When I visited Nepal two years ago, I never imagined I'd have the privilege of returning. 'Privilege' has to be the word. I'm here under the umbrella of BMS with Grenville & Gareth. Gareth's trying to do a good job of looking after us, but it's a hopeless task in all honesty. I admit when BMS raised the question, it was difficult to pray about. 'Would you like to visit Nepal, Bangladesh & India for two weeks in November'? I managed to reply, I'd wait until Maggie was back from a school trip before I answer, but my mind was pretty much made up there and then. Having been to Nepal before and wanted to travel in India for some while, who wouldn't?
We arrived in Katmandu on monday met by Cynthia at the airport. Cynthia is a friend, in any case - she and here husband, Ian, are members of the same church and I used to be their Pastor, as well as friend. As soon as you leave the airport, you know you're in Asia. A blend of sight, sound and smell hits you full on. However, there is a dominant theme as you travel across Kathmandu in each of the sensory departments - colour, car horns and diesel fumes.
On the face of it we're here to visit and encourage a number of missionaries in each country. However, there are other themes, which have the opportunity to emerge more clearly and I want to be open to any and more.
A closer sense of partnership between what we describe as international and national mission, home and overseas, is one concern I bring.
A desire to serve the Church here in Nepal is a lingering legacy from my previous visit.
A willingness to ask what it is we need to learn from brothers and sisters in Christ elsewhere in the world.
Who knows where it will all lead? Well, God knows and I'm thankful to leave the next two weeks to him.