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In the beautiful Surkhet Valley of Nepal, the main industry is agriculture, and most people work as field hands earning about 2 dollars a day. This is not a profession one can maintain into old age. So, it is customary for parents to be cared for by their oldest son and his family when they are no longer able to earn a wage. However, when the unthinkable happens and a son dies, there is little help for a family left without their main income provider.

This is the predicament Bhabilal and Tilsari faced. Being too old to do the hard labor of working in the fields, they had already settled into a life of helping around the house and caring for their grandchild when their son died unexpectedly. Their daughter-in-law remarried and moved away, leaving her daughter behind. Bhabilal and Tilsari lacked sufficient means to support their grandchild. All they had to their names was a small plot of land and a mud house.

That’s when Bhabilal and Tilsari applied for a micro loan from the HOPE Fund. They received a herd of four goats. This may not sound like much, but each of those goats can give birth once every six months, and their kids can be sold for $50 to $110 each. This becomes a small business for Bhabilal and Tilsari. If all of the goats give birth, in six months they increase their average daily income by anywhere from 55-120%.

This loan is making a noticeable difference in Bhabilal and Tilsari’s lives. They are now able to provide for their granddaughter and make a reasonable living for themselves. Rather than being controlled by poverty, Bhabilal and Tilsari are empowered to shape their own lives. This is the impact a small investment makes; we want to see it spread as HOPE grows.

To get involved in the work of the HOPE Fund, visit our Donate Page.

 

Posted on September 27, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

flood affected family

A few weeks ago, Tek Bahadur was woken up in the middle of the night by the voice of God. Tek heard God tell him while he was sleeping that he needed to get up, leave his house, and go someplace safe. Tek woke up to the sound of heavy rain beating on his roof. He was skeptical at first, trying to remember the voice he had heard in his sleep, but when he walked out side he saw that the monsoon rains had begun to flood his courtyard, and there was a danger that his entire village would soon be flooded.

Tek roused his wife and six children. He woke his neighbors, telling them that something disastrous was about to happen and they all needed to leave to escape the danger of flooding. In the black of night, the people of the village began to evacuate. Tek led his family across a small river and onto higher ground. Not long after, Tek heard the colossal sound of water rushing down from the slopes of the nearby mountain. He and his family spent the whole night on the other side of the river, waiting for morning to see what had happened in their village.

When Tek returned to the site of his home early in the morning he found that there was nothing left; the house had been totally demolished by a landslide. Sand, dirt, and rocks (some larger than his house) slid down the mountain into his village, leaving no crops or livestock standing. God had delivered his family and neighbors from being swept away while they slept.

Believers in nearby villages have begun caring for families displaced by the landslide in -4Tek’s village while they wait for assistance from the government. All eight families who lost their homes are being housed in the church of ServLife Pastor Deviram. Pastor Nanda in eastern Nepal is also housing five more families of believers who lost their homes to landslides. So far, with the help of donations and the generosity of Nepali believers, ServLife staff in Nepal has provided food and supplies for the displaced families. They are now are making plans to aid long-term recovery.

These men and women are truly living into the promise God made in Isaiah 58:

“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday… You will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
Isaiah 58: 10,12

Posted on September 20, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Border-01The story is told in the book of Exodus of Aaron and Hur standing beside Moses and lifting his arms so that the Israelites would be victorious. In that same way pastors need faithful helpers to come alongside and join them in their mission. Nowhere is this more crucial than in the remote villages of Nepal where pastors face great challenges when sharing the Gospel.

Pastors trained by ServLife need lay leaders in their villages to partner with them in growing the church. To meet this need the training school run by our ServLife partners launched a one month training course entitled, “How to Help Your Pastor.”

This past Spring eighteen enthusiastic men and women arrived in Kathmandu from all over Nepal. Their goal was to become Aaron and Hur for their pastors equipped to bring the victorious message of Jesus to their home villages. Living at the training school for 30 days, these faithful believers studied evangelism, discipleship, Christian Ethics, and youth ministry. They worked through a survey course of the Old and New Testaments and learned to lead worship and prayer services.

Though some were relatively new believers, all were filled with a desire to help grow their church communities. Suman, a young man who accepted Christ just a year ago, exemplifies the group. Clearly gifted to lead worship, he stepped up to lead all the trainees in hymns and songs. Now back in their home villages, these lay leaders are full of fervor and excitement to support the pastors in growing their church communities.

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Posted on September 8, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeRecently someone thanked me for all that I do for people in India and Nepal. In that moment, I felt like I didn’t actually do anything for them. I don’t walk 2 hours to pray with a family living in a mud hut and grow the church. I don’t tuck orphans in at night and sing a lullaby. I don’t help a widow select a small herd of goats to increase her daily income to over $2. I really felt like I just didn’t do anything. And then I read Romans 12:4-5.

“For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another.”

We all have a role to play. We all have an opportunity to engage. We all can make a difference. Some will feed orphans, some will pay for the food to feed those orphans, some will manage the infrastructure that gets the food to the orphans. It is easy to feel like there’s greater value in one role than another role. But we each have a different function, and when we do it well and in unity, we belong to each other.

You belong to the ServLife community. Thank you for that! We’re so glad to have you, and for the role that you play. Your stewardship of that role empowers churches to be started, children to be rescued and families to escape extreme poverty. What we accomplish together is overwhelming to me, and I’m filled with gratitude. Thank you.

May we embrace and live into our different gifts according to the grace given to us. As we belong to one another, may we accomplish our collective calling to glorify God and show love to others.

Posted on September 1, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Durga ShahiDurga lost sight in one eye when she was young, but she refuses to live in the darkness of poverty. While Durga’s mother cares for their family of seven and her father travels between Nepal and India as a day laborer, Durga is thrilled to be able to study and get an education. She rides her bike a full hour away from home to get to her boarding school.

Without the help of sponsorship through ServLife, Durga would most likely be working as a shepherd in her home village. Her family owns no land in a region ruled by agriculture, and therefore neither of Durga’s parents received an education. With their minimal income they could not afford to send their children to school. Now however, thanks to a ServLife educational sponsorship, Durga is thriving and studying in ninth grade. She loves studying science and achieves high grades in all her classes.

Durga is committed to creating a better future for herself and her family- breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Despite having lost some of her vision she sees clearly that the love of Jesus has transformed her life, and she hopes to share this vision of hope with others as she grows up. You can help a child like Durga see the love of Christ and dream of a brighter future. Learn more about child sponsorship and the impact it makes at https://servlife.org/sponsorachild/.

Posted on August 25, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_5047 copyOne of Lokesh’s earliest memories is that of falling off a bridge and nearly drowning. Lokesh was the youngest of his siblings. His parents worked as field hands in a remote undeveloped village, despite suffering from mental illness. Being mainly without supervision, Lokesh often wandered near his home, playing in the mud on the riverbank or collecting firewood in the forest. He says, “I was warned not to go near the river. It was monsoon season. But I went to the river and sat on the bridge and fell asleep, and in my sleep I fell down into the river and just caught the branch of a shrub.Blood was coming from my hands. I was saved by my brother. He grabbed me and pulled me out, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”

Lokesh says that at the time he did not know the reason why his life had been saved. He went to church because he was told to do so by his family, but he did not really understand the meaning behind it. He says, “I was just wasting my time and life. For my education, my parents were not able to send me to a good school, and at the same time both of them were mentally ill. But one of my uncles introduced me to the ServLife.By the grace of God I had the chance to come to Kathmandu at ServLife Children’s Home for education.” Lokesh was eight when he first came to the children’s home. “I made many friends and I started to know the importance of education, through which I can get maturity,” he shares. “This was a new life to me a new beginning too. From then on I started to grow physically and spiritually. I started to know the meaning of God and church. I learned to respect elders and to love the younger children. Here every day is a blessing for me.”

Lokesh believes that God saved him from drowning in order to give him this blessing. He is now 15 years old and studying in 10th grade. He is growing into a mature and intelligent man of God. Lokesh is now confident that God has saved him for a reason. “Because of the support from ServLife through AS Nepal, I am trying to become a good person and I am getting a good education. Once again, thank you for your great provision in my life.”

August is ServLife Child Sponsorship Month. Would you support a child like Lokesh who is in need of education, nutrition, and loving care? Join us this month and ServLife will cover your first month of sponsorship. Visit https://servlife.org/sponsorachild/ for more information.

Posted on August 18, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ADAM’S EXPERIENCE
I met the first child I sponsored through SeBhadra-01rvLife almost 10 years ago. Samson was the oldest boy in the orphanage and was “big brother” to all the other children. He would often stand at the gate to the building and keep watch in a protective fashion. His father had died when he was young, and his mother went to work breaking bricks. Their family of 6 was struggling to survive and his mother decided to do what no mother should have to do. She went to her oldest son and told him that, at 10 years old, he was on his own. Fending for himself on the streets of India, Samson met a pastor and was brought to the children’s home where he has received education, care and love. Today, he mentors the other children, is finishing high school, and is considering entering the training school to become a pastor. He is quiet, faithful, loyal, and is becoming a strong young man following the path of Jesus.

The second child I sponsored lives in a remote village in West Nepal. Bhadra is 8, the same age as my son, and when I saw her playing in a Spiderman t-shirt, I just knew that she was my child. She is full of joy and rarely stifles her contagious smile. But she did not always smile like this. Her father died from jaundice and her mother was killed in an accident. Scared and alone by age 5, Samson-01she was brought to the children’s home where she has rediscovered joy and love.

There are so many children like Samson and Bhadra in India and Nepal that need help. ServLife is currently serving 300 children, and we hope to add another 100 in the next year. We cannot do this without your help. We cannot do this without sponsorship.

THE NEED
Over 20 million children in India and Nepal have been orphaned from violence, landslides, poverty and medical challenges. Children are under-valued and orphans often are left on the street without protection and care, susceptible to starvation, diseases, and predators looking for sex slaves or forced laborers.

