Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heading Home

In about 30 minutes we will be heading to Ataturk Interational airport here in Istanbul for our 11+ hour flight to Chicago.

It's been a fun couple of days in this facinating city of antiquity and an amazing couple of weeks of evangelism adventure in Nepal. And now I can't wait to get home to see my even more amazing wife and family who so willingly and sacrificially support these Mission Helper efforts to spread the Gospel.

Thank You Jesus for blessings far to great in number to list.

And...HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tom!!!

In Christ
Pastor O.

Final Blog from Neal

Today before we prepare for our final flight home I wanted to take this time to thank those who have organized the Mission Helper Program. After experiencing this I would recommend anyone that is considering this program to support it and participate in a future trip. While this trip has been physically and at times emotionally demanding it truly has been a blessing. Clearly progress is being made in Nepal and I pray this will continue through the work of the dedicate Christians of Nepal.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Goodbye Nepal

The Mission Helpers said our sad goodbyes to Raju and Rajan very early this morning and have arrived safely in Istanbul for our 1 1/2 day layover. We are staying at an inexpensive hostel that is just a couple blocks away from the Hagia Sophia and the Bosphorous Straights.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pastors of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal

Twenty-three pastors gathered for a Pastoral training seminar in Kathmandu today (7/21/14). Praise the Lord for the privilege and opportunity to grow together in our understanding of God's word and to encourage each other in our faith and calling as pastors, teachers, and evangelists!

Almost Time to Say Goodbye

Hello again; this is Erica. 

I hope all is going well for everyone back in the USA. In a few days I'll be back, so you better watch out! 

Even though I am excited to come back home and enjoy the luxury that I live in there, it is going to be tough to say goodbye to Nepal and the people who live here. It has been a really awesome and eye-opening experience. Another thing I am going to miss very much is the Norwegian House. Everyday we have been in Nepal, this house has felt more and more like home. It is also awesome here because I am constantly surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ and it is very uplifting to my spirit. 

I'm so thankful that I had this opportunity to come to Nepal and teach kids The Gospel. I was very nervous to stand up in front of them and teach my lessons; I didn't want to mess anything up (which I definitely did more than once). But seeing those little faces looking and attentively listening to the stories we told made it worthwhile. The translators also helped out because the kids probably didn't know if we messed up more than a little bit. 

Getting sick was only a minor setback in the grand scheme of things. It was really hard for me to feel like I had a purpose here during that time, but my health was restored quickly and I remembered that my sickness may have actually helped someone. One of the nurses at the hospital seemed pretty interested in a Christian book I was reading. I wish I had talked to her more about it but I hope that it at least sparked her curiosity enough to make her look into it more if she is not already Christian. Maybe some of the kids would take to heart more of what I said when I was there and some of them would be more impacted by another team member that had to cover for me. There are a lot of reasons I can think of that could have been why I got so sick while I was here. I also got the honor of meeting my new friend Bishal. I know I've already said it but he was such a blessing to me and my dad and he is a great guy who kept me entertained for a couple of days when I just had to sit in bed. Honestly if I had to do it over again, I would gladly do it. 

Raju, Rajan, and Binita are also great people that we had with us. That whole family is so caring and compassionate and faithful. They are awesome and I'm so glad I got to meet them. I hope to see all the people I met on this trip again soon! But if not in this life, at least I know I will see them again in the next in heaven.

Another thing I'm going to miss is all of the dogs. They are seriously everywhere and I absolutely love it. I want to kneel down and scratch each and every one of their heads and hug them. I don't care how mangy they are, they are still adorable and they have feelings too. Today on the van ride back to Kathmandu, I was thinking I should come back here after I get my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. I could come here for a week or a month or however long, and just pick up all the random dogs on the streets, nueter/spay them, and return them back to where I found them. I mean... I love puppies and all, but a lot of these dogs aren't well taken care of and I don't think my efforts would cause a major change in the dog population, but at least I could do something. Being a crazy animal lover is hard to do here because they say don't pet the animals! The other day while we were waiting for our taxi to get gas (funny story - ask me about it sometime - or maybe someone else blogged about it), a healthy looking dog walked over to me wagging his furry tail and he sat down right at my feet. It seemed like I was his master or something because he stayed there for quite a while. I loved him and I almost gave in and pet him but then he decided something else was interesting and got up to go check it out. Anyway, I probably should stop talking about the animals because otherwise this post would take everyone about ten years to read.

