Evangelical Friends’ first introduction to Nepal was through Ezra and Frances DeVol (from Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region) who served in a hospital in Kathmandu under the United Mission to Nepal in 1959 and 1963-1966. Then, in 1994, EFM began supporting two missionary families who, together with Nepali believers, have developed two yearly meetings of about forty churches each. One of the families is John and Sangi Vanlal, now retired in India. The other is B. & D. A. who are still serving in Nepal. During the first decade of this century Samson and Priscilla Retnaraj began a ministry in Nepal called Community Health Evangelism, a ministry which continues to this day.
The picture to the right was taken last year during Evangelical Friends Church-Nepal’s (EFC-N) silver anniversary. Those pictured, from left to right, are Rachel, Sangi, John, Samson, and Amen Thapa (Rachel’s husband). Pastor Amen is the president of EFC-N and he is the one who answered the four questions I sent to missionaries and national leaders. Amen and his family are based in Kathmandu.
How is COVID-19 affecting those who live in the area where you live and minister?
- Nepal is in a state of lockdown.
- The lockdown has been greatly affecting our travel and daily needs. Many things are limited, like propane, sanitizers, and masks.
- Several Bible school students are stuck in Kathmandu and are living with us.
How is this situation affecting the ministry you lead?
We are worshiping in three ways:
- From 6 am to 6 pm there is a prayer chain for those of us who have access to the church building.
- There is a live, online service on our church page.
- We have fellowship by phone with those who do not have internet access (especially the elderly).
What are some opportunities you are seeing for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him?
- We who are Christians have opportunity to serve society, helping local government in the areas of cleanliness and sharing awareness.
- Many of our churches have opportunity to share the gospel as they are conducting worship services in different cell groups in different areas. Bhandara Friends and Jhurjhure Friends are good examples of this. In this way our fellowships have been expanded/extended.
- Church members are getting good time to read the Bible and pray.
What are two or three prayer requests that we can use as we pray for you and those you lead?
- For a spiritual awakening at this time. That our members not lose faith in Jesus as we have to stay home during this period of quarantine. Pray especially for new fellow believers.
- For good health, wisdom, and knowledge from God to stay safe.
- For the financial situation. We have to buy groceries, propane, and other daily needs. Pray especially for full-time ministers as they do not have any other sources of income.
While we are providing this special round of updates to EFM’s largest email list (due to the world-wide impact of COVID-19), we will continue, as always, providing brief praise and prayer requests from each contributing field through our monthly EFM Prayer Letter. This is the easiest way to get regular, brief updates from missionaries and national leaders. If you do not currently receive the EFM Prayer Letter, we encourage you to subscribe by clicking the button below.
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