Methodist Church

The Methodist Church in Nepal comes of age with its formation

The Rev Gopal Khanal (left) and the Rev Sebashtain Lepcha being ordained as Deacons by Bishop Dr Solomon who is flanked by the Rev Tan-Yeo (left) and the Rev Prabhu.

Bishop dedicates Phulbari Methodist Church, Bible school and ordains two local pastors

IT HAS been 10 years since the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) first set foot on Nepal. During this period, the work of the MMS has grown rapidly. We now have eight churches and preaching points, a home for 29 girls, a Bible institute, five missionaries, two deacons, fi ve pastors and a team of national staff.

To celebrate God’s goodness in Nepal, a team of eight Singapore delegates visited Nepal from Oct 15 to 21, 2008 to witness the dedication of Caleb Bible Institute, the dedication of Phulbari Methodist Church, the ordination of two deacons, the recognition of five local preachers, and the formation of The Methodist Mission in Nepal now known as The Methodist Church in Nepal. The team also met all the Nepali Church leaders from the various denominations and agencies over a fellowship dinner.

The team comprised Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, the Rev Dr Norman Wong (Executive Director of MMS), the Rev Dr Clarence Lim (former Executive Director of MMS), Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng (Area Director of MMS), the Rev Prabhu Ranganathan (Chairman of the Field Board of Ministries), the Rev Tan-Yeo Lay Suan (Registrar of the Field Board of Ministries), the Rev James Nagulan (President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference), and Mr Kam Leong Heng (staff of MMS).

Dedication of Caleb Bible Institute With work growing rapidly, the need for training Nepalese church leaders gained importance. Located in East Nepal, Caleb Bible Institute (CBI), which was founded in 2003, has trained 13 batches of students (118 evangelists and church leaders) with practical skills needed for a rural church setting.

Each student pays NPR 1000 (about S$20) to attend the CBI training programme, which covers Bible Study Methods/Interpretation, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Preaching Biblical Messages, Bible Doctrine Survey, Growing Healthy Church, Personal Spiritual Life/Pastoral Ministry, Church Ministry/Administration/Education, Teaching Principles and Methods, Church History Survey, Mission/Evangelism/Discipleship, and Pastoral Care and Counselling.

The earlier pace of training did not match the great need for training. On Oct 17, Bishop Dr Solomon dedicated the new two-storey building, which is four times bigger than the former constricted and dilapidated one. The old bamboo walls have given way to the sturdy reinforced concrete building that has male and female dormitories, a kitchen, dining hall, classroom, office and library. This new building now doubles its capacity to train 20 students per four-month session.

Close to 75 people turned up for the Dedication Service. Bishop Dr Solomon told the congregation that ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, so that we can make disciples of ALL nations, to obey ALL things He has commanded us, while knowing that Jesus is with us ALL the days. (Matthew 28:18-20) CBI is committed to impart treasures of wisdom and knowledge to the next generation. If you would like to support CBI in its effort to train more local pastors, evangelists and church leaders, please give MMS a call.

New Phulbari Methodist Church Phulbari Village is 45 km away from Kathmandu Valley. Phulbari in Nepali means “Flower Garden”, which is so fitting because the Singapore delegates were warmly welcomed with fresh flower garlands for the Dedication Service.

On Oct 18, Bishop Dr Solomon told the 40-strong congregation to “dedicate our lives and hearts to God” as he dedicated the new Phulbari Methodist Church. The recently constructed church building is a far cry from the old premises which had only one window for light and ventilation. The congregation can now enjoy cool breezes, natural daylight and a panoramic view of the scenic Himalayan Range.

We praise God for the continuous support and financial contributions from Agape Methodist Church to make this new place of worship a reality, and also for the youths from Charis Methodist Church who had earlier dug a trench for the pipes to run from the jungle to the church water tank.

Formation of The Methodist Mission in Nepal On Oct 19, about 350 people came together to witness the formation of The Methodist Mission in Nepal now known as The Methodist Church in Nepal. This formation is the third national church structure that The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS), through the MMS, has established since 1991. This historical event was held in the sanctuary of Hankook Inn, which was set up by a Korean missionary. Congratulatory greetings and messages were received from the three Annual Conferences of the MCS, Koinonia Churches, National Churches Fellowship of Nepal, Believers Church Nepal Diocese, United Methodist Church, Nepal Methodist Church, Anglican Church in Nepal, Moravian Church and Ashish Presbyterian Church.

Ordination of Two Deacons The Ordination Service was incorporated into the Formation Service. The Rev Sabashtain Lepcha and the Rev Gopal Khanal were ordained as Deacons by Bishop Dr Solomon. Reminding them of their call to ministry, he exhorted them to continually “feed my sheep” with the word of God, in response to Jesus’ question “Do you love me?”, according to John 21:15-19.

Next, Pastor Khogen Basumatary, Pastor Kanchaman Tamang, Pastor Chandrakumar Bamjan, Pastor Singa Bahadur Tamang and Pastor Kul Prasad Adhikari were presented as Licensed Preachers.

All the seven leaders are actively serving alongside our missionaries in our various ministries in Nepal.

Kam Leong Heng is the Communications Executive of the Methodist Missions Society.

The almost-completed Caleb Bible Institute in East Nepal.