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.