Nothing can stop the light from getting through

Clouds morning and night

From the roof

The images here taken off the roof of our hotel speak of life here in Kathmandu…. There are so many clouds….

A three week blockade by India has shut down the import of fuel, cooking gas and other essential supplies…

Most homes,hotels and restaurants are now cooking outside on wood fires. There is little movement in the valley as petrol has not been available for three weeks,

Raja and some of the boys spent yesterday night, and all day today in a queue, some cars have been ‘parked’ in petrol station queues for three weeks; and we’re still waiting…..

We are only a day away from Dashain (Nepali: Daśãi) the 15-day-long national festival. It is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar. People return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate together. So without petrol and few buses, the festival mood is somewhat dampened.

But, as you see from the images above, there is light beyond the clouds and nothing can stop the light from getting through.

The Children are rays of light, as they are doing so well, the earthquake of April 25th is behind them and the push on with their studies, their exams and their life within the IGWR family homes.

And the Volunteers are bright sunshine here, giving and delighting in all that they receive…

And all who sponsor and support the 70 children we look after are totally changing the weather….

You are making a difference, and creating something that is beyond the capability of the new government in Nepal.

THANK YOU for Making a REAL Difference enjoy the sunshine

Peter Humphris

A Christmas Present

If you want to give to someone who has everything they need – Please consider sending a Gift Card that will show your gift as a donation to IGWR and our work in Nepal. It is a delightful way to give in a meaningful way and many who receive the cards are delighted that “they” have both received and given in the one gift. Cards can be ordered via Marie or Peter.

It is In Giving that We Receive

News from Nepal from Marie

Ganga Giri our sponsored nursing student obtained a distinction in her final exams to now become a Registered Nurse. Many thanks to St Paul’s community for assisting her financially and emotionally through her 3 years of study and some difficult times. Your assistance allowed her to move from very poor living conditions to a student room furnished and comfortable near Om Hospital where Ganga could study in peace and without fear.

Two more of our university students will graduate in six months time.

We have a seven year old boy Ayog who has obtained a place at the Disabled New Life Centre (British Centre) as a boarder where he can commence school and continue with his ongoing long term medical care. His fees per month are $100 Australian and we have received a generous on going sponsorship of $50 towards this and if anyone else can help with or share the remainder $50 required please let Peter or myself know.

Many thanks ‘In Giving We Receive’, Marie.

Postcard from Kathmandu from Peter

This visit has been filled with highs and lows…. The new premises and administration of the Snowlands School has created as many problems as it solves and the children still very much need the additional support that comes for volunteers. We have also visited another school and they need even more help – so we are creating another project and are excited about the possibility of bringing much needed support to another 200 children.

We have offered educational support to two more needy families, and have undertaken to put a young girl through nursing college. On a sadder note, Marie is arranging a ‘supply’ of morphine for Sabin to give the family some help with his palliative care…

And what has been a delight is to SEE and FEEL the very real light of St Paul’s shining as a light in the world. Every day there is a sense of creation unfolding.

Postcard from Kathmandu 3 2011

You Can Make a Difference

Twelve months ago we committed to helping this family….

We leased an apartment and brought them in from their village home where they were struggling to survive after their mother died. We employed a “house mother” to look after them, and enrolled all four children in school…….

It was an absolute delight to see life once again glowing in their faces when we visited them this year…..

Each and every one of us can bring life to others…. This is our Divine call into being.

And in this one little example, we know that

It is In Giving That We Receive

Postcard from Kathmandu 2, 2011

Postcard from Kathmandu 2, 2011

Yesterday was very special… a reminder that each and every moment holds the potential for being special…

We went with apprehension to visit Sabin, a 14-year-old boy with one leg amputated. Last year we undertook to get him into school and we did, he spent a month in a private school, and then received a terminal diagnosis of tumours in his lungs… he had to be withdrawn from school and returned to his village home to be with his family….

