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Yam Bahadur Rai (1)“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Pastor Yam felt the call of Acts 1:8 strongly in his heart when he first became a Christian. However, he felt before he could reach the ends of the earth with the good news of Christ, he needed to start in “Jerusalem;” he needed to share the Gospel with his own immediate family members. So Yam began his journey there.

Yam’s father and uncle had long been devout animists – believing in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena. They regularly worshiped idols and prayed to their ancestors. When Yam shared his belief in Christ, they refused to listen to him out of fear of their society’s rejection of Christians. Yam tried again and again to reach his family members with the Gospel but met closed doors at every turn.

Recently, after several years of pushing ahead in this way, Yam’s father suddenly became ill with inexplicable seizures. He would experience sudden bouts of unconsciousness that were very dangerous due to their unpredictable nature. No treatment could be found at hospitals. Yam’s father finally was without excuses to refuse the possibility that Yam’s beliefs could help him. He asked Yam to pray for his healing. Yam prayed fervently over his father, and he received the healing they asked for. Yam’s father and uncle were amazed, and both immediately prayed for Christ’s forgiveness and acceptance. They have since become active members of the body of Christ in Yam’s area.

Yam sees this as a direct answer to his prayers, and a fulfillment of the first part of God’s calling on his life. He says, “This is the greatest joy in my life, to see my dad coming to faith in Jesus Christ… The Lord really answered my prayers.” Yam’s journey will continue as he and his family reach out to more and more people in their area, winning new members for the family of God, but this victory has brought new life to his mission. Please pray for Yam and our other pastors as they face great opposition with resilience and passion to spread the Gospel.

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

Adam_HS_largePsalm 67:4 says, “Let foreigners rejoice and celebrate! For you execute justice among the nations, and govern the people living on earth.” God is executing justice among all the nations. In every nook and cranny of the world, God’s light and truth and justice is breaking through the darkness, lies and abuse.

God has chosen the church to be his agent of change in the world. As Jesus put it in Matthew 5, “you are the light of the world.” When we join God in executing justice and the work of reconciliation and restoration, we are shining that light brightly.

You are likely familiar with ServLife’s mission statement, but might not be aware of our vision statement: “ServLife International envisions the Gospel bringing spiritual and physical restoration and healing in the most marginalized regions in the world.” Engaging in God’s holistic restoration of the world and all people is exciting and contagious, and you are helping lead the way and shine His light.

Your investment in India and Nepal is continuing to bring restoration and healing by showing God’s light and love. You are bringing homeless orphans into homes and families. You are illuminating the hope of the Gospel and healing broken hearts. You are keeping families together and healthy with small business loans. You are helping to reconcile man to man, and people to God. I am grateful and overwhelmed by your generosity and support. Thank you.

“Let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Posted on October 11, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , , , , , ,

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