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!
This has been an incredible month for us on the field! God has provided us a piece of property for the future of our Church Camp here in Kathmandu. We finalized the purchase two weeks ago and started the excavation the very next day. It is so exciting to see this land begin to be prepared for a building. Please pray for us as we will need to raise the money required to complete this great and needed project for Nepal. We are currently working on the building plans to have a more accurate understanding of the financial requirements. Please consider being a part of this project to not only strengthen the believers and churches but to also open up doors for evangelism in this needy city and country.
This past month I had the opportunity to visit the villages of Nepal for the first time. It was a two day drive around the mountains of Nepal on some of the most dangerous roads in the world. The third day, we hiked 4 hours to reach the church we met with in Salyan(pictured left). As you can imagine, these villages have very little outside resources. There are no roads, electricity, water, shops, etc. Everything we ate was grown there by the people, and the water is taken from springs and streams for cooking and drinking. This trip was so eye opening for me as a missionary to this country. God really used this trip to renew my burden and heart to reach these people for Christ.
The main thing that burdened my heart was the great need of the gospel in Nepal. Until last week, all I knew was the capital city of 5 million people that have far too few missionaries and even less churches. However, In Nepal, with a population of over 30 million, the majority of people are living in situations more like what I saw this week in the village. Many if not most of these places have not met a pastor or missionary sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are living in darkness and must be reached in our lifetime.
Please pray with us that God would use us and our ministry not only to reach Kathmandu but also all over Nepal with the gospel. Many questions need to be asked and answered. Such as, how can we reach so many small villages in a short amount of time? How can indigenous churches be planted in small communities?. To ask the right questions and to find the answers, the other missionaries and I need the wisdom and help of God. Please pray that God would help us in this great task!
As we come to the last month of our first year on the field our life is really starting to pick up speed as we serve God in Nepal. Doors are opening and opportunities are coming faster than we keep up. Our language still consumes most of our time as we still have lots to learn and lots of room for improvement in speed and pronunciation. Please continue to pray that our language will be able to keep up with our desire to begin getting more involved in church planting ministry.
The most exciting thing for me is the opportunity to begin clearly sharing the gospel with those we see all the time. I have been studying the Bible for language practice with one of the young men from one of the established churches here in Kathmandu. He has been such a help and blessing to me. However, I am hoping to start studying the Bible with unbelievers. Please pray for my Nepali and also for God to open a door with some people to study the Bible.
Also, on our last newsletter I shared with you our desire to start a church camp in Kathmandu. Since then, have finished all the paperwork for our business visa! This means that Amber and I can continue to live and serve here in Kathmandu with our family. This was a known obstacle that we have been praying for a solution for since God moved our family to Nepal. We are so excited as not only does this meet our visa necessity but will also give us great outreach opportunities and church strengthening opportunities here in Kathmandu. Please pray that God would open a door for us as we are looking for land to establish Camp Refuge.