Mission: Nepal 2011
Trip Report: God's plan for Nepal
By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
The tract read, “Are you 100 percent sure? What if you die today? Will you go to heaven?”
Our companions, young church leaders from the young church at Dapcha, eagerly handed them out as we walked around their village in Central Nepal. Nearly all who received it were Hindu or Buddhist. To them, death leads to reincarnation — a cycle that continues until you’ve had enough good karma to be freed from rebirth after rebirth.
Church leaders spreading the Word on the streets of Dapcha.
“I liked spending time with the church leaders and attempting to grasp their lives as Christians in a rural village with a predominately Buddhist stronghold around it,” said Alyssa Kaelin, a Mission: Nepal team member from Laramie, Wyo., USA. “It was a blessing to be served by them and to see their zealous vigor for the church, especially at such a young age.”
Two of the three leaders in the church at Dapcha are still in school: Gopal Nepali, 18, and Prajwal Pariyar, 16. The other leader is 36-year-old Kristshna Lama, who started the church in 2006. At the time, there were five Christians in Dapcha. Less than five years later, there are about 80 Christ followers.
Each of the three church leaders had his own rebirth. None had anything to do with karma. Each was saved, as Titus 3:5-7 tells us, “not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” In other words, these brothers reborn in Christ are 100 percent sure where they are going when they die.
And they want to take as many others as they can with them when they go to heaven.
Working on the church-build site.
To assist them, Climbing For Christ is partnering with SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) Church on the Rock in Kathmandu to build the church in Dapcha. Construction was underway on a house of worship when we visited Jan. 3-15 and the teaching of the body of believers has been ongoing. The three church leaders have spent six months in training in Kathmandu and the church’s future pastor is attending Bible college in India.
The church met in a tiny one-room building for three years, moved to another rented property in 2009, and has shared space with a butcher shop, electronics store, and single-stall dairy farm since early 2010. But, Gopal said joyfully, in “six months” they’ll have their own church. The church will sit on land purchased last year by Climbing For Christ.
To complete this project, C4C needed to raise an additional US$11,500. Our prayerful commitment to this was answered by the Lord. He provided these funds less than two months after our short-term Evangelic Expediton.
But the fundraising and work does not stop there. There is much, much more to be done.
While on Mission: Nepal, God revealed a plan for our work in this former Hindu kingdom. It includes:
- Funding the completion of the church at Dapcha. This has been accomplished. The church will be finished and dedicated by June 2011.
- Supporting SARA — founded by Nepali pastor (and C4C member) Tej Rokka — in prayer and financial giving. Such support would aid future pastors in the Central Nepal villages of Dapcha and Pakdol. Each will need US$100 per month.
- Initiating Project 1:27 Nepal to assist SARA’s Kathmandu-based orphanage. Project 1:27 is based on James 1:27 — “look after orphans and widows in distress.” There are 26 orphans cared for by SARA and a need of US$50 per child per month.
- Building a church at Pakdol (or nearby) at a cost of about US$3,000.
- Organizing Mission: Nepal 2012 in January with medical assistance and church-leader training in Dapcha and Pakdol before trekking into Langtang National Park.
“I’m very excited about the idea of taking a team with medical abilities back to Dapcha, then trekking down to the Buddhist village (Pakdol, where SARA currently has a daughter house church),” said Kyle Austin, who worked for two years in Nepal and has been a member of all three C4C Mission: Nepal teams. “I also look forward to seeing the building that we are able to raise for the church at Dapcha.”
Austin, who lives in Houghton, N.Y., USA, has traveled throughout Nepal and he is anticipating where the Lord is taking us in the next five years: to remote villages in restricted areas such as Langtang, Upper Gorkha, Mustang, and the Far West.
Langtang National Park.
Climbing For Christ will go to these areas and work with SARA at establishing new churches. In some places, we will be delivering a Jesus whom people have not heard of or do not know.
While Nepal is not ranked among the 50 most persecuted countries in the world [CLICK HERE for the Open Doors' World Watch List], it is labeled a “hostile area” by The Voice of the Martyrs ministry. Hostile areas are places where “Christians are victims of violence because of their witness.” Nepal joins countries like Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey as hostile areas.
Despite possible hostilities, the church in Nepal has grown from a handful of believers when Christianity was legalized there in 1951 to an estimated 700,000-1,000,000 60 years later. Persecution and growth continue today.
The church at Dapcha was invaded by Maoist guerillas in 2008. At the time, Maoists were trying to overthrow the government. A peace agreement has since been reached between the government and guerillas, although it is an often uneasy peace.
In Pakdol, the house-church leader was beaten by opposition Buddhists, forcing him to flee his village. He recovered for two months at the central SARA church in Kathmandu and returned to Pakdol to continue the Lord’s work.
Mission: Nepal 2011 team in Dapcha: (left to right) Kyle Austin, Gopal Nepali, Alyssa Kaelin, Prajwal Pariyar, Tej Rokka, Kristshna Lama and Gary Fallesen.
Nepali Christians are not to be dissuaded. Watching the Dapcha church leaders boldly witness to their Hindu and Buddhist neighbors is inspiring.
The goal of Mission: Nepal 2011 had included encouraging the local church and exploring how C4C might serve in this region. Mission accomplished.
“Thank you for visiting us and encouraging,” Pastor Tej said. “I am excited to read your plan for Nepal. I think it is God's plan and He will succeed. We only have to participate in His plan.”
Posted Jan. 24, 2011 / Updated March 30, 2011