I hope that I never forget my experiences here in Nepal. Until now, I didn't feel much emotional change. But thinking about leaving here is almost bringing me to tears now. I want to see more children, spread The Gospel more, and let this little light of mine shine brighter across this nation so that they all can be saved. But I know that we are leaving this country in good hands. 

Someday, everyone will see all of God's glory and know that he is the One True God and the only Savior; but until then, the pastors, teachers, missionaries, and other servants of the Lord will be working to bring The Gospel and salvation to as many people as possible!

Thank you for following the blog throughout the trip even though I posted much less often than expected. I will most likely have at least one or two more posts (maybe in Istanbul, then one when I return home). Now it is past my bedtime so I probably should sign off. So good afternoon, or night, or whatever part of the day it is!

Love,
Erica

From Alyssa



Only 1 more day?!

Hello again! It's crazy that we only have 1 more day in Nepal.  I'm having mixed emotions.  I'm really excited to go home, but there is SO much more we could do here.  Though it's hard to adjust to the culture here, when we're teaching it just feels right, like we're meant to be here.  I'm going to miss it!

Here are some of this week's experiences:
Todd, Neal, Erica, and I went to teach at a church.  When the people saw us walking towards the church, they started chanting and cheering and clapping!  They gave us all these beautiful flower necklaces.  There were so many kids--I think we fit about 100 of them in the tiny building.  It was definitely one of the louder groups, so we cut it short and handed out the gifts.  The pastor's family gave each of us a fan.  I still haven't opened mine--it's too pretty with the wrapping and ribbon!  They said it would remind us off their church (because it was SO hot) and so we would remember to pray for them.  So please remember to pray for them, that they can reach all the people.

A couple days later, Kate, Rob, and I got the opportunity to teach at a Hindi school.  There were only a couple of Christians there.  What an exciting experience to teach children about Jesus, especially because they had probably never heard of Him!  I pray that school may continue to learn about God's Word.

This morning was the last time we taught.  We taught over 60 kids.  They were very attentive.  Raju told us that most of them knew a lot of English, so I guess they heard everything twice! :)
OK this is random.  One thing I have learned in Nepal is how to pack people into cars.  Once we fit at least 40 people in the back of a truck for a very bumpy 2 hour drive.  Then we fit 10 of us in the back of a 6-seater pickup bed.  Today 5 of us girls went shopping.  We had one in the front with the driver, and 4 in the very small back seat.  No problem for us! :)

See you soon, and pray for our safe return.

Alyssa

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Church is in Good Hands!

Today, on our way back from the Nepal-Tibet border, we passed many beautiful sights. There were two things we saw, however, which weren't so awe-inspiring. We drove not far from the world's largest statue of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. Hindus had lined up down the steps in order to pray at the statue. As we arrived in the Kathmandu area, we drove around a large band of anti-Christian Hindu nationalists. Both of these sad sights acted as a strong reminder of the situation that Christians in Nepal find themselves in. On the surface, the situation seems dire and depressing.
During our mission trip in Nepal, I have also come to realize two things. And these two thoughts are much more encouraging, I think, than the depressing sights which I saw today.   
The first thing to realize is this: The same God who has blessed the CLC and its work in America is blessing and will continue to bless the HCLCN and its work in Nepal. Think about all of the blessings that God has provided not only for you, but also for your local church and the CLC in general. In the past 50+ years, the Lord has continuously blessed and sustained our little church body. In the same ways, the Lord has blessed the HCLCN in the past 5+ years.
We often have a hard time looking past our own cares and concerns to others in our own community, much less around the world. The Lord, however, in His omniscience, knows the needs of all of His children. The same powerful right hand that has provided for, blessed, and sustained us in the CLC is, at the same time, providing for, blessing, and sustaining those in the HCLCN.
The second thing to realize is this: The church here in Nepal couldn't be in better, more dedicated hands. JB, Raju, Rajan, and the various others who have dedicated their lives to the church here in Nepal have been an inspiration to us all. They donate their time, their energy, their money, and at times their safety in the name of the Gospel. Few could claim to have sacrificed as much for their faith as these Brothers in Christ have.
It is an uphill battle for the Church here in Nepal, but the Church is in competent hands. First of all, it is in the almighty hands of the Creator and Savior of the whole world. No amount of political opposition could overcome God's perfect Will. Second of all, God has sent the willing and tireless hands of his servants to lead the church here in Nepal. Through these people's efforts with the Gospel, the Holy Spirit will plant faith in the thousands of elect here in Nepal.
We should all thank the Lord for so richly blessing our Brethren here in Nepal! The church is in good hands!

