Faithfulness of previous generations

Today we got some winter rains.  The sky turned quite dark, thunder rumbled, and the hail came pounding down onto the tin roof!  We couldn’t hear ourselves think – the storm was quite fierce for several minutes!  The rains are certainly welcome as the rivers are getting lower and the paths and roads have been thick with dust.  The reduced water power in the rivers has caused lots of cuts in electricity  – especially in the bigger cities of Kathmandu, Pokhara, etc.

One of the great joys of serving here in Tansen is to know that the work we are doing is building on the work of many faithful servants who have been here before us.  It is especially amazing to meet some of the real pioneers of the Tansen medical work.  One day last month, Mrs. Iwamura arrived in Tansen with a group of Japanese guests.  The Iwamuras first came to Tansen 50 years ago!  Dr. Iwamura came to be a physician here at Tansen Mission Hospital and they lived and worked here for 18 years.


Les and Mrs. Iwamura

Les and Mrs. Iwamura compressed

Mrs. Iwamura came with a group that included a good friend of ours from Japan!  He is the husband of a classmate of Les’s who had become a good friend of Debbie’s during her years in Japan.  Les had to dig a bit deep as he was called to converse with the group in Japanese – but he did a great job.


Mrs. Iwamura and her daughter in front of the where house they used to live in Tansen.

Mrs. Iwamura and her daughter compressed

Mrs. Iwamura brought several copies of a children’s book written in Japanese and Nepali about their time here in Tansen.  It tells the story of how they came to Tansen and started seeing many patients in the hospital.  However, Dr. Iwamura became concerned about the people who were too sick to make the trip to the hospital, so he started traveling out to the surrounding villages to see patients.  One day he found an old woman who was very ill and needed to be taken to the hospital.  She was too sick to walk, and there were no roads for ambulances.  It was summer, and the villagers were all busy with their own field work which needed to be done, so he was having trouble finding someone to carry her.  Dr. Iwamura prayed that help would come to get this woman to the hospital, and the next day a young man came to the village to deliver some goods and he agreed gladly to carry this sick lady to Tansen hospital for care.

It took three days for the group to return to Tansen as this young man carried this woman on his back – up and down over many mountain paths.  When Dr. Iwamura tried to pay this young man for his service, the young man refused to accept, saying that he was happy to do this kind deed for the old woman.  And when Dr. Iwamura asked him why he was so kind to her, he said, “Everyone – even the less fortunate – deserves the chance to live.”

It was so encouraging to Dr. Iwamura that this young man, who wasn’t rich himself, was willing to give his time and effort to help someone in even more need.  This is something we have seen here, as well.  In a country full of needs and very poor people, those with little are always willing to share what they have with someone else.


Group photo! Our friend’s husband is in the front squatting down in the black shirt.

Les and group compressed

We continue to be humbled by so much here.  Thanks for your prayers!



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5 responses to “Faithfulness of previous generations

  1. Peter A Block

    What a wonderful story. It is so true. All our lives overseas we were continually aware of the work done before us and which made our work so much easier.

    Thanks so much for keeping us in touch.

    Peter and Arlene

  2. Thomas L Sutter

    Lester and Debbie We are close to you —-in India visiting a friend from our church who moved back here. Was in Mumbai yesterday. We are thinking of you since we are relatively close. We are here for two weeks while she shows us around.


    Sent from my iPad

  3. Margaret Fain

    Isn’t it amazing that the less one has, the more one is willing to share with others! Nice story and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing it. Hope you are both well. It is very cold here today, 0 degrees early, now up to 16 at noon time. Uncle Dick has bronchitis, cough driving him & me both “up a wall”!
    Love, Aunt Maggie

  4. V Watson

    I find the same here. It is the refugees and asylum seekersvwho want to share the little that they have.

  5. Risto Gobius

    As Peter and Arlene expressed above, so do we. To be conscious of the patient building up over the years, consolidating and encouraging those who participate in this and maintain, employing their God-given gifts, is in itself a Gift from God. Hallelu Yah! Love, Risto and Martje

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