Monday, August 31, 2009

This has been a big week.

Carol Brady created a great display for the prayer focus. She reminded us to pray for the protection of our Bhutanese friends from people who would take advantage of them.

I delivered furniture for some new arrivals at Los Compadres apartments. Tika helped identified who needed the couch and recliner.

I was invited to the Neopany's. They were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Grandfather's death. The sons shaved their heads except for a little whisp of a pony tail. They showed me a video of Nepal. There some some scenes of the camp as they got ready for an outing. They took a bus to a tea plantation. As they walked through the plantation, they found strawberries (?) on a strawberry tree(?). Also they found caramon (sp?). It is a pod with seeds in it that taste something like spearmint. It is available here. They gave me one to try. It's a great after-dinner mint.

The youth kickoff was lots of fun for 40 of the Bhutanese youth. There was about the same number of American youth. There was a 30 foot inflateable water slide, an inflatable boxing ring, and an inflatable bungee/joust. Inside, there was an mechanical bull. The Bhutanese youth participated in everything. There were ready to go home by 4:00 even thought the event went until 5:30. Transportation took almost two hours. Some waited in the heat for a ride.

At the prayer service, Carla, Iris, and I led in prayer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The question has come up before about the government's timing in bringing refugees to the US in the midst of an ecomomic calamity. I think it's a good question and as Christians in America, we can have a good response. I have very limited knowledge of our country's immigration policy, but I have learned a few things:
1) Only 1% of those in the world who live in refugee camps, who number in the millions, have the opportunity to take part in "third country resettlement" (they left their own country, are in a camp in a second country, and we are their third country). ONE PERCENT.
2) The wheels of progress moving someone like Tika Acharya from Nepal to Phoenix have been turning for years. The resettlement efforts started well before American greed poked a giant hole in the world economy.
3) It is our both our heritage as Americans who for the most part come from immigrant families (the exception being Native Americans) and our legacy that we build for our own children to believe that we are a welcoming nation. The Statue of Liberty is for all of us, including newly arriving refugees and other immigrants.
4) Federal policy exists, which also was established well before the recession, that dictates how many immigrants from how many countries are welcomed into the US each year. Refugees are not immigrants, as refugees have no choice and their very lives are at risk.
5) The most important reason we can hold as part of our Christian world view is that our God is beyond politics, economics and boundaries of nations. God is not part of American protectionism, Bhutanese "one country, one people" policy, or any other man-centered policy. God acts to bring people where He wants them, when He wants, by whatever means He wants to use. God does not seek permission from Arizona politicians, US congressmen, or from us. If we can hold a Christian world view over and above an American world view, then that allows us to rejoice that God has designed it that we only have to drive a few miles to have the privilege of being missionaries and we don't have to raise support, or leave our homes and families. Most importantly, people are hearing the Gospel of Truth and Liberty and Light, and are being called out of bondage and darkness. I don't claim to know God's purposes or His mind, but scripture reveals that God moves as God desires, and we get the privilege of being a part of His far reaching love for people.

Acts 17:24-27 NIV
24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."

I can see God's hand in our work at TBC, and see that eternity is being impacted here. It's a privilege to see it happening in all of you and your relationships and efforts with our Bhutanese friends. Thanks for being faithful.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Tika Neopaney now lives in B2 at Thomas. She has a cleaning job now. Her parents and brothers live there with her, having arrived August 11. Her brothers should both attend Central High School.

Pratap Rai got a job at Goodwill.

Champa Rai discovered the incredible bureaucracy of the MVD, when a clerk lost her I-94, security card AND state ID. Champa was so upset, as was her family. And she was scared, not having any documentation to prove her status. They refused to give her a photocopy of the photocopy that they had of the documents and told her she should be patient and they would call her if they found them. They found them, never called her, but when I took her this afternoon they returned all her documents. They had no plausible explanation of how they disappeared or where they were for 3 days. Inexcusable. Then they had the audacity to tell her to take a number in order to retake the driver's test! No way. I politely insisted that since she had already spent hours in their lobby over the last couple of days, the very least they could do would be to put her in the front of the line. People grumbled, but they did it. Unfortunately, she failed by one question! I think she was so relieved to have her documents back that it rattled her concentration.

Champa then went with me to Thomas to finish up some school shoes deliveries, but of course every time I do that there are more kids who need shoes and socks. But we visited with Bishnu Bhattarai and her family. Her father and sister work at Ranch Market. Her brother worked at the airport but quit due to health reasons. They are in a real bind as they have no health insurance and their mother really needs some medical attention for some chronic problems. Any ideas?

We visited Khanal's briefly to give Bhola some shoes, but didn't have his size. I indiscriminately handed out kid's shoes to the World Vision kids who hang out in the parking lot. They provided a good lesson for some of "our" kids who have shoes but want more shoes, since these kids were running around in tatters. It seemed to finally sink in for Homa Khanal, who constantly begs me for shoes, when she has perfectly great shoes. I thought I saw a little light go on over her head, but we'll have to wait and see.