In Christ,

Sam Rodebaugh

God is good.

Good evening America!

Tom here. Today we taught our last set of lessons for the trip. It's hard to believe that our trip is almost over! God is good.

We spent last night on the Nepali/Chinese (Tibet) border in the Himalayan foothills. It truly is beautiful country. We were able to deliver the means of grace through the Word to over 100 Nepali/Tibetan children, most of whom were practicing Hindus. God is good.

As we prepare to depart this country on Tuesday my thoughts drift to the great amount of work which the Holy Spirit has yet to do here. The third person of the Trinity must be a certified workaholic. There are so many blood bought souls here thirsting for the living water of forgiveness which He gets to pour into their hearts. To be blessed to be one of His vessels is humbling beyond explanation. God is good.

Heading home is so bittersweet. I will miss all my Nepali brothers and sisters with all my heart, but that will make our reunion on the last day all the more sweeter. God is good.

Please continue to keep us all in your prayers. Rejoice with the angels in the fruit of our labor:

Luke 15:10 "I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

God is good.

-Tom Naumann

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Day For Worship

It's early Saturday morning here in Kathmandu and this is the day of worship in Nepal. I have never recieved a straight answer concerning why Saturday happens to be the only weekend day in Nepal. Their work week runs Sunday-Friday with Saturday being the only day off and all the banks and offices are closed...thus Saturday is the day when Christians churches gather for worship and it is also the day when the Hindu and Buddhist temples swell with their devotees.

For us, the 2014 CLC Mission Helpers to Nepal, it is going to be a very special day of worship as we gather with likeminded brothers and sisters in Christ of Eternal Life Church of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal (HCLC-Nepal) here in Lalitpur (Kathmandu), Nepal. We will worship our Lord and Savior, rejoice in the absolution of our sins, grow in our understanding of His Word as our faith is strengthened through God's all powerful word, and receive His body and blood for the remission of all our sins and the strengthening of our faith. Raju and I discussed the specifics of the service yesterday just to make sure we were all on the same page. Here's the basic order of service we will follow:
10:00-10:45 - Worship, Hymns, prayers, confession and absolution
10:45-11:00 - Mission Helpers sing three hymns
11:00-12:00 - children go to Bible Study
11:00-12:00 - Rob Sauers and I each preach
12:00-12:20 - The Lord's Supper
12:20-12:30 - Benediction, announcements and dismissal

I'm excited and a bit nervous and can't sleep this morning. It's just like a Sunday morning back home...awake at 5:15 in anticipation of the privilege of sharing God's saving word and lifting my voice together in praise, worship, and rejoicing for the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life that my Savior has won for a wretch like me! 

While elements of the worship service will be anything but familiar to us foreigners, the message will be the same...we are sinners, very much in need of a Savior and Jesus Christ is our Savior!!! This is a point that has been emphasized over and over as we have taught hundreds of children over these past couple of weeks. There are so many things that seperate us...we speak differently, we dress differently, we eat different foods, we listen to different music, our way of worship is different, we go about our daily activities in different ways, our skin is different colors, and so on, BUT we have two very important things in common...
1. We have all sinned in our thoughts, with our words, and by our actions and have done nothing to deserve or earn God's love and favor, 
2. We have a Savior who loved us so much that He willingly and sacraficially offered His perfect life for our sins on the cross so that we could have forgiveness, salvatioon, and eternal life! 

Praise the Lord for our differences and for the Good News that we have a Savior in common!

We will have one more teaching opportunity tomorrow (Sunday) morning near the Tibet border. After worship service and lunch today, we will make the five our trip north where we will spend the night and then teach 150+ children at a private school that is run by a pastor and congregation who are affiliated with the HCLC-Nepal. Many of the children in this school are well versed in English so no translators will be needed. Please pray for both the teachers and the hearers of God's word today and tomorrow, that faith may be stirred in some and strengthened in others.

