Our Link Missionaries

January 2016

Dear friends, As you pray for Nepal, please read this report from our CMS partner here, Ram          Prasad Shrestha, describing the conditions people are  facing in some areas.
Thank you so much.
Phillipa and Dan

 Dear Brother Raj Patel, Stephen Edision and Praying Friends at CMS
 Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I trust in the Lord that this finds you both in good health and spirit!
 By God’s grace we are doing quite well. Our Relief Co-ordinator is busying with government work to get official approval soon. I am sending a report of one of the shades that we built. We are continuously doing the small scale of relief works until we get official approval for the next phase. 
 
Due to recent freezing cold, many  adults and children have died. Several earthquakes affected areas such as Gorkha and Dolakha, due to constant snow fall, the tents, temporary shelters are collapsing due to snow on the roof. People are not in a situation to get out of the home because there is snow above 2 feet. Their blankets and warm cloths are  soaked  wet and they are getting sick. The government has sent an emergency relief team of army to relocate them.  Please pray for them. Thank you very much for your prayer and partnership.                                     In Him,                                Ram Prasad Shrestha

 

 

November 2015

Dear Friends,

This is not a blockade, it is a siege.”  These are the words of respected Nepali journalist and editor of the Nepal Times, Kunda Dixit. We always look to him for a wise and even-handed interpretation of Nepali political news and he is not wont to sensationalism and over statement. He was writing about the current blockade by India of Nepal in his editorial in the Nepal Times yesterday.

So what is going on? Nepal promulgated its new constitution on 20th September. It had been many years in the writing and there had been much wrangling over it.     Finally it was passed by 90% of the constitutional assembly, but it was not welcomed by the larger ethnic groups on the border with India. India also did not like it and had tried to get it stopped after the Nepali CA had voted on it. Unfortunately there was much violence and around 40 deaths, including several police officers. However, there was also evidence of police violence and even extra-judiciary executions.
Some groups protested by staging blockades at border points and India also imposed an undeclared blockade on Nepal. Since then there has been pretty much a stalemate and very little has come across the border. Nepal is a landlocked country and relies on transit across India for most of its supplies and all of its fuel. India is denying a blockade, but the evidence is to the contrary. Kunda Dixit clearly believes so.

So, transport is very difficult, cooking gas is running out, shops are running low on food, hospitals running out of medicine and the economy is suffering badly. The reconstruction effort in earthquake-affected areas has ground to a halt and hundreds of thousands of people are at risk with the winter approaching.  Aid            agencies are warning of an impending humanitarian catastrophe.


 KISC has been calculating how to stay open, preserving the fuel it has. Like other institutions in Nepal it relies on diesel to run its generators during the long power cuts we experience every winter. Dan has had to cancel/ postpone some work trips – one to explore palliative needs in some earthquake affected areas. He has also cancelled a teaching trip to India as the situation here is uncertain.
 
We are OK and have got what we need. We’ll just have to see what the next few weeks bring.

On the positive side, Dan now has his medical registration and has started working at Bir Hospital. The palliative care needs assessment project is taking off and we have appointed an excellent nurse to train as a palliative care specialist. Dan has
  also taken on the role as chair of the board at KISC.     Phillipa’s job continues to go well. KISC as always needs new staff members.

So please pray that the blockade (siege) ends, that a political solution can be found which is just and fair to all and that we will be able to make wise decisions in any situations we face. Our CMS Link-Letter giving other news about our work has been completed and should be published soon.

Dan and Phillipa Munday Mission Partners
Church Mission Society

 

 

25th August

Dear Friends,


It’s a bit of a cliché to say that when you return it seems as if you have never been away. Well we’ve been back in Nepal for nearly two weeks……….

There is a sense that under the surface so much here has changed, although superficially very little seems to have. We live in the AE (After Earthquake) era, whilst we left Nepal for our home assignment in the final days of the BE era. In our neighbourhood there has been relatively little damage. There are a few old houses which are no longer there and some boundary walls are still down. Even in Patan Durbar Square, the temple area about a mile away, the rubble and timber from the couple of temples which collapsed has been cleared away. However, several of our Nepali colleagues and friends have had significant damage to their homes only a few miles away and they are still living in dodgy  structures or with friends and family. We have spent quite a lot of time hearing about  experiences of where friends were when the earthquake struck and how they sheltered in the days and weeks after, when the numerous large aftershocks were at their strongest.       People here have been so resilient. The need to talk is clear and it is a good way for people to continue to process what they have been through.

