“More temples than houses, more gods than people, more holy days than days in the year.” Nepal is a country that is rugged and awe-inspiring. It is a society rapidly developing and changing, yet still remains rooted in ancient cultures and belief. Nearly everyone you meet is either Hindu or Buddhist, and are always open to a friendly conversation about culture, customs and life. The Christian church is exploding and serious persecution has followed, but hasn’t managed to slow the spread of the Gospel.
Every day brings new and unexpected encounters, along with new friendships and unforgettable experiences. Ministry opportunities are never in short supply. Hiking through rice paddies in the foothills of the Himalayas to a rural village to pray over local believers, striking up a conversation with a fellow traveler at the corner coffee shop, venturing into the city slums to feed children before school, seeing what life is like for long term missionaries, spending time with lepers at the leprosy colony, dance parties at an orphanage, and gaining insider knowledge on the efforts to combat human trafficking are all normal experiences on this mission trip.
You can expect to see God use you to change people’s lives, but know that Nepal is a place that changes you forever.
Each day you’ll travel to a new location, often a school, orphanage, village, or neighborhood, partnering with local NGO’s, ministries, and churches to assist in local outreach. The goal is always the same: build relationships and share the Gospel. This can include:
- Encourage and fellowship with local churches under heavy persecution.
- Visit local schools to share and perform for the students.
- Strike up a friendship with a local Nepali person in a nearby village, and enjoy some tea and conversation.
- Visit an orphanage or two, serve a meal in the slums so the kids can go to school with a full stomach, spend time loving and caring for people in a leprosy colony, pray over people in rehab for substance abuse.
- Put on a VBS type program for neighborhood kids.
- Meet full time missionaries who are planting churches, combating human trafficking, running orphanages, and hear their stories of life and ministry in the field.
While we cook our own basic breakfast and lunches, dinners at hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Nepal add to the adventure of the trip. Menus include Indian dishes loaded with curry and spices, and Nepali dishes usually consisting of dhal (lentils in a mild curry sauce) and bhat (rice). But be sure to try the Tibetan food, too, including dishes like momo, thukpa, thenthuk, and chow mein. Don’t expect any beef in your diet, but there’s plenty of chicken, pork, and water buffalo to supply you with protein. And you can easily splurge with some woodfired pizza, ice cream, lattes, and pastries in the many cafes around town. Close
This trip is perfect for the person with a heart of a servant and a spirit of adventure. Each day is going to throw a lot of new experiences at you and the more you can embrace those moments, including the uncomfortable ones, the more you will appreciate ministry in Nepal. Being a person who can listen well and ask thoughtful questions, can think on your feet, has a heart for the underprivileged and sometimes forgotten members of society, and isn’t afraid to be goofy in front of crowds, will always do well on this trip.
This can be a physically demanding trip. Stairs, steep hiking trails, strange bugs, lots of walking, getting caught out in the rain, and long days on little sleep are all daily experiences on this trip as well.
Nepal is an ideal fit for students with a thirst for adventure and new experiences. Nepal is a rugged country and things don't always go according to plan. If you are someone who can roll with the punches and enjoy spontaneous ministry, this trip is perfect for you.
Nepal is also a great place for people with a strong sense of mercy and compassion. We will experience many exotic and interesting religions and the dynamics of a third-world country. Expect some physical challenges, as we will often find ourselves on moderate, yet remote, hikes through the Himalayan foothills, as well as climbing copious amounts of stairs.
Home to the Himalayan mountains, even the foothills are jaw dropping. Rushing rivers blast through the middle of the valleys, and the low lying jungle area has incredible wildlife. Adventure happens every day even if you’re not looking for it. Yet we’ll plan some hikes in the mountains, a jungle safari through the Chitwan National Park on elephant back, see some waterfalls and incredible sunsets over the mountains.
You’ll experience local Nepali food, sometimes dishes that can’t be reproduced anywhere else in the world. Witness ancient customs and practices, religious festivals, and the occasional wedding procession moving down the road. Dodge motorcycles and rickshaws on your way to drop off laundry and check your email. Souvenirs are everywhere, from replicas of ancient artifacts to knock off North Face clothes and mountaineering gear.
The experience of traveling across the world and sharing your faith with someone whose life and beliefs couldn’t be more different from your own will force you lean on God’s help like never before. See how scripture comes alive in this wild new context. Learn to articulate the Gospel in a way that can be understood by someone who believes in millions of gods, karma, and reincarnation. Witness the incredible hope and joy in the lives of Nepali believers. Spend daily quiet time hours on the rooftop overlooking the Kathmandu valley, reading scripture and praying over the people of Nepal. Lay hands on a leper and ask for God’s healing and provision. You can expect to see the Spirit of God move in you and change your understanding of the world, as well as your place in it. Experiences like these teach you something about yourself and how to live a life of faith now matter what your circumstances.
Because Hinduism and Buddhism dominate the religious scene, you’ll explore temples and monasteries dedicated to various gods, gurus, and buddhas in an effort to better understand the people you’ve come to serve. Nepal is a place where religious practice and ancient customs clash with Western influence and the result is a wild and exotic display of sights and sounds. Walk down the street and hear the chaotic bustle of buses, tuk tuks, motorcycles, and rickshaws whizzing by you. Pass by the “holy cows” wandering on the sidewalk, and take in the smells of incense, burning trash, diesel, and sizzling samosas being cooked on a street cart. See the impact of long held beliefs like karma and the caste system on the daily lives of the Nepali people. Savor the taste of some Nepali milk tea with a new friend as they share with you the struggles of daily life in Nepal.
Nepal is a place that is lively and complex. Much of what you see and experience you won’t entirely understand, but is no less fascinating.
We will partner in ministry with several churches throughout the Kathmandu and Pokhara areas. Some have been around for decades, some just planted in the last few months. We will connect with long term missionaries who generously show you what life as a missionary is like in Nepal. We’ll visit NGO’s that are doing incredible things to meet the needs of the poor and underprivileged, empowering them to gain independence and sustainability. We’ll visit with multiple organizations which specialize in combating human trafficking, and learn more about how you can join the fight whether you are in Nepal, or back home in daily life. Close
For debriefing, we return to Kathmandu during our last week of the trip to focus on preparing ourselves to go home. Finish up that souvenir shopping and revisit some of the friends you made at the beginning of the trip. We’ll also spend time as a team processing, journaling, and worshiping on the roof top. This week is about reflection and preparation. Nepal will change you forever. During debriefing, you get to think about how that change will be for the better. Close