Noel Tam – is a missionary to Nepal currently on home assignment. He is a member of Pentecost Methodist Church.
The Ilam district is well-known as the tea-planting region of Nepal, and geographically is adjacent to its more famous “cousin”, Darjeeling, in India. Images of this area show an idyllic scene – with quaint villages, lush tea plantations framed by the far-off highlands. But the reality is that in this area, located in the eastern part of Nepal, life is hard – most of the people here get by on a low income as they rely on agriculture.
The literacy rate is gauged to be lower than the national average of 57 per cent. Yet, in this challenging environment, Vijayee Methodist Church (first set up in 2007) is growing steadily, becoming a second-generation training centre for T-net, a successful church-planting model in Nepal.
In this multi-faith environment where Christians are very much in the minority, plans are in the pipeline for Vijayee to upgrade from its original mud and bamboo premises to a two-storey building to cater for the expanded ministries of the church. These ministries will include programmes for the children, youth and women.
It has been 13 years since we started our journey in Nepal, with our pioneer church, Wesley Methodist Church in Kathmandu (Central), and a year later in 2002, in Jhapa (East), with Mahimit Methodist Church. In 2004, training courses were rolled out at Caleb Bible Institute in the East.
Between Vijayee and Mahimit, five preaching points have already been planted – in Surunga, Dhadare, Badamptar, and more recently Terhthum and Dhankuta. Three new believers were recently baptised in Terhthum, and they will form the core group to reach out to the community.
The Methodist Church in Nepal’s (MCN) two-pronged strategy of church planting and community is slowly bearing fruit, as we seek to plant Great Commission and Multiplying churches in 75 districts. The growth has been especially encouraging in the East, where Vijayee and Mahimit are located. We were particularly encouraged at the first-ever MCN Youth Camp, held at Caleb Bible Institute jointly with Mahimit MC. Many youths responded to the call to “Take up your cross and follow me” during the closing service.
The outlook for Nepal is positive, as we grow and multiply. We seek your continued prayers, financial support and partnership. Short-term mission trippers are always welcome. We ask that you prayerfully consider joining us to “Redeem Nepal for Jesus Christ”.
We thank God for His grace and faithfulness!
PRAY for: * the church-planting and training ministries in East Nepal * our new preaching points in Terhthum and Dhankuta, for the evangelists and believers
GIVE to: * the Vijayee MC building project
For more info, contact Mr Noel Tam at email@example.com
Photos courtesy of the Methodist Missions Society
[Updated 18 March 2014]