From the top of the world
Dale & Bethsaba Nafziger – Nepal
Dear Friends & Supporters:
Warmest greetings to you from the “Top of the World”—where we are rapidly tiring of the intense “hot season” tropical sun. Hopefully by mid June, we will be engrossed in three months monsoon rain, humidity and mud again! Some highlights since we have last been in touch with you include:
- Nepal’s “state of emergency” has been lifted and multiparty rumblings are again emerging on the political scene
- Sushma & Shova started a new school year
- Bethsaba coordinated a medical out-reach camp in the village where we live
It is both a blessing and a challenge to share Christ’s presence with the people of Nepal, as they traverse this difficult pathway in their country’s history. Only through your prayers and giving is our being “His Presence” here possible. We hope that this letter will therefore provide you with both accountability as well as a warm word of thanks—about good things your prayers and your giving are making possible at this time. Kindly, read on…!
“State of Emergency” Lifted
In early May Nepal’s King Gyanendra lifted a “state of emergency” declaration that had been in effect since February 1st. It was with, frankly, a bit of personal remorse that we witnessed its passing. During that window-in-time we enjoyed a brief repose from the intense multi-party political bickering of the past 14 years. Government offices worked more efficiently. Even Kathmandu’s streets were cleaner and the typically chaotic traffic was a bit more organized! Also in an unfortunate sense (in our opinion), the current regime failed to successfully address its greatest challenge: the “People’s War” that continues to wage in the countryside. The strategy continues to be one of “fighting fire with fire,” i.e., using greater and greater amounts of physical force to counter physical force. All this has succeeded in doing, however, is escalating the intensity of the conflict and further encumbering ordinary, common people.
A New Year in School!
In early April Sushma entered “Class 1” and Shova entered “Class 3” at their Montessori school. Despite the dilapidated condition of many things around us, we are blessed to still have an excellent school facility, where in addition to the privilege of learning the “Three Rs” (reading, writing & arithmetic) in two languages they also have gymnastics, karate and even swimming—which is a great hit during the current hot season. Since at the present Montessori only goes to Class 6, long-term quality education continues to be a major concern of ours.
For now, however, we are grateful that our children are able to attend a school that allows them to develop strong, lasting friendships with local children.
Local Medical Out-reach Camp
Sunday, April 24, was a busy day in the village where we live on the outskirts of Kathmandu. On that day our church fellowship and the local youth club jointly sponsored a one-day medical camp in the local community. Bethsaba served as the liaison and coordinator for the event, which was a major success. By the end of the day approximately 180 local people had been seen by three Nepali doctors, who generously gave of their valuable time and talent. The camp served as a wonderful testimony of the good things that can happen when the local church and the local community “put their heads together” for the common good of all. Underwriting the finances for events of this nature continues to be a major issue. We hope (funding permitted), however, to conduct more such medical camps in the future.
Sushma has her 6th birthday coming up on June 8th. She has been counting the days for literally the past month! The business environment here in Nepal is “down.” Nevertheless, in Wonder Products we’ve been blessed by a recent series of orders for our “Himalayan Bead Calendars” from Ten Thousand Villages, thus averting layoffs. Many of our employees come from near the bottom of the strata in local society. Sunita, a widow (in the attached photo), is one such example.
We enjoyed a recent visit from Mennonite Mission Network’s John Lapp (coinciding with the medical camp). We continue to be most grateful to MMN, Mennonite Central Committee and Global Ministries (Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ) for their ongoing support of our vision for long-term life and service here in Nepal. Thank you so much…
God bless you, also, each one!
For Sushma, Shova, Bethsaba & myself
Dale & Bethsaba Nafziger are missionaries with the United Mission for Nepal. Dale serves as an electrical engineer. Bethsaba works for the health department of the United Mission to Nepal in midwifery and general nursing.