We operate two youth homes in Kathmandu, Nepal on the same campus as our Kathmandu church location. We house 17 girls and 15 boys. We provide for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Some of the physical needs are obvious things like, shelter, clean water to drink, nourishing food to eat, clothes, and education!
The kids eat 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner consist of Dahl Bhat, which is rice (that’s the bhat part), dahl (that’s a lentil soup type gravy) and vegetables. On Wednesdays we add a hardboiled egg to the mix, and on Saturday, we have chicken! For lunch they have a small meal which consists of chow-chow soup, or cookies, or popcorn croissants or bread and jam to mention a few.
We have 4 kids in class 7 to 10 (1 in class 7, 2 in class 8 and 1 in class 9). Classes start around 10:00 AM and finish around 4:00 PM 6 days a week. Class 10 is the highest grade they go in high school. When they complete class 10 they have to take the SLC tests (SLC means School Leaving Certificate). These tests are known as the Iron Gate. If you don’t pass these tests, then you cannot go onto higher education.
The next level of education after class 10 is college. College is class 11 and 12 then on to the bachelors program. The bachelors program is a 3-4 year program where they will receive a bachelors degree in the field in which they are studying. We have 13 girls in college and 11 boys in college (8 in class 11 & 12, and 16 in the bachelors program). When the kids attend college, they still live at home. There are many colleges in the area. The classes start at around 6:30 AM and finish around 10:30 AM, 6 days a week.
We have 5 boys and 5 girls who are also working full-time jobs. Four work as teachers, one works as an aluminum worker helper and helps with construction here and in Lamjung, one is a manager of a restaurant, one works in a coffee shop, one works in accounting for a Christian bookstore and 2 work for the church. Also, one of our girls had the opportunity to attend nursing school and is now awaiting her license test results.
We try to teach our kids responsibility. So in addition to school, college and working, they all have chores to do. They all have time in the kitchen to help cook and they all do their own laundry by hand.
Our kids know English and Nepali fluently. Because of this, we have been blessed to be able to use them as interpreters for pastors conferences when American pastors come and when a medical outreach team comes from the USA to minister in the mountains. This has been a great blessing to the teams and to the kids as well. They come back from the mountains with a renewed outlook.
The day of worship here is on Saturday. Our kids are involved with home fellowships, the church worship team, and Sunday School. Two of our kids have completed a 6 month discipleship training course and we currently have one boy attending a discipleship training course.
The kids in our homes have opportunities opened to them that they would never have if left where they were. They are getting an education, healthy meals, nutrition, medical care and most of all love.
Some of the young adults who have grown up with PUMA are now leading worship in the local PUMA church in Kathmandu. It is always a blessing when we visit to see them using the gifts God has given them. During our trip in October 2016 the PUMA kids put on an entire drama show that included singing and dancing, as well as leading us in worship. It is wonderful to see what God is doing in them and through them! Please keep them in your prayers.
When the earthquake happened, it damaged the Boys Home. So much so, they couldn’t go back in. There is still fear it may collapse. The Girls Home is damaged on the third floor, but the engineers say it is OK, but don’t use the third floor. So for 10 weeks we have been trying to figure out housing for 50 kids. Our manager in Nepal, Padam Tamang, was able to contact a Nepali lady in London who owns a large piece of ground adjacent to our training center. The center is about a 10 minute walk from the boys home. [...]