Nepalese Refugees and the Birth of a Church
Written by Fred Schlichter   

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Many of us at Central already know about the efforts being made to minister and to bring the gospel message to some of the refugee groups that have settled here in St. Louis.  One of which is the Nepalese refugee community.  This has involved the diligent labor of very dedicated individuals, who have worked tirelessly to establish communication and nurture relationships with the Nepali people.

 

 

Pastor Dean Coridan, the Iowa-Missouri Conference president, has stated that he believes working with the refugees is vital in order for the Gospel message to reach the whole world.  As they learn and understand Biblical truths, they will share them with their friends and family back in their home country. 

 

The ground work with forming connections with the Nepali people in St. Louis began some time ago.  This effort was expanded when the Iowa-Missouri Conference invited a couple Bible workers to St. Louis, to work through the summer in order to foster more interest and further ongoing relations with the Nepalese community.  A Nepali team from North Carolina, where a Nepalese church is already established, also joined later in July to present a two-week evangelistic series to the Nepalese in St. Louis.

 

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The interesting dynamic about the Nepali people is that unlike Americans, who are quite individualistic, they are an organized community and group-oriented.  The elders and leaders make the decisions for the group [as is the case for other cultures as well].  Oftentimes, the group will yield or submit to whatever decisions are made by the leaders, even if some disagree with their leaders' decisions.  This elder-driven society sometimes presents real challenges and hurdles to overcome in order to proclaim God’s true message to these people.  As one person put it, "It’s important to reach the elders first in order to reach the rest of the people."  However, if the elders are not satisfied or convinced, they will in turn decide for the people which group not to follow as well. 

 

As the evangelistic meetings took place, they started with strong numbers, but drastically declined at the onset of the second week, due to the elders' decision, with literally only one or two faithful persons who continued to come.  For the team and others who came to give support, it was a disheartening turn of events - but the obstacles were met with sincere and earnest prayer for God’s intervention - and He answered!  No, it was not a change of heart for the elders, though that prayer and hope remains.  However, praise be to God, that as one door effectively closes, He will open other doors.  Thus, He brought forth others, a family of believers.  Although they only attended the last few nights of the meetings, they've embraced the message with open arms.  It was truly amazing to see how God worked in this way.singer_001

 

With these faithful few, the team and supporters met in their home for evening worship through the week.  Each night, there were beautiful and joyous songs of praise, followed by prayer, devotion, and fellowship.  Worship truly does begin in the home, especially for the beginning of a church.  So when the weekend came, for the first time here in St. Louis, on August 8th, a Nepalese fellowship officially met for Sabbath service and worship at Central church in the "Upper Room".  We are happy to announce the start of this newly-formed Nepalese church, now called Three Angels Nepalese Seventh-Day Adventist Church. 

 

Please pray that as this new church develops and grows, God will pour His Spirit out upon each of its members and to the surrounding Nepalese community.  May it be a beacon of light and hope to the Nepali people here in St. Louis.  "Jaimasi!" (Nepalese Christian greeting meaning "Christ has the Victory!")

 

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Three Angels Nepalese Seventh-Day Adventist Church

 

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