The church, top, heard from Pastor Tej, above, during the dedication.
Other updates from partner ministry SARA:
- The orphanage, which is aided by Climbing For Christ's Project 1:27, has 35 children housed in three locations. CLICK HERE to find out how you can help Project 1:27.
- The main church and Bible school in Kathmandu held 21 days of prayer and three days of conferences in the past month. Sixteen student graduated from the Bible school at the end of August, and they are in “various mission fields serving the Lord,” Pastor Tej said. There will be discipleship seminars in the West for 70-90 people and in the Central region for 100 people. Tej will be teaching at these seminars.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Megh Gurung, a Nepali Climbing For Christ member who works as a mountain guide and pastor, traveled to his country's Mid-Western Region to visit the church at Rolpa earlier this month. This is the church he has asked C4C to help. They need a building in which to worship, especially during the monsoon season (June-August). These are poor people, usually in the lowest castes. It has been estimated that land will cost US$1,000 and construction US$3,500.
Outdoor worship in January. (Photo by Megh Gurung)
Here is Megh's edited report:
“I took a friend; his name is Uttam and he is our church member. We rode the night bus from Kathmandu to the Ghorahi District city of Dang. That night bus got in at 2 a.m. to Dang. It was so dark as at night so we went to the local bus park for bus to Rolpa. When we were there nobody was! Me and my friend decided to sit on the ground at the bus park. There were thousands of mosquitos biting us. I was enjoying that time with God, but it was not easy to spend the time (waiting). At 5 a.m. some people woke up and opened the gate. I thanked God for the beautiful morning!
“That morning we caught the another bus and spent eight hours on the bus. After we got off the bus and started to walk to our destination. We walked 5½ hours through the forest. The way was not good because of rainy season. Along the way was slippery so that we slipped so many places, but we thank God for He led us for His work in Rolpa.
“The next two day we did the seminar in Rolpa. All were happy. And joy to God. Me and my friend spent four days over there. All the believers are growing in faith every day.
“We came back the same way — walking to Dang and taking the bus to Kathmandu. All believers sent love to C4C.”
Worship in a small room being used for the church at Rolpa. (Photo by Megh Gurung)
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Pastor Tej Rokka visited the church in the Central Region on Friday, June 17. He sent this report and photographs:
The new roof.
“I have exciting news from (village name removed). The church looks so beautiful. We just finished putting on the roof and we are thankful for we can be protected from rain (it is the monsoon season). The church is almost finished and will be dedicated in August.
Tej baptizing a believer.
“I baptized 13 people there. It was hard to find water for the baptism. We walked an hour down from church and there was spiritual attack during the baptism. All people were fearful and frightened and we had to pray and rebuke the spirits. One person accepted the Lord after this. Praise God!
Pastor Tej, bottom left, with the church.
“Krishna, Gopal and Prajawal — the church’s leaders — are fine and serving the Lord there. Please pray for them.
“We praise the Lord. We know we will see more work of God in coming days. Thanks for your prayers and support. I thank those who gave cheerfully toward this project. God bless them and increase them to partner in upcoming projects.”
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Church in the Central Region.
Pastor Tej Rokka and two leaders from SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) Church on the Rock visited the Central Region on Saturday, May 21 to see how the church build was progressing and worship with the fellowship there. “We had a plan for baptism, but we had to postpone due to a water shortage,” Tej reported. “In June we have a plan to baptize 10 people.
“I am so excited and thanked God for the construction progress, even though there have been many challenges — like no water and one of the leader’s relatives died.”
Worship in the old church room, above. Bathroom facility for the new building is completed, below.
The bathroom and toilets have been completed and are already in use. The steps up to the church are in place and the walls have been built. “Now we are going to put on the roof,” Tej said. “We have a plan to complete it by June and dedicate it to worship.”
Tej has decided to serve in the village as the senior pastor with long-time church leaders Kristhna Lama, Gopal Nepali and Prajwal Pariyar continuing the work God began in them there. Kristhna and Gopal are now full-time in ministry and SARA has committed to supporting them.
Kristhna’s wife, Moti Maya, is currently sick and hospitalized in Kathmandu. Please pray for her.
“Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” – Jesus speaking in John 4:35 (NIV)
PROJECT 1:27 UPDATES: In Kathmandu, the number of orphans in SARA’s care has grown. “(Monday) we had three very poor Dalit (low caste) orphans brought from the Far West,” Tej said. “Now we have 35 total children in two residences. Please pray for them.”
Climbing For Christ member SanLing Chan of Dalkeith, Australia — a long-time SARA supporter — sent Tej money to sponsor six of the children. Other C4C members have provided for 1½ children so far. CLICK HERE to learn how you can sponsor a child.
“Still we need several sponsors,” Tej said. “A few sponsors are stopping (to visit the orphanage). It happens often. Sometimes people take time to understand us. I rejoice in serving them.”
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Work continued on the church building this month in the Central Region as walls were erected. The church is expected to be finished and dedicated in the next two months.
Funding is complete for the construction of the church in the Central Region. Praise Him! In all, God provided US$21,150 through Climbing For Christ for the church.
