With the limited amount of time I now have to travel, I have to become more efficient with my time. That means two countries in one trip. So we returned to Yangon and then flew to Kathmandu to meet with our local friends there. It was an easy flight with a quick layover in Bangkok. We arrived in Kathmandu in the afternoon.
Earlier this year I felt called to make a trip to Nepal in April at their 1 year anniversary of the devastating Gorkha earthquake. I reached out to you, my friends and supporters, and you gave above and beyond what we expected.
I returned with a plan to travel back in October. Using our local contacts, they decided that another round of food was the best way for us to have the best impact on the people. All of those with land to farm used our support to make that final push into becoming self-sustaining once again. They are in the second harvest and most people are back on their feet again.
But many do not have any land in which to farm and the government has not yet decided what to do with those whose land was destroyed during the earthquake.
Two different villages were selected as being the most in need.
The lorry was on its way to load up when something went wrong with his rig. The driver spent all night trying to get it up and running. By 8:00 am, instead of driving to the village, he was just on his way to our supplier to start the loading process. A couple hours later he was on his way.
We left ahead of them when we got the call. The driver had been warned that the government was cracking down on all large deliveries. They would demand to know what his cargo was, who paid for it and where it was going. He was told it would never be able to get past either checkpoint at the main cities boundary or the one just outside of town.
So we decided to stop at the checkpoint and wait for the lorry. We started to think about how we can negotiate this load past the officers. Getting in and out of the Kathmandu valley runs through a small pass at the top of the mountain. The main and only road is not as wide as a normal 2 lane road. So it is slow going on the best of days. Today, there happened to be not one, but two lorries that broke down blocking the road. The backup lasted for miles and miles in both directions.
So while we waited at this rest stop area for our truck to get to the checkpoint, I started contacting everyone I could to pray. The prayer is that God would somehow make this vehicle invisible to the officers and they would just let it pass through without and questions. I jumped on FB and sent several personal texts.
Our friends took this seriously and before long FB says our reach was over 650 people. Plus I received a few personal notes that people were praying.
The lorry passed through without incident!
It really was a miracle according to our local people. So we got back in the car, waited through the second broken down vehicle and headed to the next checkpoint. I called out for more prayer! The driver was so nervous that he did not want to continue, but Sangam convinced him to keep moving along and that we would be there if any problems arose.
We stopped at the next stop and waited and waited and waited. While sitting on the side of the road I felt a huge pinch on my ankle. I smashed a giant spider who just took a bite out of my ankle and then wondered what was going to happen to me as a result. It itched a lot, but nothing really bad happened. Whew!
Finally, the lorry arrived and it also went through again without any issue! How could it be so easy? We just knew this could easily take us a day or two to get this through, but just like that, it was heading on down the road! God really heard your prayers and we were home free!
As we were driving through a small village, our driver hit his brakes and a motorcycle came and slammed into the back of the old car. Both parties seemed to be OK, so after a brief look, our driver just kept progressing along.
We ran into two more checkpoints but this far away from the city, the officers are just looking for a simple bribe so they can buy themselves a drink. These were no problem.
Around 4:00 pm we reached our first village. The government is providing a housing allowance for each family that is still homeless to spend on building a home per its approved design. There was a lot of progress being made.
We hung around for about 20 minutes or so then it was off to Gorkha for our final stop. I remember seeing the joy in their faces and it made it all worth the work to make this happen.
Finally at 9:30 pm, we reached our destination. It was too dark to do anything so we secured the vehicle. It was a long day, but we were so filled with excitement.
Instead of a hotel in town, we opted to sleeping in a shack on the side of the mountain. This is the way the locals live. You could see right through the boarded walls. The beds were wood platforms covered by a thick sheet. The children slept on the wood floor on a thin grass mat. A majority of the ceiling was too low for me to stand up straight. It reminded me of what I think a gold miner’s shack would have looked like during the gold rush period.
It was a long 13.5 hour stressful day that we spent mostly in a car. We have an early start in the morning so we said our goodnights and went right to bed.