Dear brothers Jerry, Ken, Randolph, Roger and Stan,
Greetings to you and the family of God there from your brother and family in Kathmandu, Nepal. I am very thankful to all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve our Lord as a full timer and specially want to thank you for supporting for travel to Jaigaon, Indo-Bhutan border and east Nepal. Brothers we had a very good trip and we became able to establish a good contacts in Jaigaon, north Bengal and inside of Bhutan.
Bhutan is a predominantly a Buddhist Kingdom situated in south Asia and it covers 18147 sq miles and it's population is around 2.2 million. Out of this 30-32% population is ethnic Nepali and all the Bhutanese in southern Bhutan speaks and understand Nepali language. No one can preach Christianity in Bhutan openly because it's punishable by Law of Bhutan but Christian population is growing inside the Bhutan and churches are worshiping and preaching the gospel secretly as house churches. These house churches meet at night. All the churches there are denominational and the information I have there is not a single Church of Christ in Bhutan and in Jaigaon also.
JAIGAON, West Bengal INDIA
Jaigaon is an Indo-Bhutan border town with around 250 thousand people and Phustsholing a Bhutanese town is on the other side of it. One third of the population there is ethnic Nepali and all the people there speak and understand Nepali. There are several (around thirty) denominational churches are there but not a single church of Christ. It is main gateway to Bhutan from India and Nepal and it is easily reachable from east Nepal by bus. Since Nepali speaking people are in majority there, it is very easy for us to work there. Any of you can also travel there via east Nepal or Bagdogra, West Bengal, India and we can have Bible classes there in future.
Bro Ruben welcoming Participants
Bro Shanti teaching Bible
CLASSES in JAIGOAN and the participants
We had our classes in a house belongs to Ruben Diyali for three days (April 27 - 29, 2005).
We were expecting that there would be up to 40 people in this Bible study but 70+ people
attended classes for three days. There were 18 people from Tosang, Gelephu, Sarpang,
Samchi, Chukka, Tintibi, Chirang, Sibsu and capital Thimpu of Bhutan and rest from Jaigaon,
Hasimara, Madarihat, Chincula, Lankapara, Manlabari and Coocbehar of Doars of north
Bengal of India. They were from mainly two denominations, the Pentecostal and Baptist and six
of them are pastors of churches. Theme for our study was "The Church that JESUS built".
Bro. Shanti of Birtamode, Jhapa, east Nepal and I have presented the simple Christianity of the
Bible in front of them and they have received it very gladly. Geeta my wife took two classes for
participant and local ladies. She spoke on the Women's roles in the family of God. We gave
them our study hands out and we pled to return to the simple Christianity of the Bible. They
invited us to visit them again to study Bible with them. We are sure that there will be churches of
Christ in Bhutan and Jaigaon soon.
Jaigaon Bible Seminar Participants
Ladies Participants-Jaigaon Bible Seminar
Bible Class on Progress
Participants searching the Scripture
Ruben Diyali was a leader of a Pentecostal congregation in Jaigaon and we have found out that he is popular among the people there and he has good leadership quality. Now he and his family want to follow Christ and his teaching. He is coming in to Kathmandu to do his personal business next week and I have invited him to stay at my house for three days. We will study more about New Testament Christianity and after going back to Jaigaon he wants to start a house church at his house. Please pray for him and his family. I have left first and second volume of IBS courses in Nepali. Lord willing I see a possibility of starting of IBS study in Jaigaon and in Bhutan in near future. He can play key role to spread the gospel inside of Bhutan and northern part of Doars area of north Bengal, India.
With Participants from Bhutan
With Participants from Bhutan Doars
Ladies Class in Jaigaon
With Ruben and his Family
After having three days of classes in Jaigaon we went to Nagrakata (two and half hour drive southwest) on evening of 29th April and stayed that night in Nagrakata that night. Next morning on 30th April Saturday we visited Naya Sylee where Bro. Isaac Bhujel is a preacher and we attended his son's marriage ceremony. Four members of his family are in IBS study group in Naya Sylee half an hour drive north from Nagrakata. We encouraged them by studying God's word with his family, relatives and neighbors.