Very close to Kathmandu though, we know that communities lie devastated and people are struggling through the monsoon. There have been a number of landslides and sadly more people have lost their lives as villages have been buried. We know that the reconstruction is going to take a long time and much is focusing on that.

So, since returning, Dan has been having discussions about starting a small project exploring the needs of the old, chronically sick and disabled who live in earthquake areas and giving some training to health care professionals in caring for them. The proposal has so far been positively received and we have a funder, so he is continuing to pursue it. Phillipa has been busy getting ready for the new school year, meeting new staff and interviewing prospective students and parents as their applications are processed. KISC has been repaired and is looking smart for the new year which starts tomorrow.


 We have both got visa delays as the  application processes have probably been delayed even more than usual    because of the earthquake. But it looks          

like we should have our visas within three weeks. We are hoping that then, finally, Dan gets his medical registration. There are more challenges ahead as the new INF agreement with the government needs to be signed in December. Therefore please continue to pray for visas.


It  was so good to meet so many of you when we visited so many places in the UK. We had such a warm welcome  everywhere we went and we were so encouraged by your interest in our work. We feel that we know many of you so much better now. Please keep in touch with us as well; as we frequently said, we love to hear from you too. If we did not get to see you, sorry; we will hopefully do so next time we are back.
 So, that’s all for now. We will be in touch again soon.

 Dan and Phillipa

 

 

5th August.

Dear Friends,


It’s a bit of a cliché to say that when you return it seems as if you have never been away. Well we’ve been back in Nepal for nearly two weeks……….
 
 There is a sense that under the surface so much here has changed, although superficially very little seems to have. We live in the AE (After Earthquake) era, whilst we left Nepal for our home assignment in the final days of the BE era. In our neighbourhood there has been relatively little damage. There are a few old houses which are no longer there and some boundary walls are still down. Even in Patan Durbar Square, the temple area about a mile away, the rubble and timber from the couple of temples which collapsed has been cleared away. However, several of our Nepali colleagues and friends have had significant damage to their homes only a few miles away and they are still living in dodgy structures or with friends and family. We have spent quite a lot of time hearing about  experiences of where friends were when the earthquake struck and how they sheltered in the days and weeks after, when the numerous large aftershocks were at their strongest. People here have been so resilient. The need to talk is clear and it is a good way for people to continue to process what they have been through.
 
 Very close to Kathmandu though, we know that communities lie devastated and people are struggling through the monsoon. There have been a number of landslides and sadly more people have lost their lives as villages have been buried. We know that the reconstruction is going to take a long time and much is focusing on that.

 So, since returning, Dan has been having discussions about starting a small project exploring the needs of the old, chronically sick and disabled who live in earthquake areas and giving some training to health care professionals in caring for them. The proposal has so far been positively received and we have a funder, so he is continuing to pursue it. Phillipa has been busy getting ready for the new school year, meeting new staff and interviewing prospective students and parents as their applications are processed. KISC has been repaired and is looking smart for the new year which starts tomorrow.
 
 We have both got visa delays as the application processes have probably been delayed even more than usual because of the earthquake. But it looks like we should have our visas within three weeks. We are hoping that then, finally, Dan gets his medical registration. There are more challenges ahead as the new INF agreement with the government needs to be signed in December. Therefore please continue to pray for visas.
 
 I was so good to meet so many of you when we visited so many places in the UK. We had such a warm welcome everywhere we went and we were so encouraged by your interest in our work. We feel that we know many of you so much better now. Please keep in touch with us as well; as we frequently said, we love to hear from you too. If we did not get to see you, sorry; we will hopefully do so next time we are back.
 
So, that’s all for now. We will be in touch again soon.

 Dan and Phillipa

 

1st July 2015.

Dear Friends,

It has been a while since we sent an update, but hopefully you have received our link letter from CMS in the meantime. We are now into the last month of our home assignment and are feeling very thankful for all the love and prayerful support we have received from all of you.  Also, we are thankful to God for his faithfulness and sustaining love as we have travelled many miles and slept in many beds! 

