Category Archives: Nepal

Sundar Singh: A Seed Is Sown (Part One)

Sundar Singh A Seed Is Sown Part One

Have you ever walked barefoot outside? Have you ever tried to climb a mountain that way? It’s not usually a good idea to try to climb anything without the right kind of shoes. You can slip and fall and get hurt very badly. But Sundar Singh knew God was calling him to walk across the mountains to tell people about His love, so Sundar went, even though he wasn’t wearing any shoes. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to tell you who I am talking about.

Sundar Singh is the name of a missionary our Sunday School teacher told us about this morning. He lived in India at the end of the 1800s. He was born and grew up in an area called Punjab. Punjab is in the northern part of India, and it borders Pakistan on the west. The land is some of the best land for growing things anywhere in the world. Seeds love to grow there! The land is well-watered and special varieties of rice and wheat are planted there. These varieties produce a larger crop than others.

When Sundar was a boy, a seed was planted in his heart. He wanted to know who God was. He grew up following the Sikh religion. Sikhs don’t believe in Jesus. They believe in a god who is like a strong force but who doesn’t love them or care about them. Sundar learned about many religions that claimed to be true, including Christianity, but he wanted to know for sure. He needed to find out which one was telling the truth. Since they didn’t all agree with each other, they couldn’t all be right. His mother encouraged him to keep looking for the answers he needed. Sundar even went to a Christian school for a while.

Sikhs grow their crops and they harvest the fields but they don’t know about the God who created the soil to plant in and the seeds to grow. They don’t know that He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us. And they don’t know that they can live forever with Him in Heaven.

Even though Sundar wasn’t sure what was true, he knew he had to keep looking until he did. The seed had been planted in his heart and it would not leave. We’ll hear more of Sundar Singh’s story next week and find out what happened to help him decide.

Christians in Punjab are trying to tell others about Jesus, too. Just like seeds that are planted in the soil, the message of God’s love is going out and being planted in people’s hearts. I’m going to pray that it takes root and grows. Will you pray with me?

“Dear God, please help the people of Punjab, whether they are Sikhs or any other faith. Please help them hear that God is real and believe that Jesus loves them. Help them trust You and let Your Word grow in their hearts. Just like You make the rice and wheat grow to feed the people’s stomachs, please help them believe that You are the only One who can feed their souls. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you’d like to learn more about Punjab and the country of India, you can download Bold Believers in India, a free Kids of Courage book with stories and activities.

Another book you might enjoy borrowing from your library is Sundar Singh: Footprints Over the Mountains by Janet and Geoff Benge.

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

 

Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs

Today in Sunday School, we learned about another group of people who live in the Himalayan mountains called the Sherpa. The Sherpa people are known for being kind, friendly, and welcoming of strangers. They are also known for helping people climb Mt. Everest. They cook for many of the mountain climbers, help guide them up the dangerous mountain, and carry much of the mountain climbers’ supplies.

Let’s imagine we are taking a trip up to the top of Mt. Everest. What sorts of dangers do we run into? Make a list of what you can think of.

Here’s what I wrote down: 1) it can get awfully dark up on the mountain at night 2) we can slip and fall 3) we can get very tired 4) we need someplace safe to make camp 5) we can get into dangerous places where we have to help each other 6) we have to trust each other because sometimes things don’t make sense and it feels like we are going the wrong way.

And you know what I realized? God helps us in all those ways. It’s true! Take a look at these verses and you’ll see what I mean. If you don’t have a Bible handy, check out www.biblegateway.com. God helps us …

1) When things look dark and hopeless

Psalm 119:105

2) When we feel like we’re slipping and falling

Psalm 94:18

3) When we’re tired and discouraged

Psalm 73:26

4) When we need someplace safe to rest

Psalm 31:3, 20

5) When we admit we need God’s help

Psalm 25:9

6) When life doesn’t make sense or seems unfair and we have questions for God

Psalm 73

I think if God helps us in all those ways, He wants us to help others in the same way. We can all be like the Sherpa guides and help people overcome whatever challenges they face. And, we start by asking God for His help and accepting His help. Then, we can ask Him how to help other people who need help. I’m going to go back through that list I made and write down ways I can help other people the way God has helped me. Give it a try and let me know what ideas you come up with!

“Dear God, please help the Sherpa people of Nepal. Just like they help so many people, please help them understand how much You want to help them and guide them. Help them understand that Jesus died to save them, so they can overcome every obstacle that comes their way, even death, just like Jesus did when He came back to life. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you’d like a copy of this post you can print, click here: Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs.

A Little R & R

So Many People

Our Sunday School teacher taught us more about Nepal today and the people who live there.  And, she taught us about something called a “people group.”  She said a people group is a group of people who share things like the same language or history or geographic area they live in.  She said there are over 300 different people groups who live in Nepal.   And, she said most of them only have a few, if any, Christians.

