This trip was my first to each of the schools I visited on my trip. I felt it was important to get into each of the schools I am working with as soon as possible to get to know the directors, students and key components of the schools since starting my work with Bear Valley.
I visited the Nepal Center for Biblical Study first (January 15-20). I was greeted at the airport in Kathmandu (where the school is currently located) by Jerry Golphenee. Jerry has been working as an instructor for the school since it opened seven years ago. He has been living in Nepal working as a dentist for more than fifteen years. In that time he has helped several young people get an education by raising money for their school fees and other necessities. I stayed in Jerry’s house for the week, and was treated to wonderful hospitality. He was a wonderful host! One of my favorite parts of the trip was the three-mile walk Jerry and I enjoyed to the school each day. It gave us time to talk and get to know each other. He does a marvelous work in Nepal.
The director of the school, Gajendra Deshar, greeted me at the school on Monday morning, and gave me a quick tour. Gajendra is a wise and humble man with wonderful organizational skills and is a natural leader. I taught a personal growth class covering the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, and the Christian Graces from 2 Peter 1, as well as a special lesson on Church Growth. In addition to the students who attended the class, several graduates of the school and many members of the church participated in the course as well. Gajendra and his assistant Arun translated for me while I taught.
On Thursday afternoon after class we visited the site where the new school building is being built about an hour from Kathmandu. It is located in a rural setting, which makes it much less expensive to operate the school. Gajendra’s parents donated the property on which the school is being built. This is even more remarkable because his parents are still practicing Hindus. We pray this will change soon. The school is nearing completion, and they hope to be in it by early April.
I can’t say enough about the people of Nepal, especially the Christians I worked with for the week. They are some of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever met. This school is in fine hands under the leadership of Gajendra. Space will not allow me to write about so many of the things that need to be said about this school. If you would like to hear a more detailed report, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to visit the congregation where you are to give a better report.
I left Kathmandu and arrived in Vishakhapatnam, India on January 20. I taught the course Marriage and Family to the students, their wives (those who are married) and several of the members of the church who wanted to attend. As is usual, in most public classes in India, the classes were packed each day. In order to fully appreciate how fun this class was to teach, one must understand the culture in India. They do not publicly display their affection toward their wives like we are sometimes accustomed to here in the United States; nor do they talk about romance and the types of things covered in a marriage class publicly. It was so much fun to watch them talk about and study these things in the class. There was one student, in particular, who has been married for several years who made the class especially enjoyable. All in all, things went well and we learned what God has planned for Christian marriage.
John Dean is the local director, and does an outstanding job leading the school. He and the other instructors make this a top-notch school both academically and in real experience for the role of a preacher. Just like Gejendra in Nepal, John Dean is very organized so nothing slips through the cracks. Jerry Bates is the coordinator of the school here in the States, and makes multiple trips over there each year.
I can’t say enough good things about both of the schools I visited on this trip. They have a strong foundation, which will keep them on the right path for the future. Please join me in prayer for each of these schools as they will be holding their graduations in the coming months, and the students will leave to begin their new works.