Tomorrow (friday) we will travel to Weston super mare to spend a week with Phillipa's parents, and her brother Jon and his family. We will be speaking at Worle Baptist on Sunday morning, when we will also be joined by Nathan who will bring first hand reports from the earthquake experience, as well as sharing something of his time working at KISC since January. 

In Nepal, the recovery is just getting started. All the relief agencies have been working hard to get shelter materials to the villages that have been destroyed by the Earthquake; the monsoon has begun, so it is raining a lot, and life for many people just got a whole lot more difficult - again. There is a fear of landslides, as the hillsides are even more unstable than they usually are. Landslides put villages in danger as well as blocking roads and footpaths. In addition the monsoon weather makes flying more difficult for helicopters and small aircraft trying to bring help to remote areas. Other concerns are that folk have been unable to plant important crops like lentils (for dahl, a staple food) and the prices in the shops are reflecting an anticipated shortage already. 

After-shocks continue on an almost daily basis and post- trauma psychological issues are a big area of concern.

Many of our expat friends have been able to leave Nepal for a holiday now that KISC is on it's summer break. Most of our Nepali friends sadly don't have that luxury, and we pray they will be able to find respite in other ways. 

Thank you so much for keeping Nepal in your prayers. This will be a long journey to recovery. If you are fundraising, INF (International Nepal Fellowship) is a good way to consider giving, via the website. 

 

Prayer pointers

  • the work of CMS, INF and others persevering in bringing relief and shelter to remote areas
  • for people to find peace in the midst of trauma and stress
  • for ongoing financial support to enable agencies to continue provision for the recovery programmes
  • For us to be well prepared to return to our roles at the end of July
  • For our remaining two church visits and quality time with family and friends here.
  • Dan's visa has got stuck again, along with others in INF - keep praying for them to be approved.

 

Thanks so much,

 

Phillipa and Dan

 

 

Earthquake update: 3 (8th May)

Dear friends, Thanks again for your on going prayer for Nepal. Here are just a few lines from people on the ground to help us in our prayers:

 

Liz:  What's on my mind? All those injured folk who've been rescued from their remote villages - but without any family helper to care for them while in hospital in Kathmandu (it is not the nurse's job to do that here). For many it will be their 1st time in the big smoke even. One friend met a young mother whose torso and one leg was in plaster, with two little children to care for, one with a head injury. A young Kathmandu lass was assigned to them, but with little understanding of their situation... How can we mobilise people to help care for them?

 

Shreya:  As much as Kathmandu has returned to "normal", there are places in the country which have suffered far more than we had thought. Every day I hear people talking about another unreached place where no aid has been sent. Thousands are waiting for help, and help is certainly on the way. I have been amazed and inspired by my fellow Nepalis who have taken it upon themselves to organize, pool together, and deliver care to those in need. I am humbled by non-Nepalis here and elsewhere who have done all their can to meet our needs. I have no way of showing you the gratitude I feel.

 

Kent: Though I'm probably the most vocal, there are thousands of people on the ground doing what they can. For example, every day, Alisha has gone with her college to villages in the outskirts of Kathmandu and without fanfare helped to build toilets, provide aid and the like. Rajendra and Puja have done the same and many others. I hope that the goal of raising funding so more help can be given excuses the constant (Facebook) posts. Thanks you for the continuing support. Our van is fixed, we've been donated a whole bunch of plastic sheets for temporary shelter (which is almost impossible to find in KTM now) and we are heading out again in a few hours.

 

Prayer points:

  • Aftershocks are still waking people in the night; children are scared and parents are exhausted.
  • Nepali families in the city have homes that are badly damaged (there is no insurance, and repairs/rebuilding will be beyond their means).
  • Safety for teams reaching out to the villages, by road and helicopter.
  • For all affected villages to be identified and receive help.
  • For mental health care for everyone, as they support one another in the coming days.
  • For KISC back in action, staff and students working together to move forward and recover from the trauma.
  • KISC students sitting GCSEs and A levels.

 

The list is endless. these are just a few pointers. Please continue to fundraise if you can. That is the best way to make a practical difference.

