YWAM/King's Kids Winnipeg
Halfway round the world: TESOL Course in Nepal, August 2013
The city of Pokhara, Nepal is nestled beside a beautiful lake surrounded by the Himalayan mountains, and is well-known as a destination for both tourists and trekkers. Last winter I received an invitation to train English teachers there for the Bethesda Institute. Their main ministry is to train pastors, but they run English classes both as a ministry and as a business to help support their pastoral training school.


It was a long trip to get there (11 1/4 time zones away!) through Vancouver, Guangzhou China, and Kathmandu. I was thoroughly tired when I arrived, but I was immediately captivated by the beautiful mountains and the warm, friendly Nepali people.
Nepal was a totally closed country until 1950, when foreigners were first allowed in. The first missionaries walked into this mountainous country after that, and the fruit of their labour can be seen in the 200,000+ believers in the country. I met numerous believers there and almost all of them were first-generation converts from Hinduism.

A sweet lady I met on the street. Her face tells a story!

A new English conversation school:

My task was to train English teachers for Bethesda’s conversation classes. Out of the six teacher- trainees, one was American, one was Indian (English was her first language), and the rest were Nepali, though their English was very good. For the first two weeks, we slaved away in 35 degree temperatures as I trained them in English teaching methodology. Things were challenging, as the electricity would go off every couple of hours and the fans and the powerpoint projector would cease to work. When we finally we opened our doors for classes, the local people came in droves, all eager to hone their English conversation skills. At one point, we had so many students we had to stop accepting new ones!

For the next three weeks, I helped them get their feet wet as fledgling English teachers. My students now had English students of their own at all levels, from those who were total beginners to those who were quite advanced and wanted to improve their English for business or academic studies. I hope to return next year to train another group of teachers for them. At the right, students pose with their new TESOL certificates.

A couple of things do stand out, though.....

Visits from tigers???

The house I was staying in had a lovely yard in which there was a garden and a chicken coop. At night, a guard dog would roam the yard and spend much of the night barking (right under my bedroom window, not that I’m complaining, of course!) I mentioned it to the landlord and he said, “Yes, that’s because sometimes the tigers come into the yard to eat the chickens.” Um........ tigers?” I asked, not sure if I’d hear him right. “Yes,” he replied, TIGERS! The other night when he was barking so furiously, it’s because they got one of my chickens.”

The chicken coop was about 20 feet from the house I was staying in. After that, I decided not to go down into the yard after dark............... EVER!!!
Then there was the time I was attacked by a bull while I was walking down the street. I was butted, but not injured. ......... Oh well, at least the people were friendly!

Visit to squatters’ village:

Not far from where I was staying, there was a squatters’ village on the banks of the Seti River. The people are poor and their houses are frail, ramshackle structures. One weekend I hiked up the river and spent some time visiting in the homes of the people there. They told me that in May of 2012 there was a flash flood and 27 of the houses in the village were swept away. Sixty people died. Their lives are already very hard, and it was heartbreaking to hear of this tragedy. Nevertheless, they welcomed me into their homes and treated me with gracious hospitality. It was definitely one of the highlights of my time there. At the right, a family in the village who invited me into their home for tea. Wonderful people, and their hospitality was charming!

We have always had a calling to pioneering new ventures for the Lord, and so this partnership with the Bethesda Institute seems to be right up our alley. I’m hoping to teach there again, and hopefully to bring some more native English speakers with me to teach in their school.

Anyone interested in coming? Thanks for your love, prayers, and support.
Doug & Carolin