June 2007: From the Top of the World
Greetings from Nepal, the “Land of Mt. Everest.” Part of our critical presence here is to provide jobs in one of the world’s most economically depressed countries. This winter, Dale was involved in producing over 6,000 gallons of tangerine juice. With the major task of production now out of the way, we are confronted with the even more daunting task of selling the juice. Nepal’s recent decade of internal conflict has had a major negative economic impact, creating a situation where it is nearly impossible for old-fashioned honest businesses to survive.
Like most Asian countries, Nepal’s educational system is exam based. Each week the hospital emergency room and ICU where Bethsaba works bear grim testimony to an antiquated system whereby exam scores are the sole measure utilized to determine a child’s fate in life. In her nursing and patient counseling activities at Patan Hospital, 80% of her cases involved attempted suicide. Nearly three-quarters of these attempted suicides involved young people (25 years or less). Nepal has lived on the brink of civil war for the past decade, and students face extreme pressure to excel in academic performance. Recent graduates face a dismal job market where there are very few jobs, and young people are expected to live with, and financially provide for, the older generation.
Despite the rollercoaster of life in Nepal the message “We want you here” rings through loud and clear. Please be with us in prayer in this wonderful and occasionally perplexing land.
Gracious One, we pray for your servants in Nepal, that they may do your work in a difficult world, and provide a comforting presence to those in need.
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.