We have had a busy and exciting few weeks! To start off, Kelly and Ella Rockhold visited on a missions trip for two weeks. We were able to include them in various events including a kids’ class remodel, children’s ministry, village trip, and ladies meeting. They were a blessing and encouragement to our church and family.
Amber held our first ladies’ meeting during this time. She had a group of twenty young ladies who were able to hear a clear Gospel message and word of encouragement. The group sang songs, played games, and had snacks. The ladies are already asking to make this a regular event!
Amber’s parents were also able to visit us in July. Their trip coincided with Shepherd’s and Jolynn’s summer breaks, so we were able to spend a lot of quality time together. Courtney and Justus handled English class on their own for a week while I took the evenings off. Akash and Akash stepped into various roles and responsibilities as well. We are thankful for our family that loves us and for our team who helps us accomplish God’s work in Kapan, Kathmandu.
This week will be the last week of English classes at the church. We will hold a special graduation service on Saturday. We are praying for all of our students and their families to be in attendance where they will be presented a graduation certificate… and the Gospel!
April has been a busy but exciting start to our summer outreach in Kathmandu, Nepal. We started the month with an Easter egg hunt for the community. People came from every direction to take part in the face-painting, balloons, music, games and much more we had made available to our community. Throughout the evening, we announced our church’s one year anniversary coming up the following Saturday. We also passed out information about our church and an invite card to our celebration service. All together, we were able to pass out around 200 invitations to Beginnings Baptist Church.
The following Saturday, we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Beginnings Baptist Church. Praise the Lord for a great attendance of over 40 people! God has allowed us to make countless contacts over the past year and see much fruit for our labors. Pray with us that, by His grace, this next year we will be able to see more of Kapan reached with the Gospel.
One of our biggest forms of outreach this summer is an English class held at our church. This past week, we started our Tuesday and Thursday night classes and have been able to meet several new people from the area. Through these classes, which will continue through the summer, we anticipate many learning about our church and the Savior we worship!
As we come up on the year anniversary of Beginnings Baptist Church, we are looking back at the many blessings God has given this little church plant. We have made many contacts in Kapan, Kathmandu and have seen God work in many individuals lives. The picture on the right is a family that moved to Kapan from a village of Nepal. We have begun meeting for a weekly Bible study in their home and pray to God for the salvation of those who do not yet know Him as Savior. We are also meeting for discipleship with many others throughout the week. Some are growing in knowledge of the Word of God, others are preparing for baptism, and others are learning more about the Gospel. Please pray God would use these times of one on one discipleship to bring fruit for His honor and glory.
This past month, we also got a 1 year visa for our family. Praise the Lord! This is a huge relief for our family. Obtaining a visa in any country is not a guarantee — especially in countries that have a very small population of Christians. Here in Nepal, I was called into the immigration office and questioned about being a Christian and going to church. The officer told us that they want to remove Christian workers from the country. After seeing our camp property and the work that is being done, he did not ask anymore questions. This is exactly the reason Camp Refuge is so important for the continued work in Nepal. It gives Amber and I the freedom to continue the work and, at the same time, will benefit the work we do. The picture on the left is the town where our property is located. I hope to share with you more over the next few letters. Thanks for your faithful prayers.
This past month, we hosted our first missions conference at Beginnings Baptist Church. We had a great turnout from our people and had two days of wonderful services. We had Joel Travis come as our special speaker and two national pastors come as our featured missionaries. They all did a great job, and our people are excited to begin assisting these families in reaching Nepal with the gospel. Please pray for us as we take this big step as a church.
Our missions conference was a kick off for our summer outreach in our own area as well. We have many events planned for the summer to invite people to come to our church. One of the big events next month will be our one year anniversary service. It is hard to believe that it is upon us already! Our hope and desire is that Beginnings Baptist Church will be a light in Kapan for many more years.
Along with outreach, we have started an advanced Bible study on Tuesday and Thursday nights. There are three young men attending this in-depth study of the word of God. Please pray for them as they prepare for whatever God may have for them in the future.
First, I would like to thank everyone for the Christmas wishes, cards and gifts that many of you sent our way during the Christmas season. Amber and I are so blessed to have so many people behind us as we serve Christ here in Nepal. We love you and praise God for your care and support.
We had a wonderful first Christmas celebration at Beginnings Baptist Church. This time of year is one of the best opportunities for Christians to share their faith with others. Since it is a government holiday, many are able to come to a special service to see what it is all about. We were more than anxious to take advantage of this opportunity. We had around 60 people come to hear about the birth of Christ. We were especially excited to see that our landlord had come and sat just long enough to hear the Gospel presentation. We trust the Lord will work in her heart in the coming months of our church operating right in front her home.
We are looking forward to all God will do in 2018. We would like to see some progress towards completion of Camp Refuge, but we have encountered hurdle after hurdle in this process. We ask that you would pray for the government to give us clearance to continue moving forward and refrain from giving any more trouble as we move along. At the church, we are anticipating some big events this year, including our missions conference in February. Thank you for your faithful prayer for Beginnings Baptist Church and the ministry in Kathmandu.
We have had highs and lows during our last few weeks of ministry at Beginnings Baptist Church in Kapan, Kathmandu. We packed out our tiny church with our faithful people and their friends and family whom they had invited to attend our Matthew’s Banquet. I was able to share the Gospel with these people, about half of which are Hindu. Our people worked together to cook an incredible meal and minister to all in attendance. The excitement was abounding, and we all went home full and happy.
The cold season hit hard and fast, bringing with it a lot of sickness. Many of our faithful people have missed services due to illness, and others have had to stay home to care for their family members who had also fallen sick. Attendance has been lower than usual, but we have seen God work in the lives of those who continue to come.
We have also had to say goodbye to some with whom we have worked as they departed for overseas work or study. This is a huge challenge to mission work in Nepal, and we covet your prayers that the seeds we have sown would be watered where and when fruit can be reaped. It is disappointing and discouraging to lose our friends this way and to see our church attendance dwindle, so we also ask that you would pray for unwavering fervor and strength from the Lord as we serve Him in Kapan.
We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas together as a church. We spent a Wednesday evening after service decorating the sanctuary, and it is looking very festive. There has been great interest in attending our Christmas service as many are intrigued by the idea of celebrating this foreign holiday. We are praying that those in attendance will be ready to hear and receive the Gospel and that this visit will be their first of many days spent at our church.
This past month, I had the opportunity to travel with four men from our church to Melamchi, Nepal to meet with Pastor Simon and his church. It was a joy to teach and preach to these brothers and sisters in Christ and meet some pastors from nearby villages as well. There are hundreds of villages scattered throughout this region with hundreds of people in each one.
On our final night, we showed the Jesus Film to more than a hundred people that gathered together. With these villages being so small and inter-connected, many have heard of Christ, but most lack a true understanding of the gospel. We pray this dramatized account of Luke would help them understand the gospel more clearly and that this church would see fruits for their labor to spread the truth in these communities.
The next weekend, I traveled with four men from our church to Nagarkot, Nepal to fellowship with three sister churches during an annual men’s retreat. We head a great time of fellowship, preaching, and prayer. It was also an excellent opportunity for our men to get to know one another and grow in their understanding of the Word together.
We are humbled and blessed by all God is doing at Suruvat Baptist Church. The Dashain and Tihar holidays are coming to an end, and things are getting back to normal in our part of the city. We are planning a Matthew’s Banquet outreach for our unbelieving family and friends this Saturday. We trust the Lord will work in hearts that some would come and hear the gospel as they sit among friends and feast on what has been prepared for them by our people.
I have been teaching about prayer the last few weeks at Beginnings Baptist Church. We are encouraged by our people’s desire to learn how they can grow in their prayer lives. This series is leading up to an outreach event where I will teach about what the Bible says about having our prayers heard. Our people are anticipating this opportunity to invite their friends and neighbors to our church and are counting down to this special day of visitation.
We have been holding a teachers’ and workers’ meeting on Saturday before our evening service. We have begun to divide up the work load of cleaning the church, and our people have risen to the occasion. In our meetings, we have discussed ways we can reach out in Kapan and continue to get the word out about our church. It seems our people are catching a desire to see people in this area receive Christ, and we could not be more thankful to see this change!
I thank God for the opportunity to spend some time with Simon, a pastor in ShivaPokhari, Nepal. I was encouraged by his heart to serve God in the village, and I pray that God would use our time together to further His ministry there as well as in the city. I am also thrilled to say the translation work is coming along. Santosh has completed half of Love and Respect, and I was able to give a rough copy to a couple wanting to see God restore their marriage. I can only dream of all the ways God could use translated materials to assist our efforts to reach people, train pastors, and see individuals and families changed by the Gospel.
Despite the holiday season, we have been able to see a steady flow of visitors. It is our hope that our people would be a powerful testimony to them as they seek God for what may be the first time. I trust that God’s word will make a difference in their lives, and I thank Him for the opportunity to preach it several times a week.
We are finally settling down after having visitors for several weeks. We enjoyed time learning from Pastor Austin Gardner and fellowshipping with missionaries from all over Asia, America, and even South Africa. Amber’s parents arrived just after our Vision Baptist Missions group left and were a great encouragement to our family. Saying goodbye gets harder as our kids get older, but God was gracious to us in this transition. They have jumped right back into our normal routines.
In the midst of this busy schedule, I have continued to disciple a new believer, Ujwal. He is slowly growing in his understanding of the Bible and what the decision to follow Christ means for his life. Another young man, Akash, who was baptized a few weeks ago, is faithful to church and eager to grow in his faith. He desires to reach his family and is a faithful witness.
We have some outreach events on the calendar and are discussing ways we can make a bigger impact in Kapan, Kathmandu— home to around 50,000 people. We ask that God would use our small but growing church in this community and further out into the city of Kathmandu and on into the rural villages of Nepal. The task is great but God is greater still. We appreciate your support and prayers as we seek to make His name great in this place that is hungry for truth.
We have had some exciting times lately around Suruvat Baptist Church. We have continued to connect with the community and have seen visitors come to check us out nearly every Saturday. We have deepened our relationships with our faithful attendees while we have begun discipling some of them. Some have even started to bring friends and family to church with them!
In June, two young men from Georgia came all the way to Kathmandu to serve with us in Kapan. Their main focus during their time here was on teaching an English course in the evenings at our church. The goal of this endeavor was to make contacts in our area. We saw several young people come in to learn English but left having heard testimonies of the love of Jesus Christ. On the following Saturday, after all the classes had been completed, we invited them to church to receive their certificates of completion. They were able to hear the gospel, and we had the chance to get to know them during the fellowship meal that followed.
In July, we will host a Family Photo Day with the hope that we will see Nepali families come together to our main service and have an opportunity to have their portrait taken (a rare treat for many in this city). They will come back the following week to pick up their printed photo. It is our prayer that we will be able to meet some of the families whose kids come in and out of our church all throughout the week. We trust that you will join us in prayer that we would see fruit from special times of outreach like this one.
We are also looking forward to Vision Baptist Missions’ Asia Regional Conference which we are fortunate enough to host here in Kathmandu. We are excited to show some of our friends around our city and share with them the great burden we have to reach this country with the gospel. Pastor Austin Gardner will be instructing us in our perspective ministries and family lives each day. We anticipate the chance for the people of our church to meet our friends and mentors from around the world!
Thank you for your partnership and your faithfulness to pray for our family. We feel so privileged to be able to serve God in Nepal. No matter what obstacles we face, we know our great God desires to see these people saved and will provide tools for that task.