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Gary Fallesen

Trip Report: Nepal 2018

God’s math doesn’t add up; He multiplies

Story and photos by Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ

“The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and understand the message. They produce as much as 100 or 60 or 30 times what was planted.” Matthew 13:23 (CEV)

God’s math is multiplication. We do addition and subtraction, but God is about multiplying. We calculate 1+1+1, while God uses power to produce exponential numbers. See the story about the farmer in Matthew 13, where seed is scattered in a field some falling on the road, some on rocky ground, and some on good ground, which produces 100 or 60 or 30 times what was scattered.

I was reflecting on this as I looked at those gathered for our dedication of the church at Dharmashala in Nepal’s remote Mid-West district of Rolpa during Mission: Nepal 2018. We have witnessed God at work, growing His church from about two dozen followers who met outdoors on the side of a hill in Korchabang in 2012 to hundreds who are meeting in two houses of worship we are honored to have helped build.

The church at Korchabang in January 2012, above. A house of worship was built where these brothers and sisters were meeting outdoors. Below, the dedication of the church at Dharmashala begins on April 16, 2018.

The same is true in Humla in the northwest corner of this Himalayan nation steeped in the tradition and darkness of Hinduism and Buddhism. When our first team landed on the tiny airstrip in Simikot in November 2012 we met seven Christian men. That was our first Bible study in Humla, where we have since scattered seed in village after village and helped build the district’s first house of worship.

We have rejoiced with all of heaven when one by one (and sometimes in small groups) the first prayer asking for God’s salvation through Jesus has been uttered in Nepali. We have felt God’s pleasing presence as men and women have entered the water of baptism and emerged new creations. On Mission: Nepal 2018, 16 believers from Dharmashala were washed clean in the pool built behind the church at Korchabang.

HIStory: Korchabang is where the first believers in Rolpa were raised up, a church built, and disciples sent out to plant churches in Dharmashala, a rented room in Ghapa, and in houses in other villages. All of this in a part of Nepal that was the center of the Maoist civil war from 1996-2006.

One of 16 baptized on April 17, 2018. Pastor Dulsar of the church at Korchabang and Dharmashala, right, assisted Megh with the baptisms.

The day after my wife Elaine and I returned from serving alongside our dear Nepali brothers in Christ, Megh Gurung and Pastor Tej Rokka, I was reading a daily devotional titled “Take Root Downward.” In this inspiring devo was the reminder that we do not build the church; “Only Jesus builds the church!”

I wrote in my prayer journal: “‘He [Jesus] builds it [the church] to attack. … It batters down the gates of hell. … If God builds the church, who can be against it.’ We are to abide in Jesus; spend ‘extravagant and intimate time with Him.’ That’s the ‘hidden foundation that supports disciples growing together.’ We are the hidden part, digging down so Jesus can build up the church.”

As I soaked in these words and my thoughts of so many experiences on 13 of our 15 missions to Nepal in the past decade, I did the math. It didn’t add up. What we have done is not enough. Never mind that Nepal is among the fastest growing churches in the world despite facing growing persecution (vaulting to 25th among the 50 worst places on the planet to be a Christian in 2018 after having been unranked by Open Doors in 2017, thanks to religious nationalism and a decree by the secular government making conversion and proselytism illegal). More can and must be done.

Megh teaching the church at Pokhara during Mission: Nepal 2018.

We have been invited to build a church in Pokhara, a destination of tourists and many villagers moving from numerous surrounding mountain districts in pursuit of work and a better way of life. Fortunately that way includes The Way for hundreds, who were met in Pokhara by the outstretched arms of Jesus. A small group meeting in a rented room in a rundown corner of the city welcomed us on Mission: Nepal 2018. We’d been up the trails and back, surveying where our brothers and sisters need to GO to speak life. Then we worshiped with about 40 fellow believers.

Afterward, Megh explained to Pastor Prem that we were praying to raise the funds to build this church a house of worship. “Dhanyabaad [thanks],” Pastor Prem said, and when he reached out his hand to shake mine I could see that he was shaking. In that moment, my heart broke. Again.

As I said, what we have done is not enough. We simply cannot do enough. In fact, we can do nothing.

Jesus told His followers during the Last Supper: “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (John 15:5, CEV).

We need to dig our roots deeper in Him so we can support more disciples growing together as Jesus builds the church. We need to lavish our time on the One who knows no end. We need to lift our voices in unison, asking God to multiply the church in Nepal. We should cheerfully give whatever we can to see our brothers and sisters gathering in a house of worship, where we will again encourage them to be light to the world in the spectacular Annapurna mountains around them.

Only Jesus builds the church. But He invites us to join Him where seed is being scattered and watch in wonder and with praise as He produces 100 or 60 or 30 times what is planted. 

The Word

“…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 (ESV)

Helping hands

Join us in sowing in Nepal. Pray for the LORD of the harvest to bring in a plentiful crop. Give to our ongoing church-building efforts. We have been blessed to see five houses of worship constructed to date and now hope to help our brothers and sisters in Pokhara. Send your gift to Climbing For Christ, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290. Earmark it “Church in Nepal.” Or CLICK HERE and give online via PayPal and email to let us know your donation is for the Nepal church.

In Canada, give through The Great Commission Foundation, P.O. Box 14006, Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B4. Mark your contribution “Climbing For Christ Canada, church in Nepal.” Or CLICK HERE to give online. Write “Church in Nepal” in the Comments box.


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