Day 12. Blowin’ In The Wind

By Shepherd

January 4, 2009

Category: Pani, trafficked


The stench of the streets cover their clothes and bodies. They live on the streets, most nights they sleep in the Hindu temples for shelter, and they are smiling.
There are about 11 of them altogether crowded into the little restaurant. Tonight is New Years Eve and we are all here. The children all sit and talk excitedly in Nepalese, and wait.
Kushal begins to take orders for Momo and Chow-mien; the kids are grateful and surprisingly quiet as they get their food and drinks. We get 2 liters of Coke and I can hardly keep up with their demands for more. They are the forgotten children, but tonight they have names. They eat quickly, but they serve each other. A few of the kids are brothers, all are boys. I am overwhelmed by the scene only when I step back from it. They cannot go to school, they have no protection or shelter. They tell us of sniffing glue to kill the emptiness that is their enemy. They sometimes drink. The youngest is probably only 2 years old. When Kushal asks him how he came to live on the streets he replies: “I came!”
The restaurant is a small place on “freak street”, and it is smaller than my bedroom back home, and with lower ceilings. The owner is kept busy making all the food for the hungry children and his young son works hard to serve the honored guests for tonight.
I order Chow-mien. It is served in a bowl made entirely of dried leaves, and it is delicious. For a time I forget who I am back “home”. Here I am a friend to these precious kids, and I am here to tell their story.
The owner seems bewildered by the scene when we first arrive, but after he observes his customers for a while, he just smiles. A light has come to this place on this night.
As Kushal translates the stories of each of the children we are saddened. They seem to be happy, but their circumstances are some of the bleakest I have encountered, and they are just children.

The boy in the picture told his story for us. He is 13. His eye is swollen because of asthema made worse by the dust of the streets and constant fighting with the other kids. He lived at an orphanage for a while, but they got new children and kicked him and the older children out. He doesn’t have a mother or father to take care of him, and he cannot go to school. He wants to study but now he is too old and cannot pay for it.
I want to take care of him, to give him a chance again, but for now this is all we can do.

As I write this I sit in a much nicer restaurant in Pokhara, far from the children we spent that New Years Eve with. Bob Dylan’s voice is coming through the speakers telling me that the answer to these questions I have is blowin’ in the wind… and I wonder if that is so, or if I am not looking hard enough.
Jesus said that we are the salt and the light of the world, and I find myself praying that I will not forget why I am doing the good I have set out to do. It is because He said if we did not take care of the orphans and the widows we were far from his heart. “Let the little children come to me, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”
If this is true than we were serving the princes of that very kingdom, children who need hope. They take refuge now in the houses of idols, gods that never existed, nor care for them. Where is the body of the living God who loves them and made them? Christ called us to be that very body, and be that light that dispels the darkness. I don’t think this is easy, or reason for boasting. In fact I find it at times I sense a dichotomy exposed between that which I believe, and that which I live.

As we say goodbye to the children and head back to our hotel we are quiet. The beauty in the children is contrasted sharply by the ugliness of their situation. Can we make a difference? Is our story and theirs intersecting for a reason bigger than we can see right now?
We watch a movie on our laptop and fall asleep wishing there was an easier way to bridge the sharp divide between our life and theirs. Outside our hotel the New Years celebrations are loud and last late into the night. The thoughts of the children rest uneasy on our minds.
This is true religion. To take care of the orphan and the widows in their distress.
I can still hear their chorus of “Namaste!” as I met them.

Shepherd/ a white stranger


6 Responses to “Day 12. Blowin’ In The Wind”

  1. hey guys,
    thank you for sharing of all your adventures & ruminations through this blog. i’m so excited for all that God has for you & for those you encounter through the remainder of your travels. there is much to process just in the reading thereof…how much more for you three who are living it. my prayers follow you. soli Deo gloria.

  2. It is always amazing to me when the scales begin to drop off—-when that happens, other strange things always seem to be taking place, revealing that God is at work—
    Just as with John Newton the British sea captain and his occupation of “slave transportation”, the scales began to fall from his eyes and he wrote one of the most popular and meaningful songs we sing as believers….”amazing grace, how sweet the sound…i once was lost, but now i’m found, was blind but now i see”…..
    sea captain turned song artist……
    strange things….
    the scales are falling off……not just for you guys, but for us too…..
    Good night travelers—namaste

  3. I love receiving the reports. I wish I had given each of you a copy of a tiny book “My Life For The Poor”, before you left. I will have one for each of you when you return. It is a powerful book about serving our Lord. One quote: Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive Him and to keep Him as your own Wherever God has put you, that is your vocation. It is not what we do but how much love we put into it.” The Missionaries of Charity do firmly believe that they are touching the body of Christ in His distressing disguise whenever they are helping and touching the poor”.
    Praying for the team. Annie

  4. Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of the world. Its evident that the Holy Spirit is working through you all. Your words are very inspiring!!

    God bless each of you.

  5. I’m so happy that you three gentlemen are experiencing life in Nepal. I have enjoyed reading your daily logs noting that the Buddhist philosophy calls us to be compassionate to all and all three of you are doing an excellent job of that. Know that you are learning so much each minute of the day and that writing about it just helps you learn that much more. Many blessings with your adventure. Namaste!

  6. Hey Guys~

    Wow. Nepal sounds amazing! Not amazing like a Florida soak-up-the-sun vacation. Not amazing like a chilly Siberian expedition. Not amazing like deep-sea diving. I mean amazing like lives getting changed through the proclamation of the gospel. As you guys feed poor, impoverished children and walking down filthy streets, listening to countless stories all resounding the same earnest cry, don’t forget your reason for ministry there: spreading our Savior’s glorious Gospel!

    In His Steps,

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