Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

A decision made...

Thank you for praying with us as we have been making plans for our next step.  We have come to a conclusion that seems to us to maximize the positive aspects of each family member's hopes and desires...and it seems quite clear that this is the way that God is leading.  We will return to Nepal on March 2nd...well, it will be a long trip to get there, as our tickets are those "around the world" type.  We will spend nine weeks in Tansen.  Our plan is to serve at the mission hospital, archive our Chepang work of the past 14 years, enjoy relationships with people we love in Nepal, prepare for a sabbatical in the U.S. in 2014, and see what else the LORD might have in mind.

As this is likely to be the last across-the-globe trip for the six of us together (Nick, our oldest son, is making his own plans to chart his own course, and these include a focus on education with sights set on a good college experience)...we plan to culminate with a trip through Europe on our way home.  We haven't chosen every destination yet, but we do hope to see many European friends with whom we have served in Asia.  We will have one month to explore there.  We look forward to exposing our boys to more of this fascinating world.

We hope our house is re-built when we return to Spokane, but if not, we will navigate the final decisions upon our return.  In our absence, our wonderful friends, and comrades in this life, are willing to stand in for us to oversee the building project.  We thank God for you!

So, the Beines remain nomadic, even if for a shorter stint in 2013.

May you know the comfort of belonging to God, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Kimberly, for the Beine Bunch

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Modification of the Agenda?

We have had hours of talking about our next step, and time to pray with many of our dear prayer warriors.  We have considered the opportunity to make all of the choices as our house is re-built.  We have considered the implications of leaving for Nepal and just letting somebody else build us a house.  We have considered what impact there might be on our kids if we did not return to Nepal this year, and yet still took a sabbatical next year.  We have considered our current state of exhaustion and the February 2nd date that seems to be coming at breakneck speed (this is the date on our current tickets to Nepal).  We have considered the implications for our next teacher who is serving with us as part of her degree program at Moody Bible Institute.  We have been doing a lot of considering...

At the moment, we are considering carrying on with our Nepal...just with a little delay.  We are mulling over the possibility of leaving in March, instead of February, with the plan to return to the U.S. at the end of June, as originally scheduled.  The advantages of this are many: good completion of our Chepang project, a little more time to logistically prepare (we don't even have suitcases yet!), good closure on this phase of our Nepal service (including closure for Nick, who might not return again to Nepal, with us, as he is setting his own course for life), the opportunity to see Europe (which we had already scheduled into our trip on the way home), etc.  You know, as we considered how we might invest our next six months, we realized that a house is certainly not a secure/"for-sure" thing...we might pick all the amenities we like (right down to the final light switch), and in a moment, it could all be gone again.  Or the end might come, in the twinkling of an eye, sometime in our lifetimes.  When it does come, I hope we are found investing in the things that last: people.  There are some people in Nepal, to whom we are committed, and it seems we need to see this next step through.  What will come in 2014?  We have no idea.  For now, it seems that we are being drawn back to Nepal, for yet another stint of service.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it fun?  Sometimes, but usually not.  Is it fulfilling?  Yes.  Perhaps there will be at least one Nepali who will be summoned at the final trumpet call, whose life we had an opportunity to touch in 2013...perhaps...and maybe not, but I am pretty sure that when that final trumpet sounds, I will have no thought for my house.  Christ will come bring His people home.  He is preparing a marvelous house for us...I am sure that my choices on my small abode here does not even compare.  We seek the peace that surpasses understanding as we stand on the doorstep of our next journey. 

Thank you for praying with us!
Kimberly, for all the Beines

Remaining needs

For those of you who want to help with our remaining needs check out the spreadsheet at:

 Beine needs spreadshhet

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Joy from ashes

This is the gift I was given the day that an electrical fire devastated our house (the dwelling that has served as this nomadic family’s home base for the past thirteen years…”our extravagant gift from God” as we call it).  It happened on November 28th, 2012, fifteen minutes after David left the house for the day (the rest of us were at work and school).  That night after the boys had gone to sleep and we processed this event as a couple, I told David that I did not feel one ounce of despair.  Hope was my buoy, given as a pure gift, as far as I could discern.

