‘Youth Retreat Pokhara 2012’ is over now but the memories lingered before the eyes. It was a very good time together among the youth of Ebenezer and the fellowship Churches. In this retreat 43 youth were attended along with brother Mak Sanglir, Mrs. Narola Sanglir, their son Stephan Sanglir, me and my wife Meena Gurung. We reached at Pokhara by the afternoon, 21st October and were welcomed by the staffs of Hotel Khukuri with tea and some cookies. We were relaxed very soon and headed for boating to the nearby world famous Phewa lake locally called ‘Phewatal’. We hired four boats with 46 life jackets. And we sailed smoothly by the boats and landed at the tiny island situated in the midst of the lake. We walked around the island and gave some poses for the camaras. We were given few minutes break by the boat drivers. And it was a high time to go back to ‘Khukuri’, I mean ‘Khukuri hotel’, since it was almost dark by then. Now the Khukuri is a world famous Nepali knife which was used as armistice in both I and II World War by the famous brave Gurkhas ‘brave of the braves’. There is a saying that even world famous brave Nazi soldiers would flee when they see Gurkhas with Khukuries. We were served with delicious dinner on the tables set in the cool of the open terrace. We enjoyed the food and fellowships. Then the first meeting began in a backyard hall which was well furnished for the meetings. We all took our seats sitting around the large table made of numerous tables. It’s a big hall which has the capacity of accommodation for about 60 delegates. A great number of youngsters participated for Verse Memorization competitions, Poem competitions and Essay competitions that night and the following day meetings. Brother Mak had delivered the message in the topic ‘First Priority’. It was very good. Stephan had led the youth for a game through which youth could know each other better.
The next morning we were refreshed very well after having peaceful nap whole night. Girls had taken rooms on the 2nd floor while the boys got the rooms on the ground floor. After having delicious breakfast we started our morning meeting. Hymns, Verse Memos, Poems, Essays went on as it was planned. Brother Mak preached in the topic ‘Qualifications of a minister’. All the ministers have to pass B. A. i.e. ‘Born Again’. It was very good message for the youth. Our youth were so much encouraged and blessed from the word of God that morning too. Then we headed to Mahendra Cave by taking our Big Tourist Bus. The number plate was labeled in green plate which means the bus serves only for the tourists. We were national tourists and special tourists for the glory of the God. Mahendra Cave, locally called Mahendra Gufa, is a big cave. We enjoyed a lot by viewing the cave. And we went to see another famous cave called ‘Bat Cave’. Under the cave we found numerous bats hanging over the ceilings. The exit point of the cave is so narrow that some of us had decided to turn back to the entrance gate. But except six of us all the youth were able to go through the narrow and difficult exit point. We clapped our hands for the success of those who were able to come out of the exit point. Then we came back to our hotel through Mahendra Bridge. Our youth got down from the bus and tried to see the waters of Seti river which was a hard job for all of them. Though it’s a big river it’s hard to see the water since the river is flowing very deeply covering by river banks and trees. Then we reached at the hotel for the Lunch. After the lunch we headed to Devi’s fall not Devils Fall. There is a true story why this is called Devi’s fall. There was a young and lovely Swiss couple years ago who were taking bath in the water fall flowing from Pewa lake. Unfortunately sudden flood arose from the lake and swallowed up Devi, the wife of Swiss guy and was disappeared forever. Nobody knows where her dead body was taken by the flood. This fall surprisingly swallowed up her in her belly which is about a mile long. We walked around the fall and took photos, gave poses. It was a tremendous and mysterious place. Then we went to Gupteswor cave, another famous cave in Pokhara valley. We went down and down through the stairs and lastly we reached where Devi’s fall is making it’s course toward the south underground. Some years ago when I had visited this cave I could hardly see the water in the bottom of the cave. But now it’s different. Sound of the big water fall has covered the cave. And it had made a big pound at the bottom. By seeing the change I imagined that the cave could be filled with the water someday and be created a huge lake inside the cave after the outlet of the river beneath is blocked. Then we came back to our hotel. We had 45 minutes left for the next meeting. So young men went for cycling and girls went to see Phewa lake again. We took our dinner and started our third meeting. Hymns, Verse Memos, Poems, Essays went on. Brother Mak preached on the topic ‘Marriage’. It was good again. Our youth got insights a lot about the marriage.
We all got up by 4:00 a.m. for the sun rise view. We went up to Sarangkot, the highest point in the Pokhara valley from where one can view the sun rise very clearly. While we were going up to the point our Micro Bus got some serious problem in it’s door. Thank God the door was fixed in due time. Otherwise we had to view the sunrise right from the bottom of the hill. We reached at the point where a numerous Japanese and other international tourists had already reached and had been waiting for the sunrise. I was socked to see such a great number of people waiting for the sunrise. How it will be a great blessing to them if they had been waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ in their daily life. Jesus Christ is the Creator of the sun for which all the crowds were waiting. All people shouted when the sun-rays struck on the heads of Annapurna and Fish-Tail mountains. And after some minutes a golden sun arose from the Eastern horizon in strength and beauty. All shouted again in joy and happiness. This was their achievement waited for days, may be months ahead by paying a heavy price. Then we took our vehicles and came down to our hotel. And we took our breakfast and started our last meeting. Hymns and special songs went on. Brother Mak preached his last sermon on the topic ‘Flee’. Flee from youthful lusts, flee from adultery, flee from idols and flee from the love of money. And it was very good. Our youth were blessed from the sermons. Then prizes were distributed to the winners in Verse Memos, Poems, Essays. Stephan led for a game ‘Two Truth One Lie’. It was a interesting game to know each other. After our lunch we headed to Kathmandu saying bye to Pokhara. God willing our youth may return here for the next retreat. While we were heading to our homes in Kathmandu several youth were asking me when will be our next retreat. It was a hard question but not so hard to think and plan about it for the next retreat. God has blessed our beloved youth so much that I personally bowed down my head with thanks to my Almighty God. Amen.
U. J. Gurung, 2012