His short time at school was ‘the time of his life’.

We visited his village home a few days ago, but he was in a Kathmandu hospital for a further check up, so yesterday we went to see him at his uncle’s house in Kathmandu….

 

Love is a very beautiful gift….. it fills the heart in such a way that we have an opportunity to know our fullest being…

The only thing to bring to a 14-year-old boy who is dying is love…

To sit with him and his mother and grandmother and extended family opens each and every heart.. it calls us into the very depth of love.

To see the eyes of a mother, looking lovingly at her dying son, and a grandmother, looking into the same eyes, and with the same eyes – is to see love’s gift in it’s most intimate expression.

Such sadness accompanies the beauty of love’s gift….. and yet if only we could always see each other through such loving eyes….

We left our blessing, and took with us the memory of love’s longing, and love’s looking….. Hearts now filled with tears, and in that awful filling somehow, a cleansing, an opportunity to appreciate love’s gift anew.

 

1 2011 How good Lord to be here, and how wondrous are the works of the Lord.

Having been here for just a week we seem to have done so much and encountered so many people, old friends and new. It was a delight to visit the children at Snowlands School once again – our children; and at the same time the emotional balance was again challenged by the agenda/performance of those running the school.

Raja, who manages the affairs of IGWR (In Giving We Receive) in Nepal, arranged a lunch for all who have been helped by us, held in the house we have rented for the five children we took under our wing last year. Forty-two people attended the lunch – our family, those who feel blessed by our efforts and the very same who bless us.

This is ‘Divine work’ and at times it is ‘playing God’, which after all IS the whole Christian enterprise. That can sound somewhat over-the-top, however ‘Australia’ plays God with the lives of refugees; we are challenged here to do the same, however, we have a different God.

Today we went to a rural school that (in many respects) is more needy than Snowlands, and at the same time has more integrity. They received us as we might receive a saviour, for they desperately need to know what resurrection might look like. In the next few days we will develop a project outline and seek to bring new life into this tomb/womb of promise.

The emotional energy seems to ask more of us than of those who come here to climb mountains. Playing God, making real resurrection, living in Christ; these are more than Sunday morning rituals… they ask more of us and give more to us. Here we are alive in the spirit of St Paul’s, each morning as I sit crossed legged on my bed and engage the ritual of morning prayer, I know that there is a oneness that is OUR giving, and it does make a world of difference.

The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe 

In The Beauty Of Their Dreams.

Postcard from Kathmandu 1

‘m not sure I need to send a postcard for there is a sense that we are all here……

It has been a very busy week
we all go to bed early and tired
and yet we are full of all that has been received as we seek to give of ourselves……
To visit the family who I met in their small wooden hut after their mother had dies last year – scared, dirty and shell-shocked and to see them this year, in the home we have provided with a housemother caring for them is a real gift.
We receive always more than we give
for this is the will and the way of God…..
The Gift of “his own son” is iconic of life lived in the Divine
and only in giving can we fully receive the fullness of ourselves….
It is a delight to see, and to know, and to realise that WE CAN(and do) MAKE A DIFFERENCE
PS we will have some stunning pictures to bring home
🙂
Peace & Love
Peter H

Postcard from Nepal -2010 visit

8 Nov 2010

The festival time here is a time of celebration for all…. Much noise, singing in the streets and endless firecrackers. Saturday night Suraj wanted me to go to his friend’s house, so after the 30 ride into town I met him and his friend and followed them out of town to “God knows where”.

“God knows where” is an expression that has perhaps lost its original meaning – for I had no idea where we were heading, but a real sense that “God knows”.

