Mission: Nepal 2015
By Gary Fallesen
Climbing For Christ president
Members of our trekking team hiking back to Simikot, the headquarters for the Far West district of Humla. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Monday, March 30
Edward reported in from Hungary, where he returned today from Nepal. “It was good to serve the Lord together,” he said. We are all in agreement on that point. Praise HIM!
Sunday, March 29
The North American members of our Mission: Nepal team all have returned safely to their homes bringing an end to this Evangelic Expedition.
Saturday, March 28
The Milap Church that brother Megh helped start and leads with two other pastors in Kathmandu sang praise and gave thanks to the Lord. We were blessed to worship with them in our final act as a Mission: Nepal 2015 team.
I spoke to the church about my thankfulness to a God Who allows us the opportunity to witness firsthand what He is doing in His body and among the lost. I told about the trek in Humla and I asked them to join us in a special prayer.
On Monday, we met a woman in Takla with a 1-month-old baby that was seriously ill. Matthew treated and prayed for the baby. He knew that only God could heal the child. Two days later, in Simikot, the mother and child weighed on my heart – as they had the entire team. I was praying and God took me to 1 Kings 17-18. It is the story of Elijah and his power encounter he has with the prophets of Baal. In such encounters, it is always proved that the Lord is superior to false gods.
Elijah raises a widow’s son from the dead in 1 Kings 17 and the woman responds: “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is true” (1 Kings 17:24).
It is our prayer – the cry of our heart – that God would reveal Himself to the mother of that sick baby we encountered by rescuing the baby from death. We ask that He show, as we know He had and can again should it be His will, that He is more powerful than 300 million Hindu gods. I am convinced that such an act would bring many to Christ in Takla and neighboring remote villages.
More than 100 brothers and sisters in the Milap church prayed as I requested. I ask you to do the same: pray for a baby's life to be saved and a Hindu mother to be given new life. All for HIS glory.
After 2½ hours of worship, we had lunch at the church and then headed for the airport. The four team members from Rochester, NY, USA began 33 hours of air travel, leaving Edward with Megh for another day. Edward was doing some medical work and had been asked to share at the youth worship as we parted ways.
“For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.”
– Psalm 96:5 (ESV)
Friday, March 27
orphans sang as if their souls were on fire, showing the five members of the
trekking team one of the things Elaine and Leanne had taught them this past
week. The children sang Third Day's new song, “Soul on Fire,” among
was the last day at the orphanage outside of Kathmandu. Seven girls from
another of Pastor Tej’s orphanages, located a six-hour drive away, were able to
join us for the first time. Final exams, scheduled this week by the government
only two weeks ago, kept those girls away and limited the time Elaine and
Leanne had with the other 21. But it was a blessed time nonetheless.
Newcomers to C4C
fun (front row, left to right) Samika, Susmita, Santosi, Salina, (back row)
Shanti, Anjana and Anu singing. Four of these girls are unsponsored.
thanked Elaine and Leanne for coming. “The love you have shown them will
be rooted in their hearts,” he said, adding a “dhanyabaad” (thanks) to those who sponsor 20 of the orphans through C4C’s Project 1:27.
gifts and hugs were handed out and tears shed by our sisters who have taught
the children about the Trinity, sang songs, made crafts, and shared Christ’s love. Among the gifts was a Fender guitar donated by Guitars for Glory. The
trekkers were warmly welcomed into the fun and enjoyed a short time with the
lunch with Tej, we had dinner with our other Nepali ministry partner, Megh
Gurung. Then the first members of the team departed – Brandy and Matthew had a
late-evening flight out to start their return to Canada. Climbing For Christ’s ninth Evangelic Expedition to Nepal is winding down, but the work grows and the
Thursday, March 26
Trekking team boards Twin Otter prop
plane for flight from Simikot.
trekking team broke its fast this morning with some Tibetan bread before flying
through clear skies from Simikot to Nepalgunj and then (after a short Nepali
delay) on to Kathmandu. We arrived in time to see our orphanage duo (Leanne and
my wife Elaine) for about 30 minutes before they left for another day with the
children. The trekkers will join them on Friday.
leaving Simikot, the trekkers were blessed to lead another to Christ. Jitindra,
a young man working in the guesthouse where we stay in Simikot, heard about the
Gospel from Matthew, Edward (using a creation-to-Christ picture book) and Megh
(translating). He was the seventh soul we saw come to Jesus during this time in
Humla. Praise God for the way His Spirit has worked in hearts. We are expectant
that many more will call Him Savior in the weeks and months ahead as seeds have
been planted through the Jesus film, our sharing, and the Christ love that has
been reflected by our team.
