Four projects in Nepal with support from the UMC

The United Methodist Church is supporting projects in four of UMN's technical areas: Education, Health, PeaceBuilding and Sustainabile Livelihoods. All of these areas contribute to UMN's vision of Community Transformation that moves people from a life of poverty to fullness of life with the assistance of inputs from UMN in the form of influencing (advocacy), learning & sharing together, capacity building of key change agents, and resources for the community to implement changes. Child & Adolescent Led Community Transformation UMN and partner Christian Society Development Campaign are working with youth, their parents, schools amd churches in the village of Shyalakhadi, Rukum District to build the capacity of youth as change agents. Youth Peer Educators take the lead in stimulating discussion about key social issues identified by the community including child marriage, hygiene and environmental sanitation, school attendance and rural economic development. Parents

Open Pentecost letter to children in Bellevue, WA

Dear friends at Aldersgate UMC, this letter comes to you from Katherine Parker, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as a missionary and appointed for the service of the gospel in partnership with brothers and sisters in Nepal as a Health Advisor with the United Mission to Nepal. Grace and Peace to you. I draw strength every day from the assurance that God in Christ has made a way for us to live full, healthy and abundant lives. On Pentecost we celebrate the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and through our church community. One of the signs of the Holy Spirit is that the message of God's abundant love can be shared and understood among people all around the world. We have different languages and cultures, but the Holy Spirit unites us as one church. Because we want to embrace this diversity and connection, we, as the church today, send missionaries from one community to another to strengthen the relationships and share in the common ministry. We send people from Zimbabw

Peer Educators in Doti

As part of the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) program on Integrated Community Development, we have been engaging youth in peer educator training for adolescent sexual reproductive health (ASRH). Last week I was in the far western region of Nepal in the district of Doti with two other UMN Health Team staff, Anu G. and Anu B. To conduct these trainings with child club members in grades six to nine from six schools. The mixed-gender component included the topics of self-esteem, my changing body, sex and gender, STIs and HIV, communication and life-skills and dialogue about the anonymous question box queries. Students discussing modes of transmission of HIV Anonymous question box In this region of Nepal, the practice of Chaupadi (certain purity restrictions during menstration) can often inhibit the ability of girls to attend school. We spent extra days with girls groups to dialogue about their fears, embarrassment and worries and conduct training on menstrual hygiene which cul

On the bus from Bhaktapur

Special Bahktapur yogurt Saturday afternoon, Bimila and I went to Bhaktapur city. It is the third of the ancient city-states in the Kathmandu valley, but has a quieter feel to it than either Kathmandu or Lalitpur/Patan. I enjoyed going to the temples with Bimila and visiting her cousin's house where I tasted three of her homemade achar (spicy preserves).  It takes about an hour by bus to get from Bhaktapur back to Bimila's house in Imadol (a neighborhood just south of Lalitpur at the Guarko intersection). We were trying to get home around 6:30, so the sun had set and darkness was descending quickly and busses were less frequent. We finally caught one headed in the right direction, but the seats were already full. I wasn't worried, but Bimila has more experience and knows that the bus would only get more crowded. A lady seated next to where I was standing was getting off, so Bimila had me sit down and she made her way to the back of the bus, where she squeezed into the

In Transition: from Cambodia to ... Nepal

A little over five years ago, I showed up at the Global Ministries headquarters in New York and said in substance, "Here am I, send me." And they said, "Where we really need you is. . . Cambodia!" And I said, "OK." And what a joy it has been! Cambodia Methodism is a "mission initiative," an emerging church on a path to autonomy, and it has been my privilege to share with you some of the indicators of this over the years. Five years ago, I was one of 11 missionaries in Phnom Pehn. My departure brings that number down to seven. This is a great indicator of the strength of the mission as more programming and leadership is picked up by Cambodian nationals. Though the end of my term of itinerancy comes as an emotional jolt, it is with great joy that, as I leave Cambodia, the ministry continues in the hands of my friends. So Global Ministries said, "Where we really need you now is. . . Nepal!" And I said, "OK." True, I am

a Lenten reflection from Cambodia

I'm changing the way my newsletter goes out and will soon discontinue using GoogleGroups. Please take a moment to sign up for my new list through MailChimp if you would like to continue receiving my email newsletters. Two weeks into Lent, I'm still reflecting on the encouragement and hope I feel from the Ash Wednesday reminder that our lives belong to a story richer, deeper, and longer than our brief life’s span*. After a hectic month in January of running up and down the country to visit project groups , I spent most of February in the city doing various forms of report writing. When I get caught-up in these day to day or even annual tasks, I sometimes feel bogged down. It is helpful at these times to take time to reflect. I'm really proud of our team and the 2011 accomplishment that Mr. Thy summarized . This season of the church is also a reminder to me that the little that we each do in this life is a part of God's great love and work through humanity. We are part