Thursday, January 13, 2011

Love Revealed December 2010 - Trip Report Part 2


We flew up to Jhapa which is in East Nepal to help out with their youth camp. The camp was held in Mahimit Church and all the youth from the churches and preaching points in that district were invited to the camp. The turnout was about 35 campers which was about half what was expected. This was due to the last minute re-scheduling of their school examinations.

Registrations were a great time to get to know the campers and assign them to the various teams. As the campers streamed in, I couldn't help but notice the lively and cheerful atmosphere in the church compound, made all the more obvious by the vibrant colours of the clothes that the youth were wearing. There was a difference in the disposition of the youth. I couldn't help but feel the love of Jesus in that community.

Pastor Gopal and the youth welcomed us warmly to their church and surprised us with the act of pinning ribbons to our shirts and donning us with scarves. I think all of us felt a little bit bemused because it was a new experience to be honoured before we had contributed anything to them. 

It was an enjoyable time for all the campers. There were many hilarious moments when we tried to explain the rules of the games to the youth. Especially since our translator was one of the participants who seemed to be more keen on winning the game rather than explaining it to the rest. 

For many, the games and fun are the highlight of the camp. However, we also wanted the games to support and enforce the messages about being a believer. There was a game where the participants were blindfolded and had to search for members of their own group using only a single pre-determined sound (e.g. a clap, a whistle). Another game required them to link arms tightly in groups of 3 while playing football. 

The wonderful thing about having a youth camp in a village church is having the neighbours watch us from the outskirts of the church compound. Some of the children had enough curiosity to overcome their shyness to come in to watch.

Mass Dance.
One of the amazing things about the Nepali is how dance is so deeply incorporated into their rich culture. It is a form of expression that most Singaporeans simply do not comprehend. And because of the popularity of the dance from the youth camp in Kathmandu in June, we were asked to come up with a new dance for the one in Jhapa.

The camp theme dance was set to the song, One Way by Hillsong United. Our team taught the campers the moves on the first day of the camp. The youth were so enthused about perfecting the dance; they spent almost every break-time pleading with us to show them the moves 'one more time'. We might have feigned exasperation, but actually we enjoyed every moment of it. It was all worth it when we saw the youth pumping their fist singing the chorus, "One Way, Jesus!"

We had the privilege of laying hands and praying for every single camper, blessing them by speaking truth to their spirits. We thank God for using us as His channels of ministry towards these future leaders.

We also prayed for a girl who had collapsed during the camp. She was sent to hospital but the doctors discharged her from the hospital after finding nothing physically wrong with her. On our last day in Jhapa, she was having convulsions. We were supposed to leave for the airport but we decided to spend a little more time praying and ministering to her. After worshiping and praying for about 45 minutes, her body seemed to relaxed and we felt at ease to leave. She is now well and back to her normal self.

Appreciation from the Pastor.
"Thank you so much for time that you gave to us and also all the services, games and other items which has really inspired our youth camp. It has been a really wonderful and humble service towards our youth. We will never forget it. We will be expecting your service in future also. We enjoyed dancing with you and the fun that we had while playing games. You were really a good brother and sister as well as very close friends to us."
| Pastor Gopal |

Fun Facts.
  • Jhapa currently has one Methodist Church and 4 preaching points.
    (Jasing Guan, Badamtar, Dhadare, Surunga)
  • The camp was held in Mahimit Church. Mahimit means Glory.
  • While attempting to climb it, one of our team members broke a makeshift ladder that led to the roof. There were no serious injuries sustained other than to the team member's pride. 
  • There is a game where one had to juggle a ball of rubber bands with one's feet. One of the youth beat Gerald 39 to 26.
  • Chia Tea in Jhapa is sweeter than in Kathmandu.

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