Trip Report: Nepal
By Gary Fallesen
Founding President, Climbing For Christ
The drumbeat greeted us as we descended into the Tamang village of Thuman in Langtang National Park. “That’s foreboding,” I said. The repetitive (and, yes, annoying) pounding was coming from a large Buddhist gompa. It continued into the night in that Buddhist stronghold, where 2,200 lost souls worship a dead Buddha (and none follow the Living Christ) near the Chinese Tibetan border.
A week later, halfway across Nepal, we arrived in the Mid-Western village of Korchabang long after dark. Again, a drum was the unwelcoming sound we heard. And heard. This time it was a witchdoctor making the noise. He pounded the drum through the night and into the next morning until our team baptized seven new believers and the drum went silent.
Buddhist mani stones lining the trail leading to Thuman. Mani stones contain mantras and are an offering to the spirits.
Darkness reigns throughout Nepal. More than 80 percent of the population is Hindu in this country that was once a Hindu kingdom. Another 12 percent are Buddhist. Maoists have risen to political power and have an army still in place from the bloody civil war that lasted from 1996-2006.
All of the above threaten the growing church. But none of the above can stop its growth.
Nepal is a ripening harvest field.
Climbing For Christ's Megh Gurung, right, along with Korchabang church leader Dalsur, baptizing one of seven new believers in a Mid-West district mountain stream.
Our team — which consisted of two members each from Canada, Nepal and the United States — witnessed a glimpse of the harvest in those we were blessed to lead to Jesus and during times of worship with other devoted Christ followers. It is estimated that there are between 700,000 and 1 million Christians in Nepal.
This country is an incredible place full of paradox and contradiction. And it is growing ever fuller with the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Pastor Tej speaking at his central SARA church in Kathmandu. SARA has more than 20 churches in Nepal, including the church at Dapcha.
The Spirit is emboldening. God sent us, filled us, and then worked through us. As Pastor Tej Rokka, Climbing For Christ member and founding pastor of SARA (Savior Alone Reaches Asians) ministry, said during a five-day evangelistic trek on the Tamang Heritage trail in Langtang: “I like being with this team. It makes me bolder.”
It was Tej through whom the Spirit spoke, bringing nine people to Christ in Langtang. We also had another woman accept the Lord after I was blessed to preach to the church at Dapcha — a church whose house of worship was built with funds provided by God through Climbing For Christ.
More will come to know Jesus as Savior. Of this we have no doubt.
They will come during and after a Nepali team returns to Thuman before the monsoon season begins in June. They will come when our next short-term Mission: Nepal team is sent in November. That team will serve on two fronts: loving and teaching the Climbing For Christ-sponsored Project 1:27 orphans in Tej’s care outside Kathmandu and in the mountains in the Far West.
God has opened many doors to us. It is our responsibility to answer His call and boldly walk through them and deliver the Good News. This requires the support — prayer and financial — of His people. I implore you to get behind Mission: Nepal.
How can you help? Let me show you the ways:
The orphans eating ice cream during a field trip with Climbing For Christ's Brandy Everts and Marissa Gardiner. (Photo by Marissa Gardiner)
Sponsor an orphan. We now have 22 children at the SARA home in Thali, just northeast of Kathmandu. Only three were sponsored when we went to Nepal on this Jan. 16-Feb. 4 mission. You can sponsor an orphan for US$50 a month. This will provide food, medicine, and clothing. But even more, it will show the love of Christ to a child and answer His command to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).
THE CHURCH AT DAPCHA
The church at Dapcha.
This was the first Nepali church Climbing For Christ was blessed to help raise. It is located in the East. It is a growing church in a village full of souls deceived by the lies of Hinduism and Buddhism. Construction began in January 2011 during Mission: Nepal and was completed in September 2011. But more work needs to be done:
- The renovation of the two-story building that used to be home to the Dapcha house church for the pastor’s family, “Saturday school” classes, space for additional orphans, and rooms to rent to provide the ministry with some income. This will cost US$3,500.
- The Bible college education of 19-year-old church leader Gopel Nepali. He will be sent to Grace Bible College & Seminary in northern India for three years beginning at the end of May. It will cost only US$700 per year for him to get a Bachelor’s degree and become a SARA pastor.
Prayer flags outside the gompa (prayer hall) in Thuman.
An indigenous Evangelic Expedition in which a team of Nepali will return to this Buddhist village in Langtang to serve physical needs (teaching sanitation) and address spiritual needs (by going house to house and sharing the Gospel). Pastor Tej has proposed a week-long mini-mission to grow relationships. God gave him this idea during our drum-serenaded visit. “What I am inspired (by) is there is not a single Christian there,” Tej said. It will cost US$1,000 to do this.
How much is one soul, two souls, 220 souls or 2,200 souls worth?
The next short-term team will be sent Nov. 4-18. A group of members from Hope Lutheran Church in Rochester, NY, USA (the city where Climbing For Christ is based) will go to work with the orphans. Another group will venture to the Far West for an evangelistic trek in Humla. This is not trekking for trekking’s sake. As Tej said: “If we go to (trekking) routes, there we will have an adventure, but no ministry.”
Our team will take a Christ-focused, Spirit-driven, God-glorifying trek. This team needs members who are willing to PRAY, GIVE and GO. Please be in prayer for the November Mission: Nepal team, consider financially supporting the work (with the orphans and with those who will hear His Word), or apply to go on this trip. E-mail gfallesen@ClimbingForChrist.org for a mission application.
A GOD JEEP
Climbing For Christ could use a rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle for the ministry being done in Nepal. This is an expensive proposition. A new vehicle costs about US$30,000 because it is imported from India and taxes are 200 percent. But to rent a vehicle to get into the mountains it cost our team US$110-$150 a day. We decided during our trip to lift this to the Lord for His provisional consideration. Join us in asking if this is His will.
Pray about these needs and see if the Lord lays on your heart to give from what He has given you. You have been blessed to be a blessing.
Gary Fallesen saying “Jaimashi” (“Victory in Jesus”) while distributing Nepali Bibles to members of the church at Korchabang. (Photo by Dave Stoessel)
In addition to these wonderful opportunities, Climbing For Christ is blessed to be the conduit through which God is sending funding to build the church at Korchabang. More than US$6,000 was raised for this project and the church building and adjoining toilets are expected to be completed by mid-May. Watch for "Mission Moments" for more news from Nepal.
Join us in rejoicing and thanking God for all He has done, is doing, and will do in Nepal!
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Posted Feb. 6, 2012/Updated June 27, 2012