Nature of Nepal

Junior travels to foreign country for Christian missionary trip, utilizes Boy Scout training to make the most of experience

Alyssa Ochoa, Reporter

photo courtesy of Jonathan Barker
Communicating with the assistance of a translator, Baker speaks to some Napalese women about their faith, along with an explanation of why he went to Nepal. Baker discussed his Christian background and his life back in America, hoping to facilitate intercultural awareness


When they landed in Nepal for the first time, junior Jonathan Baker and his father arrived in the capital, Kathmandu. Despite the constant bustling of people and hectic first impression, Baker focused on the culture as he walked the early morning streets where the Nepali culture showed its beauty to him.

“It was kind of crazy being there [in Nepal],” Baker said. “The first thing we did when we were there that morning was admire the scenery. I just looked out and spent time by myself and admired the outdoors and the amazing world we have.”

Baker spent 10 days on a mission trip to Nepal with his father and his church. Upon returning, he wants to share his experience.

“They were talking about hiking in Nepal and I was so intrigued because it was awesome,” Baker said. “I immediately signed my name on the interested list. It wasn’t until later that I felt called to go.”

When Baker first showed interest in the mission trip, his family didn’t want him to go. Determined to go, Baker persuaded his parents to let him go and his father joined him. While in Nepal, Baker and his father learned to transition into the culture during their mission trip.

“We ate Nepalese food every day,” Baker said. “It was really nice to be kind of enriched in their culture and talk to them and understand more things about them and about what they do in their lives.”

While culturally transitioning into the Nepali atmosphere required more effort, Baker handled all of the physical aspects for the mission trip thanks to his experience of being Boy Scout since the sixth grade.

“I have learned so much from scouting, including communication skills and moral value from the Scout Oath.” Baker said. “These things helped prepare me mentally for the trip, but scouting also prepared my physically. Over my years of scouting I learned many skills that helped my throughout my trip in Nepal.”

Sophomore Jordan Mizell, one of Baker’s friends, noticed Baker’s new outlook on life and how changed he was here when he returned.

“I think he had more appreciation for different things,” Mizell said. “He was just happy to be back. He said that that was the hardest thing he’d ever done.”

Baker’s mission trip has affected his life and his future positively, and he wants to be a missionary.

“[This trip] completely changed me.” Baker said. “You can say going on missions changes everybody because it is so powerful to see someone else changed forever because of you. I’m very blessed that I get to be apart of that.”