I was familiar with the name “Bal kumari” since I became a believer in Christ, and thought that she might be somewhere from the mountain side. We rarely find such a type of name ending in ‘Kumari’, as it mostly occurs in the middle of Nepali names! However, it might have been 4 or 5 years now that I first encountered the name Dr. Val Inchlely. Surprisingly she turned out to be my line manager and now I have lots of memories of her, and it’s no wonder that all has turned to be a very healthy environment. Some of you may wonder if I probably might be exaggerating a little trying to make Dr. Val happy. I can assure you that you would have written the same, perhaps much more than me, had you ever gotten the chance to work under Dr. Val Inchely. I was so happy and delighted to have worked together with her. It would not be wrong if I said that she is a sound theologian who knows how to interpret the text, a good doctor who does not leave her patients without giving a proper prescription, a good guide who tirelessly checks each and every word, form, structure and all, a veteran academician who shares her knowledge in print, and good accountant who even takes note of one rupee. I am writing this from my personal experience. Moreover she is a linguistic whom Nepal would never forget. Her book on Nepali proverbs (Sitting in My House Dreaming of Nepal) is a highly renowned work in the history of Nepali literature. I wonder how she had managed to put it all together. In regards to Christian literature, she started from scratch, laying the foundational teaching of Bible and regularly read writings of Nepali Christianity. Her book, “Bible Yatra” (Walk through the Bible) in the Nepali version is very famous in Nepal. Most of the church in Nepal knows her by Bal Kumari only. A handful of Nepali Christians may know her by her real name. She played a vital role into Nepali Diaspora providing meaningful resource books and materials, as in the form of “Diaspora Digest” and also a research book on Nepali Diaspora which will probably get published very soon. May I request you all get a copy of it.
I got an opportunity to write some papers under her while I was doing my internship in INF. I really had a hard time with her during my internship period. At one point in time, I assume that she literally got tired and wrote to me, “Janak! you probably need to live in the UK to get familiar with some English structure.” Had I been a guide for someone like myself at that stage in time, I would have given up! However she did not leave me in the lurch but rather gave me words of encouragement and lifted me up. No wonder that I was crushed like in a bowl, it was because she wanted to give me shape. That is Dr. Val Inchely.
Let me also write you this. She knows very well how to play with the young blood. You probably understand what I intend to write her. We cannot control our emotions when things do not come out right and we immediately tend to protest against it. She is a very good counsellor for the young people who want to bring about changes but do not know where to start or when to start.
To put it all in nutshell, I want to thank God for you, Dr. Val. You were an awesome instrument for Nepal. We probably cannot count all that you have contributed to us. You did not mind to travel in a bus from Kathmandu to Surkhet and back, even at your advanced age. You did not mind to eat our dal-bhat. You did not get tired of taking local bus from Mumbai airport-road to Pune. Your eyes were infected due to the dust in Mumbai and were swollen up so much but you did not complain at all. You never sought a comfort zone. You carried the mission, not in words only, but in your heart. You were worried much when someone lost his treasure and prayed for him that he would get a replacement. You gave your heart to the Nepali people. You practiced the mission in your life. You left a great legacy behind, and right missional model of the down to the earth approach. May I ask God to give us the mercy that we would be able to carry it on from here! My eyes fill with tears as I am typing this. May you have a peaceful time back in your country! We love you and will miss you so much.