In the first part of December I traveled to Katmandu, Nepal for the dedication of the IPHC Nepal Headquarters. I was grateful to join World Missions’ Bishop Talmadge Gardner, Regional Director of Continental Asia Russell Board, and our gracious hosts, missionaries Danny and Judith Williams. Also joining us during the ceremony were Ashok Lama, Assistant National Director, and many other pastors.
Team Evangelism and Missions service (TEAMS), a department of WMM, has conducted three medical outreaches to Nepal. The 2010 and 2014 trips were in conjunction with ministry in Bangladesh. We suddenly found ourselves there again in 2015 after a devastating earthquake. Even though those were short-term outreaches, we knew we were sowing His compassion and love into a nation anticipating what He would do there. Then, in 2018, it was great to go back and meet with the Williams and Bryan Nix, Director of People to People, and set up the child sponsorship program. When Judith emailed me in the first part of 2023 saying they were beginning plans for the dedication, my reply was, “Of course I will come!”
Nepal is around the size of the state of Georgia, with a population of 30 million plus; compared to Georgia’s 3.7 million. The dedication of a building on December 4, 2023, is significant in that we are making a clear statement. We are aware less than 2% of the population is Christian, and we have said “yes” to join Nepali pastors in their labor to gather their end time harvest. Our church family of 756 churches, representing 38,000 members nationwide, need our prayers. People to People children need you to be a sponsor. We praise God for all He has done and will do in this nation. I echo Bishop Gardner’s exhortation, “Thank the Lord for this significant breakthrough. We take hold of the promise in God’s word which declares that 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it'" (John 1:5. NLT).
As we are just a few days into January, I’ll share a lingering Christmas thought. This season was a great reminder that the nation of Israel had the teachings of Isaiah and other prophets to prepare for a coming Messiah. Interestingly, few were living in anticipation of His birth. In Luke 2, we are told the angels made the announcement to the shepherds, “The Savior, the Messiah, the Lord has been born.” Heaven boldly broadcasted, “THAT TIME IS NOW!”
Immediately following those verses, we are told what transpired at the temple when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus for his dedication. Luke presents an individual who, in today’s church setting, probably wouldn’t seem too significant. In verses 36 through 38 Anna is introduced. This prophetess and widow chose to reside at the temple, and her ministry was worshipping God day and night.
The part of her bio we might miss is that for the past 84 years she had been serving God at the temple. Some estimate she would have been about 106 years old. Anna was there at the precise moment when Jesus was brought to the temple. The Passion Translation states, “She burst forth with a great chorus of praise to God for the child.” Luke 2:38 continues, “From that day forward she told everyone in Jerusalem who was waiting for their redemption that the anticipated Messiah had come!
I am so grateful for your faithful monthly support and prayers which are acts of anticipating His return. May God richly bless you in 2024. Together, let us be like Anna, telling everyone the message of redemption. We do rejoice!
My Christmas Encounter
I felt our Christmas celebration at Life in Jesus Church in Baguio was extra special this year. We had an exceptional number of visitors; one such person was a visiting grandmother. This small, vibrant lady caught my attention and as everyone was eating after the service. I had to meet her. She shared she spent each day worshiping God as she did her chores, which involved being outside a lot. Suddenly, she grabbed my hand, and with sparkling eyes said, “You know the other day, Jesus told me to look up at the clouds and then said, ‘Keep watching, I’m coming soon.’” That’s a perfect example of anticipation!