Generous donors from around the world contributed in the wake of disaster
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” – Acts 20:35
On Monday November 19th, 2018 a joyful crowd made up of local and international stakeholders gathered together to celebrate the inauguration of the “HOPE worldwide Chhaimale Village Project.” This building is nestled amongst the rolling hills, covered with pear-laden fruit trees, in the beautiful mountain foothills about 2 hours southwest of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Back in April 2015, when I wrote a cheque to help during the global outpouring of compassion in the aftermath of the massive earthquakes that struck Nepal, I had no idea that later I would be privileged to have a front row seat to how these funds would be used. Donations from hundreds of people in dozens of churches across Canada, the UK, the US, and around the world, allowed a hope and a prayer, to become a dream, which eventually became the project that is now a Village Centre. This centre will fulfill the vision of “bringing hope, changing lives” in a village that was devasted and forever changed by those earthquakes.
My personal journey along the way is one of a unique opportunity that demonstrated God’s love and power, greatly encouraged me with the power of “brotherhood” and allowed my faith to both be stretched and to grow as I witnessed the Almighty’s ability to “move mountains” to accomplish His plan.
Early in 2016 I joined the Board of HOPE worldwide Canada, which allowed me to serve in a somewhat “official” capacity when our family travelled to Nepal in December 2016 to participate in the HOPEww Volunteer Corps that was taking place in Kathmandu. Back then, the plans were coming together for the best use of these Earthquake Disaster Relief funds that had been collected, based on the needs being assessed by HOPE worldwide Nepal on the ground. Even then, obstacles began to emerge, which led to further re-evaluation, global collaboration and many prayers and discussions.
The end result was a global collaboration and partnership rallying around a common need with a common purpose, which demonstrated the power of unity, brotherhood and family. I am so grateful for the many around the world that I have gotten to know, have become dear friends with and have learned so much from during this journey together. My fear is that I may omit some, and for that, I apologise in advance, but I am so grateful for Anu Dangol (HOPE worldwide Nepal), Chandra Sekaran (HOPE foundation India), Charles Ham (HOPE worldwide), Nadine Templer (HOPE worldwide), Barbara Porter (HOPEww Global), Jane Whitworth (HOPE worldwide UK), the support of the leadership and Board of HOPE worldwide Canada, with a very special “Thank You!” / धन्यवाद (Dhan’yavāda) to John Partington (HOPE worldwide UK) who laboured tirelessly as the Project Manager and whose wisdom and expertise pulled this all together.
Observing this process along the way, reminded me of the verse in Psalm 125:2, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” As the mountains around Nepal are a constant reminder of the Lords surrounding love and faithfulness to his people, I recall an event that John Partington shared with me. There had been initial plans for the harvested pears to produce jam at the Village Centre, when a ‘chance’ conversation with the hotel manager at the Chhaimale Pear Tree Resort led to a meeting with the owner of the resort, Bijay Shrestha, who also happens to run a fruit processing factory in Kathmandu. This meeting led to Bijay’s support and collaboration for the pear processing, product development, branding, packaging and distribution of the fruits that the Village Project will produce.
What is so encouraging about this Village Project is that the profits from the pear processing factory, which will employ local villagers, will cover the ongoing annual operation costs of the Village Centre. The Centre also includes a rainwater harvesting system, as well as classrooms to teach computer skills and English for the villagers, a community room for various local needs as well as host a community based micro-loan facility for local farming purposes.
We are heading back to Nepal this coming July 27-August 10th for a HOPEww Volunteer Corps…if you have a background or skills in the medical or education field and/or have a passion to serve others, please consider joining us! See you in Kathmandu!
For more information and to sign up visit:
Here is a video of the opening ceremony: