As we delve into 2016, I’ve been both excited and exhausted thinking about everything that this year will hold. God sent me to Isaiah 40:
“He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the LORD’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.”
God’s strength and power put mine to shame, but in my humanity I often opt for the latter. It is in those moments that I quickly become desperate for renewed energy. God delivers this regeneration through an old scripture verse, a new friend’s encouragement, a breath of fresh air deep in the woods, a recited prayer that finally sinks in, and many other ways.
I also find encouragement from your friendship and support, not just for me but also for our partners in India and Nepal. You are God’s hands and feet to encourage and energize pastors serving in remote villages and children going to school. Thank you so much for strengthening this ministry through your support. It is having a transformative, renewing impact.
Posted on January 9, 2016 |
This month we are in a season of anticipation and giving. Growing up, my father cultivated a giving culture within our family, randomly bringing my mom flowers, my sister a doll, my brother new drumsticks, etc. I have tried to follow in his footsteps and love giving my wife and kids even the smallest of gifts.
This passion for generosity has bled outside of just my family life and into God’s mission of restoration and healing in this world. Through partnerships with nonprofits, my family has helped build fresh water wells in Africa, rescue girls from human trafficking in Cambodia, start churches in remote villages in Nepal, give orphans in India a home, and helped give low income children in Indianapolis a math tutor. Generosity has become a healthy addiction fueled by passion and impact in God’s kingdom. I love inviting others into this journey, and understand what Paul meant when he wrote in Philippians 4, “I want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.” I know you do too.
Thank you for partnering with ServLife to start churches, care for children and fight poverty in India and Nepal. You have helped serve more people this year than any prior year. Having been overseas last month, I can once again verify the impact of your gift. Lives are being changed and hope is being restored. Thank you for your generosity to deepen this impact.
May God contagiously cultivate our hearts of generosity to positively impact this world for his kingdom and family. May God’s kingdom come, his will be done and his love be known.
Posted on December 19, 2015 |
We’re delighted to report because of your support our 100% MATCHED Campaign exceeded the goal! Your gifts to benefit churches, children, and families in India and Nepal along with the support of our matching sponsors totaled $227,780. That’s a full $27,780 beyond our goal of $200,000!
We couldn’t have done it without you! So we wanted to say, thank you! Your support is bringing Jesus’ love into the hearts and homes of so many people. You’re enabling children to be educated and cared for, families to be liberated from poverty, and the Word of God to be heard across the nations. Thanks to our wonderful matching sponsors your generosity is making a double impact.
So from all of us to you- Thank you!
The ServLife Team,
Adam, Tim, Rachel, Amalia
Posted on November 20, 2015 |
In James 2 the author makes the case that faith without action is dead. “Show me your faith without action and I will show you faith by my action.” Theology is the study of right thinking about God and Christianity. Praxis is right action propelled by theology. Growing up a pastor’s kid mentored by youth group leaders and Christian professors and pastors, I have developed an affinity for theological books. I don’t understand them all, but there’s something about digging into C.S. Lewis or N.T. Wright or Dallas Willard reading by the fire on a snowy day that makes me feel close to God. Sometimes it feels like that’s the end goal, to feel close to God. But feeling close to God and being close to God are two different things, and I prefer the latter.
Being close to God is found in serving next to Him and participating in the work He’s already doing in the world. It’s having lunch with a homeless guy. It’s talking late into the night with a struggling friend. It’s cleaning the church building bathrooms on a Wednesday night. It’s being present with my children. It’s helping build a fresh water well in Africa. It’s serving in the local soup kitchen. It’s encouraging a coworker. It’s speaking truth where lies have been sown. It’s praying for hope to be restored in someone’s life. It is giving. Giving my time, my money, my talents, my passion, everything I have to do the work of God as informed by good theology. It is praxis.
I assume there are multiple expressions of praxis in your life, and I’m glad you’ve joined with God and ServLife to serve people in India and Nepal. Because of your generous actions, pastors are being trained and are starting churches in remote villages, children are being rescued and educated and loved, and families are being given hope and overcoming extreme poverty through small business loans. Thank you for taking action and caring for the least of these.
May God plant right thinking into our hearts that reaps proper action and justice. May we put our faith into action every day.
Posted on November 7, 2015 |
Executive Director of ServLife International, Adam Nevins, recounts his first hand experience of unrest and violence that followed the shooting of an Indian protester at the India-Nepal border in Birgunj on November 2, 2015:
A small team of ServLife staff and I traveled to Birgunj, Nepal in an attempt to visit ServLife’s India children’s home and pastor training center just across the border in Raxaul, Bihar, India. We had been waiting for 24 hours after arriving, due to Bihar elections closing the border. On former trips to Raxaul the half-mile strip of dusty road that bridges a muddy stream into India was always full of hectic motion. It was a jumble of tankers, trucks, bicycles, and rickshaws rumbling around. Sunday, however, nothing was moving. We stayed in Birgunj that night, in hopes the border would reopen soon.
The next morning we made our way to the edge of the border crossing. Sunday night after the elections, protesters had gathered and camped out on the border-crossing road. Monday morning this led to an altercation with the police. After being pelted by stones by protestors, the police retaliated by firing bullets and teargas shells into the rioting mob. One Indian man was killed and many more sustained severe injuries.
By the time we arrived at the border the mob had grown and before noon it was chaotic and uncontrollable. In just minutes about a thousand protestors moved again to the edge of Nepal’s territory. They began flinging rocks hard and far at the Nepal police as we watched from only 50 feet away. The Nepal police formed a line with riot shields but were beaten back. In less than 10 minutes the police fell back almost level with us, chased by the barrage of stones. When the police started to retreat to regroup I knew we should leave. As we grabbed our luggage and began to go the rocks started landing and bouncing by our feet. It was time to get out.
Because of the strike, there were no taxis or vehicles of any kind on the roads, so the team packed our luggage and ourselves into bicycle rickshaws for a three-hour ride back to the Simara Airport to return to Kathmandu. The whole experience left me very glad we weren’t hurt but also so sad for the state of India and Nepal relations. This is a country I’ve volunteered and worked in for over 10 years and I have never seen such a state of unrest and violence here. It emphasizes to me the increasing need for empathy and understanding, as well as the continued need to care for orphans and the poor in times of political strife.
Posted on November 3, 2015 |
On April 25 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Nepal, followed by a 7.3 magnitude on May 12. Aftershocks have continued for months in the 4-5 magnitude range. Over 8,000 people have died and over 500,000 homes have been destroyed. As ServLife seeks to meet the needs of communities effected by the earthquake, local directors and pastors have been instrumental to the work.
Pastor Kamal has been particularly busy since the earthquake. “All the houses in our village collapsed.” Kamal explains, “We can’t go back to our village because it’s very dangerous. There are still rocks falling from the mountain all the time. We are not even harvesting our fields because they are in the path of the rockslides.” Pastor Kamal’s entire community was in danger due to rockslides, lack of food, water, and proper shelter. They had to move all 44 families to a safe location, where they lived in tents made out of tarps and sticks. They needed help to get provisions and shelter to protect them from the stormy monsoon season that hits Nepal in the summers.
Situated on the side of a treacherously steep mountain, Pastor Kamal’s village could not get relief as it was too far from cities and difficult to reach after the damage of the earthquake. The government assistance could not reach them. That’s when Pastor Kamal appealed to ServLife for relief. With ServLife’s help he organized long term temporary shelters and food and water relief for all 44 families, including those who were not a part of his congregation. “Before the earthquake, lots of our neighbors did not have a good attitude toward Christians,” Pastor Kamal told us, “but after the earthquake and the relief we received through ServLife they have changed their minds… It has opened a way for the gospel.” God provided an opportunity to share His love and expand His Kingdom, even in the midst of tragedy. Pastor Kamal is seeing the way opened and hearts transformed through his active, physical care for his community.
If you would like to help communities and pastors like this, please visit our earthquake relief page to find out more.
Posted on October 31, 2015 |
The remote HOPE Fund village in the Surkhet Valley of west Nepal is 4.5 hours from the nearest city. It is accessible only by crossing a river and climbing treacherous mountain roads, a hardship that isolates the community and stunts economic growth. Villagers there live on a less than $1 per day, with very few ways to grow their income. A small loan from the HOPE Fund provides a family with livestock or supplies to run their own small business. Breeding animals or doing small jobs like carpentry or tailoring can make all the difference for an impoverished family. With the help of micro-finance loans being repaid and redistributed, entire villages are escaping the cycle of poverty. Tulisara’s family has experienced just this affect.
“My family had few options for making money before we got a HOPE Fund loan,” Tulisara shares. “We received several goats and started earning money selling the babies every six months. However, we needed money more consistently to provide for our family’s needs. So we sold all but two of the goats and bought a sewing machine. We opened a tailoring shop and now we are earning money every day. We are able to send all three of our children to school with the income from this loan. It has made all the difference for our family.”
