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As his name suggests, Lazarus Thulung’s life and ministry have been marked by new life emerging from dark depths. A third generation Christian and pastor growing up in the shadow of Mount Everest, Lazarus’ childhood was shaped by persistent religious marginalization. Because of her faith, Lazarus’ mother was left alone by her village to give birth to him while his father was away working. When medical complications arose, no one was there to help, and she died in child birth. To honor her, his father named him Lazarus, because his life came from her death. Devastated but not defeated, his father and grandfather continued sharing Jesus with others, even though it meant enduring beatings and imprisonment.

LazarusHis family’s example instilled in him a deep faith and commitment to the way of Jesus, which eventually led him to seminary and a life of church planting. He recalls hearing a statistic ten years ago that propelled him to action. “There are more than 3,912 villages in Nepal, but only 1,300 villages are reached by the gospel. That was the statistic…that really touched my heart. I have much to do,” he recalls. Around the same time, Lazarus met ServLife’s founding director. Once he heard Lazarus’ passion and vision, a church planting partnership was born.

_R0C2268From the start, Lazarus believed widespread transformation was possible. In 2006, he set of goal of starting 150 churches by 2016. To do this, he began training church planters in cohorts of 12-16 each year who would then go into unchurched villages with the message of Jesus. As of today, Lazarus and his team have trained 97 pastors, who have planted 121 churches, and have seen 4,700 people decide to follow Jesus, with 2,700 baptisms.  Their work is part of nationwide movement of new believers. Research suggests that in 1980, there were roughly 7,000 Christians in Nepal. Today, Nepali Christian leaders suggest there are over a million Christians in the country. Lazarus has helped fuel this movement by authoring 18 books, speaking throughout the country, and emerging as a Christian leader on a national scale.

In the midst of a vibrant ministry, Lazarus has experienced heartbreaking trials. Perhaps his greatest trial was the loss of his son, Abhishek. Born with severe disabilities, Abhishek was never able to see or talk, and, after a tough life, died peacefully at the age of 12 in 2012. Lazarus’ life and ministry was deeply shaped by the life and loss of his son. He notes that Abhishek brought him and his wife “joy in everyday and every moment of our lives. I realized that I lost a great theologian and mentor in my life.” Abhishek inspired him to write “Where is God When I am in Suffering?” and “When God is Silence”, which helped thousands of Nepali’s walk through pain and suffering.

View More: http://jadeandkyle.pass.us/nepal2016Throughout his ministry, Lazarus began to realize that to fully live out the good news of Jesus, Christians were called to empower people out of poverty. This led him to start the HOPE Fund, ServLife’s microfinance program. Since its inception, the HOPE Fund has helped dozens of families raise their standard of living through small, affordable loans to start small business. Currently, the HOPE Fund is operating seven villages and resourcing 75 families. For Lazarus, this financial program has deep spiritual roots. “We are blessed by God. We are loved by God, and we are sharing this love with one another,” he reflects.

Lazarus is confident that God will continue to use him to bring new life in the midst of darkness. As he looks forward, he sees an abundance of opportunity for the good news of Jesus to continue spreading in Nepal. As he looks back, he sees God’s goodness to him, even in the midst of trials. “God is so faithful,” he says. “He has provided everything that we needed. In different challenges we’ve faced in this journey, God is always faithful.”

Posted on March 1, 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeWhen describing God’s kingdom in Mark 4, Jesus said, “Consider a mustard seed. When scattered on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds on the earth; but when it’s planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all vegetable plants. It produces such large branches that the birds in the sky are able to nest in its shade.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭CEB‬‬)

It’s hard to know or even imagine the impact of a gift of time or money in someone’s life. When I was 13 a guy at my church took a few hours and taught me how to play bass guitar and some basic music theory. It’s the only music lessons I’ve ever taken and it launched me into a world of music. I’ve recorded a few albums, was a worship pastor for a decade, and can play bass, piano, drums, guitar and more, all based on those first few hours of investment from my friend Greg.

Small investments in God’s kingdom reap amazing branches of hope and empowerment. For just $35/mo, each of Nazir’s four children are able to attend school and receive the education that his parents could not provide for him. For just $3 per bible, Pastor Mansing’s entire church and surrounding churches were able to receive bibles from a generous church in Texas. Jamuna received a loan for $200 and it changed her family’s life, empowering her to send her children to school and feed them properly. Your generosity is planting seeds of amazing harvest on the other side of the world, and we are deeply grateful and excited to have you propel these stories of hope and transformation.

May God multiply our gifts and produce a large harvest of love, hope and salvation.

Posted on February 6, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LazarusAlbertUdayaI remember my first trip to India and Nepal in 2006. I’d been a ServLife volunteer for a few years and was excited to see the work firsthand.

As I met the pastors and children I knew my life would never be the same. A few trips and six years later I was hired to work with ServLife, and my heroes in India and Nepal.

We are going to celebrate all year, sharing the stories of our three international directors, along with stories of the pastors, children, families in India and Nepal, and stories of people like you that are building global community to make a difference in the world.

Thank you for your prayers, time and financial support that has helped make all of this possible. And please join us throughout the year as we celebrate all that God has done!

– Adam J. Nevins
Executive Director

Posted on February 3, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

AlbertPreachingAlbert Das’ life and ministry have taken him many places, but his journey always drew him back to one area: Bihar, India. Born in Bihar as a high caste Hindu, Albert’s life began on a harsh note. Both of his parents died suddenly, leaving young Albert orphaned. At first sent away to a children’s home in Bihar, a couple from Kolkata soon adopted him. Even while being raised in Kolkata, he had a sense he would one day return to Bihar.

When Albert’s travels first took him to Raxaul, a town in Bihar, in the early 1990s, he asked a local, “Are there Christians here?” The local resident laughed, “Christians?” Undeterred, Albert asked a follow-up question: “Do you know Jesus?” The man responded, “Who is Jesus? A Bollywood star?” With that brief conversation, Albert Das knew he had found his eventual ministry home.

As he grew and began pursuing a life in ministry, he traveled around Asia to receive theological and practical training. During this time, he met ServLife’s founding director, who was on a college mission trip. As the two talked, Albert shared his vision for training church leaders and caring for children in Bihar. Seeing a clear opportunity for partnership, ServLife was born.

For the next ten years, the partnership was nurtured and groundwork was laid. Finally, in 1997, Albert knew it was time to return to Bihar to plant churches and care for children. Despite having the highest crime, murder and poverty rates in India, Albert had high hopes for the region. “Northern India breaks my heart,” Albert reflects. “It’s known as the graveyard of missions, as if no good, no life, can happen there. But I’ve never believed that. Instead, I’m convinced God will turn this land into His vineyard!”

DasFamilyAlbert’s faithful pursuit of God’s vision for his life has changed countless lives. In his 25 years with ServLife, Albert and his staff have trained 184 pastors who have started churches throughout northern India. The children’s home that Albert started currently provides safe, loving care for 30 children. An additional 50 children in local villages receive an education through ServLife’s sponsorship program.

As he looks ahead, Albert sees even greater things in store for Bihar. He has plans to build a church, training center and school that would give 1,000 children an invaluable education. Perhaps most importantly, he sees a new generation of leaders rising up to offer hope and healing in Bihar. He has a dream that, in his words, “the young generation which are coming will be encouraged and they will also move forward, without seeing any challenges… and they will just go all out for the Lord.”

Posted on February 1, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chandler Chapman Profile PictureWe’re excited to welcome Chandler Chapman to our board and introduce her to you. Chandler was born and raised in Zionsville, Indiana and attended Taylor University, where she studied Physics and Math. Her heart for what God is doing in India and Nepal has grown over the years, and she joins our board to carry that passion forward. Below, we chat with Chandler about her journey and what led her to ServLife.

Chandler, tell us a little about your current job.
I’m an Enterprise Technical Architect at Octiv, a fast-growing tech company located on Monument Circle in downtown Indy. My job is to manage how our customer’s business goals and initiatives are achieved through our technology platform. I graduated from Taylor University where the mission of Taylor was to “develop servant leaders marked with a passion to minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth to a world in need.” After graduating from Taylor University I wanted to have a way to continue to live out that mission.

How do your personal passions intersect with the work ServLife does in India and Nepal?
When I was in high school I read a book called Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan. That was the first time I realized that there was a powerful movement for Christ going on in Southeast Asia—a revolution where the people of Asia were beginning to preach the gospel to their own nation, rather than Christians from other nations coming to share the story of Christ. I was so inspired I took up another summer job in landscaping so that I could help support a pastor in India. Ever since that summer I have felt a calling to support the work of Christ in Southeast Asia.

