Building up the body of Christ
By Gary Fallesen
Founding President, Climbing For Christ
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:26 (NIV)
We found ourselves encouraging the church in Nepal – from a tiny house church of eight or 10 believers in the remote Far West to the main church of Savior Alone Redeems Asians (SARA ministry) in densely populated Kathmandu to young believers living in orphanages supported by Climbing For Christ. Our message: you are not alone.
In a nation of nearly 30 million people – 80 percent Hindu and 10 percent Buddhist – where there are fewer than 1 million Christians, following Jesus can be a lonely proposition. Until we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is with us and the body of Christ stretches to the ends of the earth in prayer and presence.
Worship in a Humla house church.
This was the good news that we delivered to our brothers and sisters in Christ on Mission: Nepal 2012 in November. We also were blessed to deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who were not yet part of our family of believers. At least four made a decision to join the body of Christ.
“We count four (who came to Christ), but there are more because many have heard,” said Pastor Tej Rokka of our partner SARA ministry. “Jesus had compassion on the Humli (the people of Humla) and He sent you.”
New believer with his Bible.
He will send us again. And again. Two more Evangelic Expeditions are being planned for 2013. The first, in May, will take us to the Makalu area in the East to evangelize, teach and preach. The second, in late September, will return team members to Humla and to the orphanage filled with children sponsored by our Project 1:27.
Our trekking team – which consisted of Pearce Beissinger, Brandy Everts, Elaine Fallesen, Megh Gurung, Michael Heitland, Adrianne and Christopher Michele, Melissa Waheibi, and me – recognized the need to keep encouraging the church in Humla on future trips. They were moved by this experience, among others.
“Our team was challenged by their persecution and steadfastness to Christ,” said Brandy Everts, a Nepal veteran and the coordinator of C4C Canada.
“To offer hope to people who live in darkness and to witness their enthusiasm at that prospect was live-changing for me,” Melissa Waheibi said after her first trip to Nepal.
Many lives were changed: both on our short-term team and among the indigenous people we met. Our orphanage team – consisting of Leanne Bohn, Kathy Maniace, Ann Marie Pavone, Jill Stojkovic and Caryn Stiteler – shared their love in Jesus with many children. Children also were ministered to on the Humla trek.
Mountainside village in Humla, a district in Nepal's Far West where there are no roads, only trails.
Chris Michele acknowledged “the reality of the pain, suffering, ignorance and apathy that has a devil’s grip on a beautiful land.” The mountains beyond mountains in the Himalayas are a stronghold for the enemy, the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” – Romans 10:15 (NIV)
In Nepal, a common expression is: “Ke garne – what to do, what to do?” We do not ask this question. God has answered already. He has shown us what must be done.
Climbing For Christ has been blessed to conduct five Evangelic Expeditions to Nepal since 2008, including two in 2012, and to work with Nepali C4C members. To date, two churches have been built (one in the East and another in the Midwest) and orphans have been supported.
Our to-do list for 2013 includes:
- Building a church in Kathmandu. This also will serve as C4C’s base of operations in Nepal. Pastor Tej’s SARA ministry put down money on property for construction of a church after having rented for 16 years and being forced to move five times. Property and building in Kathmandu are extremely expensive. Climbing For Christ is committed to building up the church (the body of Christ) and building churches throughout the world.
- Find more sponsors for Project 1:27. There are 31 children and only eight were sponsored at the time of our November visit. Sponsor parents provide $50 a month.
- Support for ongoing work. When short-term teams are not on the ground in Nepal, our indigenous members continue to serve. For instance, Megh Gurung will be sent back to Humla to do follow-up off our November trip. There is also follow-up ministry to do in the East and Midwest from past Evangelic Expeditions.
- Sending two teams in 2013.
We ask our members to PRAY for, GIVE to and GO on Mission: Nepal in 2013. This work is too important to not help. More than 97 percent of Nepal remains enslaved to false gods – from the 300 million deities of Hinduism to the dark deceit of Buddhism. More than 27 million people in this former Hindu kingdom are still considered unreached. Prayer warriors, financial supporters, and workers are needed to reach those who have not yet heard about Jesus, and to encourage those who are part of our body of Christ.