The ashes have all settled now, our salvageable items have been removed, the “tearing down to the studs” (before the re-build) has begun.  We are told that it will take a minimum of six months to re-construct our house.  We have experienced a rich community of fellowship and love here in Spokane (from our neighbors, the public schools where our children attend, our church, and from friends across the globe).  We have been lavishly loved by people providing beds, toothbrushes, clothes, dressers, telephones, dishes, pillows, salt, sugar, firewood (when the furnace went out at our rental home)…and a thousand other little things that I never realized were making my everyday life very comfortable and convenient.  Many other dear people have given us hours of their time, organizing stuff, delivering furniture, cleaning sooty but recoverable items, transporting our children, caring for our pets while we looked for a suitable rental, choosing and hemming curtains to cover our windows at the rental, putting together a tool box for us (which has come in very handy with assembling new tables for our rental).  We know also that countless others have prayed for us through this event, and we feel so richly blessed.  We count ourselves some of the most fortunate people on earth; our lives are truly abundant.  We are finding that JOY also comes from ashes.

Now we are mostly settled and looking forward to a different kind of celebration of the birth of our Savior this year (not quite sure how it is going to look but thankful to be together as a family, with Grandpa and Grandma Beine here too).  We already have tickets to return to Nepal on February 2nd, 2013.  Do we keep that plan and leave the house re-building to the watchful eye of somebody else, or do we alter our plans for the Nepal stint this year?  Prior to our fire, I (Kimberly) was already feeling a profound exhaustion in my soul and was seeking a way to slow the pace of our lives just slightly.  Now, I am feeling that keeping the plan to return to Nepal in February may be my pathway to collapse.  David is highly motivated to keep our original plans, as our Chepang project is drawing to a close and he would like to properly archive the work we have done, so that we can pass the baton well, to those who come next to serve the Chepang people.  Not to mention that we feel we may need some closure (emotionally and psychologically) on our Tansen time.  We have already scheduled a sabbatical (where we will stay in the U.S.) for 2014, and after that we do not anticipate our eldest son returning to Nepal (he will be preparing to forge his own path in life).  Also, the team in Tansen, Nepal is in transition; very soon the community of foreign servants there will be almost entirely new to us.  So, it does seem like a good idea for us to go to Nepal in 2013.  We would like to make this decision by the end of this year; it will greatly affect the future of the college student who already has a plane ticket to go with us (to guide the boys in their school work while in Nepal).  So, we ask ourselves, “What is our next step?”

I feel quite confidently that this house fire is part of our story,that God is using to direct us along the path that we should tread.  In our current exhaustion, that path does not appear clear to us.  Please pray that we would discern His good plan and press on in the direction that would delight our Master.  Thank you for your precious friendship!  You are a thread in the beautiful tapestry of our lives that God is weaving.

Kimberly, for all the Beines

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our final days in India

The Beines camping at 13,000 feet in Northern India (June 25, 2012)
Help!  American life has swallowed us up!  Kimberly says that it feels like we have gone from 20 mph (South Asian speed) to 120 mph (American speed).  We arrived back to Spokane on July 03 and I have been intending for weeks to update the blog and fill you in on our final weeks in South Asia.  But as we have alluded to, life here has a way of getting busy- too busy.  Well, today I plan to get this done...

Joshua enjoys the train to Shimla
Following our departure from Nepal (an adventure in itself), we arrived to VERY HOT New Delhi (111 Fahrenheit).  After a day enjoying a hamburger at Hard Rock Cafe and a few niceties of urban India we boarded a northward-bound train to the visit the Pahari people where I had conducted linguistic survey work 22 years ago.  
Dave among the Pahari in 1990
After a nine hour train journey (which included 6 hours on a narrow gauge train that passes through 102 tunnels and over 800 bridges) we arrived at Shimla, in the Northern Indian state of Himachael Pradesh ( ).  At 7200 feet the climate was much nicer than Delhi, and the pine-covered hillsides were a welcomed change.   This beautiful Indian hill station- affectionately known as "Queen of the Hills"- is the former summer capital of India from the British Raj days and it has such a sense of history, including where the partition of India and Pakistan was devised.  It was nice to be able to show my family around the many historical places along with many places from my personal history.  
A Pahari woman greets us in local fashion
A day later we climbed in a jeep along with our hosts and drove 11 hours to reach the 13,000 foot Chanshal Pass where we would be camping with a small band of Pahari believers.  It is only about 110 miles from Shimla so that tells you about the conditions of the road (that is why we are used to 20 mph speeds).  Arriving after dark we were tasked with setting up our tents in a cloud, complete with 40 mph winds.  It was a cold, damp night.  But in the morning the clouds lifted and so did our spirits as we worshiped with like minded,but culturally different believers.  I shared a short message (using local metaphors) in which I encouraged them to love and follow Jesus in the Pahari way.  The next day we returned to a nearby town and joined the local church where I was able to preach.  I focused on the role that suffering (something they know much about) plays in our maturing process as Christians.  The idea of suffering as a spiritual discipline is something we have pretty much lost in the West. 