Pastor Tej Rokka of SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) Church on the Rock responded to the completion of funding with this message:
“What a great God we serve who cares for us. How great is our God! Praise Him who is worthy to be praised. He always thinks before me and beyond me — that's why I am desperate for Him. I am so overwhelmed in His abundant grace and love for me. On behalf of SARA Ministries I thank you, your family, board members and all who gave generously toward this ministry. I am proud to be a part of C4C and I do pray for God's movement (within us) more and more as we obey Him.
“Thank you for everything and I look forward to glorifying God together in the coming days. May the peace and joy of God rest upon you and grant you long life to bless many, many mountainous people of the world who need Hope for eternity.”
Neither Pastor Tej nor Climbing For Christ president Gary Fallesen imagined in January when, during Mission: Nepal 2011, C4C committed to the US$13,000 needed to finish the building project, that we would be fully funded so quickly. But we serve the God of the possible. All glory, honor and praise to Him!
Climbing For Christ has come alongside SARA to serve and glorify God through His work in Nepal. In addition to building the church, C4C has begun Project 1:27 Nepal to assist the orphans in SARA's care.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Christians have been asking the Nepali government for places to bury their dead in the capitol city of Kathmandu and also in every province, but the request has faced opposition.
On Easter Saturday [Nepalese Christians worship on Saturdays], a worship rally in the city's park was cancelled “because the Hindus were doing something,” according to a Climbing For Christ member who is visiting Nepal from another country. “None of the churches met.”
Our C4C member said Christians met at house churches instead.
Pastor Tej Rokka from SARA Church on the Rock confirmed this, saying that the demand for burial land prompted this backlash against the church in Kathmandu. “The government didn't allow them to have an Easter march and combined service as they used to have previously,” said Tej, who has been doing fundraising in the United States for the past month. “All the churches decided to do in their own local church. That's why our church also had prayer within the church.”
A fast, hunger strike, and protest march were held in March after the government closed the only cemetery legally available to Christians in Kathmandu. Christians refuse to cremate their dead because that is what the Hindus do.
Nepal once was a strict Hindu kingdom. In recent years, Nepalese Christians have been fighting for human rights. Hindu nationalists oppose the preaching of the Gospel, especially by foreign missionaries who are legally forbidden to proselytize.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The first phase of Mission: Nepal — the building of the church in a Central Region village — is nearly fully funded thanks to the cheerful giving of a Climbing For Christ member from Ontario, Canada. Praise the Lord!
“I have no words to speak,” said Pastor Tej Rokka of partner ministry SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) Church on the Rock in Kathmandu. The new church is one of 15 “daughter” churches of SARA.
“Praise God, praise God, praise God for His unfailing love. I am greatly astonished by our great and mighty God, and how He makes things happens when we see them as impossible.”
Since identifying this church in the Central Region as our first Mission: Nepal project, God has provided funding to purchase land and build a house of worship. This church will be completed and dedicated to the Lord in the months ahead.
Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Pastor Tej Rokka, founder of SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) Church on the Rock in Kathmandu, received the funding that God provided us and with it he was able to purchase:
- 20 sacks of cement
- 200 kilograms of iron rod
- 4,000 bricks
Bricks at church-build site.
“Work is going on,” Pastor Tej said about the church build. “Praise God for providing money and I thank those who gave freely for God's work.”
Our praise does not stop there. On Saturday, Pastor Ratna Lama arrived in Kathmandu after completing three years of study in Bible college in India. He has graduated and is answering the call to serve as pastor of the church in the Central Region.
“He is going to (village name removed) and helping with the construction work and the church there,” Tej said. “We are praying for him and for support for him.”
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011
Pastor Tej Rokka from our partner ministry SARA Church on the Rock visited a Central Region village on Monday and “laid the foundation of the church with a word of prayer.” The church will measure 38 feet in length and 22 feet with width.
Bathroom being built in January. The church will be on the hill behind this site.
The toilets, which were under construction when C4C's short-term mission team was there in January, are built. “We have to supply iron rods, cement, bricks and concrete,” Pastor Tej said, “but I have no fund remaining. So please pray for this project. Due to the mountains it is becoming so expensive. We have to carry water from long distance and all the materials from the city and it costs lots of extra money.
“Anyway, I praise God for this blessing, where we can rejoice in God's doing. I trust God will provide all our needs by His riches.”
Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010
“Praise the Lord for His Son, Jesus, came to save us. He is the center of Christmas and all of our life and ministry.” — Pastor Tej Rokka
On CHRISTmas day, the church in a Central Region village will have a program to celebrate the birth of our Savior. “We are sending two leaders from Central church (in Kathmandu),” said Pastor Tej, the leader of SARA Church on the Rock. Soon after, in early January 2011, Climbing For Christ's short-term mission team will arrive. [CLICK HERE to meet the team.] “I look forward to walking together for the cause of the Gospel,” Pastor Tej said.
Climbing For Christ provided a second installment of seed money in November to start the construction of a church building. “We were praying to purchase a plot of land and build a church for this church on the mountain. But it seemed impossible because of remote village, (economically) poor believers and no funds,” Pastor Tej recalled.