That is so sad!  She told us about the Kharia people, who live in a tiny area of Nepal.  She also showed us a picture of an Ansari woman.  She was very pretty, with dark hair and a pretty silk dress.  She had big bracelets on her wrist.  And, so many of the Kharia and Ansari people don’t know Jesus.  They don’t know how much He loves them, or that He died so they can live.

Then, she gave us a challenge.  She said the capital city of Nepal is called Kathmandu, and she showed us where to find it on a map.  She wants us to try to find a people group to go with each letter of the word “Kathmandu.”  So, I wrote it down like this:

K-

A-

T-

H-

M-

A-

N-

D-

U-(She said we might have trouble finding a group for U.)

I could use Kharia for K and Ansari for A, but I think I’m going to try to find people groups I haven’t learned anything about, yet.  Our teacher said www.joshuaproject.net is a great place to start reading about the many different people and learning how we can pray for them.

I’m going to see what I can learn.  Would you try it, too, and let me know what you find out?

“Dear God, please help all the people groups of Nepal to hear about Jesus and understand that He is the only way to know You and live with You.  Help me remember to pray for all the people of Nepal.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you’d like to print this project to work on, click here: So Many People

Cooking-Nepalese Style

Since everyone enjoyed learning about Manisha in Nepal these last two weeks, my Sunday School teacher treated us to a dessert from Nepal today.  She said it was made from curd and dried fruit.  It tasted really good!  She said Nepal produces lots of foods that we eat every day, like rice and corn and sugar.  They also produce something called pulses.  Pulses are seeds of certain plants, like lentils.

Then, she told us about what Jesus said in John 6.  Jesus was telling the people how He is the Bread of Life.  He explained to the people how He is even more important to life than the bread you eat.

How can that be?  How can Jesus be more important than the food that keeps us alive?  I thought about that a lot today.  We need bread—or food—to keep our bodies alive.  If we don’t eat, we’ll die.

I think I found the answer a couple of chapters later in John.  In John 11, Jesus is talking to Martha after her brother Lazarus died.  Jesus says He is the Resurrection and the Life, that everyone who believes in Him will live, even though he dies.  And everyone who lives and believes in Him will never die.

That seemed kind of confusing at first, and I asked God to help me understand.  And, He did!  He reminded me that there are two kinds of life, the life we live in the body and the life that our spirits, our hearts, live.  Our bodies will die someday, but our hearts live forever.  They will either live with God or without Him.  Jesus was saying that He is the food that our hearts need to live.  And, that the hearts of everyone who believes in Him will live with Him forever, long after our bodies die.

I’m going to see if I can find any recipes that use some of the foods from Nepal, like rice, corn, sugar, or lentils.  Maybe we can have some for supper tonight and talk about the real life that Jesus gives us.  Let me know what recipes you try and how they taste!

“Dear God, please help the people of Nepal to discover that Jesus is even more important than the food they eat.  Help them understand that there is only one way to live forever with God, and that is by believing in Jesus.  Please help us all to live forever with You.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you’d like a printable version of Cooking-Nepalese Style, click here: Cooking-Nepalese Style

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Our teacher finished Manisha’s story this morning.  And, we found out that Manisha discovered the best gift she could ever give her mother.  Here’s the rest of The Dokho Basket.  I hope you like it as much as I did.

            “Don’t be afraid,” the creature said.

            It dropped to the ground beside her.  It wasn’t a bear.  It was a man with a wool hat on his head and a big pack strapped to his back.

            “I thought I saw something in the snow.  What are you doing out here?”

            Manisha stared at the man.

            “My name is Tek.  I came here to tell you about Jesus.  Do you know he paid for your mistakes?”

            Her eyes grew wide.  Her people believed that the whole time you lived, you owed a debt.  Everything you did wrong was added to the debt.  The good things you did made the debt smaller, but you could never know if you’d done enough to pay for everything.

            “Who is Jesus?”

            “A long time ago, in a village far from our villages here in Nepal, a special baby was born.  He was God’s son.  He never did one thing wrong.  He didn’t have a debt he had to pay.  He saw people trying to pay God by doing their best and bringing God gifts.  But they couldn’t get it right.”

            Manisha looked at her basket.  “Just like my dokho basket.  I made it for my mother, but she didn’t want it.  She said I didn’t do it right.”

            Tek stood, reached out his hand, and pulled Manisha from the basket.  The snow had stopped, and the sun was beginning to shine.

            “I don’t know your mother, Manisha, but I do know Jesus.  God only wanted one gift from the people—their hearts.  But, their hearts were covered with the debt they owed.  God needed a way to make their hearts clean.  So, Jesus chose to pay the debt every one of us owes God.  He took everything wrong we ever did—or ever will do—and he paid for it by letting people kill him.  They cut and bruised him and made him bleed.   They put nails in his hands and feet and killed him.”

            “But why? My debt wasn’t his fault!”

