Building global community.

Planting churches. Caring for children. Fighting poverty.

Blog

tim_reliefToday at ServLife we’re remembering the people of Nepal on the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake that claimed more than 8,000 lives in that country. Little Sujata came into our care because her mother perished in the quake and fourteen ServLife pastors saw their villages partially or completely destroyed. There are so many stories of loss, hope, and courage in the aftermath.

Our people continue to recover from the effects of the quake on April 25, 2015. Today we invite you to join us in praying for our pastors, children, and families who are rebuilding their lives in Nepal. Click here and make a gift today in support of all ServLife is doing to propel reconciliation and justice in Nepal.

Remember with us. Pray with us. Take action with us.

Posted on April 25, 2017 |

Sometimes you have to slow down to move forward. This was the case for over 100 pastors who gathered in March for ServLife’s 2017 annual Pastors’ Conferences in Kathmandu, Nepal and Bihar, India. Pastors and their families came from all over India and Nepal, some traveling for days, to connect, learn and recharge so they could return to their villages with renewed energy. “When they come here they get charged. They get encouraged,” India Director Albert Das reflects. “That makes them move forward…to extend God’s kingdom.”

This year’s theme was Servant Leadership, focusing on Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Nepal Director Bekharaj Maharjan knows how critical this theme is for the pastors. “The most effective leadership in the church is servant leadership,” he notes. “This is what Jesus modeled for us.”

The theme was explored by a variety of local and international speakers, including Albert Das, Lazarus Thulung, Joon Jung, Adam Nevins and Kyle Pierce. Equally important to hearing from outside voices, the conference gave pastors a chance to tell their own stories. “Everyone has a different story,” Maharjan explains. “When they hear the stories, they think, ‘I’m not the only one going through that.’”

This unique blend of learning, listening and sharing allows them to reenter incredibly difficult ministry contexts with fresh passion for their work. Many of the pastors report experiencing loneliness in their work, and some of them experience a great deal of hostility toward the message of Jesus that, over time, takes a toll on them and their families. For others, the conference is one of the only chances they have during the year to step away from their villages. Maharjan notices a visible difference in the pastors afterward. “After coming to the conference, they are energized. They are encouraged. They are happy.”

Now, as the pastors reenter their ministry contexts, Das is asking the ServLife community to join them in prayer. Specifically, he hopes their brief time together will have a big impact as the Kingdom of God presses outward. “Pray for each one of them, that they will not have any fear. Let us move forward, and the rest God is going to do.”

View More: http://jadeandkyle.pass.us/servlife-conferences

Posted on April 10, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Udaya Bhatta’s life and ministry are perhaps best summed up in one word: love. This love is seen most clearly in his deep commitment to the message of Jesus and his unwavering care for the children of Nepal. Udaya first encountered the message of Jesus as a teenager. Raised in the mountains of west Nepal, he worked on his family’s farm alongside his father. The hardships of rural farming began to take their toll, and his father became gravely ill. When all hope was lost, his father found physical and spiritual healing in the good news of Jesus. This experience was so powerful that the entire Bhatta family began following Jesus, and Udaya’s life would never be the same.

IMG_2210After completing a degree in ministry, Udaya began a journey of sharing the hope of Jesus and caring for children in need. He became a vice-principal at a local school, overseeing the dorms where many of the children stayed. This time gave him invaluable experience in caring for and educating children. While at the school, he also started Bible studies that helped others understand the way of Jesus. Local authorities took issue with Udaya’s studies and street preaching, and began threatening him. He was beaten, threatened at gun point, and eventually thrown in jail for nearly a month. After over a year of appeals, the charges were dropped.

DSC_0130While this period was incredibly taxing, it led to something beautiful: a vision to care for the children of Nepal. In the midst of fighting the legal system, the next step of their journey became clear to Udaya and his wife, Bhakti. “We began to pray to seek for our Lord Jesus Christ’s guidance for what to do in future,” Udaya reflects. “Suddenly, one day He has put a thought as a vision in both our hearts to help orphan and destitute children in Nepal.”

Years of civil unrest in Nepal left thousands of children without families, and Udaya and Bhakti felt called to provide love, care and an education for as many of them as possible. Despite having little money and caring for two children of their own, the Bhatta’s took a step of faith and brought two orphaned children into their home. One step of faith led to another, as Udaya and Bhakti began caring for more children.

View More: http://jadeandkyle.pass.us/servlife-conferencesIn 2004, Udaya and Bhakti began a partnership with ServLife, and the Kathmandu Children’s Home was founded. Over the last 13 years, their ministry expanded and dozens of children have been cared for by the Bhatta’s and their staff. Today, through the support of child sponsorships, 53 children are cared for throughout three children’s homes in Nepal, and an additional 250 are given access to education through scholarships.

Today, when Udaya looks back, he still feels the same love that has marked his journey. “The downtrodden and the destitute children are not getting any opportunity for their future,” he reflects. “Because of that, we had compassion.” That love and compassion has empowered and changed the lives of hundreds of children.

Posted on April 7, 2017 | Tags: , , , ,

Tim KurthIn his first letter to the church in Corinth Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

There are certainly days when my head is down with my thoughts focused on mundane administrative tasks that I wonder if my work is really making a difference. Those same thoughts never occur to me when I’m standing on a mountainside in Nepal delivering food to families after an earthquake or leading a team of teachers presenting a training conference. No, I’m not concerned about laboring in vain when reports of the latest microfinance launch arrive or when I’m hearing the remarkable stories from our many church planters.

Here’s the truth I need to remember. The mundane office tasks and seeming drudgery of managing day-to-day operational details are just as important as presenting a conference or planting a church or providing another child an education. It is all work toward a common goal, to propel reconciliation and justice by building global community. Building a community of which you are such a vital part. It could be argued that the behind the scenes operational work is even more important since without this attention to detail there would be no stories of life change to tell.

Your steadfast generosity may, at times, seem far removed from the powerful stories that come from India and Nepal. But we are, together, abounding in the work of the Lord and in the Lord our labor is not in vain!

May we abound in the work of our Lord whether in the mundane or on the mountainside!

Tim Kurth
Assistant Director

Posted on March 30, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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 |

Adam_HS_large

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

Latest News

tim_relief

Earthquake Remembrance

April 2017

Today at ServLife we’re remembering the people of Nepal on the second anniversary of the devastating … Read

Tim Kurth

The Mundane and The Mountainside

March 2017

In his first letter to the church in Corinth Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be … Read

Featured Story

View More: http://jadeandkyle.pass.us/servlife-conferences

Servant Leadership

April 2017

Sometimes you have to slow down to move forward. This was the case for over 100 … Read

Udaya

Enduring Love

April 2017

Udaya Bhatta’s life and ministry are perhaps best summed up in one word: love. This love … Read

Our Mission

ServLife International propels reconciliation and justice by building global community to plant churches, care for children and fight poverty.

Latest Tweet

PO Box 20596
Indianapolis, IN 46220
317.544.0484

© ServLife International, Inc.