On Monday the pastors of the HCLC-N will meet here in Kathmandu for a pastoral conference. Rob Sauers and I will have the opportunity to teach and train these men. Many of these pastors have had no formal training and look forward to the opportunity to work together in increasing their understanding of Scripture and the privileged task to shepherding a flock of God's chosen. Please pray that the Lord will grant His wisdom, love, compassion, and all that is necessary for this task to both teachers and students on Monday.

Tuesday morning (the middle of night really) we will head for the airport and bid farwell to our brothers and sisters in Christ of Nepal. It has been and continues to be such a privilege to work with the pastors and members of the HCLC-N and these incredible Mission Helpers whom the Lord has brought together and gifted in so many ways for His good and gracious purpose. Thank You Lord for ALL you do!

In Christ,
Pastor Ohlmann

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick blog from Lucas

We just finished the last hike of the trip. The views can't be described or adequately captured by a camera, but that's only an added bonus during our time here. It's a great blessing to share in faith and worship and fellowship with our Christian brothers and sisters here while also sharing the good news of salvation to children who, may have never heard of their Savior.

I'm sorry this was so short and quick, but we're leaving from dinner for our 3 hour transport back to Kathmandu.

-Lucas

From Ashley...So much to blog

Hello America!

I hope this blog finds that everyone is doing well! Here in Nepal I am unceasingly amazed. 

The glory of God which always shines seems even  brighter being constantly surrounded by his saving word and by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We have been filled with continuous encouragement from the mission helper devotions at night, the singing of hymns, and the music from the children. Studying the word of God while here is so necessary as I am reminded of how unworthy and blessed I am to be here enjoying God's creation and sharing his gospel.

So far we have seen and done so many things worth blogging but I just want to hit on a couple.

Thus far the teaching teams have been rearranged  many times because of varying circumstances. For me this meant an extra challenge, starting with a 6 hour hike up to a village on a "hill". I cannot take the credit alone for making it up to Hattibang as it was the hardest hike I have ever done or could imagine doing. My second wind came from God's desire for his gospel to be preached and the motivation this gave me! Many rewards came as a result! Imagine being in a cloud in the edge of a cliff, walking past waterfalls in the rain, through cornfields and arriving in a village full of fellow Christian children and adults, now that's a cool feeling.

We shared our gospel message in this village and shared in fellowship with the villagers. This brings me to the second thing that has really impacted me: trust. The quick relationships that can be formed with these people that we can not communicate with is such a neat thing to be a part of. There is a commonality between them and us no matter how different we are, namely the grace of God we have been blessed with.  Because of this I feel comfortable around people I have never met, I even got to sleep in the Pastor's home with 4 other women and some children and feel totally at ease not to mention it was so fun....what a blessing for our christian family!

If you can believe it this only covers about half a day, but this is getting lengthy!

Thanks for all of the prayers and continue to pray for Nepal that the gospel will spread throughout!

In Christ,
Ashley

From Neal Wietgrefe

Jaye Meshi!

Today prayers have been answered with Erica and I being released from the hospital. Erica had not been feeling well for several days but kept going with us.  I am very proud of her as I know it was not easy for.  With Erica not feeling well and being tired myself Pastor Todd's devotions and prayers were a great blessing to me emotionally and spiritually.   Also this passage gives comfort.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)...Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

When we returned to Kathmandu on Monday evening I was tired but feeling fine.  Tuesday morning I started to not feel well so I stayed back with Erica as the others left to see the historical part of Kathmandu.  I could hardly get up enough strength to wash my cloths by late afternoon and by evening while walking from Erica's room to my room I passed out.  That is when we decided it was time to see a doctor.  Apparently it was something I ate and maybe a bit my age.  At the hospital they took very good care of us and Bishal was a great blessing staying with and helping Erica and me.  

This morning after a good night sleep I woke up feeling great. Dhanyabad (Thank you in Nepalese) for all prayers.

With the other teams out teaching it is quiet back here at the hotel giving me time to reflect what this trip has meant to me.  Being from a small congregation, other than family, I do not often have the opportunity to spend multiple days with other like faith Christians.  To be able to teach, worship, and learn from others has been and will continue to be a great blessing to me.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)...Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Jaye Meshi!


First blog! - Erica

Namaste everyone!

Well, now that we have a day of no set plans I will take a few minutes to let everyone know how things are going. I have been majorly slacking on writing on here. 

