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Alan and Megan Barker

February 2024

On the road again and thankful.

Hello everyone,

We hope that you were able to enjoy celebrating Christmas and that this new year has begun well.

As we are currently travelling around England meeting friends and speaking at various gatherings, we don't have much time to be sitting at our computers, so this letter will be brief.

It has been really good to see a number of you as we have travelled around and sorry that you may feel a bit 'déjà vu' as you read on.

For us it was lovely to be with our eldest son Carl and family enjoying time with them and being welcomed in as part of our daughter-in-law, Lisa's, extended family as we spent time with them too. We also had a few days with our daughter, Gemma, popping over from Switzerland with their daughter. Which leads us to our first thankfulness: we are so thankful to God for our family and also that we have such lovely relationships with those they have chosen to marry and also with their families.

We are also thankful that, so far, we have been enjoying a reliable vehicle to travel around in, enabling us to have relatively easy and comfortable journeys. This is something of a contrast for us as you will know if you have followed some of our travel journeys over the years!

We are thankful that some of the reconstruction work has begun in the West Rukum district after the earthquake that struck in November. Many homes were destroyed and HDCS, the BMS partner organisation that we are seconded to, has begun to help one village to rebuild. With the support of generous organisations from around the world, including BMS, HDCS has begun a programme of reconstruction and rehabilitation. This includes building earthquake resilient homes and training local builders in their design and construction. Alongside this we have been helping teachers and students to get back to school and also supporting disabled people with donations of warm clothes and blankets. In situations like this it is often disabled people who are overlooked or miss out on relief distribution because they cannot get to the distribution centres, or they are shunned. HDCS has prioritised disabled people in its project planning for that very reason.

We are thankful for the amazing people we get to work alongside. For the Supported Partner Workers (SPWs) we have mentioned in the last few letters and for all our colleagues.

Megan is thankful for the Association of Nepal's Occupational Therapists (ANOT) being both recognised by the government of Nepal in spring 2022 and then accepted into the World Federation of OTs (WFOT) in December 2023.

We are thankful to everyone who has kindly opened their homes to us for meals and/or accommodation. It has been great to catch up with so many of you.

We are also thankful for our home by the sea which gives us space for ourselves and also the chance to be hosts sometimes – not always the guests.

We believe we have a good God who wants good things for all of us and as we pray for you all, we pray that, whatever you are facing at the moment, you will be able to take time to see something in your lives to be thankful for.

With love and thanks for you all

Alan and Megan xx