From the orphanage team: The kids relished the final formal day of teaching on Thursday, hearing one of their favorite Bible stories – Jesus feeding the 5,000. We all played the part of the crowd who were fed by the Word and then by eating the meal after Jesus blessed it. In our case, it was Swedish fish and pretzels. There is no Nepali word for pretzel. The snack was a new taste treat for them.
Friday we will showcase what we have learned for the trekking team when we visit one last time on this mission. There will be many more arms to hug and hearts to love these dear children. We'll also reveal our surprise gift – a new Fender guitar to be used by the orphanage and church. We pray that it will be an instrument to raise up worship leaders such as Gideon, who desires to be one.
Chiring, Lokendra and Gideon (left to right) decorate sparkly fish as part of the day’s focus on Jesus’ miracles.
Wednesday, March 25
trekking team spent its (scheduled) final day in Humla visiting with brothers
and sisters in Christ in Simikot, including Pastor Harka, Thana, Hary and Kali.
For the first time in our eight days in the Far West clouds appeared and the
weather looked threatening. We are praying for clear skies Thursday morning as
we are supposed to be on the first flight out and return to Kathmandu to be
united with our orphanage workers for the first time on Mission: Nepal 2015.
trekkers used this day to fast, pray, plan, and reflect. We have been blessed
to be a blessing to the growing church in Humla.
are so encouraged that the team came here,” Pastor Harka said. “When
you are here encouraging us and converting other Christians, we are very
blessed. We are thankful.”
give thanks to God for allowing us to participate in His kingdom building. It
is a humbling opportunity.
Pin wheels made by the orphans remind them the Holy
Spirit moves like the wind - invisible, but we can see His effects on our lives
when He lives in our hearts.
From the orphanage team: It was a busy day, packed full of
activities – drawing pictures to be made into Christmas cards, interviewing
more of the orphans, learning about the Holy Spirit and making pin wheels to
illustrate how the Third Person of the Trinity is like the wind, and of course,
singing. At the end of our time, an impromptu youth choir broke out with Gideon
on guitar, backed up by several of the girls – Gyani, Sristi, Anisha, Manisha,
Joyti and Lydia. They touched our hearts with the purity of their voices.
Tuesday, March 24
Hiking down from Torpa to Simikot.
trekking team hiked for three hours back to Simikot after praying with several
of the eight believers who have come to Christ in Torpa since we began
ministering there in November 2012. Brandy encouraged and prayed for Choringin,
a young woman who was the first Christian in Torpa.
team, which set out on six days of hikes to Hildum, Thehe, Takla, Torpa and
places in between, started with six Christians. We returned with seven. Jagat, our
mule driver, accepted Christ during his time with us on the trails of Humla.
have trekked up and down between 7,500 and 10,500 feet on dusty, sun-baked
trails and snow-covered trails impassable to mules. The weather, although cold
at night, has been better than on any previous expedition to this Far Western
From the orphanage team: God the Son – Jesus Christ – was our Trinity
focus today. We discussed Jesus’s characteristics and how He is the children's
best friend. We hung the stained glass crosses made yesterday on the windows of
the top floor, and made a colorful framed wall hanging that includes the
message “Jesus loves me,” substituting each child's name in place of “me.” And the eager students took part in acting out the story of how
Jesus raised up Lazarus from the dead. Afterward we worked again on polishing “Soul on Fire” as well as singing Bible song favorites and marveling
at a brief hail storm.
