Georgia Russell (11th grade)
Nepal was an experience that I will remember for a lifetime. I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for preaching in Nepal. When I arrived in Nepal everyone was so sweet and welcoming. Even though I had countless electrical problems the Lord worked everything out. Being with the Nepali people changed me. We go on a mission trip over there to change them, but in the process, they changed me. I loved being in Nepal. I would absolutely love to go back next year.
Meghan Koch (12th grade)
Going to Nepal had a bigger effect on me than I ever could’ve imagined. One night, a commotion towards the back of my preaching site was distracting everyone, and drawing a small crowd. My translator told me to just keep preaching, so I did – I talked about the boundless love of Jesus Christ. The next day the events of the previous night came to light in a series of conversations exchanged about the breakfast table. It turned out that there was a woman in the apartment room below us that was being beaten by her drunken husband, who had just returned from military service. It hit me that I was preaching empty words while an entire world was drowning and suffering. In that moment, I dedicated my life to serve God and humanity, and that is precisely what I intend to do.
There was a certain man at my site who, each night, would approach me after my program to ask me challenging questions. Obviously testing me, he would refuse to talk to my translator and Bible worker Silas and would ask specifically to speak to “the ma’am”. Speaking to me in clipped British-English tainted by his Nepali accent, he would ask questions such as “You say there is one God, and yet you tell me that Jesus is the son of some person. How could this be so?” This man was the principal of the K-12 (by their system, Nursery through 10th grade) school in the valley where we were located and he was a highly educated man with advanced degrees. Naturally, I was intimidated and humbled by such questions, and I had to pray for God to give me the words to speak and wisdom to answer in a way that would lead this man to the Kingdom. I wasn’t sure how well I was doing in conveying God’s words until one night when the man approached me and said with arms crossed, “I want you to speak at my school. You will not need your translator. The higher grades speak English. Be there tomorrow to give a health topic.” So, Silas and I went. I presented my topic, and greeted all the kids. Afterwards, the principal called Silas and I into his office for tea. After several minutes of small talk, the principal’s tone became serious. “So, you are from AFM?” Although I am not from Adventist Frontier Missions, the villagers refer to the building in which we missionaries were staying as “AFM”, so I responded, “Yes, I am.” The principal looked me right in the eyes, “How soon can you build us a mission school?” I was shocked, amazed, and really excited. I went to my leaders as soon as possible to tell them about this experience, and I praised God for using me to reach this man in a way that could eventually reach others as well. Now I can only pray that the Huwas Valley will indeed someday get its mission school, and that this man will be able to work with us and finally give his life to Christ.
Bretlyn Kelly (12th grade)
One word to describe the Nepal mission trip would have to be unbelievable. It was unbelievable in so many different ways. I was so happy that we had the opportunity to be in a country that had just opened up and be able to preach the gospel. Nepal was unbelievable with its beauty. I have never seen anything as beautiful as Nepal was. I fell in love with the mountains, the wonderful weather that we had daily and the awesome sights we experienced every day. It was unbelievable because I had two people get baptized and give their hearts to Jesus just shortly after meeting Him and getting to know things about Him. I am so happy I got to experience the new culture and spend time with the people. The people were some of the nicest and sweetest people that I have ever met and I would gladly like to spend more time with them, getting to teach them more about Jesus. The translators especially were the kindest people around and they definitely showed Jesus in everything they did and said in their daily lives. From coming to worship and singing our English songs, to going to town and helping us get the best deals or from helping us at our sight talk to the people and making us feel welcome and safe as possible. The translators started out as Nepali people and they left us as some of our closest friends and spiritual mentors. I would never have been the preacher I was without the help of my translator and friend. I am glad God has a plan for my life and that it led to Nepal. All the trials and hard times that I faced like the woman’s suicide and being threatened were totally worth it to see my two kids get baptized and the many others get baptized. To see the smiles on their faces and to hear the thank you from their mouths means more to me than I am able to express. It was life changing and I will never forget it.
Stories from Sunnydale Adventist Academy’s newsletter.