The other night I was chatting with my teenage daughters over dinner about discipleship. We discussed how one of the smartest things we can do is to seek out mentors to learn from, and in turn, we should also disciple others in what we have learned. That’s how Jesus lived his life. He listening to God, his dad, then mentored and discipled others through the mountains and valleys of life.
Jesus’ “purpose,” according to Ephesians 4:12-14, was “to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults – to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ.”
These verses are at the heart of ServLife’s mission. To build up a unified, global community. To equip local leaders to serve the people in their villages. To equip, empower, train, teach, educate, to serve others as they serve. The point of all of this is to become mature, to become more like Jesus Christ, then to serve and show his love to others so they can become mature like Jesus. And by the grace of God, it’s working. Pastor Bahadur’s church has grown to 19 people in the first year and the outcast in the village are experiencing love and acceptance for the first time in their lives. Eliha’s father lost his job, but through an education sponsorships, Eliha and her brother are now able to attend school. Kastura was living on less than a dollar a day but now with her small loan to buy goats, her family’s life has been changed.
Thank you for being a part of God’s work equipping, training and empowering others around the world.
May we continue to grow, and equip others to grow in maturity to become more like Jesus.
Posted on May 10, 2018 |
Pastors’ jobs, among other things, are to tend to others spiritual needs through teaching and encouragement. But they also have spiritual needs of their own. In no place is spiritual wellness of more importance than in the fastest growing Christian population in the world: Nepal.
In March of 2018, over ninety pastors and their families gathered for ServLife’s annual Pastors’ Conference in Pokhara, Nepal. Pastors from all over the country came to share about God’s faithfulness, encourage one another, worship corporately, and hear teaching. Nepal Director Bekharaj says, “Pastors feel blessed and say that this is a really refreshing time for them.”
The theme of the conference centered around faithfulness from Luke 16:10a, “Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much.”
For pastors in villages that have almost no other Christian leaders, it can feel like they are on their own. Bekharaj explains, “[many of the pastors] serve in remote places and sometimes they didn’t find people to share their burden.” It can feel discouraging when there are very few Christians in ones village, but the pastors were told to take heart and know that God sees their small acts of faithfulness.
The goal of the conference was to encourage these hardworking pastors and to show them that their work is not in vain and they are not alone. Being faithful in the small things can feel like a burden, but it is not fruitless, especially in Nepal.
These leaders are on the front lines of God’s kingdom come in Nepal, and the pastors were refreshed and encouraged. Bekharaj reflects, “We praise God for this opportunity.”
Posted on May 10, 2018 |
On April 9, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis. His teachings on biblical community, justice and kinetic pacifism have significantly shaped my theology over the last two decades. In one of his early sermons he said, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
This insight and approach is one of the things that attracted me to ServLife International 15 years ago. There are immediate needs in our world that need a tourniquet, wounds that need a bandage now, today. But there are also systemic injustices woven into the fabric of society that must be addressed long-term. I love that ServLife is a community rescuing children today through care and education, and also investing in families and villages long-term through the micro-finance program. Not only that, but these short-term and long-term needs are blanketed by our largest need of Jesus Christ himself.
Jesus’ passion for justice and equity was at the heart of his mission, and he clarified as such when he launched his ministry in Luke 4, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Now Jesus has sent you and I to preach the good news and bring freedom to the oppressed. Thank you for being a part of this global kingdom-community that is rescuing children from homelessness and lack of education. Thank you for your long-term impact empowering families and entire villages through small business loans. Most of all, thank you for investing in pastors starting churches in remote villages to bring the hope and salvation of Jesus.
May we join Bonhoeffer and the many spiritual fathers and mothers before us who have modeled a life of biblical community and kingdom justice.
Posted on April 13, 2018 |
In Luke 16:10 Jesus declares, “The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”
The Greek word for faithful here is pistos. It means trustworthy, faithful to do your duties. It means we can be relied upon. And pistos comes from the root word, peitho, which means to be persuaded into belief. To believe. To trust.
As we believe and trust God, that fuels our own trustworthiness. And as we trust God’s faithfulness, we are empowered to become more faithful. Trust is really the key to faithfulness. We must trust God, and that will result in our own trustworthiness and faithfulness.
Thank you for trusting God and being faithful to support His work around the world. Your faithfulness has provided funds to train pastors, care for children and grant small business loans to families in need.
May our faith continue to increase and fuel our faithfulness in small and large things in God’s kingdom.
Posted on March 29, 2018 |
Psalm 33 says God “loves righteousness and justice; the LORD’s faithful love fills the whole earth.” Our pursuit of righteousness and justice is manifest in right relationship with God and people. The result is God’s love spreading through our homes, cities and around the world.