Monday, March 23
good doctors held a breakout medical clinic in Takla. Matthew and Edward have
treated the sick in every village we have visited. Takla was no exception and,
combined with the showing of the Jesus film Sunday night, the checkups on a
rooftop provided more opportunities to share and pray for those living apart
rejoiced – along with all of heaven – when two young men accepted Jesus. Prem
and Padam became the first Christians in this remote (even by Humla standards)
village. Many others were prayed for as we know any healing will come from the
about two hours of serving the physically and spiritually ill in that Hindu
village, our trekking team again hit the trail. It was a big day: 5 hours of
hiking with more than 3,000 vertical feet gained up the steep Himalayan
hillsides to the village of Torpa. It was made more difficult as our brother
Megh came down with the flu that everyone in Humla seems to have. Matthew came
down with it three days ago and, by the strength of God, has continued to climb
and care for those in need.
From the orphanage team: Continuing our study of the Trinity, we
focused today on God the Father and His characteristics. We then acted out the
parable of the lost son, much to the children’s delight. They remember the
songs they learned from the team two years ago, and have picked up their new
Sunday, March 22
The trekking team descended out of Thehe, dropping down about 1000 feet to cross the Lurupya Khola river and then climbing up to Takla after 4 hours. This is the farthest village up this mountain river and the first time we have come here. Along the way we climbed up to a small group of houses on the opposite side of the river to visit a Christian mother and daughter to encourage and pray with them. They walk 3 hours and climb about 2,500 vertical feet each Saturday to go to church in Simikot, and then walk home.
In Tokla, we showed the Jesus film to a group of more than 50 souls. The testimonies we have been hearing about the way God used our previous visits and sharing to bring people to Him fills us with hope as we showed the film on rooftops in Humla. We are expectant that He is continuing to expand His Kingdom.
From the orphanage team: We began our study of the Trinity by reading 3 in 1: A Picture of God to the 22 orphans present. The book explains the three parts of an apple and how each serves a different purpose, yet all are parts of the one apple. In the same way the three Persons of the Trinity have different functions – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – yet they exist together as one God.
Other activities included a craft, singing, and play time.
Saturday, March 21
Jordan and I delivered a message of encouragement to the church at Simikot during worship this morning. Saturday is the Sabbath in Nepal. We instructed the church to go into Humla and deliver the Good News. I told them the building they want to construct for worship will not have feet; they are the feet of Jesus.
After worship we trekked four hours to Thehe, a village where a team was showered with stones by children in 2012 – when there was only two new Christians here. Now there are 19. And many more heard tonight. We showed the Jesus film to more than 100 people on a roof in the middle of the village. We are praying seeds were planted.
From the orphanage team: We spent the morning in worship in the new Savior Alone Reaches Asians church for which Climbing for Christ donors provided funding for construction. It was a deeply moving moment to step foot inside where just over two years ago only an empty lot existed. Elaine shared with the congregation how the building of this church was similar in many ways to the rebuilding of the walls and gates of Jerusalem under the leadership of the prophet Nehemiah. The tribes of Israel were united together in that massive undertaking that, through skillful preparation and organization in obedience to God, resulted in it taking only 52 days to complete. In the same way, this church has kept the faith through years of persecution and has been rewarded with a place of worship to call its own.
In addition to the weekly service there is a growing youth group, Bible studies, and birthed today, a women’s ministry.
Leanne and Elaine met with the women following worship for a time of encouragement, lifting up, and prayer for individual needs. Leanne urged the group to lead by example and serve in various volunteer capacities to foster living in community and caring for the members of the body. Elaine shared five scriptural points on how to be a godly parent. Gifts were then given to all.
Our prayer is that, as the enemies of Israel became afraid and realized that the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s city wall had been done with the help of God, many in Kathmandu will witness the power of the one true God at work here in this place.
Friday, March 20
All of heaven rejoiced as we began our day with a man named Min coming to
Christ in Hildum. This was the 10th believer in a village we left for dead a
year ago. But our God is the hound of heaven, and He did not give up. This was
made clear as we spent more time with Sathyadebi, who wants to be called by the
Christian name Maria. Maria is only 18 years old, but spiritually mature beyond her years
and beyond the short time she has followed Jesus. She is the leader of the
church at Hildum, and boldly on fire for the Lord.
