To reach the Himalayas, trekkers must land in Kathmandu and take route through Bokara. Heavy rains had passed through and a mist blanketed the valley until late in the morning. Despite living amidst poverty and natural disasters, the Nepali are a community-oriented people. They are more likely to humbly serve than to demand service from others. While several groups of NGOs have come to the region to provide relief, it seems that most fail to see the valuable lessons they can learn from the Nepali people.
Shouldn’t we try to look beyond their poverty to the infinite potential and value that lie within them?
A steep mountain trail | A prayer flag
Departing from Kathmandu, we followed a twisting mountain road for five hours before arriving at the village of Valtar.
The village had been severely damaged during the earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015. During that terrible tragedy, 5,500 lost their lives.
All across the village, prayer flags flapped in the wind. The prayer flag comprises five colors that represent the five elements of the universe according to Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.
Blue stands for water, white for air, red for fire, green for wood, and yellow for earth. The flag is covered with Buddhist texts. Clearly, the lives and culture of the Nepali were fully steeped in Buddhist belief.
An earthquake-stricken church restored
Here, Korea Food for the Hungry International is rebuilding a crumbling 45-year-old school and running the CDP (Children Develop Program). It is through this program that we plan to distribute our nutritional powder.
To the Village of Valtar To Shaktikhor
After another three-hour drive, we arrived in Bhaktapur.
Ever Vision School
Children offering welcome with flowers
The school built by Korea Food for the Hungry International currently serves some 280 kindergarten and primary school students. As most of the students are the children of poor Chatbhang families living in the mountains, giving them the opportunity to learn was a sure way to bring hope to their future. I bowed my head before the tireless effort and service of Missionary Jae Myeon Park and Missionary Chris, who have devoted themselves to building and establishing this school. As I walked about wearing the wreath of flowers around my neck, I suddenly wondered,“Do I really deserve to wear this?”
Missionary Chris and the principal of Ever Vision School
Children having a taste test - 1
Children having a taste test - 2
Meeting with Sunghoon Ko, Director of KOICA Nepal Office, and Bok Joo Lee, Manager of Good Neighbors
Whenever I am in the field, I am struck by the noble sacrifice of those who serve in the poorest regions. The nutritional powder sent to Director Sunghoon Ko has been shared with eighteen volunteers in eight regions, and in 2019 it will be used to supplement the meals of poor children through the KOICA Health Program.
Though there is darkness in our world, there is much light as well. Though there are many impoverished, there are also many seeking to help the poor.
When I direct my gaze away from myself and toward my neighbors, I go from being poor to being rich, to being someone who can help others.
John Chae/Doreen Park
Prayer requests :
* To quickly receive certification for the nutritional powder by the Nepali Food and Drug Administration
* For the KOICA Nepal Office's child food program
* For World Vision's mission in India to give poor children access to GBM nutritional foods
* For the participation of regular volunteers and relief organizations in the Empty Hands Food Supply project