Samson and Priscilla Retnaraj | Serving in Nepal
In May this year 2023, we celebrated 18 years of fulfillment through the Community Health Evangelism (CHE) ministry in Nepal. It started out as a “crazy idea” for both of us in May 2005, when we held our first CHE Vision Seminar for Nepal Evangelical Friends Church pastors and lay leaders. We were both health professionals, but desired to move into Nepal as missionaries with EFM obeying God’s will in our lives. The first part was to become a believer in the CHE methodology ourselves and it took the greater part of five to six years before we saw results and were convinced that it was God’s will for us and a certain way forward for the church community wholistically to cause transformation in lives.
Today the work of Friends CHE Program includes ministry in six terrain districts of Nepal and among the underprivileged and poor communities in Nepal. We lead a team of four to five staff (and their spouses) who conduct CHE Training and help in propagating the vision using simple lessons in the Nepali language. People are being taught to be followers of Jesus through this simple training and whole communities are being lifted out of cycles of poverty and disease. As a result, just in the last few years, more than 50 people made professions of faith in Christ, three or four new churches were planted, and hundreds of people experienced greater health and dignity. The vision of our ministry is to see Christ transform the lives of all the indigenous peoples of Nepal living in rural villages.
Shyam Rai was an alcoholic and worked as a daily wages laborer. He is married and has seven children. The little money he earned was used up mostly in liquor purchases and so Suleman (our CHE Trainer) and his father gave him a small job of cleaning the Cha’pur church building and keeping it ready for church services and meetings whenever necessary. He thus came regularly to hear about Jesus and was eager to know more, so we gave him a CHE Training (ToT) which satisfied his desire to know more about Christ and serve him. Subsequently, he also got involved in a 15-day Discipleship Training (LEAD) and now leads a completely transformed life helping not only his family but also the local community, and encouraging many who don’t know Jesus to believe and be baptized.
Samson and Priscilla Retnaraj
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