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We have just arrived home from our fourth year in Nepal, and as we look back we can see the Lord’s hand in faithfully accomplishing His plan for us being there. We arrived in 2015 just before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake during which the Lord graciously spared our lives along with everyone with us in the rock-and-clay church building.

This greatly affected the whole country along with the ministry we came to do. At the end of that year we had the four-and-a-half-month blockade at the Indian border which also put a big strain on the function of normal life in Nepal. Yet the Lord used these things for us to develop meaningful relationships with the people we were working with and helping.

By the end of the second year and coming into our third the Lord allowed us to see things that were not right in the Nepali organisation with whom we were initially working. Along with other supporting organisations, we separated ourselves from that organisation. During this process we lost our house and the ministry that we came to establish.

Yet the Lord used all these things to establish us in our current ministry in Dhulikhel, with the Lord providing us with a great house to live in and the reuniting of our original Nepali friends to work together in our present ministry. What was a rocky and shaky beginning, in the first couple of years of our time here in Nepal, has proven to be the needed foundation for the work that the Lord has now got us involved in.

God’s Word says “we make the plans, but the Lord directs the steps” — and this is exactly what we have experienced during our four years in Nepal. Before we came to Nepal we did not even have any thought or plan to go there, yet the Lord arranged the circumstances for Ian to be invited to teach the God Has Spoken book at a leaders’ conference, which proved to be a wonderful time and the spring-board to come back and serve full-time.

Part of the vision of Transform the Nations (TtN) was to set up vocational training opportunities for the disadvantaged girls from the lower castes. TtN had begun working in partnership with the Nepali organisation with which we are no longer affiliated. This work has been started again in Dhulikhel and we have now set up a café, a bakery, a beauty parlour and tailoring training.
We have had the privilege to be part of this work, working with our Nepali friends who had also chosen to separate themselves from the other organisation. We can see clearly the Lord’s hand at work, bringing us all together to fulfil His plan. It has not been an easy road and progress seemed very slow at times, yet we are now seeing fruit for
our labour.

When we arrived back in Nepal to begin our fourth term (August 2018) the three floors of the building that TtN had rented for the 

vocational training were still concrete shells, with only some flooring done. The first thing we needed to get done was to set up the Guest House for the Aussie work team that was coming in less than a month to work on Bamboo Café.
It was a lot of hard work and cleaning, and the girls that had come from the village to be trained were hard at work with us. This was a good opportunity to work alongside the girls and to teach them that we are all equal in God’s eyes and can help each other. We got the guest house ready and the team came and did a great job helping to fit out the café and bakery.

The building work started to take shape quickly and by the end of October we were able to open the café, selling coffee and cakes. Not long after that we were able to employ a cook for the kitchen and sell food as well. At the same time as this we also had our big visa saga which forced us to leave the country for two weeks over Christmas and come back in the New Year so that we were able to get another tourist visa.

The café/bakery has been operating for seven months now, and the Lord has blessed the venture with the ability to pay from the turnover for expenditures, wages, gas and electricity, which is very encouraging. We are praying that we will be able to pay for the rent as well, and for the café to be completely self-supporting. Praise the Lord!
With the building work completed and our Nepali team, including our girls that have been trained, tailoring and running the café, bakery and beauty parlour, I have now been able to put a lot more time into teaching and discipleship, and also the translation work on the God Has Spoken book series, which is from creation till the new heavens and earth.

It is very exciting that we are now ready to publish the first book, the Nepali version of God Has Spoken (10 lessons from creation to Christ) with colour pictures. The plan is to hopefully be able to print the book with a local publisher in KTM when we return to Nepal in July. We already have a big interest from leaders and churches, who would like to be taught through the teaching of this book.

The second book, Accurately Handling the Word of Truth, has nearly had the ten lessons translated into Nepali (with illustrations by Leann), and the third book, Not I But Christ, has begun to be translated as well. The fourth and final book, Looking for the Blessed Hope, was completely translated just before we returned to Australia, which was a
great blessing.

The last three books will all need a back-translation done on them when we return to Nepal in July. So apart from the many teaching opportunities I will endeavour to get this done with my faithful Nepali translator Dinesh. The goal is to have all four books published in Nepali and for as many pastors and leaders to be trained, so that they can effectively teach the biblical truths written in them.

We believe these books will be a useful tool in equipping the Nepali people with their study and understanding of God’s Word. It has been very encouraging to see the positive response from the leaders and churches that have already had some teaching from the first and third books. Our prayer is for the Nepali church to gain a good understanding of God’s plan and purpose which is recorded in His Word.

by Ian and Leann Buckley

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