“Thank God for proving Himself that He is the God of the impossible. He spoke to many hearts of God's people (to) whom C4C presented the need. First (in 2009), I received US$4,100 for purchasing the land and we did it. Secondly, in November of (2010) I received another blessing of US$5,500 to start church-building work. Thank God and those who gave cheerfully. We have started cleaning and managing the land as well as gathering materials and making a contract with the main builder.”
The people are preparing a foundation for this church.
“It is needed because the church is growing, and renting a bigger place is not possible,” Pastor Tej said. “Also, (the area) is dominated by Hindu, Buddhist and communist people, and they have wrong attitudes toward the Christian faith. So there is no way to get a place easily for worship. If we have our own place, we can worship God with dignity and fearless(ness).”
In Nepal, it is possible to be arrested for proselytizing. The small, mountainous country between China and India was once the world's only Hindu kingdom. But in 2008, secular democracy gained control of the government. This opened the door to spreading the Gospel of Christ. Christian ministries can operate freely as long as they do not convert or attempt to convert people.
Despite this lack of religious freedom Christianity has grown from 29 believers when the first church was formed in 1952 to as many as 850,000 Christ followers today, according Operation World. There was significant growth after wide-spread persecution in the 1990s. Now, there is a church in every one of the country's 75 districts.
“(In November) I brought four young people from (village name removed) and gave them two weeks discipleship training,” Pastor Tej said. “The leader of that church was in a week of special pastoral training in Kathmandu (in early December). We have a plan to ordain him as an Elder soon and delegate him responsibility. Praise God (in early December) we baptized 14 new believers in main church Kathmandu and at Dapcha we also had seven people ready for baptism, which we plan to do this month (December).
“Please pray for us. I trust God for everything and what He has been doing He will do next, too.”
“...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 1:6b (NIV)
Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010
Pastor Tej of the SARA Church on the Rock in Katmandu, Nepal was excited to see our church-building project included in a series of E-Alerts that went out Aug. 16-20.
“To build a church in (village name removed), Nepal is very important because of the Hinduism and Buddhism dominated area where people don't rent their house to a Christian, especially for church worship,” Pastor Tej said. “They consider that Christians are like outcasts, untouchable. If we have our own place to worship we can freely sing hymns and worship the Lord as well.
“If a church member dies, it is very hard to do funeral services in other houses because Hindus don’t accept burying. It is challenging for a Christian, so if we have our own place we can do freely this service.
“It is important for church to gather and minister to God's people freely. So it is very important to build a church there. Please pray for us. Thank you.”
Those of us who worship freely cannot imagine what it will mean to this congregation of 50 or so (and growing) to have the only church within a day’s travel. That’s why we asked for the support of members and friends of Climbing For Christ.
Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010
Only God can connect a mountain-fresh smoothie at a festival in the northeastern United States with a piece of land in central Nepal. He used the time and smoothie-making energies of Climbing For Christ volunteers in Western New York to raise enough money to buy land for the church in a Central Region village. That was October 2009.
Ten months later, the church was still waiting — patiently — for funding to raise a structure that they can call His house.
While waiting on the Lord to provide for construction needs, the price of building this church went up. But we will not dissuaded. Follow this thread of messages from Pastor Tej B. Rokka of the partner ministry SARA Church on The Rock in Katmandu and you'll understand why:
March 29 — Pastor Tej held discipleship training. “From SARA Church (name removed) ame two members to attend this training and now they are back to (village name removed) and began to teach believers there what they learned in the training. They all are praising and thanking God for providing land for the church and thankful to those who gave money to buy this land. They are praying and waiting to have a church hall soon there. They are ready to give their time and labor to build. They are grown in numbers. Please pass regards to those who are praying for us and specifically for (village name removed).”
April 26 — “You can also pray for ongoing leadership training, orphanage building and (name removed) SARA Church. They really need a place to worship. (Name removed) church has plan to start another new church in another village and they are preparing 10 new people for baptism.”
June 4 — The SARA church did outreach in (village name removed) and six people accepted the Lord. “Members are growing day by day and now there are 50 people.”
Aug. 13 — “It is already a year passed since we made a plan and estimated the budget for the church building. After a year because of many reasons material prices have extremely gone up so high. I would like to mention our old estimated budget and new estimated budget below.”
The original budget for a church hall (US$10,000), two toilets ($1,200), other rooms ($3,000), safety tank ($400), water tank and tap ($500), electricity/fans ($300), and carpet/mattresses ($200) totaled US$15,600. But now this project will cost US$18,800 ($12,000 for the church hall, $1,200 for two toilets, $3,500 for other rooms, $700 for safety tank, $500 for water tank/tap, $500 for electricity/fan, and $400 for carpet/mattresses).
While this seems like a lot of money to us, it is a pittance when you consider that this will be the first Christian church within a day's walk in this region.
“In (village name removed), we can bless people by education,” Pastor Tej said, sharing the dream God has given him for this church. “In the church compound we can start English school for poor children. That will open the door for the Gospel in that mountain region. So please pray.”