            “Because he loves us.  And he knew God’s plan.  Three days after Jesus died, he came back to life.  He had paid for everyone’s debt.  All people had to do now was believe him and ask him to make his payment pay for their debt, too.  Then, their hearts could be clean.  And they could give them to God.”

            She looked at her basket.  “Would God even want my heart as a gift?”

            Tek nodded.

            She’d tried to give gifts before.  No one had ever wanted them.  How could anyone love her enough to suffer all those things—and even bleed—just for her?

            Something red in the snow caught her eyes.  She gasped.  Tek didn’t have winter boots on his feet, just sandals.  And his feet were cut and bleeding from his cold journey.

            “Why did you hike all the way up here without boots?”

            “I don’t have any, and God told me there were people up here who didn’t know about Jesus.”

            Manisha stared at the drops of blood on the snow.  Maybe, if a stranger could love her enough to climb a mountain with bleeding feet, then Jesus really loved her, too.

            “I would like to ask Jesus for his special gift that will make my heart clean.  I want to give my heart to God as a gift.”

            Tek smiled.  “The way you give your heart to God is by praying.  Tell him that you love him and want to give him your heart as a gift.”

            Manisha looked up at the bright sunshine overhead.  “God, I know I make a lot of mistakes.  And, I can never pay for all of them by myself.  I believe Jesus paid for my debt and is alive.  Please make my heart clean.  I am giving it to you as a gift.”

            She turned, picked up her basket, and stepped onto the bridge.

           “Will you come with me and tell my mother about Jesus?  She didn’t want my gift, but maybe she will want God’s gift, the best gift ever.”

“Dear God, thank you for giving us the best gift ever–the gift of Jesus.  Please help us to give our moms the best gift we can give by telling them how much Jesus loves them–and how much we love them, too.  Help all the moms who have already accepted Your gift to remember how much You love them.  And, please help the moms who haven’t received Your gift to pray and ask You to make their hearts clean, too.  Then, help us tell everyone else about Your gift for moms and dads and kids everywhere.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name I pray.  Amen.”

A Trip to the Roof of the World

Our Sunday School teacher told us this morning that she is going to take us on a trip to the “roof of the world,” to a place called Nepal.  Nepal has been called “the roof of the world” because of how many really tall mountains it has–like Mount Everest!  Those high mountains make exciting adventures for mountain climbers, but they are also very dangerous.  And, they make it very hard for missionaries to reach the people who live up high in the mountains.  She said she wants us to meet some of the people who live in the mountains of Nepal.  But, since our parents probably won’t let us go the whole way to Nepal, she is going to bring Nepal to us.  The first thing she is going to do is tell us a fictional story called The Dokho Basket she wrote about a girl named Manisha who lives in one of the high mountains.  Here’s the first part:

           

            Manisha grabbed the cone-shaped basket and ran out the door, away from her mother and her harsh words.  “The basket is wrong!” her mother yelled after her. 

            Manisha bit her lip as she dragged the basket down the twisting path, trying to ignore the cold rain stinging her face.  But her mother’s words echoing in her mind stung even fiercer. 

             “You are supposed to criss-cross the bamboo strips as you weave them, so they all make the same size squares,” her mother had said.  “Yours are all uneven.  And why did you ever make the basket so big—it’s almost as big as you are!”

            She pulled the blanket around her shoulders tighter as she wondered where she could go.  For weeks, she had worked secretly to make the gift.  But her mother didn’t want it.  She never wanted anything Manisha gave her.       

            Ahead, she saw a bridge stretching far away.  When she reached the edge of it, she stopped.  She didn’t know what lay on the other side.  She’d heard stories of Himalayan black bears lurking in the mountains beyond.

            But, she didn’t care.  Taking a deep breath, she stepped out onto the bridge.  It swayed a little in the wind as it hung suspended over the river in the gorge below.  She took a few more steps.  The water churned and roared beneath her.

            Her feet felt frozen to the bridge.  What if she fell? 

            Then a worse thought came to mind.  Would her mother even notice she was missing?

            She had to look at something other than the river.  On the other side of the bridge, she spotted a beautiful patch of grass filled with white flowers.

            She slid her right foot ahead of her left.  Then, she drug her left foot up a few inches past her right.  Right foot forward.  Left foot forward.  Right foot—she blinked hard.  It wasn’t raining anymore.  The icy raindrops had turned to snow.  She must reach the other side.

            When she reached the patch of grass, snow had buried the flowers in a blanket of white.  She shivered.  Her blanket was wet and cold.  She laid the basket on the ground with the open end away from the wind.  She pulled the blanket from her shoulders and draped it over the dokho basket.  Then she crawled inside her basket-cave.  She just fit if she sat with her knees up to her chest.

            She watched the snow swirl around her.  Then, through the storm, she saw something coming toward her.  Was it a bear?

            The creature lifted a paw to its face.  Then it started running toward her!

            She screamed!

“Dear God, please help all the people in Nepal like Manisha, who feel like no one cares about them.  Let them know how much You love them.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”