What is it about ServLife’s mission that pulled you in?
When I heard about ServLife I was so excited that there was an organization in Indianapolis that had deep roots in the revolution for Christ that was going on in Nepal and India. Furthermore, I was amazed that over 70% of their staff lived in Nepal and India, just as I had read about in Revolution in World Missions. I believe God has a call for revival in Southeast Asia and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an organization that is partnering with God in this mission.

Welcome, Chandler!

Posted on January 31, 2017 |

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In Ezra 2, three priestly families “looked for their entries in the genealogical records, but they were not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.” (‭‭Ezra‬ ‭2:62‬ ‭CEB‬‬) It’s amazing to me how much God values excellence and detail. From the radial symmetry of a red rose to the earth’s axial tilt to priestly record keeping. And if you can’t do a good job, can’t keep your records well, then sorry, God says you can’t do the job. But “if you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones…” (Luke 16:10 NLT)

Serving God requires compassion and love. But it also requires proper record keeping and accountability. Not self-righteous perfectionism, but compassion driven attention-to-detail bathed in grace. May our pursuit of quality and excellence be fueled by our desire to serve God as best we can. “No matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s.” (Colossians 3:23 VOICE)

Thank you for your investment in quality kingdom work in India and Nepal. Your support helps pastors like Joseph in Nepal. He knows the people in his village intimately, and he noticed many had unattended medical needs, so he started a medical clinic. You support leaders like Udaya who personally meets with families who cannot afford to send their children to school and provides another way for them. You support women like Tulisara who took a small loan and through good stewardship and innovation, grew her daily income by 700% in less than two years. You are making a difference in so many lives, and we are grateful to partner with you in this amazing work.

May we always be committed to doing our best as God’s servants and agents of good in the world.

Posted on January 13, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeIn 1 Thessalonians Paul writes to his friends, “We always thank God for all of you when we mention you constantly in our prayers. This is because we remember your work that comes from faith, your effort that comes from love, and your perseverance that comes from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.” I share this feeling of gratefulness as we step into the Christmas season. I am thankful for you and our friendship and partnership in sharing the love and hope of Jesus.

I am most thankful for Jesus himself who came in the form of a human. With humble beginnings he was born in a barn to an unwed mother and laid in an animal food trough. The King of kings snuck into this world quietly, and as an adult was homeless, wore through countless sandals traveling from village to city to village, and occasionally borrowed a donkey for transportation. Jesus had a deep compassion for the poor and outcast, and before leaving this world told his followers that “whatever you [do] for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you [do] for me.”

As followers of Jesus, we continue his work of serving the poor and outcasts of society. Not because we are commissioned to do so, but out of a similar deep compassion, as we were once lost without Jesus and now we have found our hope, our forgiveness, our purpose, our home. Your gifts go far on the other side of the world to show the compassion of Jesus. People who have never heard the name of Jesus are finding hope and salvation. Children who had a bleak future now have a home and a strong education. Families on the brink of starvation are being empowered to build their own businesses through small loans. Lives and families and villages are being transformed in the name of Jesus because of your obedience and partnership. Thank you.

May we grow in the deep compassion of Jesus for others and may that compel us to extreme acts of generosity and love.

Posted on December 10, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

_R0C3562SQ Many people in the United States have never heard the term “subsistence farming,” yet for many families in the remote villages of the Himalayas eking out a living from the small patch of land you own is the only way to survive. This form of agriculture often leaves the poor without any way to grow their income to provide for their families in a changing, demanding world. However, this lack of resources also means that a little opportunity can go a long distance in the way of change.

Jamuna (pictured right) and her family took the opportunity ServLife’s micro lending program offered and ran with it. Prior to the loan they had just been cultivating their small amount of land to support the four generations of family that lived there, Jamuna explains. “Before the loan we didn’t have any income because there was nothing here,” she shares, “no resources in the village. Then I got a $200 loan and I used it to buy two pigs. The pigs had piglets and by selling those piglets we were able to expand the farm and pay for many supplies we needed.”

