Tim & Steve: Service Team Reflections
We often encourage our service team members to reflect on their experience serving in Nepal. Recently, we interviewed two people who are involved with long-term work about their experiences and why they believe the work to be important and impactful for everyone involved. Both of these men are pastors, one in Exeter, New Hampshire and the other in Joplin, Missouri.
Tim, from Missouri, commented on the desire to create sustainability, “[You are] really working hard to set up a system that does good works without creating perpetual dependencies. You really want people to have buy in. You don’t want just to provide free schools. What you want to do is provide school, then charge fees, then enable them to earn the money to pay the fees. It’s full of empowerment, rather than ‘Let us come in and fix everything for you.’ I really think it’s a model for how things ought to happen, what’s happening there: the dependence on local leadership, the care not to create perpetual dependencies but to empower people instead.” Tim’s church has sponsored the construction of several raised platform buildings, and he hopes to be able to go back to Nepal to serve those with whom he has connected.
Steve, a pastor in New Hampshire, describes why he keeps going back to Nepal after six years of work there, “The people that are there. You know, you grow in appreciation for someone like [one of our partners] who, it turns out, him and I have some interesting things in common that we didn’t even learn about until after the first trip… You know, a number of these people are just so important…you get to love the people. And then you feel like you should find out what’s going on.” Steve has been conducting pastoral training in the already-established Nepali churches for the past several years and is looking forward to being able to continue when international travel is possible again.