Sending JOY to Nepal

Sending JOY to Nepal

In 1989, Joy lived six days’ walk from the nearest road and could only communicate through letters. Things are going to be very different during her second long-term stint with BMS World Mission in Nepal. Get to know her and her fascinating story in our Q&A!

It’s almost thirty years since Joy Ransom first boarded a plane to Nepal to teach with BMS. Now, God’s called her back. She flies on Tuesday 28 August, arrives in Tansen (her new home) on Friday 31 and begins teaching on Monday 3 September – talk about hitting the ground running! The next two weeks are going to be an absolute whirlwind for Joy and she would love it if you would pray for her.

But how rude of us… first you better get acquainted.

Joy smiling next to a Nepalese woman
Joy is getting ready to move back to Nepal, where she'll be working as a teacher and making lots of new friends.

You’re about to leave to serve long-term with BMS in Nepal, but this definitely isn’t your first rodeo. Tell me about when you’ve worked with us before.

In 1989 I went to teach missionaries’ children in a very remote place called Okhaldhunga, in the east of Nepal. There was a hospital there, a community health project, a forestry project and non-formal education. I taught the children of the missionaries who were working there.

I was there for five years, and at that time Okhaldhunga was very remote and the nearest road was six days’ walk away. We used to travel by plane, which only went twice a week, and in the monsoon it often didn’t fly at all because it was too cloudy. So it felt quite isolated. But there was a good community there as well.

What was it like to live so remotely?

It always felt like a lot of thought to leave, because you had to walk to the airstrip and that was about five hours away. So it wasn’t like you could just nip home again if the plane didn’t come. And in the monsoon it did feel quite cut-off. We had no radio, no telephone and no computer in those days, so it felt very different.

I went back to Nepal with BMS as a volunteer in 2015, and I had the chance to go back to Okhaldhunga to visit. That’s the first time I’d been back in 20 years. Now they’ve built a road and you can actually get there by jeep or bus. It’s changed the place. It was lovely to be back there.

Florence nearly got washed away – and the porter literally saved her life

How did you keep in touch with people? Through letters?

Yes, through letters. But we only got mail when the planes came. Quite often I’d be in school with the tutorial group and we’d hear the plane overhead, and the children got very excited and so did I, because we’d think ‘oh yay, the plane’s come today, we might get mail from home.’ But some letters took three months to get to us.

Joy previously served with BMS as a volunteer in Nepal in 2015, when she taught English to teachers.

Tell me about your most memorable experience from that time?

It was monsoon time and I needed to leave the project because it was the holidays and I’d just been in the village for such a long time. So a friend of mine, Florence (who was in her 60s), and I decided that we would walk out. There were no planes, because it was the middle of the monsoon. So we set out with a porter.

I kept asking God, ‘is it time to go back?’

The first few days were fine, but then when we got further south the rivers were huge, and we ended up walking through flooded rivers really, full of grit and sand. Florence nearly got washed away – and the porter literally saved her life by helping her. Reaching out to her, holding her up, and then taking her across the river.

When we eventually got to the road, we still had a 12-hour bus journey to get to Kathmandu.

Wow! It sounds like it’s going to be pretty different this time. Why are you going back to Nepal?

When I left in 1996 I felt that God had still got a work for me to do in Nepal. I had just adopted my daughter Bethany, and she was six months old when we came to the UK. I thought maybe she and I would live in the UK for a few years, and then when she was old enough, we would go back. But that didn’t happen. And although I kept asking God, ‘is it time to go back?’, it wasn’t.

But then three years ago, Bethany was at university and so I applied to go as a volunteer. I thought I’d go for a year just to see what it’s like, because, having been there 20 years ago, I knew the country would have changed, but also I would have changed. So I thought it would be a good chance to see if there’s still a role for somebody like me, and if that was really what God wanted me to do.

I built up relationships in the community and found that my Nepali language came back, and I felt very comfortable in Nepali church. So I felt like that was confirmation that I should explore the possibility of going back longer term. And maybe God did have a plan for me in Nepal.

Joy with some of her students when she was teaching in Nepal in 2015. We're so thrilled that God has called her back there.

We obviously agree! What are you going to be doing?

For the first year I am going back to Tansen, to the same place and same role that I had three years ago. The teacher who took over from me has to go back to the US for a year, so they have a need for a teacher.

