International Ministries

With Thanksgiving for a New Beginning

November 23, 2011 Journal
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Sonu went off to medical school in Dali, China last week. She is the daughter of Gopini, the woman who works in our house.  Sonu’s father is a non-skilled worker in a government office.

 That indeed was a BIG day for Sonu and her family, as the journey for her hasn’t been easy.

When she was a middle school student, studying wasn’t important to her, despite her mother’s scolding. She was a bit of a rebellious teenager and did not take school very seriously. Seeing in her the ability to get better grades, Sonu’s teachers had challenged her to study harder. Yet, she didn’t pay attention. But, one day in 9th Grade at a new school a teacher held a completion to see who could get the best grades. Sonu jumped to the challenge.  Of all things, that motivated her to do start studying.

Not only did she do very well, she went on to become one of the students to whom other students would come for help. She scored in the highest percentile in her 10th Grade national test. She then went on to major in science, once again getting very high marks when she finished the equivalent of our high school degree two years later.

Her next goal was to go to college to study for her MBBS degree, a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, which is the first level of the professional medical degree in Asia and England. Last year she managed to hold her head up, even though she took many tests for admissions to different medical colleges in Nepal but was passed over.  However, this year was different .

With Bucky and I having moved back to Kathmandu, I was able to help Gopini and Sonu as we visited various offices representing different medical colleges in Nepal. We learned that because of her parents’ financial situation, neither Sonu nor her parents qualified for a bank college loan. Many times we’d return home discouraged by what we had learned that day. Academically Sonu was very qualified to study medicine, but not financially.

Oh, how I prayed for God to open up the doors for Sonu to become a doctor, her childhood dream.

Then, in September it finally happened!

An opportunity to go to Dali University in Yunnan, China opened up for her! She will study for five and a half years for her MBBS degree – the equivalent of completing medical school in the US. The program is in English, in which Sonu has been studying all of her academic life. From her first semester, she will also study Mandarin to prepare her for seeing Chinese patients starting in her third year.

This past October, two of Nepal’s most major festivals of the year, as big as our Thanksgiving and Christmas, occured: Dashain, when family members give each other a blessing, symbolized in the form of rice mixed with yogurt and red power, placed on the forehead; and Tihar, not only celebrating with lights and candles, but eating special food especially “sel roti.” Because of the academic schedule in China, this year was Sonu’s last year at home with her family for these festivals for 5 years. So, celebrating these festivals was a bittersweet time for her and her family.

Getting to this point has not been easy for Sonu. And the next part of her journey will be even more demanding. [As I write this, we have heard that the upperclassmen have started harassing the new students last night, and Sonu was so upset about it she called her mother, and crying, asked to come home.] Please pray for Sonu with us as she begins her college experience in a different country, away from her family and friends. Also pray that as she moves towards her life goal, God will prepare the way for her to return to Nepal and serve her people.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we are very grateful for being able to be a part of this young woman’s life.We are also thankful for your interest, prayers and support in our ministry here in Nepal.

Sonu, the daughter of a domestic worker and unskilled government worker, on her way to become a doctor!  What a story!