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Nepal Newsletter

December 31, 2005
Mark and Deirdre Zimmerman
NSI, EPC 1813,
PO Box 8975,
Kathmandu, Nepal

Dear Friends,

Happy Christmas and blessings on the year ahead!

This morning I walked across from our house in Man Bhawan, through the wakening streets as the sun began to burn off the mist, past the bustling tarkaari bazaar, to our temporary office behind the bus park in Logonkhel.  This is my first official day of work at Nick Simons Institute (NSI) and this letter to you is my first task.

I am writing to ask for your support in prayer.  Some of you have been involved -- by prayer or otherwise  -- ever since the Simons challenged us in September 2004 to come up with a proposal to improve rural health care in Nepal.  Some of you give, and will continue to give, input to the technical sides of the work.  Thank you for this; both types of contribution have been critical.  Today I am writing to you as a group because you have been my friends for some years, and because I believe that your ongoing prayers can be a foundation to what we are embarking on.

We have come to this stage after a process of formulating a concept, gaining its acceptance from Jim and Marilyn Simons, and beginning to work on the governing framework for NSI.  We hope to be registered in Nepal as a non-profit company within the next month.

A fine Task Force team has taken the process this far, contributing much part-time while they work in other jobs.  Now we need to recruit the day-to-day fulltime staff of NSI.  At this point, the working office consists of just me fulltime, with Tara Shakya ex-UMN part-time, and one expatriate who recently left for another country.  So, an early and high priority will be recruitment of the right team.

Many simultaneous agendas face us now, including:

- Setting up a more permanent office

- Assessing the specific needs of the country for health care workers

- Negotiating with various government bodies

- Bringing a network of hospitals into "ownership" of NSI

Jim and Marilyn Simons are lovely, supportive people who carry a deep grief -- but they are not Christians; neither will our Board or NSI itself be Christian mission.  Nevertheless, Deirdre and I have come to see the NSI work as being the Lord's calling for us in Nepal.  Our sending body, the United Methodist Church has, after some negotiation and discussion, accepted our role in NSI as being part of "mission work".  The utilization and buildup of mission hospitals is a key component of the NSI training vision.

From the beginning to the end, this venture needs your prayers in order for it to succeed -- to really succeed.  Therefore, unless you tell me otherwise, I will keep you on this list and will send you updates about the progress of NSI.  Please share this information with others as you feel appropriate, and let me know if you need other information -- or if you want to give some guidance.

Thank you for walking with us.

In His Love,


PS This is not to substitute for a Christmas card, which as usual is coming belatedly to you.

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