Hope in Nepal: opened ears and opened borders
Catastrophic earthquakes and months of a border blockade sent Nepal into a period of darkness and distress, yet God has shown he hasn’t forgotten this country
There’s a six-year-old boy named Unique who races around his preschool with reckless abandon and a big grin on his face. BMS World Mission worker Wendy Hall knows the reason for that smile and sees his story as a symbol of hope.
Wendy volunteers at a local preschool for children of migrant labourers in Kathmandu. This is where she was first introduced to Unique and told about his situation.
From early on, Unique’s parents noticed he wasn’t communicating like other children and they worried about him. As he grew, his parents didn’t quite know how to help him, but thankfully a concerned volunteer at the preschool reached out to support them. The volunteer introduced Unique’s mother to hearing clinics. They took him in for testing and fears were confirmed: Unique couldn’t hear. In some frequencies, Unique’s hearing dipped below the chart’s ability to record.
Eventually, the volunteer’s time working at the preschool ended and Unique’s parents were in disagreement on how to best proceed. Shortly after this time, Wendy began working at the preschool and saw the need to continue to help in whatever way she could.
Wendy began encouraging Unique’s parents to get their son hearing aids and even offered to go with them to the hospital. Although they were reluctant, they decided to follow Wendy’s advice.
The day they got Unique fitted for his hearing aids is one Wendy will never forget. “His eyes widened and his mouth fell open. He started to sing and laugh,” says Wendy. “His mother’s eyes were teary and every eye in the room was fixed on him.”
A whole new world opened up to Unique in that moment. He’s got a long road ahead as he’ll have to go through speech and language therapy, learning the importance of different sounds and how to produce them on his own. But this was a hopeful first step on Unique’s journey in learning to communicate.
In the same way, Nepal as a country is experiencing a similar sensation of hope. After almost five months of a problematic blockade along the border with India that led to fuel and medicine shortages and the loss of jobs, the border is finally open.
“It’s been a hard, grey, cold, miserable winter where many people have lost their jobs and many factories have been closed,” says Simon Hall, Wendy’s husband. “So it’s good news. It means things will get back to normal.”
Simon knows it will take time, but the end of the blockade means there is hope for Nepal. As Simon travels to schools in Nepal doing ICT work he’s already seen signs of more gas and oil on the road. He also thinks that this will benefit Nepal’s continued earthquake recovery, as during the blockade, focus was taken off of this important task.
“It’s just been one thing after another in Nepal with the earthquakes, issues over the constitution and the fuel crisis,” says Simon. “But I think we have to give thanks that a prayer was answered when the blockade was lifted.”
The road to hearing for Unique and healing for Nepal may be a long a one, but thankfully God’s granted them hope for the journey.
Thank you for praying for Nepal. The power of prayer is evident in the way the blockade ended. Please join us in continued prayer for the country as it continues to recover from the earthquakes and fuel crisis. Pray for strong leadership in Nepal throughout the recovery process and patience for the people as life gets back to normal.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission.