As the Nepalese continue to rebuild their lives following last April’s devastating earthquake, our co-mission partners have kept up their punishing schedule of equipping leaders and workers for Kingdom business and bringing hope to the people.
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Feeling inadequate to be a useful servant of God? Take heart from the inspiring story of Isha Limbu, a housewife in a Nepali village who used to have difficulty speaking confidently with people. In fact, she had even thought that as a housewife she could not do anything significant outside her home.
We were in Shimla, India recently for AsiaCMS’ Board meeting. On 25th April, 2015, we experienced tremors in Agra, India and later followed the unfolding drama of the Nepali Quake on TV. In a globalized world, Christians worldwide struggle to respond theologically and practically to calamities. Where is God during enormous human sufferings? What should be the Christian response to untold sufferings inflicted on innocent poor communities? Here, I offer humbly a biblical reflection in solidarity with our Nepali friends as they reach out in practical love and a call for Christians globally to assist through our prayers and financial support.
Six students from various north Indian states successfully completed the “Following Jesus Christ” course on Sept 13, 2014 while 30 nursing students in Satbharwa, Jharkhand state, have enrolled for it. One of the students who graduated, Joginder Masih, has testified that the course has enabled him to know Jesus intimately. Joginder, who hails from a Hindu family, is now motivated to share the Gospel in his home state of Haryana, one of the least evangelised states in India.
Let’s continue to pray for the spirit of God to move in unfamiliar territories, so that the 30 nursing students would progress well in training until they have completed all the six modules. Please uphold the newly enrolled Punjab native evangelists in prayers too.
Santosh was a one-time street boy in Pokhara, a famous tourist city in Nepal which is increasingly beset by the problem of street children. Hailing from a poor family in west Nepal, Santosh was orphaned at a young age when his father died. A few years later, he was forced to live in the streets after his grandfather, who assumed guardianship of him, also passed away.
Santosh was one of the estimated 250 street children in Pokhara sub-metropolitan and Lekhnath Municipality. But by the grace of God, Santosh was pulled off the streets at the age of nine and brought to the Christians of Indreni (Rainbow) shelter run by the Himalyan Life Nepal. At the centre, he found the love and compassion that he had been deprived of earlier. There, he decided to follow Jesus.
Manoj Pradhananga, our mission partner in Nepal, writes how he recently took a sabbatical and the journey as a result that God took him on.
” The word sabbatical was very new word for me. To dare to walk on the road where I and most of my friends had never walked before, made this journey initially uncertain and fearful. However, I decided to go on this journey for a month in August this year. After being involved in full time ministry for over 20 years I realised I was exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
The first 3 days were very difficult for me to get settled. My emotions were not settling down. I was not able to detach from my work. However, on the 4th day my eyes were caught by Isaiah 30:15 that says, “In repentance and in rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”. One of my expectations out of this sabbatical was to listen to his voice. Very next day, I confessed before the Lord and began to quieten my heart trusting on his faithfulness to speak to me.
Name : Mr Saidingliana Sailo ( Saia) and Mrs Melody K Lalbuatsaihi
Sending Organizations : Synod Mission Board – Presbyterian Church of Mizoram ( SMB-APCM ) / AsiaCMS
Receiving Organisation : Padita Ramabai Mukti Mission
Family: two sons ( Abel and Jacob )
Location : Khedgaon , India
CoMP Since: 2008
Saia and his wife Melody, a trained staff nurse, have been with CMS since 2008 after completing their mission training in Mizoram. They serve with the Mukti Mission. Mukti is a Sanskrit word which means ‘freedom’
Mukti Mission was founded by Pandita Ramabai in 1889. She was born into a high caste Hindu family and educated at some of the best institutions of higher learning in both India and England at a time when women in India did not have access to even basic education. She encountered Jesus Christ during her time in England and came back to have an immense contribution both in India’s Christian heritage as well as social reform , most prominently, that related to women . She was a renowned Sanskrit scholar of her time and also translated the Bible into her native tongue, Marathi, from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
Mukti Mission today continues to serve women and local communities, drawing on Pandita Ramabai’s values and with a strong Christian commitment and identity. Based in Khedgaon , a village an hour’s drive away from the city of Pune , the Mission runs orphanages , schools , a hospital and homes for the ‘unwanted’. All this work and infrastructure is literally centred on a historical church building which dates back to the establishment of the Mission.
