Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Psalms 104:33, I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

I am praising the Lord today as Mary and I are traveling together to Idaho for her parents’ 70th Anniversary Celebration. It has been a whirlwind of travel for me, personally, as I have spent many hours in planes and airports over the last few weeks.

The trip to Nepal was one of the most rewarding and eye-opening trips I have ever had the privilege to take. I flew from Kansas City to Philadelphia. From there I had a stop in Doha, Qatar; then traveled on to Kathmandu. It was a 36 hour trip, and I did pretty well upon arrival by staying awake until about 5:30 in the afternoon their time… 2 days later than when I left. Qatar Airways was the nicest airline I have ever flown. Even in economy there was plenty of legroom, and the service was excellent.

The beginning of the trip did not start out with the best of conditions. I was seated next to an unhappy, unfriendly fellow who was unpleasant with the flight attendant and began using profanity. I had just prayed silently for him to be quiet when he began to say, “Jesus Christ.” That was all I could take, and I smiled at him and said, “Praise the Lord! It is so neat to find someone who also knows Christ!” He looked at me with wide eyes and never said another word the whole flight. The Lord does answer prayer!!! The next two flights I was blessed to have Christians next to me.

Once in Nepal, I hit the ground running after only one day to adjust to the new time zone. Missionary Joel Travis, his wife Tahona, and children Serenity and Daniel were so hospitable. We headed out with a 14-hour drive to where we would spend the night before heading up into the mountains for our hike to a mountain church Joel has been working with. The hike up was a little easier than I had expected, as the local pastor would NOT let me carry my own pack. The scenery was unbelievably beautiful, and we arrived at the village in good shape late in the afternoon. The time with the believers was so special. The primitive condition was a humbling experience. Their singing and love for the Lord was evident. We stayed for four days—having bible studies, prayer meetings each day, and then their main weekly service. I just loved being there.

Back down in Kathmandu, we took an extra day to break up the long trip. I was honored to do a bit of recording at Morning Star Studio, attend bible studies, go to more prayer meetings, and also attend the main weekly service at Soda Jewela Baptist. Watching Joel preaching and seeing the way he is consumed with love for the Nepali people was a joy to behold.

I want to thank pastor J.C. Joiner and the folks of New Testament Baptist Church in Tucson, Arizona, for making this mission’s trip possible. As of the update of this post, Pastor J.C. Joiner has gone to his eternal Home. He was a wonderful man of God and a great friend. to me personally he was “Young Dad” as he was one of two men of God I turned to for advice. He will be missed immensely!