It was a privilege to once again travel with Raymond to Ree village in Nepal. We had the pleasure of taking with us his assistant Joshua Slabaugh and a young man from my home church, James Schwartz. I had been there with Raymond in 2011. At that time we walked about 4 ½- 5 hours UP!!!! the mountain from the end of the road and had a very special time with believers from across the mountains. This time there is a road up the mountain a bit further than we had gone the last time but still UP!!!! The “road” required a 4 wheel drive vehicle to scratch and bounce its way up from the river at around 2000’ elevation to the village at around 4600’. The 8 seat vehicle had 14 adults plus a couple young children and all of our luggage and supplies. At the top, we were greeted by very friendly brothers and sisters who helped get us and our luggage the final ¾ of a mile up and down the path into the village where we were shown to the village home of the local pastor and his wife who warmly welcomed us and treated us very hospitably although they spoke very little English.
The village people are very hardy mountain folk who are still working very hard to rebuild 2 ½ years after most of the 200+ village homes were destroyed or damaged severely by earthquakes. We saw many of them laboring from before daylight till after dark laying stone, making gravel (breaking larger stones into smaller ones) and mixing concrete, framing roofs and putting on tin. All this on top of daily life activities which includes preparing their terraced mountainside fields for planting.
Our coordinator, Pastor Man, grew up on this mountain and was present as a teenager at the first Nepali conference I participated in in 2007. He has also attended IGO ABS. We had a very good conference with an average attendance between 45- 50. I am always impressed with the desire of these people to learn, grow in Christ, and put to practice the things we teach them. Their joy in the midst of their difficult circumstances is a challenge to me and their zeal to take the Gospel across the mountains puts me to shame. I am reminded of the opportunity that we have been given to share with them what God has given to us. The possibilities of this work are endless, limited only by our availability in going and funding. Only eternity will reveal the full extent of the fruitfulness this ministry.
Editor’s Note: The above article was written by Harold Carpenter. Harold, along with his wife Sharol, serves as senior pastor at Calvary Chapel in Sturgis, Michigan. Harold has joined MTM as a guest speaker on numerous trips dating back to 2009. Thank you brother Harold for giving again to the Lord in selflessly serving in this ministry to our Nepali church family! May the Lord reward you openly for your sacrifice and labor of love.