Almost 200 million children in India and Nepal lack access to a good education. Often in remote villages, half the children or more cannot afford to go to school. Most of these children are born into generational poverty due to slavery, the caste system and lack of opportunity. Education is a critical tool for breaking this cycle of poverty, but it is out of reach for the majority of those who desperately need it.

OUR RESPONSE
Through strategic partnerships with a few select schools, ServLife is sending hundreds of children to school that would otherwise not be able to afford it. We are also providing ongoing training for these teachers as they invest in the children.

In Addition, Our 5 orphanages care for over 100 children; providing house parents, support caregivers, clothes, food, education and love. This care brings restoration and hope, along with introducing a bright new future.

Lokesh, age 16, shares, “Here I had started my studies from 1st grade. I made many friends and I started to know the importance of education, through which I gained maturity. This is a new life to me; a new beginning too. From then I had started to grow physically and spiritually.”

THE OPPORTUNITY
Sponsoring a child can give you the opportunity to invest in the life of a child and provide education, care and love that would not otherwise be possible. Please consider sponsoring a child through ServLife for $30/mo, and help invest in children like Samson, Bhadra and Lokesh.

Sponsor Today

Posted on August 8, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeMy favorite Bible verses about raising children are Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which say, “Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”

The Hebrew word for “teach” in this verse is shanan (שָׁנַן). It literally means “to sharpen.” As children are cared for and raised into adulthood, the goal is to sharpen them, to refine them, so that they can fulfill The Great Commandment of loving God and others. Every day, our leaders in India and Nepal engage in this sharpening work, to help children have self worth, to develop and grow, and to care for others. India children’s home caregiver Camillus puts it this way, “At the end of it I don’t want them to just have a good education, I want them to be a good person… The thing that we really teach them is that since you are being helped, when you grow up you have to do that. You have to also help others, because you were helped.”

We have all been helped at different points in our lives and it taught us; it sharpened our understanding of grace and generosity. As you give to ServLife, you are helping to raise a generation of well educated, generous disciples of Jesus. Your love for your neighbor is empowering neighborhoods on the sides of mountains and in the grime of border-towns. Your investment in pastors, children and families is inviting and empowering others to receive, embrace and live out The Great Commandment in ways that were never possible before. Thank you for your generosity, support and love.

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37-39

Posted on August 1, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

PKamal Bisankey copyastor Kamal knows something about working against the odds. According to Operation World, only 2.85% of the country’s population is Christian. Christian believers are far outnumbered by the devout of other religions that have been entrenched in Nepal for hundreds of years.

Nevertheless, Kamal was moved by the gospel and chose to pursue becoming a pastor through ServLife’s pastor training school. After completing his training in 2011, Kamal sought to plant a church in a village of central Nepal where the vast majority of residents are devout Hindus.It was tough going at first, and Kamal met with a lot of resistance to his efforts to build a community of Christians.

Finally, he met a family who were open to hearing him share the gospel. They explained that the cost of performing the prescribed rituals according to Hindu teachings was a burden on their already inadequate finances.They said they struggled to find joy in their lives and wanted something mo

With Pastor Kamal’s encouragement and sharing of the good news, the family became the first in the village to accept Christ and the pioneers of Christian community in the area.
Since then Kamal and his congregation have faced persecution from the religious majorities in his village, but he says that the Lord has used even the oppression to grow their community. Kamal now leads more than 45 people across two villages who meeting for prayer and worship every week. In spite of all the odds, Christ is giving them the victory.

Please pray for Kamal and his growing group of believers as they share the gospel and care for the poor in their area. If you’d like to support pastor Kamal or pastors like him more directly, visit https://servlife.org/sponsorapastor/

Posted on July 29, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeI’ve been thinking a lot lately about investment, micro-finance and return on investment. It led me to revisit the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Jesus tells the story of a wealthy man who goes on a trip and leaves three different funds to three different employees. Two of them quickly make investments and double their funds. But the third employee literally buries his funds in the ground, not even earning bank interest. The wealthy man returns from his long journey and is quite pleased with the first two employees. But it does not go well for the third employee. He calls him names, chides him, gives his funds to the first employee and then kicks him out. The wealthy man drives it home with a striking quote, “‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

This story has obvious financial implications, but I think it is beyond just financial. It has me asking questions like, Who am I mentoring? Who am I investing in? Where am I spending my time? How am I helping replicate leaders? How am I investing in future generations? I want to invest my life in the right places and hope to someday hear Jesus say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

May we be people that invest our time, money and talents into others for God’s Kingdom. I am grateful for the way that you do this in your partnership with ServLife. Thank you for your strategic investment in these pastors, children and families in India and Nepal. Your support is architecting a new future for these children and communities. Thank you.

Posted on July 14, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latest News

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One Body

September 2014

Recently someone thanked me for all that I do for people in India and Nepal. In … Read

Adam_HS_large

Sharpening Children

August 2014

My favorite Bible verses about raising children are Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which say, “Listen, Israel: The Lord … Read

Featured Story

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Goats for Grandparents

September 2014

In the beautiful Surkhet Valley of Nepal, the main industry is agriculture, and most people work … Read

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Warned By God’s Voice

September 2014

A few weeks ago, Tek Bahadur was woken up in the middle of the night by … Read

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