Alan and Megan Barker joined BMS in 2000. Their initial overseas placement was with United Mission to Nepal (2000-2004) in Kathmandu where Alan worked in management and Megan as an occupational therapist. After a period of leave of absence, they returned to Nepal in 2007 to work with International Nepal Fellowship (INF) in Surkhet. Alan worked in management and donor relations, training local staff as he did so. Megan developed rehabilitation services, expanding the work beyond leprosy to include other disabilities working alongside and training Nepalese therapists.
Alan and Megan have had an extended time in the UK awaiting visas, but are planning to return overseas in the future. In the meantime, they are working to support a number of BMS initiatives from the UK.
Alan and Megan have three children who were in Nepal with them initially but are now adults and have settled back in the UK.
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A few months ago as we passed through Kathmandu to go to the UK we visited a church there that we enjoy going to. It is known particularly for its ministry to people with disabilities.
The time came for the chorus singing and we did not have a book with us. The lady in front of me took out her chorus book, found the page for me and handed me the book. She also took the book from me as each of the choruses were announced and quietly gave it to me at the right page.
Nice gesture you might say. Welcoming and friendly. What was so touching is that this lady has no fingers; that is her whole hand on the photo. Knowing what we know we could see immediately that she has had...
Learning to live in a different country where everyone speaks a different language has many challenges. Learning to communicate is not just about the words themselves. Having lived here in Surkhet for 8 years, we have quite a large vocabulary of Nepali words. Recently though events have brought home to us just how complex communicating can be. When it comes to understanding events around us, we often feel that we live in a bit of a fog.
Having just been back to the UK for a lovely holiday, attending a wedding and having some quality time with family, we arrived back in Nepal on August 5th. Getting from Kathmandu to Surkhet was our first challenge. The road was damaged...
‘Building resilient communities’ is a phrase that development experts use. The idea is to help poor communities in remote areas to build up some physical resilience, so that they are prepared for problems that might come along. Many have no protection or nowhere to go if trouble strikes.
Last August more than 6,000 people lost their homes and over 150 people died in floods that hit the Surkhet district. People are still living in tents in the emergency camps that were set up to house them ‘temporarily’. The bridge that was washed away at the end of our road is just being rebuilt. Monsoon will be here in a couple...
When I was a little girl I was quite reserved and definitely not adventurous. I was 13 before I learned to ride a bike! I would also happily have lived the rest of my life in the village where I was born.
Now here I am out in the middle of nowhere on a field visit, sharing a room with a 13-year-old girl I don’t even know but whose mother runs the guest house at the hospital in Dailekh which is full, so she said I could sleep here. I’m not sure if that is better or worse than last time when I was on a field visit and I ended up sort of sharing a room (there was an alcove for my bed but no door) with 2 male...
There are no home assignment dates available at this time but these will be posted here as soon as they are confirmed. In the meantime please remember that you can request a BMS Speaker at any time in the year.