Here from Rod Matthews (GCI Mission Developer for Southern Asia and the South Pacific) is an update on GCI ministry activity in Nepal.
As seen in the picture below, smiling, shy and excited faces met our gaze when we addressed this year’s incoming students at the Himalayan Bible School (HiBiS), which began its 2018, three-month-long-term in February. My wife Ruth and I, along with Danny Zachariah (senior pastor of GCI’s north Indian pastorate), recently visited HiBiS to spend time with its leader, Deben Sam. GCI has partnered with Deben for over 12 years, doing ministry in Nepal.
Sixteen young people (pictured below) from several rural areas in Nepal, were chosen to come to Kathmandu this year for HiBiS. They were selected by a team from Kathmandu that visited those areas last year to conduct three-day mobile Bible Schools hosted by local churches. The young people selected are eager to undertake the intensive three-month course, which involves classes five days a week.
As we addressed the students in an interactive session through a translator, their responses made it obvious that here are some young people with great potential for future involvement in the commission of taking the gospel to Nepal. Their studies include courses in theology and pastoral care. After the three months of study is over, the students return home, where they assist their local pastors in practical ways for nine months. The hope is that some of the students will become fully engaged as pastors and missionaries in their rugged and challenging country.
We are glad that GCI has been able to help the school by providing our literature translated into Nepali and by providing financial assistance (given by GCI members in Australia). On this visit, Danny and I addressed the students and then Deben’s congregation (pictured below) at their weekly church service. The enthusiastic worship of the 65 men, women and children present was quite stirring.
This year Deben has faced many financial and logistical challenges. He had to make costly improvements to his meeting facilities to deal with periodic flooding (and more improvements are needed). He is now paying more to lease his home where he and his wife look after 15 disadvantaged young people originally from rural areas who are in Kathmandu to attend school. He’s also having to look for a new location to raise livestock to support his family. Please join me in praying that God will provide for the needs of Deben’s family and his ministries. Deben is grateful for the prayers of fellow-Christians across the globe.