7.3.09

The irony of erininnepal

When I went to Nepal in 2002, I created a new email address: Erininnepal@...com. How creative. I used this up until last year when I switched to a boring gmail address. So I spent 6 years outside Nepal using an email address saying erin was in Nepal. This makes no sense. How ironic is it, then, that as soon as I change this email address I start again working with the Nepalese. And how strange is it that I came all the way to Malaysia to work with the Nepalese.

Nepali men come here to Malaysia as migrant workers. Unemployment is so high in Nepal, especially in the villages, that the nation sends many of it able-bodied men abroad. They end up working in factories, construction, and other tough jobs. If their employers are fair and honest, they can make enough money to send home to their families. If they aren't, they go into debt bondage and become trapped, quite literally. They work for 2 or 3 year contracts and go back to Nepal at the end of time. Like any normal person, they would love to stay home with their families more than anything, but they're never quite able to make the transition back into life at home. Many of them have become believers, and now that they've become the main income for the family they're expected to provide forever. So they go away for contract after contract, despite the families and wives and children they leave behind. One man in my class was in Malaysia for three years, and had a three year old daughter that he had never seen. He finally went back to Nepal last month. Can you imagine?

Our purpose is to help make that transition home a little easier. To give them the knowledge, ideas, and skills to go home, stay home, and make a positive difference in their communities. Things like principles of community development, the process of (and resistence to) change, and basic leadership skills, etc. I finished our first 12 week series in November. I was pretty sad about it ending, but I've gotten to see most of the guys since then. Two of them have gone home. There was one addition to the group when Rabin and Gita had their baby. Can you guess what they named it? Ragita.

I love these guys. I am so proud of them. They suffered through 12 whole weeks with me. I admire how big they dream despite their circumstances. What amazing visions they have for their villages and families back home. They can reach areas in Nepal that would be impossible for me to get to. So I don't even have to go to Nepal...they've come to me!!

Below are some pictures from our community transformation seminar.



Drawing maps of their communities - what they would look like if Jesus was Lord of their villages




Weighing risks/benefits of starting their own small business.


The graduates! They're all smiles until someone pulls a camera out.

2 comments

  1. You should have another email address like 'erininmalaysiawithnepalese'.cool huh. anyway I look like one of the immigrant workers on the graduation photo. thanks for not introducing me.

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  2. you didn't come to all the sessions so you're the only one besides me that didn't get a certificate.

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