Camping in the clouds
Dave preaches to the crowd
Wild horses roam the alpine ridges over Chanshal Pass

Following the service we joined three congregations for a baptism service in which over 70 people were baptized by local pastors.  Our children had spent the morning playing in the stream and constructing the pool that would later serve as the baptismal.  It was inspiring to watch these people publicly declare that they belong to Jesus.  There has been much persecution against believers in this area so confessing one's faith openly has a true cost for these people.  All of the pastors conducting the baptism have been beaten for their faith. 

A Pahari woman receives baptism

After the baptism we were again in the jeeps and on our way back to Shimla, arriving late during the night.  After a day of rest I then spoke to a leaders and pastors conference sponsored by our freinds who have been working in the area for many years. God has been doing many amazing things among people here;  the church is growing rapidly and people are willing to suffer greatly for their Lord.  I spoke on the various kinds of seed from Mark chapter 4. 

Dave teaching on Mark 4
We had one more free day in Shimla, travelled the same route back to Delhi and had one day there before boarding a plane bound for London, changing planes in London and arriving in Seatlle some 21 hours later on the evening of June 30.  We then spent two days decompressing with friends in Seatlle and then arrived back to Spokane on the afternoon of July 03. 

Celebrating the Space Needle's 50th Birthday
For more observations on our journey write us and ask to be added to our newsletter list.  The coming newsletter will offer more personal reflections inspired by our recent days in South Asia.

Lastly, our re-entry from a 20 MPH arterial (South Asia) on to the fast-paced 120MPH American lifestyle highway has us experiencing a bit of re-entry culture shock.  We have gotten ourselves too busy and are finding ourselves having to make concious decisions to slow down to keep our focus.  Please be patient with us. And for those interested in knowing more about our experiences from our kid's eyes, check out the various albums posted by nick at along with several short films made by all the boys together during their time in Nepal.
The Epic Ninja Movie:
The watch of Time (2 parts):
Pine Needle Sledding:
More Pine Needle Sledding:
Tansen Mela:
 Something Awesome:

Until next time...

The Beines

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some pictures from the boy's (and Ethan's) trip to Ranighat...

Map of Nepal
Recently, the men in the Beine family (plus Ethan) embarked on an exciting journey to the city of Pokhara, which is just a few hours north of Tansen.  Or, as described by Nate, Pokhara is "about 7 barfs away."  The 4 hour drive, which covers nearly 40 miles was fairly uneventful (by Nepali standards; near head-on collisions, waiting for road construction, stopping after a mongoose crosses the road to avoid bad luck, etc. are all typical in Nepal).  In Pokhara we checked into our hotel, from which we had a lovely view of the hotel right next to us, and went for some ice cream.  Not real ice cream of course, but it tasted great after so long without any.

The real reason for our visit to Pokhara was to renew our 3 month tourist visas, but the trip was definitely more of a vacation than anything.  We walked up and down the main street in Lakeside dozens of times, admiring all the trinkets and souvenirs.  There was no shortage of persistent salesmen trying to sell us knives, toys, carvings, clothing, pictures, books, CDs, trekking gear, etc.  For many of us, leaving our wallets in the hotel was not an accident.

Though the excursion to Pokhara was for much more than just visa renewals, the process was actually very interesting.  After arriving at the immigration office, we were ushered into a small room with bench seats from old cars serving as sofas, to wait while the officials exchanged greetings and told stories about their nights.  We were in the room with a lady in hospital scrubs who "works with the FBI" and "preferred not to discuss her occupation."  A man at the office was curious as to why my mom wasn't with us to get her visa renewed.  My dad answered his question by telling him that she works at the Tansen Mission Hospital, and there had been a bus accident the previous day.  He failed to mention that she was not working that week, and I think it helped speed up the whole process.  Eventually all the forms were filled out and we gave them to the officials.  One of the men asked for a large bribe to do his job, and my dad gave him a little bit extra.  When my dad requested a receipt, the man asked how much he should put down.  "The amount I paid," said my dad.  The man gave back the extra money along with our visas and told us to have a nice day.