Right now we are in Kathmandu taking a day of rest/being touristy. I stayed back at the house because I want to rest and build some strength up so that I can hopefully be well enough to hike, teach, and keep up with the rest of the group. I got sick about 4 or 5 days ago and I've probably lost at least 10 pounds. The last few days have been hard on me physically and spiritually because I've been finding it difficult to keep a good attitude when my health is not the best. I sometimes catch myself wondering why God sent me here if I was going to feel sick and miserable for so much of the time spent here. But then I remember that if I helped even one person to come to know and believe in Jesus Christ that my trip here was not in vain. 

Before I got sick, I did have a great time. It was amazing to go into villages where the people were so welcoming and grateful to have us. Listening to the kids sing songs of praise and play instruments was very cool. It's so interesting to experience this different culture and knowing that even though we are so different, we can all have one thing in common, which is faith. Yesterday when we got to a church, there were about 150-200 kids outside jumping up and down, clapping, and chanting WEL-COME WEL-COME! It was really cool and I felt really honored to be there. They put necklaces with real flowers around our necks before we walked inside and then we all piled into the church to talk about the Gospel. I didn't teach because I wasn't feeling well enough to stand and use enthusiasm in the heat but I was glad I could still at least make it there. Afterwords, they gave us food and gifts. The fresh pineapple they gave us was really really good even though I couldn't stomach many things. 

Another new experience for me was being in a vehicle that was completely packed to the brim with people. We rode in the back of a truck to one of the villages and I counted 41 people in there. I literally could not move for the majority of the ride because I probably would have had to hurt myself or someone else to do so. There were a couple times when other people moved around that I barely had room to breathe. A little girl fell asleep on me and people you don't know don't have a problem using your body like it's an inanimate object for support. Let me tell you, getting out of that truck and walking the rest of the way was definitely ok with me.

We had to take another packed ride but it was only with our team instead of a bunch of strangers. We fit 9 people into the back of this small truck and two more people were standing on the back bumper holding on for the ride. The other part of the team crammed into the cab of the truck. When I got out of there my entire body was drenched in my own sweat and probably a little bit of other peoples' too. My shorts were soaked all the way through! It was hot in there!

My team and I "walked" up a "hill" about 5 or 6 days ago. It was really a hike up a mountain if you ask me, but to the locals it's just an everyday thing. It took us about 3 hours to reach our destination at the top. The way back down was much quicker. At the bottom there is a river and we all took off our shoes and backpacks and laid down in the water in our clothes. I think it was the best, most refreshing thing I have ever done in my life. The water was cold but it felt so so amazing. I tried to scrub myself off a little bit while in there because I sweat buckets during our hike. Just thinking of lying down in that river is nice. It also makes me really thirsty for an ice cold glass of water!! 

I'm very thankful for our guides/translators. They are awesome. They make everything run smoothly and are always upbeat and ready to go. We went to their house for supper one night and had the most amazing mangoes ever on the face of the earth. Turns out I'm a natural at mango eating, which is actually quite an accomplishment because they can get pretty messy. 

We rode elephants the other day. By that time I had already been sick a whole day. I felt better when I woke up so I thought I should go because I felt up to it and I didn't want to miss out. I think I would have really liked it if the ride had only lasted about 15 min but it was probably an hour and a half long. Disclaimer: riding an elephant is not a good idea when you are having stomach problems. While we were riding through the jungle on the elephant, we saw monkeys and deer and hogs with babies and a LOT of different bugs. A spider landed on me at one point and I thought I was maybe going to have a heart attack. After the ride was over, the rest of the team got into a boat and went to an elephant breeding site where they spent time with little elephants and learned about elephant breeding. I would have loved to go but it just wasn't happening with how I felt. Someone else was sick too so we took a ride back to the hotel to rest.

Traffic is awesome here. Kind of scary, but very entertaining. There aren't really rules on the road. You just kind of do whatever you want. Everyone honks all the time and swerves around people and it's a great time. Crossing the street is a little scary too because you just have to start walking and hope that everyone stops or swerves around you. It's great. And I'm being completely serious! You don't just share the road with other vehicles either. There are bikes, goats, chickens, water buffalo, ducks, dogs, and many more! It never gets boring! I am going to be so bored during car rides back home now! Sleeping in a vehicle was hard for me before this trip but now I think I'll be able to sleep like a baby in the car. 

