October is always a huge national Hindu holiday in Nepal. Everything in the country slows down, except for buying presents and getting ready for feast days, and many things come to a complete stop. The full-time students at the Nepal Center For Biblical Studies get a five-week holiday at this time.
Since the schools are all closed, it is the best time of the year, along with the best weather, to have a Youth Camp for ages 13-22. The school pays for transportation to and from Kathmandu for about 45 young people and their chaperone, plus the lodging and food so that this spiritual blessing can be shared and enjoyed by young people from all parts of Nepal. Each day also included about twenty young people from the Kathmandu Valley area.
All those attending were requested to study [read 2-3 times and discuss] the book of Mark before coming to the Camp. Each day there was a morning devotional, classes from 9:00 to 12:30, lunch, games and recreational activities each afternoon, dinner, and an evening devotional plus discussion time with only the young people present about the lessons from that day. The last lesson was directed at the temptations and worldly influences to which our young people are exposed. This and all the classes included lots of discussion, questions and answers, and what we call “active participation learning.”
The last day included a bus ride [you would have to see it to believe it], picnic lunch, games, and a final devotional at a park in the hills outside the valley. The highlight was having 12 baptisms. The joy that these kids had each day and each moment was contagious. It was a lesson in fellowship and love for the chaperones, teachers, cooks, and other adults who attended on occasions. Everyone is looking forward to next year.
The weeks prior to the Youth Camp saw two weeks of special classes by two visiting teachers from America. Again, those who attended, our regular students and invited leaders, were asked to study the teaching materials before the classes began.
Brother Jerry Bates, associated with Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver and World Evangelism, taught from the book of John. Everyone commented on the depth of the lessons, how easy they were to understand, their practical application, and how they could be used in the congregations throughout Nepal.
Mike Brooks, from Highland Park Church of Christ in Alabama, has been coming to Nepal twice a year for over eighteen years so he is well known, liked, and respected. He taught from the book of Hebrews. Those benefiting from his lessons were the full-time students plus preachers and leaders from around the country.
The school will reopen on November 19, after this national holiday. However, the school Director, Gajendra, and Parsuram, one of our regular teachers, will be out visiting local congregations outside the Kathmandu Valley. In December, we are planning to take the students for a week campaign to east Nepal and work with the Christian leaders and congregations in about three areas.
God has blessed up in many ways. The work by the Nepali preachers, teachers, and leaders, combined with the time and effort of visiting teachers, and the loving support and prayers of Christians in American and Nepal is bearing spiritual fruit for Christ’s kingdom. Please continue to remember us in your prayers.
In Christian love and service,