 

Thank you so much,

Looking forward to seeing you at a church visit or en route! (Our schedule is on the CMS website)

 

Dan and Phillipa

 

 

 

Earthquake update: 2  (2nd May 2015)

Dear friends, Several people have kindly asked for news about KISC to share tomorrow for prayer. Thank you so much for your prayers for us and for Nepal in the aftermath of the tragic earthquake. It is now a week since the initial major quake. The week has been characterised by a string of aftershocks and people have been feeling very fearful and not been able to sleep well. Many spent four or five nights sleeping outside under shelters.  Despite this, many of our friends in the KISC community have also been out and about helping others, sharing food, clearing rubble, taking supplies to destroyed villages, making room in ther homes for people who no longer have one; the news from them has been overwhelming and awe-inspiring at the same time.

 

It seems that for our colleagues, life is now coming to what they are calling a 'new normal'. They are back in their homes, have enough food and water for the present and are trying to get some much needed sleep, although many are sleeping together as families on mattresses as close to the front door as possible. Many of our Nepali colleagues however have damaged homes and have lost friends or family members.



KISC opened on Thursday for a staff time of prayer, worship and planning. Students and parents were invited on Friday for a special programme including prayer, counselling opportunities, fun and games with friends, time with teachers.

The school plans to be running classes from Monday, all day for secondary (with GCSE and A level exams starting imminently) and half day for primary. For those who saw the pictures on Facebook, the school hall is now cleaned up and ready for use, with no stage and the end wall missing.

 

Prayer for KISC:

For the school staff especially Directors, Dan Parnell, Angus Douglas and Khim Kandel, and principals Samantha Seymour and David Hamer.
For students who are still frightened, to be able to leave their parents for a few hours and go  to school.
For Senior students to be able to study for exams.
For the parents who wil be engaged in reaching out to others in the community, and some travelling to remote villages.

For the wider situation:
For all those who have lost family and homes, or whose relatives are still missing.
For relief to reach all areas where it is needed. There are still villages that have had no help yet. It is particularly difficult to get to remote areas with few helicopters available.
For the government to release the supplies from the airport quickly for distribution

For safety for those travelling to bring help.

Thank you so much for standing with our Nepali brothers and sisters. They are resiliant and will rebuild their lives in due course, but desperately need our help to get started.

 

KISC has opened a fund to support staff members and their families, many of whom have badly damaged homes, and also to repair damage at the school. You can give to this via our account at CMS, saying clearly it is for KISC.

Dan and Phillipa Munday

 

 

Earthquake update: 1 (27th April 2015)

 

Dear Friends,

 

Many thanks for your emails and messages of concern and support for Nepal after the terrible earthquake on Saturday. We have been watching TV news pretty constantly and also getting news from our friends and colleagues in Nepal via Facebook. We thought it would be helpful to send this general letter out now that it is getting a little clearer what is going on. We anticipate sending out further updates as we hear more news. Also, as we travel around doing our church visits we will give more news and be able to answer questions. If you would like us to speak at schools, youth groups etc, please let us know and we will do what we can.

 

When it happened: This was just after midday on Saturday. (We heard immediately via messages from teachers at KISC on Phillipa’s Facebook.) This was the time when many Christians would have been at church. Mostly it seems that this was good, because families were together and many church structures (so it seems at the present time) were strong enough not to collapse. Also many people in general were out and about – the weather was fine at the time and so fewer people were in the buildings than there would have been during the night. However, we have heard about two churches, one in Kathmandu, one further east where they did collapse and there was significant loss of life.

 

The extent of the damage in Kathmandu: It seems that the structures most severely affected were the older buildings, which is why the heritage sites have been so badly damaged, many reduced to rubble. Older houses too have been badly affected – many of these are made of softer brick. Fortunately it seems that most of the more newly built houses did not collapse, even though some have been damaged badly and will need to be demolished. This is a real miracle as building techniques do not generally meet earthquake standards and so very many of these new, poorly constructed buildings have gone up in recent years. Each time we went walking in the hills high above the city, looking at the urban sprawl below, we would think of what would happen when the earthquake struck………

 

KISC has suffered some damage. One end of the hall has collapsed and we hear that the generator has been damaged. We think that the main building is intact.