I'm assuming Tika and her family will want a ride from Thomas to church. Just a thought.....all the Central High students could ride the bus since they all have free bus cards. That would alleviate quite a bit of the crunch.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

) Sadikshya Nepal (age 22 months) took a swim today, unsupervised, and was rescued by Narayan (?), fully clothed, who went in after her. Thankfully, she's fine.

2) Champa Rai went to the ER with a racing heart beat, and is now wearing around a heart monitor. she was supposed to be resting today, but when I as there, there were at least 5 children in her care plus several adults in the house.

3) Yes, lost "soles"....four of our friends went job seeking, and ended up very lost with hot feet and no sense of direction, until they got off the bus at 35th and Peoria, and looked across the street to Trinity. But still they didn't know how to get home from there or more importantly, to the hotel they were trying to locate. I was returning Tara, Tika and Kamala home after visiting Cholla Middle School and we spotted them at the bus stop. So I dropped them off at the hotel, then came back for them after taking Tika to work, and after retrieving his bike for him.

4) That leads to the patient supevisor. Tika's supervisor came out of the building as I was locking up his bike for him, and I told him how much we appreciated him being a good supervisor for Tika. He said he was so sorry about Kamala, but that someone needs to explain to them that he, as the supervisor, has nothing to so with the decision. He said that on Sunday, Tika and family called him 20-30 times, asking for explanation. Wow. Some supervisors could consider that harrassment, and fire Tika. So, despite me telling Tika at least twice not to call Francis, someone else (MIKE?? EMERY??) needs to explain to Tika and family how inappropriate this was.

TBC folks outfitted over 40 kids with a variety of school supplies, shoes, backpacks and socks. WAY TO GO!!!


Monday, August 03, 2009

Whew...just got home from a day of delivering school supplies and back packs. Everyone was very excited to receive and everyone expressed gratitude. Kids being kids, it was hard for some to accept that everyone received different things, different amounts, etc. Just like my sisters and I when we were young! A few kids and teens have back packs/supplies "in the pipeline" , will likely be turned back in next Sunday from whomever was generous to take their name tag. So if there are any questions, feel free to check with me and I'll let you know if it's coming, or if possibly I missed a student. I did get some requests, from TBC attendees, for students not associated with TBC, so had to explain that if I have things left, I'll try but no promises. I had no success resisting the four year old Bhurmese girl in the parking lot at Thomas. She could have been in an ad for Worldvision or Christian Children's Fund.

Two funny stories:
1. I took Mondip Sanyashi for vaccinations on Friday. He handled it like a champ, but didn't want to move his arms. As we exited the building he came to the door, which opened with a push bar. So I told him to push the bar with his hands. He studied it a quick second, then bent over and pushed it with the top of his head, keeping his arms still perfectly straight. Hilarious!

2. This one is on me: after the Food Value Club yesterday there was a half a ton of pears left and some bread, so we loaded it up with some bonus boxes and I delivered to various familes. It was so hot by 11:30 am but I didnt' want these pears cooking in my van so I was determined to get rid of everything. I saw Nishan Yogi's mom, who is deaf and has cerebral palsy, in the courtyard so thought she'd be a good candidate for the bonus box and lots of pears. I thought I did such a great job communicating if she wanted the box and then followed her a long ways to her apartment. I was so distressed about the condition of her apartment I actually had a dream about it last night. Everything was a mess, no decent furniture, all the couch cushions were missing. The kitchen was a shambles. But I found a small corner that was empty and left the box of food. I thought it was so sweet she pulled out one bag of chips and motioned that she was going to give them to Nishan, who wasn't home at the time, and off she went. Today I went back to the same apartment to deliver Nishan's school bag and supplies (and a cool cement mixer truck...he's only 4!) and found the apartment empty! Totally empty. So now I'm standing in the 111 degree heat wondering where on earth they moved and how could they have moved so fast??? As always, someone's radar was working and another Nepali came over and asked me who I was looking for. It took several minutes for me to understand.....that was NOT their apartment at all! That was Monorath's apartment and they had been in the process of moving out on Saturday!!! The Nepali man who was helping me also lives with Monorath and we had a good laugh when I explained that I had left the foodbox, and he told me he had wondered where the food had come from. He helped me to find Nishan's family and I delivered his bag of goodies, and they have a very nicely furnished apartment, by the way. Apparently some of the Sharma's live there, at least until they move to Oregon. So much for my nonverbal communication!!!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

The ultimate mis-dressed child arrived today, a boy wearing a girl's tank top (pink and yellow) with sports themed boxer shorts (alone), that went to his knees, knee high black socks, and I think soccer shoes. I gave him some pants to wear but lost track in the chaos so I hope he took them home.