I arrived in Kathmandu (via a layover in Istanbul) yesterday around noon, and have been installed in the guest room at the seminary where I will be teaching starting this morning. As I arrived I was heartened by the warm weather, the air was fresh after a rain, and the temperature in Kathmandu was in the upper 50s (I'm guessing).
I soon met with Sharad Lama, the General Secretary of the IFES movement in Nepal, and we went over details for my time here. Sharad is such a capable and gentle person, pastorally concerned for the comforts of my stay here, completely well organized regarding our various logistical details we need to arrange. I am confident my time in Nepal will be well used.
- February 17-February 25: I will be teaching at the seminary here in Kathmandu. Classes are normally 6:30-10:30 each day, with a 30 minute break for breakfast and another 15 minute break between the second and third sessions. My first class begins in about 4 hours.
- February 23: I will preach at Sharad Lama's church on the topic of "Discipleship in Families". This is a favorite topic of mine lately. I will talk about being a "Story-Formed Family". Sharad said there'd be about 600 in attendance.
- February 25-28: I will fly with Sharad to Pokhara, Nepal, where we will gather with about 25 or so IFES staff and alumni for a training conference. I will join the staff team in presenting a vision for servant leadership to the church, and in families and in society. I will teach four times and other staff including Sharad will also present to the group. I am looking forward to this time especially as the entire staff team and key volunteer alumni will be present. I will have given electronic copies of my Sketches of Leadership to the Nepali movement, translated into Nepali, for their use in the ministry, and we'll have some time to talk about how best to use these materials, after having seen them being used in this setting with their alumni.
- March 2-6: I will fly with Sharad to Surkhet, where I will teach with a group of 20 or 25 IFES student leaders in the movement. Over three days we will cover 11 Sketches of Leadership. I believe this will be a great investment in the students, but also in the staff there as well.
- March 1, March 7: I will teach the final two sessions of the course at the seminary here in Kathmandu.
- March 8: I will have one very long Friday and get home late Friday night of the same day I depart Kathmandu.
Being here in Kathmandu has made me grateful for heating in my home in California--it is nice to enjoy the fresh air but it is also nice to enjoy climate controlled living. (The buildings I've been in here are unheated and astonishingly well ventilated!) l Last night I went to bed with two layers of clothing over most of my body, and several blankets on me, and a hat on my head, as you can see from the picture. Actually, I was quite fine once I had all those layers. I slept for four hours, for which I was also grateful, and after that realized that I wouldn't be sleeping any more before class starts, so I began to work on this letter. Finally, I am grateful for reliable internet connection, which I will have at least during my time in Kathmandu, and which makes this letter and communication with Lisa possible during this long stretch away.
- Health and jet lag recovery: I have been feeling pretty healthy, and this first week I can get rest as I need it when I am not teaching. But please pray that I remain healthy as there are few easy options for working around illness.
- Good connections with the new students: The teaching content I am very familiar with, but I want to learn names and get to know the students in my class. Pray for heart-felt interactions (in class, over breaks and meals) with students over the coming days.
- Logistics: My schedule relies on 4 key domestic air travel days, and with distances and limited alternate flight availability, please pray that all four trips go without delay or incident.
- Pray for Nepal: Everyone I meet in ministry asks me to pray for Nepal, and a part of why I am here is to ask my partners to pray as well. Not only for my ministry fruitfulness, but for the fruitfulness of my ministry partners here in Nepal, the seminary and the IFES student work. The church in Nepal is growing, from a tiny base, but it is finding plenty of good soil among the Nepali people. Please pray for a deepening work of God here.