 

Expat mission and school staff: We have been really relieved to learn that all of our expat friends and colleagues are well and all of our Nepali friends, who we have heard news from or about, are OK. There has however been significant loss of life in the Kathmandu valley and the death toll will continue to rise. Clearly however, we have not heard from everyone, but have been encouraged by what we have heard so far.

 

Shelter: It seems that the majority of people are sleeping outside their houses at present as there are significant aftershocks, the largest of which have caused more damage and some loss of life. The KISC basketball court which was built about 18 months ago, specially to be ‘earthquake proof’, has provided shelter for around 300 KISC staff, their families and others from the mission community. This has been really important as there have been the seasonal thunderstorms and last night it seems was very wet. Fortunately the daytime temperatures are in the low 20s and there will be sun in between the storms so people will not be constantly cold. You can read some first hand personal accounts of life after the earthquake from INF on their website http://www.inf.org.

 

Outside Kathmandu: The epicentre of the quake was 50 miles north west of Kathmandu. The districts in that area, Lamjung, Gorkha (where we get the word Gurkha) and Dhading seem to be the most heavily affected. Early reports suggest that damage here has been very significant.

 

Many villages are on very steep hillside, so the buildings will have been damaged by both the shaking and landslides. These areas will clearly be where there will be the greatest loss of life. This is compounded by the fact that many areas are difficult to access at the best of times, with no roads, only mountain paths. This lack of accessibility will have been compounded by the quake and it will be several days before many of these outlying areas can be accessed.

 

The district centres, where the district hospitals are based will be the key hubs to providing relief in these places. In Lamjung the hospital is run by HDCS, the Nepali NGO which also runs KISC. International Nepal Fellowship (INF), to which Dan is seconded, is sending a team to Gorkha today and two doctors from United Mission to Nepal (UMN) Tansen Hospital, where we used to work, are going to help out in Lamjung. UMN also is anticipating being very much involved in the relief effort in Dhading.

 

Ongoing immediate needs: The immediate need now is for water, food and sanitation as well as shelter for those whose are homeless or fearful to enter their houses. It seems that some supplies are getting into the country via the international airport. However, this has limited capacity with only one runway and it has been closed several times because of aftershocks. Fortunately it has not been significantly damaged. The real need is for the roads to be opened up, but we have not heard about what the state of the main road from India into Kathmandu is. If this is open that will be really good news, because the road links directly into the district centres of Lamjung, Gorkha and Dhading. However, the road is therefore near to the epicentre, so it will be a miracle if it is passable.

 

Longer term: Nepal was already struggling to survive. This is going to deal a huge blow to the country and the economy. The tourist industry is likely to be affected hugely. The infrastructure was already desperately poor and it is difficult to see how it will be restored quickly. Nepal’s huge needs will continue long after the international media move onto the next disaster.

 

We have been in touch with our colleagues in Nepal and have offered to return at any time, but we think it is unlikely that we will go back before our planned date of 22nd July as neither of us have skills which are particularly needed at this time. We think our job will be to be involved in awareness building in the UK for our home leave time.

 

If you would like to give to help the relief effort, you can donate directly to UMN and INF. We know that they are already working to reach the remote areas and they have many years of experience in Nepal, providing development and relief in rural areas. Here are the websites:

 

http://www.umn.org.np

 

http://www.inf.org

 

These websites will also give you up-to-date news from Nepal.

 

If you have difficulty getting on to these sites – they might at times be overloaded or down, you can also give via CMS – just follow the lnks

 

http://www.cms-uk.org

 

 

Please join with us in praying. (The list is endless, here are some for starters).

 

Thanking God:

  • For the people who are safe and praying for those who have been bereaved.
  • For the people on the ground in Nepal who have been working hard in the initial relief efforts.
  • That aid is starting to reach Kathmandu and also for the work of INF and UMN in the districts close to the epicentre which is starting today.

