Monday, June 29, 2009

Our unseen host in Nepal and our first 24 hours here: "You are my neighbor; I am my brother's keeper."

by Rev. Stphen R. Parelli. KATHMANDU, NEPAL. Back in January, a friend insisted I get on Facebook. She insisted the networking there would be great, not to mention catching up with friends. And so it has been.

Now here's a Facebook story: Shaun Kirven of Kathmandu, Nepal -- someone I've met only through Facebook -- when he learned about Other Sheep and our plans to be in Nepal, he wrote and said he would like to provide us a room in his home. I'm writing this blog from his home! and he isn't even here. He's on some human rights mission in another country. In fact, Jose and I will leave Nepal before he returns home. There are two other people living here. One is also involved in human rights work and she, like Shaun, is English. The other person who lives here is Nepalese and met us at the airport! Shaun had written us on Facebook: "When you arrive at the airport look for a sign with your name on it. That's your ride to the house." Can you believe it! Wow. (Of course, we did wonder if this was a set up, i.e., 'Follow the sign; get in the car . . . " -- but we didn't entertain that idea for very long.)

Our first day, our Nepalese host (standing in for Shaun) helped us get situated. He took Jose about town getting cash, slim card for our phone and other basic needs for operating, while I hooked my lap top up to their wireless and got busy with Other Sheep updates and contacts.

We have our own bedroom and share the rest of the apartment with the other two live-ins. Two bathrooms. This is a third floor apartment with a large patio and chairs and with a roof top terrace that has a commanding view of the foot hills (the actual mountains are covered this time of the year – rainy season). A cleaning lady takes care of the kitchen, washing clothes and keeping things neat. At times an annoying mosquito finds its way into the house.

Our stay here is from Sunday night through Thursday night! Can you believe it? You might want to look Shaun Kirven up on Facebook and thank him (and then become a human rights activist and get some first class service from Kirven when you come to Nepal to get involved).

Jose and I finished our first day by contacting (with our up-and-running cell phone) a couple Christian pastors that had expressed interest in meeting with us. So far we have one appointment on Wednesday. The pastor has a school for training pastors. He is entertaining the idea of having us speak to his 35 students next Monday. I emphasised meeting him first. I want to be sure he knows what we are all about. So begins our work in Nepal. We look for continued open doors like this one and when we find one we are amazed at both providence and the human kindness we find in others who help us along the way. Thanks in part to Facebook -- a tool that connects us with other like-minded individuals -- an Internet experience that makes us realize how we all are connected, not digitally, but with that human spirit that says -- you are my neighbor; I am my brother's keeper.

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