We arrived at a house smeared with the days tika in order to welcome Lakshmi – It looked like a 70’s squat or one of the many houses we see on the news in war torn suburbs around the world… there were about 20+ young people all over the place eating various things from a variety of plates/containers…. After some introductions we went onto the roof, and there I was given a plate of food, and watched as the members of the household set off various cheap fireworks… After an hour or two I left for the ride home, with some clear directions that would get me back to my room. Riding through Kathmandu at night is suicidal excitement – the roads keep giving way to lunar surfaces of potholes and loose stones – pedestrians, cyclists, cars and bikes all appear out of nowhere sharing either side of the road according to the best road surface….

And all the while I was passing groups singing, chatting by roadside fires, and kept alert by the frequent fire crackers… The school is amazingly quiet during the festival, often only the volunteers around to be with the children… And most of the children spend most of the holidays crammed into a small dark room watching TV.

My few remaining days are filled now with completing details of all that we have been discussing for the future of the school, meetings to see if we can get plans into practice and some commitment to funding. School starts again tomorrow so I will have a couple of full days with the kids – but am aware of so many loose ends to tie up before I leave.  I just finished reading “Forget Kathmandu” and have started reading “Arresting God in Kathmandu”… it is certainly a place that is hard to forget and a place where God is apprehended in the most unusual of settings… It is also a landscape, which asks so many questions… I feel like the onion layers of my being are pealed away to open up new (and old) experiences of being.

There is no sophistication here…. but then what purpose does ‘sophistication’ serve? Is our richness is found in poverty, is our complexity is found in simplicity?

As my orientation turns to leaving, I wonder what will be packed up to bring back with me… and I’m also aware of so much to catch up on my return. It is a delight to know that wherever we are we share a common ground, we are held and we hold a delightful togetherness that crosses continents, cultures, and time. I rejoice that we are held in one Divine eternity.

Postcard from Nepal 11 -2010 visit

6 Nov 2010

It is an amazing night – Tonight it seems as if the whole of the Kathmandu valley is lit up with coloured lights…. Outside, the night is filled with singing and bands playing from every direction punctuated every few seconds by the sound of fireworks..

Today, and especially tonight we celebrate Divalli (Tihar) – the festival of lights – and seek the coming of Lakshmi who represents wealth in the Hindu tradition….. The Hindu Sacred Texts Vedas call Mahalakshmi as Lakshyayidhi Lakshmihi which means she is the one who has the object and aim of uplifting mankind.

Earlier on the way to school, riding through the back lanes of the suburbs, I noticed the first signs of ‘worship’ – many of the local dogs wore garlands of flowers, a sign that they had been drawn into the ritual world of Lakshmi.

I had another meeting with the school principal, and as all the children were crammed into the TV room watching “CID” , I returned back to the resort early to finish off the proposal for getting year 10 started at the school. I wonder at the kids all watching the police show CID in the afternoon, and I guess soon they will graduate to the more forensic police shows kids in the ‘more developed’ countries watch!

I finished the proposal just before 6pm.. and thought how auspicious to complete it on the night of Laksmi’s coming…. uplifting humankind with light, wisdom and wealth.

Evening Prayer was a delightful mix of east & West…. I started by placing small t-lights at the door of my ‘suite’, two at the front door, two at the back door, and two at the door to the bedroom. Light to welcome Lakshmi, Light to welcome the light. The Prayer book, for Friday evening seemed to follow the auspicious sentiments of the night:

Peace to those who are far off – peace to those who are near.

Father (OK they got the sex wrong) of lights.. make us a light for the world.

and the evening collect

lighten our darkness, lord, we pray…..

It felt like Lakshmi was summoned with the recitation of “Hail Mary”… and that in our prayers we make sense of the world and maybe the world makes some sense of us…. I then went out into the streets to soak up the delight of the lights, children going from door to door singing for sweets.. The streets were filled with the hope and the delight of Christmas.

Two scruffy barefoot children singing in front of a door – inside the door, one room – the whole home of a family, mum and dad and a small baby delighting in the song being sung… everyone delighting in the song that heralds the coming of light… this is the song I seek to sing, and delight when I know its rhythm within…

It is an auspicious time….. Rejoice in the coming of the light

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