It’s autumn, and I’m missing the colored leaves and crisp clean air of the Canadian prairies back home. The October holidays have arrived in Nepal, and it’s time to get a break from the crowded city where I’ve lived for six months working with TEAM as a teacher at KISC (Kathmandu International Study Centre).
I am taking a trip with a fellow teacher to the far west region of Nepal. We were both eager to see another part of the country and experience life outside the Kathmandu valley. I was also interested in seeing firsthand what life is like for the TEAM missionaries living there. And maybe I will take time to spot a few falling leaves and breathe in some mountain air.
We fly to Dhangadhi, a remote, rural area near the Indian border. Then a private driver takes us to the small town of Dadeldhura, a four-hour drive up a curvy road across the mountains.
Our week is filled with clean air, colored leaves on the trees, misty mountain views every morning, and quiet walks through the market place and down to nearby villages. I take time to pray, reflect, and ask God what plan He has in store for me. Each day at lunch, we go to a local bakery for dhal bhat with some of the missionaries, who have welcomed us as family.
I visit the TEAM hospital in Dadeldhura one morning. It’s been a stressful week as there have been a number of serious emergency cases and a shortage of staff. I grew up as a missionary kid with a father who worked in a mission hospital, but this feels so primitive in comparison, so limited in its resources.
The missionaries here have given up many of the conveniences of the big city: restaurants, imported foods, shopping centers. But the beauty of their physical surroundings, the knowledge that they are in God’s hands, the fellowship they receive as they gather for worship with each other and the local church – I think this is what carries them through some of the challenges of working in such a remote location.
I leave feeling rested and at peace, blessed by the majestic beauty of the mountains and fellowship with those who are serving Him. Throughout my experiences over the past few months, I have been asking God to show me what he has for me beyond this school year. Should I return to Nepal? And, if so, what would that look like? I am not very good at living in the moment, but I am finding that that is what I need to do: live each day with Him, and patiently wait for His answer as to the future.
-Written by Stephanie Fast, TEAMServe missionary in Nepal
-Photography by Robert Johnson