Phewa Lake, Pokhara
After the visa renewal, we headed out for a day on the lake.  We rented a large paddle boat with a cover for the sun, which disappeared shortly after we left the dock.  We all took turns paddling, and when it was not our turn we would sit and talk, enjoy the scenery, or lay on the deck and soak up the sun when it would come for a few seconds at a time through a break in the clouds.  The only exception was my dad, who spent the whole time fishing.  His efforts yielded one fish, which we took back to Tansen and ate for dinner.  Nate ate the head.
Nate eating the fish head
Freshwater shrimp
We crossed the lake and found a small, secluded cove for swimming and exploring.  We skipped stones and found terrifying creatures, like this freshwater shrimp.
Nate with the fish head
The boating trip was pleasant overall, until the end.  On our way back to the docking area, the winds started to pick up.  At first there was just a little breeze.  Then a large breeze.  Then a wind.  Then a gale.  Eventually it was so strong, I couldn't tell if we were making forward progress or not, even though Ethan and I were pedalling as hard as we possibly could.  Nobody thought to take the sun shelter off the top before fighting the incredible wind storm.  Eventually we made it to the edge of the lake, though nowhere near our intended destination.  We got out of the boat and waded through the mud to the shore.  A Nepali took our boat from there.  That day we learned what not to do when in a paddle boat.

On our third day, we woke up early to get a sunrise view of the mountains from Sarangkot.  After a taxi ride up most of the mountain, we walked for half an hour to the view point.  Along the way we found trash cans (some of the few in Nepal) accompanying signs that prompted us to "safe the naturel for the next."  At one point, a man asked for our tickets.  We were a few minutes ahead of my dad (and the tickets), and the sunrise was approaching fast.  I solved this problem by tagging along with a group of tourists who had tickets and just kind of going with the crowd.  The view of the town and hills was spectacular, especially with the sun coming up, but the mountains weren't very clear.  We saw planes, ultralights, and para-gliders circling above us, usually heading for the lake or the mountains.  That would be a fun activity for next time.

We spent the rest of our time in Pokhara exploring and feasting.  Following are some pictures from the remainder of the trip.

"Pollution Made By Women"

Two Person Public Toilets

More pictures can be found at:

-Post written by Nick

नमस्ते (Namaste)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time to blog...

The “men” just left for Pokhara this morning, to renew our visas.  I have stayed behind to do some work and to recover from my recent diarrheal illness.  Now, it seems, I have some time for writing…

My eldest son says that I have been comparing everything to The Hunger Games (a book by Suzanne Collins).  I’m not sure that is true, but I have come to realize something as we have been reading David Watters’ book At the Foot of the Snows.  The condition of humans (one subset cruelly using their power over a majority of others) is not some futuristic possibility.  It is real history in this world; it is real history in Nepal.  Read both books, and see if you don’t find some of Nepal’s former leaders somewhat like President Snow.  Read both books and see if you don’t find Nepal's police force not unlike the “Peacekeepers.”  Okay, there have not been any “Hunger Games” in Nepal, but I understand in Rome, at one time, Christians were fed to the lions for sport.  Ladies and gentlemen, one of these books is fiction; the other is non-fiction.  The real triumph in the non-fiction version is the ability of the oppressed to stand their rightful ground and to respectfully love those who persecuted them.  I know only one way for this to happen; they must have been following a Leader, a Master, who also loved those who persecuted Him.  There is no greater story on earth, and if you are reading this, it is likely that you could read this great story; it’s called the Bible.  I challenge you to read all three: The Hunger Games, At the Foot of the Snows, and the Bible.  If you accept my challenge, please write me and tell me your impressions.

I have been working on the Pediatric Ward lately (which I really like doing).  Still, it is the place of heartbreak for me.  There had been a twin on our ward for about two weeks.  He was delivered at home, along with his other twin who did not make it.  He was brought to the hospital a few days later for “not sucking at the breast.”  He was a little cold and weighed just over 3.5 pounds.  He was not sick, just a little shell-shocked at coming out too early.  We placed a small tube from his mouth to his stomach and began feeding him his mom’s expressed breast milk.  We also started “kangaroo care” which entails binding the naked baby to the mom’s bare chest, so that by skin-to-skin contact, he could be kept warm.  This technique is very simple, very effective, and keeps us from depending upon electricity and faulty incubators to keep newborns warm.  So, for some unclear reason, this little guy was taking his time figuring out how to grow.  This did not worry the doctors at all; he just needed a tincture of time to get the hang of the eating and growing rhythm.  The mom was attended by the mother-in-law who seemed loving and supportive in the journey they were on (sometimes she was the mama “kangaroo”).  On this little guy’s nineteenth day of life, the dad came in and declared that it was time to give up on this little guy; the husband needed his wife at home to care for their two other children.  After many attempts to talk him into “a little more time,” the father got his way and we watched them all leave, quite sure that this little guy would not survive the trip home (Have you seen our video on Nepali roads?).  For lack of support, for lack of patience, and who knows what else, another sweet little soul leaves this earth (I believe).  We had two deaths on the Pediatric Ward last week: one from encephalitis, one from pneumonia.  We did everything we could to save their lives; it wasn’t enough.  So, we hurt and mourn with their mothers and fathers.  Finally, I have always thought that malnutrition was not such a big deal in Nepal; you know, not like those kids with bloated bellies that you see in Africa.  Now, as I watch so many kids struggle for life against many illnesses that my children survive in the comforts of our home, I am beginning to understand the toll of malnutrition.  The more I think of it, the more I understand.  How many of you would thrive on two meals a day (one at 11am and the other at 8pm), always the same food (rice, lentils and vegetables).  It is not that other items are unavailable, and it is not that other foods are terribly expensive (although some might be); the bottom line: culture is very resistant to change.  So many kids who start life this way simply lose the desire to eat, after enduring many days of hunger between 11am and 8pm.  What to do?

