The seed of the church
By Gary Fallesen
, Climbing For Christ founding president
A word of encouragement when you are behind the enemy’s line can go a long way. Be it in an email or a text or a message passed along during a satellite phone call. Knowing you are being prayed for and followed through daily Dispatches is a tremendous blessing.
Positive feedback after a trip can also provide affirmation. It’s great hearing from Climbing For Christ members and supporters who have taken the mission to heart.
Jan Hartung, a member from C4C’s hometown of Rochester, NY, USA, sent along such a note only a few days after Mission: Nepal 2016, Part 2. She wrote:
“As I read about your encounters with Dankse and his son’s death, I was reminded of a tombstone of three family members who died while ministering in Afghanistan. It reads, ‘The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.’ My prayer is that Padam’s death will become the beginning of a church of strong believers in Christ led by Dankse, who will have learned firsthand how to count the cost of being a sold-out believer. May the God of all comfort encourage you and strengthen your resolve to continue His work!”
Padam, right, and Prem received Jesus as their Savior during our Mission: Nepal 2015 visit to Takla. Megh Gurung and Matthew Fisher prayed with them. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Padam was a young man (19 years old) who accepted Jesus when our Mission: Nepal 2015 team visited his remote village of Takla in the Far West district of Humla. Within a few months, Padam was dead – poisoned – allegedly having committed suicide. But Padam spoke up against the Hindu customs of his village. He knew the Truth.
Dankse, Padam’s father, is a Hindu priest. Our encounter with Dankse during which we witnessed the Spirit softening his heart was one of the God moments of Mission: Nepal 2016, Part 2.
Team member Brandy Fisher stated that the highlight of this Evangelic Expedition was “when Padam’s father originally said, ‘Don’t raise your hand to accept Christ or you will die, too,’ to Megh and then (later) declared with his mouth, ‘Jesus is the true God and all the other gods just waste money and are not real.’
“And also (Dankse) realizing that Jesus is the Truth (sharing that) when people die in the village they normally come back and shake the windows and doors. But Padam never stayed around the village; he went to heaven.”
Dankse knew that. He knew his son was at peace and he told us he wanted to find the same peace. He realized that the source of that peace is our God. He said he would accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior after he took care of some personal business. We wait expectantly to hear that Dankse now follows Jesus, and to see how God will use him in his village.
Dankse, left, hears more about Jesus from brother Megh. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
Moments like these are truly divine and we recognize how fortunate we are to walk in them. Other highlights for our Mission: Nepal 2016 team (which consisted of Jesse Fallesen, Brandy and Dr. Matthew Fisher, Megh Gurung, and me), included:
The dedication of the church at Simikot
Brandy, Matthew, Megh and Gary, above left to right, share with the church at Simikot during the dedication of their new house of worship, which was still being built, below. (Photos by Jesse Fallesen, above, and Brandy Fisher, below)
This is the first church built in Humla (an area the size of the U.S. states of Rhode Island or Delaware). “To see how God has grown the church from the original seven Christian men to 35 Christians at the church dedication, plus many more Christians in the (outlying) villages,” Brandy said about this highlight. “Plus seven women are pregnant in the church!
“The dedication was so emotional for me; I had to cry. Knowing the strong Christian foundation and faith that is impacting the district of Humla, wow, go God go!”
Hari, above with his pregnant wife Regina, and Thana, below, were the first two Christians we met in Humla in 2012. They asked us to pray for women to come to Christ so they would be able to marry and grow the church. Mission accomplished! (Photos by Gary Fallesen)
” is the Christian greeting for Nepalese people. It means, “Victory in the LORD!”
When we went to visit a young believer we’d met in 2015 in the distant village of Banta, this single word provided hope. Urmila is married to a Hindu man and she seemed to not recognize our team as we sat on the roof speaking with her father-in-law and eating walnuts. When it came time to leave, Brandy gave Urmila a gift and told her (through Megh’s translation) “how much her faith story and testimony challenged me last year.” There was little response.
“But when we were leaving, she turned and said, ‘Jaimashi
,’” Brandy said. “Her faith and pursuit of Christ is still strong in her heart. I pray that it will continue to grow and her faith will challenge and bring more (people) to Christ in her new family and village.”
‘It shall not return to Me void’
Dr. Matthew counted “having the opportunity to testify to two families in the village (of Kholasi) and treat their sick” among his favorite moments. Never mind the laughter when we prayed for those in need of healing. “The Gospel message was delivered in spite of the fact that they may have had other interests or secondary motivation to meet with us,” Matthew said.
Megh gives audio Bibles to a family in Kholasi. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
We learned after our visit that people in the village – located along the trekking route taken by Hindus and Buddhists making the pilgrimage to the holy Mount Kailash in Tibetan China – came looking for handouts from our team. They received medicine and they also heard about Jesus.
God told His prophet Isaiah:
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV)
We trust in this foundational truth. We also trust that those who have heard the Word as we have carried out five years of expeditions in Humla, especially the many young people who have accepted Christ only to fall away under family and community pressure, will one day return to Jesus.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
Jesse Fallesen teaches a boy in Dharapuri how to brush his teeth. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
God sends us to Nepal (and elsewhere) to build the church – the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27
) – and we have been blessed to see it grow in Humla. As Brandy said, “Go God go!” We will continue to GO until all have heard.
CLICK HERE for daily Dispatches from Mission: Nepal 2016, Part 2.