Wow

Written by | July, 2012
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Saturday July 14

Wow! Yesterday AM we were at the bus station to go on to Butwal. “I am not pushing you,” was the next line in the picture pusher’s lingo. I had not said he was. I had not in fact said anything, but was simply ignoring him. But then he singled me out and neither my ignoring, my “no thank you,” nor my turning away, dissuaded him. Rather I now received his whole push: “I walked three hours to bring this picture here just for you. The gods want you to have it to serve them. My family is starving. You Americans come here to see our country and do not help anyone. The gods promise you at least 120 years of good luck for buying this picture. If not, they will punish you,” I should have done a better job of witnessing that there is only one true God, who in grace sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. He paid the price for us. So nothing we do or buy can earn or bring good luck. Jesus bore our punishment for us.

Wow! Raju had booked this bus trip on a tourist line so that we would have a bus that actually has working shock absorbers, seats wide enough to fit into, decent cushions, and room for our luggage; and so we would not have two people / seat, more standing in the aisle, and continual stops wherever people want to get on or off. They sold us the tickets. We were there well before the scheduled time. They simply cancelled the bus and we could not even get a refund without going back to the place we had purchased them. So the bus we found fit all the bad categories above. Our luggage had to go on top. They assured us it would be well protected by a tarp. But especially one bag and most of my clothes were soaked when we arrived.

Wow! The bus ride from Pokhara to Butwal was literally one continual S-curve which went on and on for over 7 hours. Up a mountain til we were looking out over a vast valley picketed by mountain soldiers. Down the mountain til pressed between two cliffs with a river gorge escorting us on the way. Again and again. Yes, there are countless mountains in Nepal. Well, they would not call them mountains because there was not snow on the top of them.

Wow! On Saturday AM we worshipped with Emanuel Lutheran City Church. This church has a main church and four satellites. We were at one of the satellites. We got there early and it was a room 10 feet by 15 feet, so I assumed it would be a small group. But soon there were well over 50 people in the room and all calling on the name of the Lord. They showed their abundant joy in the word of His grace: Jesus came down to us to obey the law in our place to give us His righteousness and to bear the punishment we deserve to give us forgiveness. Pastor Heman is the head Pastor. What a delight to meet him, his family and congregation.

Wow! So we left for India this afternoon. The border crossing outside of Butwal, Matthew said was one of the worst he has ever seen. It was the worst I have seen but that is a short list. It was a river of water, mud, other refuse of every kind, and vehicles of every kind belching their fumes and jerking at any instance to squeeze into a gap. The only things really moving we’re the mud and refuse splattering over everything, pulsing up through the same. We had to walk through this giant mud pie, I wish it had been just mud, carrying all our luggage. Matthew’s conclusion, “I’ve learned to always fly in and out.”

Wow! We hired a taxi to take us into Gorakhpor and to the hotel Matthew had planned. We had to make formal agreement with the management and told them the hotel we had to go there. But we got to the city and the driver did not know where the hotel was, spoke no English, and for some reason could not find directions. After driving around most of the city, Matthew just had him stop at another hotel. For a long time they would not talk. But finally we find out they did not have a room. They did give directions for our driver to get to our planned hotel. Still, the driver could not find it and asked directions again and again. We finally got there and found a brigade of people carrying everything out of the hotel. It was flooded. We told the driver goodbye cause he was no help, and set off on foot, carrying all our luggage. I really was feeling all my weakness by that point and after all the fruitless driving, feared that we would be vagabonds wondering in the streets which also here were water, mud and every kind of vehicle. I was rather desperately praying that it would be according to the Lord’s will to enable us to find a hotel quickly. And praise the Lord, He answered our prayers. It was only about 10 blocks we walked and found the Shivoy. Wow!

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