It’s May! Where have the months gone? February and March flew by here in Tansen with lots of time spent at the hospital for Les – seeing patients, teaching residents, and leading trainings for village health post workers. Debbie gave multiple hospital tours, welcomed people and fare-welled many, too.
We enjoyed a wonderful Easter morning celebration – meeting together at 6 am at the town hall along with fellow believers from all of the 7 churches in Tansen. We sang, worshiped, and heard encouraging words from various pastors. Then, the churches all walked around the bazaar area showing their joy and faith in Christ’s resurrection.
April has been a month of gatherings for us. We started in Pokhara for a 3 day retreat with all the expat volunteers currently working in Nepal with United Mission to Nepal. Our team was in charge of worship music again – and Les played guitar, I played clarinet, and we both sang as part of the group. We had an encouraging time together sharing about the work UMN is doing in Nepal, along with hopes and dreams for the future of this country.
We just returned from another gathering of missionaries – this time all the United Methodist missionaries serving in the Asia/Pacific region. It was wonderful to reconnect with people we had met in Thailand almost 4 years ago, and to meet new friends, as well. We were blessed that Thomas Kemper – head of the Global Ministries of the UMC – came again to be with us in Cambodia. It was encouraging to be together and to learn of God’s Kingdom work all throughout Asia. The UMC sends missionaries “From everywhere to everywhere” and it was an honor for us to be among people from many different countries.
We got to enjoy some of the sites in the area – most notably Angkor Wat. It was very hot while we were there, but we really enjoyed visiting these ancient sites in the jungle.
We are safely back in Tansen – but we wanted to share some of our travel adventures as we have never had a trip with so many glitches in flights before.
We flew to Kathmandu on a Thursday, and on Friday morning we woke to 2 pieces of bad news. One – a plane had gone off the only runway at KTM airport, and even though no one was hurt, the airport was closed for several hours which was causing lots of delays. Two – our original ticket had somehow been cancelled and we were last minute booked on another set of flights.
So – we joined the massive crowd at KTM airport and waited many hours to catch our flight on Malaysia Airlines. It left KTM 3 hours late, and we missed our connection in Kuala Lumpur. A kind agent booked us on a flight to Bangkok, and then another one to Siem Reap. We arrived just in time for opening worship – and we ate our supper during the remarks!
Our time at the conference was fine – and on Thursday morning, we flew from Siem Reap to Phnom Pen to get our Malaysia flight back. They wouldn’t allow us to get a boarding pass at the counter because they said we got cancelled when we missed the connection the previous week! Our kind travel agent worked so hard, but couldn’t get us on the flight, so he booked us on Melindo Air to KL. We had to wait in line an hour to get through immigration to retrieve our suitcase, then re-entered the airport for the next leg of the flight. However – they told us since we hadn’t flown the leg from Phnom Pen to KL, we would have to pay a penalty. At that point, we were working really hard to remain polite. We didn’t pay a penalty, and did manage to get on the flight to KTM and made it the rest of the way without trouble.
We enjoyed visiting different Asian airports and traveling various airlines! It didn’t make for the most relaxing trip we have ever had – but we were thankful for safe arrivals.
Now we are down to two months in Tansen before we take off again for the U.S. and home assignment. Looking forward to seeing many of you at that time!