After that year, I am hopefully going to work with KISC EQUIP [the Kathmandu International Study Centre’s Education Quality Improvement Programme] doing some teacher training or mentoring of teachers in local Nepali schools in Lamjung, with Simon and Wendy Hall.

This year I also have to complete my Master’s degree, because to get a visa in Nepal you need to have a Master’s. That’s what I’ve been working on this last year, but I still have the dissertation to write in Tansen.

Is it fair to say you’ve left a bit of your heart in Nepal?

Yes. I love Nepal. I love the people.

What are you most excited about, about getting there?

Meeting people again. The people that I made friends with last time. I used to walk every day along the same path from my house to where I worked at the school and there were lots of people who sat along the path, and we would chat every day. That was really nice.

It’s the Church who are supporting me and sending me. We’re doing this together.

Joy is keen to get back to Nepal and see her friends again! We can’t wait to bring you more images of her serving there.

What are you going to miss most?

Apart from family… I’ll miss having a bath.

Would you like people in the UK to get behind you with prayer and donations?

Yes! I believe that mission is a partnership, and although I get the opportunity to go to Nepal and hopefully have some skills and experiences that mean I can be useful there, it’s not just me going off on my own. It’s definitely the Church who are supporting me and sending me. We’re doing this together. And if I can pray for people here and they can pray for me then hopefully everything will be more effective.

What’s the first thing you’ve packed in your suitcase?

Family photographs and mosquito repellent!

Praying for Joy? Click Here
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What can we be praying for?

Please pray that in the next few weeks I get to know the children quickly, and their families. Pray too that I can support them and find out what their needs are. I feel the role of teaching the children of missionaries involves supporting the families too, because often parents feel guilty about taking their children away from their family and culture and peer support.

Pray also that I can make a good start on the study for my Master’s dissertation, that I can choose a really good subject. And that with the internet and the time difference, I can still catch up with my tutor back here in Scotland.

Settling in basically and making a good start.

You can change a child’s life by praying today

You can change a child’s life by praying today

Extreme poverty, war and discrimination are denying children their right to an education as you read this. Your generous gifts to BMS are helping us to confront this injustice. And today, we’re asking you to support our education work with prayer too. Please read, pray and share this article so we can help more children in the countries featured below access life-transforming education.

Lebanon

Syrian and Iraqi refugee children in Lebanon are getting an education, thanks to you. Children who have had their lives shattered by conflict are being given hope for the future. Not only are they being taught, they are being treated with the love and respect that every child deserves.

• Pray that these children are able to concentrate on what they’re being taught and feel safe in their environment. Pray that they would love learning.

• Pray for wisdom and energy for the teachers, as they work with children who have suffered unimaginable trauma.

Children sitting at desks in school raise their hands to answer a question
Refugee children are back in the classroom in Lebanon after fleeing the horror of conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Bangladesh

Preschools across rural, very poor parts of Bangladesh are being supported by you. Boys and girls are being taught about letters and numbers, with BMS worker Louise Proctor training local teachers to give great lessons using free or cheap resources. We’re also helping to educate the children of mission workers at a school in Dhaka.

• Pray that the preschools will be a springboard to enable children to keep attending school, and that the children will be encouraged by their parents.

• Pray that the teachers will be equipped to provide stimulating lessons for the children, and can access all the resources they need.

Children sit in lines in a shed in Bangladesh. They are all staring at a teacher who is taking the lesson.
Children in rural Bangladesh are captivated as BMS worker Louise Proctor helps with a school lesson.

Kosovo

Underprivileged children and adults from marginalised and minority people groups in Kosovo are being given the chance to learn English thanks to your support for BMS teachers. More than 50 per cent of young people in Kosovo are unemployed and 30 per cent of the population live below the poverty line.

• Pray for BMS’ education work amongst marginalised people in Kosovo.

• Pray that young girls would have equal access to education, and that our workers would have the resources to help them.

• Pray for God to guide BMS workers Rose* and Robert* as they serve in education in Kosovo.

Albania

We’re working to help children from Roma and Egyptian communities access education. These children are shunned by Albanian society and live in abject poverty. We’re also helping further God’s mission in Albania by providing education for mission workers’ children at GDQ International Christian School.

