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.
The beginning of this month was also the start of Beginnings Baptist Church in Kathmandu, Nepal. The first month of our church plant has gone by fast, but we praise the Lord for many blessings throughout this short time. We had a special Mother’s Day service two weeks ago and had 20 in our service for our highest attendance yet! We have had a few start attending faithfully, and one lady who was already a believer begin discipleship for baptism. Please also pray for a young man who works across the street from our church who has come several times. He wants to hear about the Bible but still has many doubts and questions. An older man has also come twice and told us he will put his faith in Christ next week. Please pray for all these who need Jesus and have many hard decisions ahead of them.
One of the most exciting things in starting this church has been that, throughout the day, kids will come to sit and talk with me about the Bible. I love watching them understand the truths of God’s Word as they hear its stories for the first time. One young boy named Ritesh, especially, enjoys spending time at our church. He comes to every service and visits me most mornings. Please pray for his salvation.
Our next big event at the church will be in June. We will be hosting a two week English class in our church building. The goal is to make as many contacts as possible and share the gospel with those who come. Please pray for this event and those who will come and for those who will help us teach and make contacts. Thank you all for you support and prayer as we move forward for the cause of Christ.
I am so excited to share with you all that God has done for us since arriving back in Kathmandu 4 weeks ago. However, first, I want to thank everyone who had a part in making our time back in the States so special. We had such a blessed time with many supporting churches and especially with our home church. The Lord truly used that time to prepare our family for the very busy and exciting times coming up. As many of you know, we will be starting Beginnings Baptist Church on April 8, 2017. As we landed back in Nepal, we got right to work on getting everything ready for this big day. One huge blessing God gave us was allowing us to find a house closer to our new church very quickly. Knowing that finding a house in Kathmandu could be difficult, I asked God that the first house we looked at would not only work for our family and be in a good location but would also be in the right price range. Even though these criteria were almost impossible, God answered the prayer! We are now moved in and can begin focusing our attention on the work and ministry ahead of us.
During this transition, we also began the distribution of invitations in our target area of Kapan, Kathmandu. We have already passed out 4000 invitations and hope to distribute many more over the next two weeks. The response in the area has been very positive, and we are praying for a great launch service. Would you please pray with us that God would work in the hearts of those who have received an invitation? Pray that God would work in my life as well as I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to many who have never heard. Thank you again for the investment you have made to reach Nepal with the good news of our Savior.
As we finish our time in the States, we are preparing to arrive back on the field and start Beginnings Baptist Church in Kapan. I had an opportunity to get some additional training from our mission board this past month. We talked about the needs of being a missionary to an entire country rather than just one city or even just one part of a city. This is extremely important in reaching Nepal with the gospel because less than 20% live in rural cities leaving over 80% of 28 million people living in hard-to-reach, remote villages scattered throughout Nepal. Please pray that God would use our ministry not only to reach the 4 million that live in Kathmandu but also to reach those living in villages.
One of the ways we can accomplish this is by creating materials. Ever since arriving in Nepal, I have been extremely burdened for the desperate need of creating and translating Biblical materials for the churches in Nepal. While still in language school, I began translating basic discipleship lessons. However, as we arrive back, we will begin translating many more books and materials for the believers to grow in their understanding of the Word of God. Please pray as we set up what is needed for this endeavor. If you would like to be more involved in this work, please contact me for more information on the needs and goals of this ministry.
The work for Camp Refuge is continuing on, and we have been blessed to hear from many individuals and churches interested in helping raise the funds necessary to make this vision come to fruition. I cannot wait to arrive back and see firsthand what God has allowed to be accomplished even in our absence. God truly has blessed us with Christian friends in Nepal that have been an answer to our prayers since arriving in Nepal two years ago. He truly knew what he was doing with our family. He has never forsaken us but has, rather, directed our paths and opened so many doors for us. Please consider what your part could be in reaching Nepal with the gospel in this generation.
Last month, Amber and I had the opportunity to attend the Our Generation Summit hosted by our mission board, Vision Baptist Missions. We had a great week sharing what God has been doing in Nepal for the past 2 years. There were many students in attendance who desire to serve the Lord in missions. 9 of these surrendered to missions during the Summit. Please pray that God would burden new missionaries for Nepal and the gospel need in Asia.
The work at Camp Refuge continues to move forward. It has been exciting to receive new pictures and videos every week of the progress on our property. We are hoping that the retaining walls will be finished within the next couple of weeks. I have been very encouraged this past month to get messages of interest in being a part of this project to start a place of refuge for the churches of Kathmandu. Thank you to those who have already given and those who have shown interest in giving. We cannot move forward without you. I hope you will consider getting involved in this great need for the ministries of Kathmandu. Please contact me at email@example.com with any questions you may have about Camp Refuge and how you and your church can get involved.