Washington Church Partnering in Nepal Mission Project

Post a Comment » Written on October 16th, 2009     
Filed under: News
KENT, WA (October 16, 2009) – During a recent mission trip to Nepal, Kent Covenant Church Pastor Keith Carpenter and member Lynn Conver led a historic pastors conference that the church sponsored in Nepal.

The newly formed Reach the Nations of Nepal Ministries (RNNM) – a network of about 55 churches committed to church planting and Christian relief work throughout the nation – hosted the three-day “Covenant School of Ministry.”

OneForty-five pastors and church leaders were expected to attend, but nearly 90 showed up, reflecting the hunger for leadership training in a country where most pastors have no formal biblical education. Many of the conference participants traveled by foot and bus for 24 hours or more to attend.

Simon Pandey, a pastor and current president of the National Churches Fellowship of Nepal (NCFN), an umbrella organization of about 1000 evangelical churches, organized the event and translated for Carpenter and Conver. Kent Covenant paid most of the travel and lodging expenses for the conference. The accompanying photo shows Carpenter (right) and Pandey addressing attendees. Click here to see additional photos.

The idea for the conference originated with Pandey and his son-in-law, Bashu Prasai, a former Nepali pastor who now resides in Renton, Washington, and is a member of Kent Covenant. Carpenter and Conver traveled to Nepal September 19 to October 6 and participated in other ministry opportunities, as well.

The conference was timed to coincide with the national Hindu festival of Dasein, which meant holidays were available for people to attend. Carpenter presented a series on the Ten Commandments. Conver, a lay leader at Kent Covenant, spoke on the fourth and fifth commandments and taught ways to study the Bible.

TwoCarpenter notes the passion the Nepalese have for learning as well as the difficult situations they face. “They showed a lot of hunger for basic biblical and theological understanding. They had a lot of questions around how to honor their father and mother when they are basically disowned for converting to Christianity.

“It’s exciting to see how the Spirit of God is moving in Nepal and how so many are coming to the Lord directly out of Hinduism,” Carpenters adds. “Christians there are doing a great job of breaking down the caste system, too. It (caste system) means nothing once you walk through the door of the church, and they are taking that attitude with them into their daily lives, into the mainstream of society.”

Among some of the more interesting participants were leaders from the Chepang, a reclusive jungle tribe that was evangelized by Pandey in 1978, resulting in the conversion and baptism of 40 tribal members. At the time, the Chepang were non-literate and lived by subsisting on berries and tree bark.

The Chepang who became Christians learned how to cultivate the land and grow crops.  With some encouragement, they began sending their children to public schools and engaging with the rest of society. The rest of the tribe, however, moved deeper into the jungle where they continue their reclusive existence.

Following his successful work with the Chepang, Pandey was arrested and convicted of “propagating the Christian religion” in a Hindu state and sentenced to six years in prison.  He was released a short time later when a change in the government brought more religious tolerance.

While in Nepal, Carpenter was invited to participate in the first ordination of a woman pastor in any NCFN church, Rev. Puspa Gautam (accompanying photo), who is serving as senior pastor at the Tabernacle Church of Biratnagar.

To learn more about opportunities for ministry in Nepal, email Keith Carpenter or Bashu Prasai at Kent Covenant Church.

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