Contrary to my sons’ occasional accusations, “He did it for no reason,” people usually have underlying reasons for their behavior.  And discerning that reason is a skill that can be learned in the discipline of anthropology (Dave, are you smiling now?).  So, for years I have observed Nepalis who wear shoes with laces and choose to wind the final bit of lace around their ankles and make the tie behind the Achilles tendon.  This has always looked terribly uncomfortable to me and I have often wondered why they do it.  I have asked and often been told, “That’s how we do it.”  The other day, I was chatting with a Nepali medical Resident and he enlightened me.  He said that when he was little, and his parents would buy him shoes for school, they would buy them quite large, so that they would last a long time (shoes being an expensive investment).  The trouble came when he went outside to play, while at school; he loved to play soccer, as many Nepali boys do, but when he made a big kick, his shoe often went flying as far as the ball did.  This could be troublesome; the punishment could be severe if a boy returned home from school without a shoe.  So, he learned to secure the shoes to his body by the above-described tying style.  Over time, that is what felt comfortable to him, and to this day, he ties his shoes behind his Achilles tendon.  Anthropology offers a lifetime of potential learning.

Thanks for listening,

Monday, April 30, 2012

What missionary kids living in the mountains of Nepal do for fun on a Saturday afternoon; "pine needle sledding."

This is what missionary kids do for fun on a Saturday afternoon in Tansen, Nepal.  The pine-covered  hill above the Tansen Mission Hospital gets covered with pine needles this time of year, making for good  pine needle sledding.  Just grab some cardboard, a big plastic bag, a big plastic basin or a large metal bowl and you are ready to go have some fun.  No long lift lines here!  

More pine needle sleeding fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Thank you for praying!  Joshua is fully recovered; it was simply a minor concussion.  We are thankful.  I slept so much better last night.

Are you interested in better understanding the work that has gone on in Nepal over the past half-century?  Our family is reading a book entitled At the Foot of the Snows, by David E. Watters.  It was written by some of our colleagues (David’s sons finished the book after David went home to the LORD).  It is challenging us in our faith and encouraging us in the amazing character of God.  I encourage you to read this book, which is also available on Kindle, if you want to better understand this country where we seem to be repeatedly drawn into service.

One final note:  We have been hearing all about new Bible dedications.  Some of our colleagues have spent over 40 years translating the Word of God into languages for very remote peoples in Nepal.  For one group, after the Bibles were printed, they were loaded onto the backs of donkeys, to be carried out to the villages.  We saw films of the donkeys crossing narrow suspension bridges, where the suspension wires were too close together for the donkeys to cross.  Young men perched themselves ahead and behind the donkeys spreading the wires apart by stretching their bodies horizontally across the bridges.  The crossing was a success and there was great rejoicing in the villages when the books arrived.  The other side of the globe might be quite different than your locale, but the Word of God is relevant and brings great joy there too!  Praise God!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Prayer for Joshua...

We are currently in Kathmandu for some meetings, and the boys have been enjoying time to play/hang out with friends at a nice resort.  In the frolicking along the stone path, Joshua was dropped by a friend and landed on his head.  He appears at the moment to have a mild concussion.  Will you please pray that this is all that he has and that he will fully recover?

A recent quotable quote from Joshua: I often order edible goods from a store in Tansen to feed these six guys for whom I care (and you should see the volume that they can consume on a weekly basis!).  Anyway, our goods (known as “saaman”) were being delivered by a new carrier who didn’t know which house is ours.  The carrier encountered Josh playing outside and spoke to him in Nepali, using the word “saaman.”  He ran inside to announce to me that someone was here to give me “salmon.”  “Wow,” I thought, “we live in a landlocked country and we are getting salmon!"  Thanks for the laugh, Jovial Joshua!