ServLife launched our work training pastors and caring for children in India over twenty years ago, and this July our India partner will pursue independence as a self sustaining ministry. Last June 2017, our Executive Director travelled to India solely to meet with our India partner, led by Albert Das, and his family and staff. He was joined by a missions pastor from California, who has been a long time partner and supporter of ServLife’s work in India. They all met and put together a unified plan for this transition, and summarized their conclusion in this way:
For 25 years Albert Das and ServLife Empowering Society have partnered with ServLife International to plant churches and care for children. Over 200 pastors have been trained and planted churches, over 100 children have been cared for and thousands of lives have been affected by this partnership! Albert and ServLife are beginning a transition to increased independence to create a legacy into the future. This will practically empower the ministry to be completely led by local Indians. The partnership is graduating into a friendship and launching Albert’s ministry to the next level of complete independence and autonomy. While the formal partnership is concluding at the end of June 2018, we hope the mutual friendship and encouragement will continue for years to come.
ServLife will continue to work in India with new partners, and we will have more announcements about that later this year. We are honored to have worked so long with Albert and his family, and grateful for the incredible work that they have done caring for children and training pastors. We are excited for this next chapter in Albert’s ministry, and invite you to pray for Albert and his family and staff during this transition.
Posted on July 6, 2018 |
ServLife’s calling is to work in the most marginalized places in the world, which often results in pushback socially, religiously and politically. In the last few months we have faced increasing challenges as Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs has setup a new layer of regulations for nongovernmental organizations in order to monitor their work more closely.
The four new regulations are as follows:
1. Nonprofits must report details of property ownership
2. Nonprofits are now required to report financial status and progress reports to the government every four months (instead of every year as had previously been the requirement)
3. Any organization that has not renewed registration in the last three years will forfeit their ability to operate in Nepal.
4. Nonprofits will now need to register as a separate organization for each district they operate in.
The new regulations largely target organizations that focus on rights, policies, and advocacy. This increased reach of the government is a manifestation of Nepal’s long existing fear of foreign influence in their country. Nepal prides itself in being the only country in its region to not have been formally colonized. That being said, these new regulations will affect ServLife’s work in Nepal as we adjust to the new laws. Fortunately, we are only affected by one of these changes, but will now have to incorporate in every district where we operate. This will increase overhead costs, and as a result, many nonprofits in Nepal are ceasing or decreasing their activity throughout the country.
We do not currently plan to cease or decrease our work in Nepal. In all things, we believe that God is in control of what happens in India and Nepal. We will proceed prayerfully with open hands and faithful determination. ServLife is happy to be a tool that God uses, but we believe that people will hear the gospel no matter what.
Posted on July 5, 2018 |
A healthy church needs a strong pastor and strong congregation that will support the church and tend to its needs. In addition to the annual Pastors’ Conference, ServLife hosts an annual one-month lay leaders training. Seventeen men and women traveled from all over Nepal to attend the training in Kathmandu this April.
The purpose of the training was to train emerging leaders how best to support their pastors in different ministerial capacities. There were 12 specific topics covered: personal spiritual growth, worship, signs of a healthy church, the role of youth in the church, Christian family, Christian ethics, Christian history, how to prepare a sermon, holistic ministry, how to walk through the Bible, Christian leadership, and forgiveness.
One of the students, Ranga, shared, “I had not imagined I would learn so many different topics within one month… We all have been encouraged to assist our pastor in different ways and we definitely want to contribute in the ministry as much as we can. Whatever we have learned here we want to share in church and teach about it to glorify God.”
Students have returned to their home churches encouraged and equipped. They have a new understanding of servant leadership, and some have resolved to start new Bible studies in their churches or share the Gospel in new ways and places.
Leaders of the conference ask that people pray the graduates will glorify God in their support of his ministries, that God will raise up “Joshuas” for his chosen “Moseses”, and that God will be preparing the hearts of future pastors.
Posted on June 15, 2018 |
My wife, Christin, ran her first marathon last year. She didn’t realize she could actually run a marathon until the day of the run. “You rely on all the history, all the previous runs and training that gets you to that point to give you the confidence to go the full distance,” Christin shares.
Galatians 6:9-10 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good… Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Doing good and loving people well is an intellectual, emotional and spiritual marathon. Faithfulness in service is difficult in our culture of self, and it takes true endurance to sustain service.
Thank you for taking action to live a life of faithful service, doing “good to all people.” Your generosity with your time, treasure and talent transforms lives and restores hope to people you know in your town and others around the world. Let’s keep it up, and run further than we ever thought possible!
Christin reflects, “My biggest take away from the marathon is that people are capable of far more than they realize.”
May we not grow weary in doing good to all people with our time, money and skills, and go the full distance with confidence.
Posted on June 2, 2018 |
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 |