Your generous support is propelling justice and God’s love to some of the most marginalized regions in the world. You’ve helped Pastor Ratna start a thriving church in a small village on the side of a mountain. You’ve helped children like Sanu attend school when her parents couldn’t afford it. You’ve helped families like Krishna’s start small businesses like ginger farming so they can earn a good wage. As Krishna puts it, “It helps our family a lot, especially to buy food for the family.”
Thank you for partnering with God is his unrelenting pursuit of the heart of every person around the globe.
May we seek righteousness and justice to show God’s love to everyone we possibly can.
Posted on February 26, 2018 |
In a continuing effort to cultivate self-sufficient churches and combat extreme poverty, ServLife’s Nepal partners are conducting a sewing training. This program provides women with specific sewing skills that open doors for them in the tailoring industry. According to Nepal Director Bekharaj, “This training is to strengthen the church planters’ wives by developing skills and sustaining themselves economically.”
Pastors’ wives are not the only ones taking advantage of this program. Bekharaj continues, “We also provide opportunities for single women, like widows, who are hopeless so that they can generate income for living without depending on others.” Twelve women, selected from a pool of twenty-seven applicants, traveled to Kathmandu for the sewing program.
The one month training, which started February 1st, focuses on sewing instruction. It also builds deeper relationships with Christ through Bible studies and spiritual formation. The skills and confidence they develop will provide these women with opportunities otherwise inaccessible to them. Bekharaj adds, “After the vocational training, some can start their own tailoring shop if they can afford it. Others may get hired as a worker in other tailoring shops. Some may even opt for an advanced training.”
For only $702 per woman, ServLive and its Nepali partners are educating and housing these twelve women for the month-long training. If you want to sponsor a Nepali woman or contribute to the training program, donate here and type “sewing training” in the comments field.
Posted on February 19, 2018 |
When I ask one of my children sitting on the couch to do something, they often grunt an “okay” and remain glued to their digital device. After a minute if they are still hypnotized by the internets, I’ll say their name and tell them, “Get up.” Once they stand, they quickly and finally obey the task I gave them. But they have to get up first.
In John 14 Jesus assures his disciples, “Don’t be troubled. Trust in me.” He highlights their potential impact beyond their comprehension, “I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” He assures them that he will never leave them but his Spirit will always remain. He grants them his peace and pledges to grant prayer requests consistent with his will. Then finally, he looks at his disciples, stands up and says, “Get up. Let’s go.”
Sometimes I am paralyzed too. I feel stuck or overwhelmed or just apathetic about the overwhelming needs of this world. What possible difference can I make, and how could I possibly do “even greater works” than Jesus? I can’t do it. I want to bail. I want to give up. Then Jesus calls, “Adam, get up. Let’s go.” And I take the first step.
Thank you for answering God’s call in small and large ways, and for taking steps to bring the Gospel and God’s love to churches, children and families on the other side of the world. You’ve helped start churches in remote villages that had never heard of Jesus. You’ve sent children to school that never would have made it on their parents’ income alone. You’ve empowered families through small business loans to escape extreme poverty. Thank you for answering Jesus’ invitation to get up and go.
Posted on January 25, 2018 |
Matthew 1:23 reads, “A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will call him, Emmanuel.” There are many names and nicknames for God found in the bible, and my favorite has long been “Emmanuel,” meaning “God with us.” The story of God starting in Genesis is like many different religions, with a powerful, distant god. But then God comes down into his creation, walking and talking in the garden with Adam and Eve. This is a different sort of god. This God is present with us.
I’ve had a number of times where my life has been turned upside down. Moving away from childhood friends. My mother passing away. Leaving a job I loved. And every time the only constant was the presence of Jesus. He is my comfort. He is with me.
Thank you for being with orphans around the world. Your investment in pastors helps them share the presence of Jesus in remote villages. Your empowerment not only helps people physically, but allows many to discover Emmanuel for the first time.
May we always be reminded that God is with us and never leaves us. And may we share this hope without reserve.
Posted on December 14, 2017 |
In Matthew 22 a lawyer approaches Jesus and asks what the most important law is. What does it all boil down to? What is the most important command in the entire bible? Jesus quotes Deuteronomy and Leviticus in a one-two punch of pentateuch proportions, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love God. Love people. That’s it. That’s what it all boils down to and should be the primary focus and aim of our lives. This axis of love prioritizes our lives, and the first informs the second. As we spend time in our loving relationship with God, he clarifies our mission to love others, to love our neighbor, to love strangers. Our “neighbor” is the family living next door and the family living on the other side of the world. Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:2 use the Greek word “philoxenia” which means showing love and hospitality to strangers.
I am grateful that you have embraced loving God and others, and have shown love to strangers on the other side of the world. Your love and investment has started churches in remote villages, provided education and care for children and orphans, and empowered families to escape extreme poverty through small business loans. Thank you for your love and generosity.
May we love God and others well, embracing both our next door neighbor and the stranger on the other side of the world.
Posted on October 13, 2017 |