As I sit here at my computer, I have to sit more closely than usual as we are having a power outage, and the light from the battery and inverter is not as bright as the regular lights….. I can hear children singing in the distance as tonight is Laxmi Puja – part of the Tihar festival here in Nepal. It is ironic that this is the Festival of Lights – and tonight all the lights have gone out!
We are back in Tansen after a wonderful visit to the U.S. where we were able to be part of our son Luke’s wedding to our beautiful new daughter-in-love, Laura, in Knoxville, TN. Not only was the time with family and the wedding itself wonderful, but we enjoyed the beautiful autumn colors of the Appalachian mountains as we drove to and from the celebration. We were also so happy to be able to attend Hannah’s junior flute recital at Asbury University. We enjoyed our time with many friends and family, but it all went too quickly and there were many we didn’t get to see (or see enough!).
We were also thankful for the reminders of so many of you who are praying for us and helping to support us here and we appreciate that so much. We feel so blessed through our family and friends and we miss you when we are here! We would welcome any who would like to come for a visit!!
When we arrived back here, it was to some of the most spectacular views of the mountains that we have seen since we returned in March. The entire range was out in full magnificence for 5 or 6 days straight. Simply stunning.
Unfortunately, the beauty of this country which draws so many hikers and tourists does not translate into wealth for the people who live here. So many people seem to be so needy here – requests for money come much more frequently than we feel ready to deal with. We recently helped a friend with money for her son’s entrance fees into a lab training program – only to learn that there would be other major expenses to be covered over the 3 years of the course. Another nurse wants to further her education (to the tune of about $2400) – and she needs the money in a matter of days. Her mother lives in a one room apt and her sister works for the missionaries as a househelper, so they are not a family that is well off – and $2400 represents more than a year’s salary for them. Please pray for us as we sort through these requests – we want to follow God’s leading in this.
Closing on an interesting note for us – the local crows, along with the many stray dogs, are happier these past few days as these are the few days of the year that people are supposed to treat them well – leaving food out for them. (This is part of the celebration of Tihar) The cow which lives among the shops outside the hospital has a permanent red patch on its forehead now as so many have put the red powder used for worship on it. (The cow is considered holy among the Hindu people).
The festival season in Nepal will be over at the end of this week. As you in the west enter into the holiday season there, we pray that you will especially remember to be thankful for your blessings and to enjoy the gifts of friends and family.