The church at Hildum grew by two more saved souls – to a dozen! – before we
trekked out of the village. After sitting with us for our daily devotional time
and hearing the testimonies of Maria and Reshma, a 15-year-old girl named
Sirjana and a 26-year-old man named Chincsirrangib asked Jesus into their
lives. Sirjana is the daughter of Ram, whose house we have camped at on our
four annual visits. God is pursuing Ram’s heart as well as many others in this
once-dead village. We are blessed to witness this everlasting rebirth.
From the orphanage team: This afternoon we were reunited with 22 of the orphans
under Pastor Tej’s care, which included several new children. Because final
exams are taking place right now, we won't see the others until they come next
week after completing their exams.
We sang songs the children still remembered, asked many questions and took
photos of those present. The best news of the day came when we learned that
Gideon, age 15, had been baptized last Friday, March 13 into God's eternal
Tomorrow we will worship with Tej’s congregation in the church building that
God raised through C4C. We are excited to stand in what was barren property two
Thursday, March 19
trekking teams ascended from Simikot to Hildum. When we left here last March we did not expect to be back. Three previous visits have yielded no fruit –
only a girl who accepted Jesus in 2012 and then renounced Him. As we left Hilgum we shook off the dust from
recently Megh received news that the church was alive. There are nine believers here now. We met with two of the leaders: Sathyadebi and Reshma. Reshma is the girl who accepted Christ after
playing volleyball with Brandy and Melissa Waheibi in 2012. She fell away, but returned to her Savior
last year after we were here. And now
the church in Hildum, although being persecuted, is alive!
From the orphanage team: After flight cancellations out of Rochester two days in a row, Leanne and Elaine went to Plan B and drove the six hours to JFK. After standing in the check in line for two hours due to computers being down, they finally boarded and are on their way to Kathmandu via Istanbul. God confirmed the mission was still a GO when Leanne saw that the rental car was a Kia SOUL. The theme for the orphanage teachings and the song that will be taught to the kids is “Soul on Fire.”
Wednesday, March 18
Many whom we have seen come to Christ in our 28 months of ministering in Humla were waiting when our prop plane landed on the small airstrip in Simikot. There were “jaimashies” (Victory in the Lord!) all around as we were greeted by our Nepali family. We were delayed a few hours by weather, but our full, 15-passenger flight reached its destination uneventfully - aside from suspiciously heightened questions about our permit by the local military.
There has been a large amount of late season snow and it is colder than normal in this town situated at nearly 10,000 feet. We trudged through snow and mud to see land that the church has put a US$500 deposit on to purchase. The goal is to construct a church building to house the growing body of believers, and C4C has raised a significant amount of the nearly $19,000 needed just for land. But we are praying for wisdom about this commitment.
When we first arrived in November 2012, there were seven young men in the church at Simikot. That included Thana, whose wedding we attended last March and who is going to be a father any day. That baby will be born into a growing baby church of more than 30 souls.
Pastor Harka, who shepherds the church and was among those greeting us when we arrived, invited us to lunch. We met in the rented upper room that has housed the church the past two years. We also met with Pastor Harka and Thana later for further discussion about the church building project. We committed our plans to prayer, knowing the Lord will establish our steps.
From the orphanage team: Take two! Leanne and Elaine are flying out this evening from Rochester, NY, USA to begin the two-day journey to Kathmandu, arriving on Friday morning.
Tuesday, March 17
The travels continue. There is no direct or one-day route to get to Humla, the district in Nepal’s northwest corner. We flew this afternoon from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, along the India border, and have to stay here overnight. We are scheduled for flight at first light to Simikot, Humla’s district headquarters, which has a short airstrip made of the only pavement in an area the size of Rhode Island or Delaware. From there it is nothing but mountain trails.
Our arrival in Humla is weather dependent. Clouds, fog or snow can delay everything. At times we have a sense of what it was like to be a missionary before air travel: patience is a byproduct of this type of ministry.
We continue to prepare, individually and collectively, for what the Lord might bring or ask each day. Jordan Rowley, C4C’s spiritual coordinator, started our team’s daily devotionals this morning - a series he wrote based on John 3:16 called, “The Greatest.” Leanne Bohn and my wife, Elaine, who will be working at the Kathmandu orphanage that C4C supports, also are doing “The Greatest.” Eventually, toward the end of this trip, we’ll all be together to do devotionals as a group. Until then, the Lord has given us different assignments to carry out in His time and for His purpose.