Saia and Melody, with their background in nursing and education will be primarily involved with the schools and hospital, besides assisting with other aspects of the Mission’s work.
The couple has two sons Abel and Joseph.
Before their placement in Khedgon in 2012 , the family had served as co mission partners in Punjab in northern india
Name: Ram Prasad and Kesari Shrestha
Sending Organizations: National Missions Commission of Nepal (NMCN) along with AsiaCMS
Family: Amulya (Son) and Ashama (Daughter)
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
CoMP Since: 2002
Ram and Kersari Shresta are the first couple to serve as part of the Co Mission Partner Program. Based in Kathmandu Nepal, they have been instrumental in founding NMCN which works alongside churches in Nepal to training and resource missionaries to serve in different parts of Nepal as well as areas bordering India, Bhutan and Tibet.
Nepal is just emerging from years of armed conflict and is faced with low levels of infrastructure, education, healthcare, employment and food production. This situation is static in face of unstable political situation and breakdown of state machinery in various parts of the country. Frequent strikes and ‘bandhs’ ( blocking streets and bringing vehicular traffic to a halt ) by various groups make development even more difficult .
There is urgent need to capacity build church leaders in their leadership skills and theological foundation. Many church leaders are held back from formal theological training due to lack of academic qualification requisite for them, family and ministry responsibilities and financial constraints are other reasons.
Besides sending out people in mission in collaboration of local churches , NMCN provides a missionary training program to train and equip missionaries, Mission training for pastors and leaders and workshops for Christian professionals and youth to encourage them to be linked and involved in Mission.
MNCN also runs and education program for children in slums and a wonderful work within prisons in Nepal , developing support structures and bible study groups within them.
Name : Rev. Lendehl Rey Sallidao
Sending Organizations : The Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines ( EDCP) / AsiaCMS
Family : Faith Maymaya ( wife ) / Three sons ( Kurt Ivan , Kyle Sean and Keith Vincent )
Location : Metro Manila ( Philippines )
CoMP Since: 2010
Rev Lendehl leads ‘Jigsaw’, a ministry which seeks to respond to the challenges which confront the living conditions of children who live in vulnerable condition in the informal dwelling places of Metro Manila. The ministry focuses on families and envisions the growth of caring and loving families, communities and societies ; growth of faith, love and hope in the lives of children living in extreme poverty through kids club activities , school sponsorships, feeding programs , ministry to street children and ministry to teens and parents.
Rev Lendehl sees his ministry as living out his call to servant hood, representing and witnessing Christ and serving the poor, weak, sick and lonely. Besides his involvement in Jigsaw, He also carried out his pastoral responsibilities with St Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Lendehl’s wife Faith who is a Nurse by profession is a great support for him and the ministry.
Name : Mr H. Lalthatluanga ( Lalthaa ) and Mrs P. Lalnghakhleli ( Manghaki )
Sending Organizations : Synod Mission Board – Presbyterian Church of Mizoram ( SMB- PCM ) / AsiaCMS
Family: son ( Vanlalmuanpuia )
Location: Jaffna (Sri Lanka )
CoMP Since: 2008
Lalthaa and Manghaki serve with the St. John’s College, a CMS founded school located in the northernmost town of Sri Lanka called Jaffna. The country till 2009 had been embroiled in decade’s long violence and bloodshed. The northern parts, including Jaffna were the arena of this conflict. Though active violence has come to an end, the issues which led to this long period of violence remain along with the need for reconciliation.
Laltaa teaches science and mathematics and also couches sports. Manghaki serves as the school medical nurse. They are also involved in running a course called ‘Christian study Unit’ which seeks to provide Christian students with encouragement, resources and mentoring to be strengthened in faith.
The school draws students from both Tamil and Sinhalese community and has also taken in students from refugee camps. It is a challenge for them to be involved in nurturing and guiding young lives from two ethnic communities and reflecting Christ’s love. Once their son grows older, they wish to be involved with wider ministry of the school and church in the region.
Before coming to Sri Lanka in mid-2012, they had served for three years in a school in Kashmir, India as Co Mission Partners.