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Harris Reflects on Summer Mission Trip to Nepal

Jason Harris poses for a photo while on a mission trip to Nepal in July.
Contributed photo

It takes a special person who is willing to give up the comforts of normal everyday living to venture out into the missions field. 

One must become selfless in order to focus solely on the needs of others. 

Some know their calling in this field years before it takes place, but for Jason Harris it came suddenly. 

Becoming a missionary wasn’t something Harris had planned on doing; not until computer pop-ups changed his way of thinking.

In the latter part of 2017 there had been several pop-up ads from Limited Resource Teacher Training on Harris’ computer which stated “Have you ever thought about helping teachers in other countries?” 

LRTT is an organization which finds partners to help in countries that are in need. Harris is a teacher who has been in education for 17 years and at 43 years old, when he saw the ad for the first time, he thought to himself, “I am too old that that.” 

As the ad continued popping up periodically, it seemed as if a seed of thought was planted in Harris to sign-up.

The seed soon became a strong desire, and in November 2017 he signed up and was interviewed. 

Several team leaders selected interviewees for the positions through an online video and Harris was among the chosen. There were 20 missionaries chosen per group.

Harris began taking several required online training modules to prepare for the trip. He had to get immunizations and would also need a passport since this was his first time ever flying out of the country. 

He would be going to Nepal for a month so he had to apply for a visa which consisted of sending the passport he had just received to the Nepalese embassy in Washington, D.C.

“I held my breath the entire time it was gone, hoping it wouldn’t get lost” Harris said.

After all the prepping was complete, it was time to fly out. On July 3, it became a reality. 

Harris’ journey to Nepal began as he left Charlotte Douglas International Airport. After about a 24-hour trip, he landed in the country where he would make an impact on many others.

Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia which is mainly located in the Himalayas. It borders China and India and features eight of the world’s 10 largest mountains, including Mount Everest.

“It seemed we could see the mountains everywhere in Nepal,” he said. “They were breathtaking and majestic, as one would imagine. I did manage to book a flight over Everest which provided views words could not express.

“It was extremely hot and humid throughout the time I was there,” Harris continued. “July is part of the monsoon season, which meant the humidity would build throughout the day and then it would rain for a couple hours; the cycle would repeat.” 

The area was very impoverished and the missionaries were required to drink bottled water.

The outreach began as the first week consisted of in-class observation. This gave the group of 20 a baseline of what was needed. The next step was for the group to spend three days to create a conference for the teachers in Nepal. 

“This was a grueling task. Often things didn’t go as planned, along with 20-hour days” Harris said. 

He added that missionaries had to be careful about the strategies they were going to use, as Nepal teachers are very passionate about teaching but have very limited resources.


Next was the five-day conference, where missionaries were broken up into groups. Harris said the attendance was outstanding as 150 Nepalese teachers arrived for the conference. There were six men and 14 women in his group. 

The Nepalese gave the missionary groups the special name of “Fellows”. Each group had 10 to 12 teachers to work with which gave them more one-on-one training and also gave the missionaries the opportunity to get to know the teachers on a more personal level. 

All breaks were taken together which allowed even more opportunities for the Nepalese to absorb as well as develop trust. The missionaries also learned more of the culture during this personal time with the teachers.

The third week consisted of sightseeing organized by interpreters and the host organization, Volunteers Initiative Nepal. The last week was in-class post-observation as the missionaries gave feedback as well as coaching for improvement.

“We were just amazed at how much they were able to take back and put into practice in such a short period of time” said Harris. “The impact was amazing and the long, hard 20-hour days paid off in the end as we watched the teachers put into practice so much of what they had learned.”

The missionaries flew out on July 30, 2018. Harris’ group of 20 comprised 19 other teacher/missionaries from all over the world, including Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and several others from the U.S. 

“I have made lasting friendships, and we will all keep in touch through WhatsApp. I have already been invited to come visit the U.K.,” Harris said. 

He called the trip “an eye-opening experience” and said the missionaries all felt accomplished in their mission with the impact they made in Nepal. He also mentioned that they were able to meet several of the leaders, which included the mayor, and they discussed how the local leaders are currently trying to nationalize their system. 

The work the missionaries did helped the Nepalese to shape their educational system as well. The teachers will be able to pass along what they learned from the missionaries to the students, and the students will be able to pass it along to others as well.

The mission team at Harris’ church, Chapel in the Pines, adopted his trip as one of its outreach projects. He also had individual donors that helped.

The outcome was great. As the old proverb says “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”


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