 

Asking:

  • That the aftershocks would quickly cease and people can return to their homes and start the clear up.
  • For the rescue teams that they can get to those needing help quickly and that they too will be kept safe.
  • That the roads can be opened up soon to allow essential supplies to be moved to where they are needed.
  • For wisdom for the leaders of UMN, INF, HDCS as they plan for the relief effort with other agencies. That this would be well coordinated to avoid delays.
  • For the KISC directors as they decide when it is safe to reopen the school.
  • For the senior students at KISC who are coming up to their exam time that they might be able to get back to studying and doing their exams.
  • For the expat mission staff: that those who need to be in Nepal now, but are away, can get back and those who need to leave will be able to get flights out.

 

 

Thank you so much,

Dan and Phillipa

 

INTRODUCING OUR NEW LINK MISSIONARIES

DAN AND PHILLIPA MUNDAY

Dan and Phillipa are Church Missionary Society partners in training, preparing to go to work in Kathmandu, Nepal.  They live and worship in Leamington Spa.   Dan is a doctor and Phillipa is a teacher.  Dan has worked for many years in  palliative care, where he has also been involved in leadership, research and development.        Phillipa has been teaching English to speakers of other languages in community classes. She is also qualified to work with students who have specific learning   difficulties.

Phillipa will be working at the Kathmandu International Study Centre and Dan will be making professional links to develop his role in medical work,  teaching and research in Nepal.

We pray for Dan and Phillipa that they will be able to walk closely to Jesus as they prepare to settle in Kathmandu.  They depart early in the new year for a three year placement.

 Dan and Phillipa write in early January:

"We are getting very close to leaving now and there seems to be so much to do, but God is good.

We have heard that our freight shipment will arrive very soon after us and we have a place to live, house sitting for 6 months for an American family, in a house near the school where I will be working, we will have plenty of time to arrange something more permanent and move  during the summer holiday.      

yours

Phillipa and Dan

Checkout their blog in Nepal

Nepal Update Blog:       http://danandphillipa.wordpress.com/

Hello everyone!  We're just getting back into work routines after a lovely couple of weeks' holiday with family visiting.
We have written a new blog about the recent festival of Dasain and some perspectives on what we have experienced….
Hope you enjoy reading it.    16.10.13.
Click on the wordpress link 
http://danandphillipa.wordpress.com/ 

8th November 2013:   The weather here has just got quite a bit colder so we are adjusting to wearing our winter clothes etc. Do continue to pray for the school as we prepare for the inspection in three weeks, but before that we have elections and probably some strike days and maybe demonstrations and curfews. Meanwhile we are praising God for a really good activities week when the secondary year groups went on various trips, trekking etc and the primary had a Bible club in the afternoons. Two secondary pupils have recently come to faith.
 

This week (end October 2014) has been interesting as we have had the Hindu festival of Tihar. That is the same as Diwali, but I have not seen people in Leamington Spa worshipping cows or putting garlands and tikkas on dogs, so it feels a bit different. Thursday was Laxmi puja, when people make intricate decorations with coloured powder and lights to invite Laxmi, the goddess of plenty into their homes and businesses.  It is a very colourful and a happy festival but reminds us that worshipping idols is not going to bring salvation. We pray for Jesus name to be lifted up.

At school we have been preparing for activity week - the secondary students going off on trips and the primary looking forward to a 'holiday bible club' in the afternoons. I (Phillipa) am teaching the bible lesson each day and have a fair bit of work to prepare for that - It's like teaching five Sunday School lessons in a week, each one three times!

Dan is heading to UK for a conference in Liverpool, to present the district hospital research he has been doing here; He will also get to see our boys briefly. He will be away for 10 days. He will only be back for 10 days then goes off to India for two weeks to visit a hospital palliative care programme and do some teaching.

So that Phillipa isn't left out, she is going to a Christian school conference in Korea with a few other KISC teachers at the end of November.

 

Next weekend we look forward to a visit from Marie Laure, who works at CMS in Oxford. Along with CMS mission partners Paul and Jean Dobbing, we are looking forward to showing her our work, discussing our future plans and introducing her to our friends and colleagues. Marie will stay with me (Dan will still be away for the start of her visit) so we will have plenty of time to catch up.

 

You may have heard about the tragic loss of so many lives in the mountains, when the storm hit last week. Many trekkers on a high pass on the Annapurna circuit were caught unawares and many are still missing. As ever, people are looking for answers, and want to know why, but the mountains are dangerous. Thankfully we are not really involved, but still feel so sad for the families affected.