• Pray for the children who want to learn, but are stopped from attending school regularly because of reasons out of their control. Pray for a sense of hope for them.

• Pray for the children who struggle in school because of extreme poverty.

• Pray for increased resources for the science department at GDQ in Tirana, and pray for renewed energy for BMS mission workers Chris and Debbie Carter, Mat and Suzanne Gregory, and Jill Morrow.

Two girls sit at a table, drawing pictures on pieces of paper
You can help children in Albania know what it feels like to have a happy, fulfilling education.

Peru

Children from poor families attend an after-school club at the BMS-founded El Puente Baptist Church in the city of Cusco. They’re helped with their homework, learn about God, and play games.

• Pray that more children attend the club, and see the value in an education.

• Pray that other members of the church get involved and use their blessings to help the children.

• Pray for Denise and Melany, who run the club. Pray they would feel encouraged by the difference they are making to young people’s lives.

Children sit on a stage in front of musical equipment. They are smiling and waving at the camera.
These children have been learning and having fun at a BMS-founded church in Peru.

Nepal

BMS is working to transform children’s lives by improving teaching in Nepali schools. Teacher training written by BMS worker Annie Brown is being rolled out across the country. We do this work in partnership with the Kathmandu International Study Centre (KISC), where mission workers’ children are taught, with BMS support.

• Pray for the Nepali teachers receiving training, sometimes for the first time. Pray that they would go on to transform the lives of the children in their classrooms.

• Pray that poverty won’t stop children in Nepal attending school. Pray they would have all they need to learn.

• Pray for the students preparing to sit exams at KISC, and for the KISC staff as they settle into the school’s new site.

Two girls sitting at desks look at a school book
Children in Nepal have been learning through new teaching methods, thanks to your support for school teachers in the country.

Guinea

Boys from deprived communities are learning formal rules and structure through a football club set up by BMS mission worker Ben*.

Summer classes have also been set up by Ben and his wife Isabelle* – who is a teacher – helping not only the boys, but other children, too.

• Pray that the boys would continue to be inspired to learn and develop, and that education and football would give them a great sense of self-worth.

• Pray for Ben, that he would have the resources, time and energy he needs to help the boys who come to him.

Players of the Blessed Boys Football Club in Guinea train and play a match.
Boys in Guinea are not only improving their football skills thanks to your support, they’re being helped with their schoolwork too.

China

We support teachers in China, helping students at a nursing college improve their English language skills.

• Pray the students would feel encouraged in their studies, and form strong friendships with their classmates.

• Pray for energy for our workers, in both their teaching and in their personal relationships.

India

Street children in Kolkata are learning reading, writing and arithmetic through the BMS-supported Street Servants team, led by our worker Ben Francis. Our team is working hard to set up a second school, which will give more children a chance to learn the skills they need to change their futures. We also support other education initiatives in India.

• Pray that children at the street school would have an incredible appetite for learning. Pray they would sense God’s presence in their lessons.

• Pray that the children’s parents would understand the importance of a good education, and would continue to allow their children to attend the school.

A girl walks towards other children standing under a bridge in India
School is being brought to street children in Kolkata, giving them the opportunity to learn.

Mozambique

Young children from poor backgrounds are being given the best possible preparation for school through the PEPE preschool initiative started and supported by BMS. Children are being taught important lessons like colours, numbers and the alphabet in creative ways.

• Pray that the children enjoy their preschool lessons and want to keep learning.

• Pray for the resources to help more children from disadvantaged communities.

• Pray for BMS worker Liz Vilela, who has been training new PEPE teachers in child protection. Pray that Liz would find ways to overcome any obstacles she faces in her work, and that the teachers put into practice what they’ve learnt.

Children in Mozambique pray during a school lesson
Children in Mozambique are not only being given a preschool education, they are also learning about Jesus.

Education is critical in helping children who are poor, disadvantaged and persecuted walk towards a better life – a life that we know is possible.

Through your donations and prayers you are enabling us to help children access education. Please share this story right now to encourage others to pray.

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Are you a teacher? Come and work with us

Inspired by the education work we do? We’re looking for teachers to serve in countries such as Uganda, Afghanistan, Guinea and Albania.

You can be the person who helps change a young person’s life for the better. Take the first step by clicking here to find out more. We’d love to hear from you.

* Names changed for security reasons