This is getting super long so I will wrap it up but I just wanted to try to give a recap of my time here since I haven't written on the blog yet. 

I want to let everyone know that I am feeling quite a bit better. It's just going to take awhile to gain my strength and my weight back. I know that all your prayers has been what is getting me through this trip. If I was doing this for any other reason than to teach the Gospel, I don't think I would have had the will to make it this far. But God is good and he is pushing me through this and helping me get better!  

Jaye Meshi! (Christian greeting/farewell in Nepali)
Erica

Health Update from Erica

Hello everyone!

I'm very happy because today my dad and I got out of the hospital. We both were admitted and stayed there two nights. That diarrhea and dehydration really gets to a person. We are feeling much better though and hope to be able to participate in the rest of the activities for our time here. Bishal came to the hospital and stayed with us. He took very good care of us both and helped things run smoothly with language barriers. Almost all the staff that I met spoke English very well though. I just sat in bed and watched tv all day yesterday. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that there was a needle in my hand for two and a half days. It wasn't horrible, just a little uncomfortable. I got I don't know how many bottles of fluids pumped into me! Also I had my first ultrasound (to look for any infection or parasite, etc) ever today and got some pictures to bring home. Now we are back in the Norwegian house and it's starting to feel like home here a little bit. 

Proverbs 17:22 says that,"A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones." 

So, I tried to keep a positive attitude even though I was sick and it really did help.Another bible verse I found encouraging at this point was James 5:15 "and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him."

It was good to know that I have many people who care about me and are praying for me as my health is recovering. But it's even better to know that my sins are forgiven, because if something like this were to end in death, I would be going to a much better place so I don't have to be afraid and I have hope for my eternity in heaven!

That's all for now because I'm going to take a nap! 

Love,
Erica 

P.S. - just want to say thanks again for any and all prayers and for Bishal staying at the hospital with us.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

From Sam

This is my first blog post. I'm not sure what everyone has been blogging about so far, but I will try to not repeat everyone else.

I was fortunate to be in the group to do the longest hikes so far. We had a 6 hour hike one day and a 5 hour hike two days later. I guess I didn't train for these hikes like I should have, but I don't know how one could possibly prepare fully enough. The hikes are straight uphill for hours, full of switchbacks, cliffs and rivers. The going is tough, the feet become blistered, the legs get tired, but it is all worth it. When you find yourself taking a break halfway up a hill, you just have to marvel at God's creation. The sights in Nepal are unlike any we have in the States. I try to take pictures, but they just can't do justice to the view.

The views are not what makes these hikes worth it however. The ability to spread the Gospel to the people in these villages is the great blessing that God has given us on this trip. Not only children, but adults also crowd into the church buildings. Not only Christians, but many villagers who have not been exposed to the Gospel sit in to listen. The opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ to these people is a great blessing.

When we leave a village, I sometimes wonder if the Holy Spirit converted anyone, or if anyone learned anything, or if we failed in our mission. It's in these times that I think about the promise that God made to us in Isaiah 55: "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in  the  thing for which I sent it."

This is a promise from God, so we can be assured that the Gospel we preach will work for the purpose God intends. It is a comfort to know this. On the hikes, I often feel inadequate to be spreading this message. I can get a bit ornery when I'm sore and tired, sometimes we bicker, we all do lots of things to remind us how sinful we are.

But God promises to use the Gospel when we teach. The quality of our lessons does not matter. Our gestures or visual aides do not matter. The smoothness of our speech does not matter. But the message which we preach does matter. That Jesus Christ died to save these people is what matters. It is comforting to know that despite all of our insufficiencies, God will bless these people through the Gospel.

Please pray that the Lord would send His Spirit to these people, to create, sustain, and strengthen faith among them. Please also pray for all the mission helpers, as we have had some sickness and blisters. Also please thank the Lord that he has so greatly blessed us on our trip so far, and pray that he will continue to bless us.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers and for following our blog.

In Christ,
Sam Rodebaugh

Bloggy Blog Blog from Tom

Greetings from Rasuwaa in northern Nepal!

Tom here. We are sitting in a local restaurant ordering our dinner for the evening. The Brothers Bhitrakoti (Raju and Rajon) are taking our order as no one else in the place can understand a word we say. We arrived in the town at around 7pm after a beautiful 3-5ish hour drive on the pleasantly porous Nepali highway. Lord willing, tomorrow we will split into three groups of three and venture into three different treks to preach in three different churches. The harvest truly is plentiful!

