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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: , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_6825 2Daya was never supposed to become a pastor… or at least that’s what some of his friends and family would tell you. Born into a Hindu family, Daya was raised and educated to be a teacher. He got a bachelor’s degree in education and got married to a nice young lady. Everything seemed to be on track. However five years passed and Daya and his wife were unable to have a baby.

“I was so depressed about that,” Daya shares, “but then I met a Christian man who shared the gospel with me. He told me, ‘All things are possible through Jesus. If you believe in Him, He will bless your life.’ I instantly believed and gave my heart to Christ. Miraculously, one month later we found out we were going to have a baby.”

Overjoyed, Daya started attending church in his village. The congregation continued to share God’s Word with him, and it touched Daya’s heart. “When I heard Matthew 28 talking about growing God’s Kingdom I knew I wanted to work as a leader and as a pastor,” Daya says, but there were still challenges to be faced.

“I went to ServLife for training to start my own church,” Daya explains.IMG_6839RGB “But my relatives and friends often told me I should go into a different profession. They said I was not using my degree in education. Even my old church wanted me to become an administrator instead of a pastor, but I wanted to follow God’s calling in my heart to expand His kingdom. I chose not to listen to them because I think God is using me for his plan in this area.”

God is growing the church and working among the people in Pastor Daya’s area. “When we started this church,” he shares, “there was one lady whose kidneys were failing. The doctor had said this lady would not live more than a month, that she was going to die, but we prayed for her and God heard our prayers. She was healed by God and now she is living a very healthy life. She even helps me run the church.”

Thanks to his perseverance in following God’s call on his life, Pastor Daya is effectively building the Kingdom of God in his own corner of Nepal. He and his community are healing bodies and saving souls.

 

Want to support pastors of persevering faith like Daya? This month your gift will be 100% MATCHED!

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Posted on September 22, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeWhen I was a little boy I would come bounding down the stairs and yell “Dad!” just before jumping mid-staircase into my dad’s arms. Sometimes I would call out to him mid-flight and surprise him but he always caught me. I knew I was loved. I knew I was safe in his arms.

In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages us to “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Because we are known and loved, we know that we are safe to take risk and sacrifice. These days I still jump off the staircase, but it’s a metaphor and much more risky. I take leaps of faith and trust my Heavenly Father with my marriage, my children, my job, my finances. And God catches me every time.

God’s safe, loving arms have also given you courage to walk in the way of love and give sacrificially. Your love and generosity has brought the hope of Jesus to people in remote villages that had never heard before. You have empowered orphans and children and families through education and small business loans that have changed their lives forever. Your love is truly “a love marked by giving, not getting.” (‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:25b‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

May we find security as God’s dearly loved children to take risks and sacrifices for Him and others with a love marked by giving.

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

IMG_5208On July 13th a team of eleven American teachers boarded a plane in Chicago bound for Kathmandu. Their mission: to present a training conference for 130 Nepali teachers from twelve schools where ServLife sponsored children are being educated.

The team was hand picked for their special talents and passion to share the joys of teaching. They represented six states with experience ranging from 15 to 37 years in the classroom. Trainers and translators from Nepal joined them in Kathmandu where they all piled into a tiny plane and headed to far west Nepal. Over three days they presented twenty-four different workshop sessions for Nepali pre-school, elementary and secondary teachers and administrators. However, the American team insisted that they were receiving just as much inspiration as they gave through their interaction with their Nepali peers.

IMG_5515“The [Nepali] teachers reinforced the lesson that it is not necessary to have a lot of technology and other resources to be a good teacher,” explained Craig Hofmann, “but rather the commitment to building positive relationships with your students and a positive atmosphere in the classroom are essential.”

“The teachers in Nepal taught me that teaching and learning are not determined by circumstance but instead by the love a teacher has for the students and the commitment to education by both parties,” Chris Evans shared.

Through the journey across Nepal and the challenge of teaching together, a group of relative strangers became a family. “We had so many memorable meals that truly felt like family gatherings,” ServLife’s Tim Kurth says, “And just like family we can’t wait to get together again next year. If you’re a teacher we hope you’ll join us in 2017.”

If you’re interested in the 2017 Teacher Training Conference in Nepal you can find more information and apply for the trip at https://servlife.org/teacher-training-trip/.

 

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

6We are excited to announce that in the last year we have launched our microfinance program in three new villages in Nepal. This unprecedented growth comes after nearly a decade of operating in only two locations, and while those two programs have been very successful we are looking forward to reaching even more families through these new locations.

The new small business loan recipients in the districts of Bajhang, Saptari and Bardiya started their own home business with pigs, goats, water buffalo, or sewing machines. The income from these businesses is empowering them to escape the gripping poverty of their area. Most people in Nepal live on less than two dollars a day, but in remote rural locations like these villages jobs are often impossible to find and families are often forced to split up to find work in other locations, or else live without any viable source of income. The microfinance program provides the capital investment needed to begin earning an income and almost all our previous loan participants have been successful in repaying their loans on time so that the money can be redistributed around the community.

The new loan committees and loan recipients met with ServLife staff to learn more about microfinance and best business practices to help them succeed. For many this was their first ever opportunity to take control of their own earning potential and they were very excited to learn about financial record keeping and business strategies. One woman even learned to sign her name for the first time so she could sign the loan documents. In fact, many of the committees and loan recipients are comprised of a majority of women, most of whom had no formal education or have had their husbands and children leave the area for work. Now they are beginning to earn an income and have independent financial security for the first time.

We are so proud of the microfinance committees and loan recipients for all the wonderful work they are doing to fight poverty in Nepal. If you’d like to get involved and support the microfinance program visit our fighting poverty page to find out more: https://servlife.org/what-we-do/fighting-poverty/

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Committee Members and loan recipients in Bardiya District

Posted on July 15, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam_HS_largeI’ve been meditating on Acts 3 lately. Peter and John walk to the temple and see a crippled man. Peter says he doesn’t have money but he’ll offer the man what he has in the name of Jesus. “Then he grasped the man’s right hand and raised him up. At once his feet and ankles became strong.”

Thomas Walker observes that “the power was Christ’s, but the hand was Peter.” That is ever the tension and balance of showing God’s love. The power of God and the hand of man. We cannot operate without God’s power, but we also have responsibility and opportunity to reach out our hand.

You have extended your hand and helped children, trained pastors and empowered families on the other side of the world. Your generosity and action is having a physical and spiritual impact in the lives of people in immense need. Thank you!

May we always be willing to reach out our hand to help others, and may God display his power and glory through our actions of love.

Posted on July 9, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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In Ezra 2, three priestly families “looked for their entries in the genealogical records, but they … Read

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In 1 Thessalonians Paul writes to his friends, “We always thank God for all of you … Read

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