and thousands had their debts paid and they were set free. To gather together and worship with those who have been liberated physically and now spiritually was a day that we will remember forever. However, with freedom and the choice to worship where and how they want, Pastor Sri Krishna and the believers in this region have endured intense persecution and many in the community protest their religious freedom. They are unable to buy land in the area, recent building projects near the school were shut down and threats to his family and ministry are constant. In addition to the difficulties he faces from the hostile community, his mud home is flooded during heavy rains because of the location. Please pray for Pastor Sri Krishna as he shares about the redemption of Christ who sets us free from sin in a region where former slaves are still held hostage by the idol worship of their ancestors. Pray also that he would be able to secure land and relocate his home to an area that is free from flooding. (Picture: Bond Teaching at Kichahi Church With Former Kamaiya)
Are You Ready?
As we returned from our day, we noticed there were many military soldiers and police officers in the area. Not thinking that we would be affected by this, we proceeded to our room to change our clothes and head to the dining hall where we are normally the only people eating. As we opened the door to the dining hall, we immediately saw that the room was full of high-ranking officials. We were taken aside by the dining hall staff and informed that we would have to eat in another room because the Interim Prime Minister of Nepal, the Commander of the Military and Chief of Police where all on-site. We immediately thought about our friends serving in other countries who have met top officials in places like Haiti so we looked at each other and said,…”perhaps this is our chance”. Unfortunately, security became more intense and we were quickly whisked away. We are challenged by 2 Timothy 4:2 which says, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” We may not have been prepared to meet the Prime Minister of Nepal that night, but throughout the month we have been asking each other…. “Are You Ready?”
Thank you for being part of planting and reaping in the lives of the people in West Nepal. Your rewards are in heaven, but here on this earth we send our thanks! We will continue in Nepal through November 1st and then we head to China for the remainder of the fall. With Love From Nepal,
Bond and Heather Gaona|