 

Prayer pointers:

·         Give thanks for another good week at KISC and the excitement of activity week.

·         Give thanks for the opportunity for Dan to present his work at a major conference in UK; to promote awareness of the situation in Nepal.

·         Give thanks for Nepali families enjoying the festival time together.

 

·         Pray for the name of Jesus to be known and lifted up in Nepal

·         Pray for the families affected by the mountain disaster - trekkers and Nepalis

·         Pray for Marie Laure - for safe travels and a useful, informative visit.

Thank you again for your prayers. 

We really appreciate you!

 

Dan and Phillipa

7th December 2014:   Dear Friends

This morning we have an unexpected hour or so to write our update to you. We were just leaving to attend our Nepali church (you will remember Nepali churches meet on Saturday), but I was unable to start my Royal Enfield Bullet and it was too late to make the half hour walk (my bicycle is also broken!). Also this afternoon and this evening we are singing in the Kathmandu Chorale Christmas Concert, so the day had been planned with meticulous precision so that we could get to church and the concert. The best-laid schemes etc………  Actually it is good to get a few minutes to ourselves this morning, so we are writing this and finishing off Christmas cards - hopefully not too late for the Christmas post. 
 
The last three weeks have been very busy for us traveling to different parts of Asia. 
 
Phillipa interjects……on Sunday, I arrived back from the Christian Schools International Conference in Korea where I had spent the previous week.  It was a very full and wonderful time, meeting. learning and worshipping with staff from about 100 other schools like KISC, attending very informative and helpful workshops. For example, I spent some time considering how we reveal the attributes of God through our teaching across the whole curriculum. We also had the opportunity to learn about all things Korean. The korean food was delicious - and Thursday evening we were treated to an American Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey with a wide range of sides and treats. Thank you for your prayers. We came back with lots to share with our school, and were aware of Gods care and blessing in all the travel details as well as the conference.
 
Dan again…..on 15th November, I left for India, spending a night in Delhi before flying on to Assam. In the state capital Guwahati, I met the other three members of the team who had travelled from Kampala - a Scot, a Ugandan and a Manchunian whose family are originally from Punjab - so quite an international group!  We met up with a local colleague, Dr Dinesh Goswami, who is the pioneer of palliative care in Assam and together travelled up the broad Brahmaputra Valley to Tezpur and the  Baptist Christian Hospital, part of the Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) group. We spent five days there evaluating their palliative care service and delivering some teaching sessions. We were really impressed by their dedication and what they had achieved in the 20 months since the palliative care service had started.
 
Dr Goswami had arranged for us also to visit the Tezpur University Campus and to talk to some Media Studies students. They had not come across palliative care before, but they were fired up by Dr Goswami's lecture and wanted to know what they could do to promote and support palliative care. This was such an opportunity as these students will be the future journalists in the state and, quite likely, further afield. Back in Guwahati we had the opportunity to speak at our own press conference and appear the next day in the Assam Sentinel Newspaper!
 
For the team's second week in India we delivered a research methods course for the EHA, in Delhi. Some of our colleagues from Tezpur attended, along with others from all over India. Again, we met with lots of enthusiasm and some great ideas for research to enable palliative care development in India. Many of us will be attending the Indian Palliative Care Congress in February and will be able to meet up again to offer more support and build on what has been started. 
 
Back in Nepal we were straight into work. The routine at KISC for Phillipa as well as leading student support, includes screening and meeting applicants to join the school, always a fascinating job in this international community. I am finishing off the evaluation report for Nick Simon's Institute and doing more planning for the palliative care development work starting in the New Year. Plus there have been evening rehearsals for the Chorale concert this afternoon. Unfortunately the cold, dry and dusty air here in Kathmandu is not good for the voice. Phillipa lost hers earlier in the week and it is still a little croaky - hopefully it will last out the two concerts today.
 
Our first grandchild was due yesterday, but no sign so far, so we continue to pray for a safe delivery for Liz. The next three weeks are very full for us as we try to get everything tied up for the Christmas break. We fly out on Boxing Day evening to the UK. We will be in Warwick until 14th January when we return to Nepal for the new year, new term and new and exciting projects.
 
So (bursting into song)…...We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year….. 
 
Dan and Phillipa
 

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