“With the income from the first 14 piglets we bought goats and cows and an ox. We’ve also been able to buy everything we needed for our home,” Jamuna shares. _R0C3521LG SQ“We weren’t growing rice in our field so we got rice to sow as well as all the daily supplies for our home. The piglets covered all our expenses, even the fees to send my children to school for the first time. That’s what’s been really different since the loan.”

The piglets opened up a new world of possibilities to Jamuna’s family. The piglets serve as liquid assets that allow the family to have an income year round. “After getting a loan from ServLife,” Jamuna says, “we still have eleven piglets and we can sell them any time to get money easily.”

Because of a small investment Jamuna and her family have gone far beyond subsistence farming and become small business owners. They dream of ever expanding ways to grow their business, when only a year ago they had no means to generate income. “We are planning to sell all eleven baby pigs we have now,” Jamuna explains, “and then we want to buy a little bit higher quality of pigs and extend the pen so we can breed more in the future… This is a wonderful program for our village. We are very thankful for the people who are helping us here and sending help from the US. You are really directly helping our families.”

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Posted on October 20, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I recently met Bob Goff, and have been encouraged by his book Love Does. The first line of chapter 9 continues to resonate with me, “I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.”

When I was offered this job five years ago, I didn’t think I could do it. My resume ranged from Window Washer to Worship Pastor but nothing close to international Executive Director. In the midst of my uncertainty, God have me a verse that led me to say yes and guided that first year: “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Our small staff chose to trust God instead of our own fears. We moved in power and authority and confidence to grow and serve more people and children in Asia. We tried to show love and compassion not only to those being served but to each other, to our international partners and our supporters. And we increased our self control and administration and accountability as an organization. Now, five years later, we are healthier than we ever have been before and are serving twice as many pastors, children and families in India and Nepal!

This would not be possible without you. Your love, compassion, prayers and financial investment have had a ripple effect and God is blessing this work. Thank you for your partnership to start churches, educate children and empower families through small business loans. You are making the impossible become possible.

May we cast aside fear and doubt to instead embrace and display God’s power, love and self control to serve others.

Posted on October 13, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ansari RGB 2“I really want them to get an education, I wouldn’t even care if I didn’t have food to eat sometimes. Education is more important than anything,” Nazir (pictured right) shares. “I do cleaning jobs at a hospital and I want my kids to grow up and get an education so they don’t have to do the work I am doing.”

Nazir is just one of thousands of uneducated parents in dusty Raxaul, India trying to offer their children a better future. Even though it is a major port of entry to Nepal with thousands of trucks barrelling through each day, the industry of Raxaul mostly relies on menial labor jobs and agriculture, meaning few families have the funding to send their children to school.

That’s where ServLife India Missions School (SLIMS) comes in. The school works in conjunction with ServLife’s children’s home to offer free education to IMG_9145 copy72 children who might not otherwise be able to break their family’s cycle of poverty. “The very poor in Raxaul are working each day for survival and none of our children come from educated backgrounds,” explains Camillus Das, India Children’s Home manager and Teacher at SLIMS.

Savitri, mother of SLIMS student Laddo, shares “I don’t have any education, so I can’t do many jobs. I wash clothes and work in the fields sowing rice to make money. So I’m very happy for my son to be able to study because it’s not possible for me to educate him at all.”

The education children are receiving is already changing their family’s lives.IMG_8402 “I never studied anything. I can’t read,” shares Nazir, whose 4 children now attend SLIMS. “Before, when we would receive mail, we would have to go to neighbors in the village and ask them to read the letter, but now my kids just read it. I feel so proud that my sons can read and we don’t have to go to other people to ask them ‘please can somebody read my letter.’ That makes me very proud.”

Through the education they are receiving the children at SLIMS are pursuing futures they never would have been able to dream of before. Laddo wants to become an engineer when he grows up. Nazir’s sons Saddam and Salman dream of becoming a teacher and a doctor respectively. Their new ambitions could change their lives and those of their families.

“I’m so thankful that through this ministry my kids are able to study,” says Lakshmi (pictured above right), mother of two boys attending SLIMS. “Through this ministry and through all of you, my sons are able get an education and I am so thankful for that. I am hoping they can get a good education and have a better future.”

You can help families like those in Raxaul get access to life-changing education.

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Posted on October 6, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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