As Tulisara’s story proves, a small amount in the U.S. goes a long way in Nepal. Starting small, Tulisara and her family built up their business until it was possible to exponentially increase their earnings, thus changing their lives exponentially. It’s easy to fund a micro-loan, but it has an incredible impact on the people it helps. If economic stimulus is the key to ending poverty, then micro-lending is a great way to start the fight.
Posted on October 24, 2015 |
Before coming to the ServLife India children’s home, John was a jungle boy. His father had passed away and his mother re-married, abandoning John. Every day he was left to fend for himself in the forests around his village. He had to find his own food and protect himself from the jungle’s dangers. “We call him our Mowgli,” Children’s Home Manager, Camillus, tells us, “We hear a lot of stories from him… The dog was his best friend, and the monkeys were his friends, and he would spend all day in the jungle playing with them. The day when he came here he really looked like a jungle boy; he had this long hair and he was so dirty. I mean you could tell that he lived in the jungle.”
“I think he had not brushed his teeth since he was born!” Director Albert Das says, “And now you can see all his teeth are clean. He brushes every day and he has good etiquette.” A local pastor learned of John’s plight and rescued him, bringing him to the children’s home. He has been living in the ServLife Children’s Home in northern India for about two years now and is thriving alongside his new family. He’s energetic, mischievous and often hilarious, but most importantly he’s getting the food, love, and education he needs to build a bright future for himself and others.
Without support and intervention John may have spent a life without safety, nutrition, or love. But thanks to the support of the passionate people at the children’s home and the care of a sponsor, John is a transformed child and his life has hope for the future. “I look forward to him doing good,” Director Albert says, “not only for his own life, but for him to serve the Lord in the future, because that’s my passion.”
Children like John need your support, please visit our child sponsorship page to learn more about how you can help. All donations during October 2015 will be 100% MATCHED.
Posted on October 17, 2015 |
Kanaya gave his heart to Christ at a young age because of deliverance from spiritual oppression. From then on he searched for the path God had in store for him. He participated in his local church and eventually began leading a youth group. “I was at a youth conference when I and heard a message from Isaiah 6:8 about the Lord asking ‘Who will go for Me?’” Pastor Kanaya told us. “I thought that message was for me personally, and from then on I had a vision to become a pastor and do ministry.” He completed the ServLife Pastor Training in 2008 and started a church in his home village. Now this new congregation is spreading the healing and hope of Jesus among their troubled community.
“My community is made up of the Dangaura Tharu people (a low-caste minority group),” Pastor Kanaya explains. “They worship idols and there is also a big problem with drinking and gambling and many people are involved in prostitution.” He says that the people in his community often have a very fatalistic attitude, and lack the hope that salvation brings. “They say ‘If I die, it’s okay,’” he explains, “But then those who are hearing the gospel and getting healed, they have some expectation for their lives. They think that they will have eternal life, so they need to change and follow the Gospel.”
Now Kanaya’s church is sharing the Gospel of hope with the local people. Many of their neighbors are coming to Christ. “They are leaving their idol worship and prostitution,” Kanaya says, “and they are becoming aware that a drunken lifestyle is bad for them, so they are improving their lives with the help of the Gospel.” Kanaya believes that the hope and salvation God provides will make all the difference for his community. Without support for the work Kanaya is doing, this essential transformation could not take place. Kanaya needs a sponsor to help fund and encourage his church plant, as do many other pastors, but he is confident that God will provide all they need.
Kanaya and pastors like him need sponsors to support their transformational work. If you would like to sponsor a pastor please visit our sponsorship page. All donations during October 2015 will be 100% MATCHED up to $100,000.
Posted on October 10, 2015 |
In Matthew 20 Jesus says whoever wants to be great in His Kingdom must be a servant to all. Even the King of kings didn’t come to be served, but to serve others. Jesus doesn’t condemn the pursuit of greatness, but rather points out the upside down nature of greatness and that pursuit in God’s Kingdom. Immediately after saying this, Jesus serves two blind men by healing them. His motivation is in the last verse, “Jesus had compassion on them.” We should pursue greatness through service, not for fame but driven by compassion.
You are leading the way in compassion and service as you support pastors, children and families on the other side of the world. Your prayers and donations are spreading the good news of Jesus, rescuing orphans and empowering families in extreme poverty through small business loans. All donations this month are matched up to $100,000, doubling your donation and impact. Thank you for making this work possible and for making an exponential impact in the lives of those in need.
May God grant us compassion to motivate us to service and sacrifice to show love to others as the greatest act we can possibly do.
Posted on October 3, 2015 |