From the orphanage team: Leanne and Elaine are flying out this evening from blustery Rochester, NY to begin the two-day journey to Kathmandu and reunite with 41 beautiful children who are precious in His sight.
Orphanage team update: Today’s flight out of Rochester was cancelled. The team rebooked and will leave one day late, arriving in Kathmandu on Friday.
Monday, March 16
The view of Kathmandu and the Himalayas from brother Megh's roof.
The trekking team came together at Megh Gurung’s home in Kathmandu. Two Americans, two Canadians, one Hungarian and one Nepali. An international team that knows this is not our home.
We had time for fellowship, prayer, the making and eating of momos, more prayer, and some planning. The trekking team sets out on Tuesday for the Far West. We have two more days of domestic flights to reach the jumping off point in Simikot, Humla.
As we prepare to GO from Kathmandu, our orphanage team is set to head this way starting on Tuesday. The entire Mission: Nepal team will be in the air, bowing its collective heart, and serving the Lord as we’ve been called. For HIS glory!
Sunday, March 15
Many parts of the Mission: Nepal team were on the move today with Jordan Rowley and me flying out of Tanzania (from Mission: Kilimanjaro 2015), Brandy and Matthew Fisher flying from Canada to Kathmandu, and Eduárd Nitkovszki flying from Hungary. Travelers from three continents heading for a fourth.
Eduárd (or Edward) met Jordan and me in Doha, Qatar and we will continue to Kathmandu together, arriving on Monday. He is making Climbing For Christ HIStory as the first European to participate in an Evangelic Expedition.
Eduárd Nitkovszki hiking in Switzerland.
Edward did not set out to be a first. He said he was praying and God put Nepal on his heart. “Why Nepal?” he thought. “How Nepal?!”
After contacting me to learn more about the trip late last year he said he needed to know this was God’s will. He attended a CHRISTmas concert in his city and the director told the audience: “Thank you for coming. Now GO!” Then they played “Go Tell It On the Mountain” – a C4C theme song. He got the message from God and now he is on his way to Nepal.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” – Isaiah 6:8 (ESV)
Sorting through past Mission: Nepal photos in preparation for this Evangelic Expedition, I came across the following image:
Hearing about Jesus in November 2012. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
This old man listened intently as our Mission: Nepal 2012 team shared the Gospel in November of that year in a village in the Far West district of Humla that was not receptive to Jesus. We’d trekked a few days to this remote village because we knew there was one Christian there and we wanted to encourage her. After sharing with a large crowd of children and some adults, we prayed in secret with our sister in Christ (and her brother, who we learned also had become a believer). We needed to pray with them out of sight to protect them from persecution. While I was praying in a dark room too small for most of our team, I instructed the others to start trekking out of the village. They left to a shower of stones thrown at them by children.
The places Climbing For Christ goes can be hard to reach – both physically and spiritually.
Listening to an audio Bible in March 2014. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
I didn’t realize until I was looking through hundreds of photos from our time in Nepal that this was the same man who, 16 months earlier, had heard us speak about Jesus. How many others – whether captured in photos or not – have we met on our three previous expeditions to Humla? How many have heard for the first time the Good News of Jesus? We know the church in Humla has grown from fewer than 10 believers in November 2012 to possibly more than 190 as we prepare to go there less than 2 ½ years later. We know the area is ready to build a church. We know that God has gone before us and brought us to the places that He has prepared.
We are eager to return to Humla with a trekking team consisting of Canadians Brandy and Matthew Fisher, Hungarian Edward Nitkovszki, Nepali Megh Gurung, and Americans Jordan Rowley and me. Meanwhile, Americans Leanne Bohn and Elaine Fallesen will serve with Nepali pastor Tej Rokka at Tej’s orphanages outside of Kathmandu. We know there will be many more photographic moments that will never be forgotten.
Mission: Nepal 2015 is scheduled from March 14-29, following Mission: Kilimanjaro 2015.
- CLICK HERE for the Mission: Nepal 2015 Prayer Bulletin