Collins heads to Nepal on mission

Published 6:42 pm Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kelli Covil Collins (left) with Kenny Grier, Molly Grier, Tommy Hensley, Brad Miller and Mike Duncan, who will be traveling to Nepal on a mission trip this summer. Not pictured: Jeff Sundell, team leader and former missionary. (photo submitted by Kelli Covil Collins)

Pea Ridge resident and photographer Kelli Covil Collins and six others from Rutherford County will travel to Nepal this summer on a mission trip that will include a 160-mile trek to elevations of 22,000 feet.
Collins said she was first led to go into the mission field last year and through a series of events was led to witness in Nepal.
Nepal is a landlocked state located in South Asia in the Himalayas, which is bordered to the north by the People’s Republic of China and to the south, east and west by the Republic of India. It is the location of the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest.
Collin’s mission trip will be from July 3 to July 26 and will focus on telling several villages the story of God and Jesus, something Collins said the largely Hindu and Buddhist people in that area have never heard.
“My involvement with the trip came after I felt the Lord leading me to the mission field last year,” Collins said. “I had a strong urge that Nepal was the place I was supposed to go. Oddly enough, when I first felt God speaking to me about the area, I really knew nothing about it.”
Collins said Nepal came into her life while searching for a wreath she found online that was sold out. She decided she could make the wreath herself, which was made out of felt balls, and in doing research she discovered it was made in Nepal. She became interested in the country and said she felt like that was where the Lord was leading her. After talking to her pastor, she discovered there were missionaries locally who had lived in Nepal, so last July she contacted Jeff Sundell, the leader of this mission trip.
There were trips planned but nothing worked out for Collins at the time, so she began attending local training for evangelism that models what is being taught in Asia by missionaries. It was at that training she learned of the July trip and found out it was one that Sundell is leading.
“I think it is pretty awesome that one year after meeting with (Sundell), God’s plan will come to fruition for me to be in Nepal spreading the love of Jesus,” Collins said.
Collins did make a wreath like those made in Nepal; it now hangs on her wall.
The mission trip will take participants through a wide range of environments, Collins said, from monsoon season to desert at higher elevations and eventually to snow at the highest elevations.
The group plans to walk 6 to 8 hours a day, during which they will have the opportunity to witness to several villages. They will stop at certain villages and sleep in what they call “tea houses.” Part of the trek will take participants to the village of Lo Man Thang, where the king of Nepal lives.
The villages are remote and were previously closed to outsiders, Collins said.

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