This update is from Rod Matthews, GCI mission developer in southeast Asia.
The inaugural session of Himalayan Bible School (HiBiS) held in Kathmandu, Nepal, concluded in May with its first graduation ceremony. HiBiS is an initiative of Deben Sam, the senior pastor of Himalayan Gospel Church. It is underwritten by the Mission Fund of GCI Australia.
This first HiBiS session began with 18 young men and women coming together from rural villages and the city of Kathmandu for an intensive three-month course, which preceded nine months of practical field work and application of what they had learned back home. Taught by Deben Sam, his brother-in-law, Raju and Pastor Thomas of their local Kathmandu congregation, the classes covered a range of biblical education and practical outreach and evangelism subjects.
The young people selected for this first HiBiS session were chosen from attendees of a mobile three-day Bible school, which Deben and a small team conducted last year in a number of rural villages where there was a congregation and/or people interested in the Christian message.
GCI has been involved in a partnership with the Himalayan Gospel Church for about eight years, providing literature and funding the translation and printing of literature which has been translated into the Nepali language for distribution to rural and urban pastors and literate Christians in remote villages; supporting a basic medical clinic offering free consultation and medicines to the poorest people such as brickyard workers and street sweepers; and among other things, contributing to the upkeep of 16 orphans that Deben and his extended family care for in their home in Kathmandu.
Deben’s goal is to conduct HiBiS as an annual event. After their period of practical service, and from those whose work is affirmed by their local congregation, Deben hopes that funds might permit a few be chosen to take up full time ministry and evangelism so that the good news can be spread further to reach the majority of people in Nepal who are not Christian.