The hikes have been undescribable! The beauty and scenery has eclipsed my wildest expectations. The pastors are faithful and eager to have us. The people are excited to see us and receive the means of grace which we are blessed to bring to them.

The Brothers Bhitrakoti are truly warriors of the gospel. The dedication and effort which they put into planning and executing our mission trip is truly unparalleled. They have been faithfully leading us around the country since we've arrived and never let us out of their sight. They are our guides, our bodyguards, and our friends. They are an incredible blessing to the CLC and the gospel.

I'm keeping this one short. I hope to see you all soon! Thank you for the prayers! Keep 'em coming!

All things are in His hands and in His control.

Psalm 94:18 "When I said my foot is slipping; your love O Lord supported me."

Father, support us!

God is good.

-Tom Naumann

Monday, July 14, 2014

From Nepal

July 14th
Wow what an experience!  God has blessed us with this opportunity to spread his Gospel in a country predominantly none Christian.  It is so good to see and spend time with the Christians that are here.  They are very happy to see us and hear about the bible.  It is such a pleasure to tell them about the bible and how Jesus has come to us to die for all our sins so that we can live with him in paradise.  While living conditions and way of life are very different here many things are the same. We all need to work to provide for our family, we all enjoy the beauty of nature and what God has provided for us.  We all have physical and emotional needs.  In the USA we don't really know/appreciate the blessings we have.  All undeserved.  While I can't speak the language it is easy to know the joy the Christians have as they sing in church.  Yesterday we sang in the van with the same joy.

July 5th 
Erica and I have left home to begin our mission trip to Nepal early this warm Saturday afternoon July 5th.  As we begin this journey we want to thank all those who have encouraged and prayed for us as we prepared for this trip.  We have prepared physically and mentally for the past 6 months since we submitted or application to the Mission Helper Program.  With God's blessings we are ready and on our way.  Driving to Chicago from Aberdeen SD.  Staying tonight with my brother Wes and his wife Jeanne.   Then off to pick-up a couple of our fellow mission helpers on our way.  Tomorrow we fly to Istanbul Turkey then to Kathmandu Nepal.  This is my first oversea trip unless you count the Caribbean.  Erica has traveled to Europe and to Jamacia.  This will be the 10 the country she has visited.

With our teaching team we will have the privilege of teaching the truths of the bible from the beginning of time to the promised return of Jesus.  May God bless you as he has us.  Neal and Erica

Neal Wietgrefe

Saturday, July 12, 2014

So Much Wonder

Jaye Meshi - Hail Messiah!!

Precious in His Sight
Waking up to Nepali children singing and shouting from the church down the hill. Seriously, could you ask for more motivation.  They were in the church  down the hill, half an hour before we even were supposed to teach.  As we followed a couple kids down, the singing echoed off the hills, drum beats echoed into our chests, and the passion in their voices snatched up our hearts.  To think God wanted me, of all  people, to escort His word to these precious children. It is just so humbling.  I could hear the children singing their hearts out to our almighty God, I looked up at the mountains that screamed how beautiful God's creation is, and I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear.  God literally puts the words in my mouth and I am so proud to be a vessel for His wonderful word.  Singing and playing with the kids is so much fun.  Though we don't speak in the same verbal language, we speak with our hands and play the same way.  They are so passionate about praising God and so grateful for everything.

It's hard to hike when I want to look up at all the scenery.  Nepal has to be the most beautiful place I've ever seen.  I love just sitting chatting with the other girls about what we've done and how we have interacted with the kids during the day.  I had been trying to befriend one little girl in particular, only about 3 or 4 years old, but was very shy and burst into tears when i gave her a customary greeting with my palms together in front of me smiling and saying, "Jaye Meshi."  Apparently she was not impressed with my poor Nepali foreign tongue.  However, later that day after the lesson I was heading out the door.  She ran up behind me and took my hand.  She wouldn't let go all the way up the hill until  another little girl grabbed her other hand to help her get food. 
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

I just can't help but smile everywhere we go, there is so much wonder in everything God has made and done for His creation.  I can't help but smile at people from our bus window, walking by people on the trails, or just seeing anyone.  Our God is so great, so strong and so mighty there is nothing our God cannot do! :) 

In His Great Love,

--Michaela