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.
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.
My family and I have arrived safely back in the United States this month. We want to thank you for your prayers as we traveled back and began settling down in Ohio. During the three months in the States we will be spending most of or time with our home church. This past week I had the opportunity to teach some young men training for ministry and will also be preaching this Sunday night. My wife and I are also excited to be a part of the OG Summit hosted by our mission board Vision Baptist Missions in Atlanta, GA. We would love to extend an invitation to you and your church to be a part of that event on December 29-31 to learn more about how you can be involved in missions.
One of the most important things that we will be doing over the 3 months back is receiving more training on church-planting and disciple making from our mission board. Please pray that God would continue to work in my wife’s and my heart to prepare us for the work ahead as we will launch Beginnings Baptist Church on April 8th, 2017 just a few weeks after landing back in Kathmandu.
!! BIG NEWS !!
As you know we have been talking about Camp Refuge for many months now. We have finally broken ground, and the construction is under way! This means that, in order to keep the work going forward, we need your help. We praise God that He has already provided the land for us completely paid in full. He has also already provided $5000 to begin the excavation of the land. We are trusting God to provide the rest of the needed finances to finish this entire project in 2017. Our first phase is for the rest of the excavation, the building’s foundation, and the sanctuary. For this, we need $60,000 and know that God will provide as he did with the land. Would you consider helping us start this greatly needed ministry for the churches and believers in Kathmandu? If your life has been changed by camp ministry as my life has, then you know the effect that this will have in Nepal. Please contact me with any questions, and I will continue to send updates of the progress.
This past month has been one of the most exciting months we have had on the field. We are starting to see our rented building begin to look like a church. We have put in chairs and some other furniture. Also, this month our church sign was hung up. It was neat to see all the neighbors coming out of their shops and homes to see what or who was moving in next door. I imagine a church was the last thing on their mind and certainly the first time they have seen a church sign being hung up in their neighborhood. Please pray that God would use Beginnings Baptist Church as a light to this community. Pray that there would be no hinderances to the gospel reaching out to those that live in Kapan, Kathmandu.
Before we leave for a short furlough over Christmas, we are hosting a popcorn/movie night at our church building. We will be showing a gospel-focused Nepali movie and will be giving out information about our church and first service. Pray that God would work in hearts and give us a great opportunity to invite many people to our opening service.
We also have been working hard on getting everything wrapped up before coming back to the States. God is at work here and we are simply trying to keep up! At the camp property, we are finally getting a compound much needed retaining walls put up. I would ask more than anything that God’s will would be done in our ministry as we move forward. Many things are in the works and many decisions are being made. It is an exciting time in Nepal, and we thank you all for your financial help, prayer and encouragement along the way!
This past month has been a great encouragement to our family about what God will do here in Nepal throughout the years He gives us here in Kathmandu. We started out the month with a visit from a team from our home church, Grace Baptist in Middletown, OH. This is the church where I grew up, heard the gospel, received Christ as my personal savior and where I got my burden for missions. It was great to have them see what God has been doing over the past year and a half since we landed here and receive some encouragement and suggestions as we move forward with Beginnings Baptist Church and Camp Refuge.
This past month we have begun setting up and decorating our new church building in Kapan. There is a lot of work that goes into launching a church including building decorations and equipment, flyers, signs, etc. Please pray for us as we work to get all these things prepared before we come to America for our short furlough over Christmas. Before we leave we are looking to do some community events in our building to raise some awareness of our new church and new building. Pray that God would allow us to make some great contacts for when we launch the church at the beginning of 2017.
One of the most exciting things this month was the baptism service at True Peace Baptist Church. It is such an encouragement to know that God is at work here in Nepal. People are turning from their sin and coming to Christ! That is why we came! To see people taking that step of faith touched my heart and got me so excited to begin this work in Kathmandu for the cause of Christ.
I have done my best at sending monthly updates since we arrived on the field. I think as you hear about all that has been going the last two months, you will understand the hiccup last month. We hope you praise the Lord with us as you hear what He has been doing and pray for us as we continue to move forward for Him.
In July, Amber and I finished formal language school! After 15 months of 4 hours of class each day, it has been a relieving but difficult transition. We still have so much to learn in the language but are trusting that, as we move forward, and put ourselves in harder language situations, the Lord will meet our needs and bless our efforts. Our first step forward was to find a place to rent for our first church plant in Kathmandu. We praise the Lord that we have signed all the paperwork and payed the advance for the building He has provided. It is in a great location in Kapan, Kathmandu. Please pray that God will begin working in hearts in this area. Our desire is to began making contacts here before our short furlough over Christmas, and, upon return in February, we will be able to quickly prepare for the first service of (Suruvat) Beginnings Baptist Church of Kathmandu.
Also, this past month, I had the opportunity to visit our co-laborers in India, Jim and Autumn Roberts. It was a great time seeing how God is at work in Delhi and encouraging each other in the work in which God has brought us together. It was exciting to even understand a little bit of Hindi! There are many similarities between Nepali and Hindi and even much of the same vocabulary. However, Hindi verb structure differs and makes it difficult to understand completely. The amazing thing, though, is that most (if not all) Nepalis can understand and speak Hindi. Please pray that God would allow this to be an open door between the ministries of Nepal and India.
Throughout all this time, we have also been keeping up the work on Camp Refuge. We have done a little more excavating, and now that the rainy season has come to an end, we are starting the construction of some retaining walls on the property. We met with a contractor this past week to begin plans for our camp facility. I am excited to share more with you over the next few months as we move forward and ask that you would pray that God would meet the financial need of this much needed and exciting ministry opportunity in Kathmandu, Nepal.
On top of all this, we had a great visit from Amber’s parents and Vision Baptist Church, the home of our mission board. Also, please pray as my home church will be visiting this week to not only encourage our family but also to help us move forward into this next step of ministry!