Bro Isaac leading service at Nagrakata
Ladies Class in Nagrakata
Ladies Class participants in Nagrakata
Next day Sunday May 1st we had worship with Nagrakata church at morning and had classes for men and ladies till evening. There is a seven students IBS study group there and Bro. Philemon Mahali is area instructor there.
On May 2nd Monday we travel back to Birtamode, Jhapa, east Nepal. At evening we had Bible study and devotional with the local church there.
May 3rd Tuesday Geeta took the ladies classes. Twenty-five ladies from the six churches of east Nepal (Dhulabari, Birtamode, Surunga, Peltimari, Beldangi and Itahari) attended the classes. Theme for the study was "Women's roles in the Church".
Birtamode Ladies Class Participants
Sister Devi Welcoming Participants in
Birtamode and ladies class on progress
May 4th, Wednesday morning we travel to further west to Itahari and reach there at afternoon. We visited local brethrens and Bro. Laxmi's family who is local preacher and IBS instructor.
Geeta with Sisters in Itahari
With brothers and sisters in Biratnagar
May 5th, Thursday we had classes for Itahari church. Geeta also took a separate class in the evening for ladies in Itahari church.
Clock Tower Dharan, East Nepal
May 6th, Friday we went to Dharan and visited Bro. Kaziman and Chandra's family. They are the key persons for organizing "DHARAN BIBLE RETREAT - 2005" in December. Bro. Shanti and I discussed with Kaziman and Chandra about the retreat and come to the conclusion that we can organize retreat in December 2005. If security situation get bad we will notify you accordingly. We have formed a team with following five members in it to manage the retreat program.
1. Chandra Shrestha - Dharan, East Nepal
We would also like to invite people from Jaigaon and Bhutan in this program. I will send you budget proposal for this retreat program by Friday of coming week. Including local brethrens there will be 70 participants in this program. We went to Nirvana Resort to negotiate room rate for you brethrens from USA and they have offered Nepali Rupee 5370 + 13% tax per day for a bungalow where five people can stay. A standard single room cost Nepali Rupee 1400 + 13% tax and double room cost Nepali Rupee 2100 + 13 % Tax per day. You can have your food at their restaurant and pay according to the menu's price.
Chandra, Kaziman, Shanti and I went to look Dharan Red Cross Society hall for the program and though it is little bit far from the resort we think it is the better alternative because we can accommodate up to 35 people in it's guest house in reasonable price. There is another hall near by Bro. Chandra's house where church meets but it is expensive and there is no accommodation facility in it. I will give you more detail about it on RETREAT BUDGET PRAPOSAL letter.
Next day May 7th Saturday Bro. Laxmi from Itahari, Kaziman from Dharan and Shanti, Geeta and I went to Biratnagar to have classes there but due to the problem there we spent our time talking with local brethrens and local preacher Bro. Krishna Raj Dhakal. Bro. Laxmi and Kaziman went back to their home at evening.
On May 8th Sunday we worship with local brethrens and Krishna Raj in a local brother's house in Biratnagar and Bro Shanti went to east and we came back to Kathmandu that afternoon.
Though we are facing some difficulties from Nepali brothers in east and south and American brothers working with them, I think the church works and IBS study is very vital in east Nepal and now the work we have started in Jaigaon through it in Bhutan is also very important step to spread the God's word in that region. From the very beginning Bro Shanti has been contributing positively in IBS works and I am also involve in his work in west Bengal as a helper. Since Bro Jerry and Randolph had traveled these areas and they also know about the Lord's work there. Now Bro Kaziman is also in Dharan, east Nepal so it is more easy for us to work there as a team of evangelists. From there we can travel to southwest Nepal very easily. So we can have campaign by including our brethrens in southwest region. With out your prayers and helps we can't accomplish our goals. I would like to request all of you and the Church there to pray for us and help us to accomplish Lord's works in Nepal. We also want to hear your experienced suggestion and feedback on our effort. Once again Geeta and I would like to thank all of you and the Wood Mont Hill Church for supporting us to work for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Nepal and in India.
Your Family in Lord