I was reminded of the story of the widow’s offering (Mark 12) while traveling in Ne
pal with Pastor Phil Delsaut in 2012. We were invited to speak in a very small church one Sunday morning. After the service, the pastor placed in our hands, five Nepal rupees each. This, she said, was a gift for coming to her church. We were humbled by the gesture and reluctantly took the rupees.
We later learned from Tej Rokka, President of the Missionary Churches in Nepal, that this woman was one of several church planters that had no means of transportation for getting around. We asked Tej to convey to her that her gift of ten rupees would be used as seed money for something greater. Soon after, a project of providing bicycles for church planters was born. Many of our churches here in Canada helped to raise the necessary funds. One of the bicycles was given to the woman who had given us the rupees.
Tej Rokka was recalling this story recently at a World Partners International gathering in Thailand. He noted that within two years of receiving the bicycle, this woman had a second church with 120 in attendance. This was one of several instances of new churches being planted by the church planters on bicycles. Many people have come to faith as a result.
The bicycle project helped to raise awareness of our brothers and sisters in Nepal. When the country was devastated by an earthquake last year, our people responded with compassion and raised funds for the relief effort. Our churches in other parts of the world did the same. The amount raised was significant, but it was like a small seed compared to the tremendous need. This support, however, helped to enable the Church in Nepal to respond effectively to the earthquake crisis in Kathmandu and surrounding villages. Many people have come to faith and have gained new hope for the future. Tej Rokka gained favour with government officials who called on him to help coordinate relief efforts. Since then, the government has lifted many of the restrictions on Christian worship, and many more have begun to follow Jesus.
In November 2015, Health Partners International Canada called me to ask if we had any contacts that could use medicines that were designated for Nepal. We have partnered with them previously in the purchase of Health Kits for medical missions and in the training of Traditional Birth Attendants in Haiti. We helped them make the connection with Tej Rokka. Early in January, medicines worth close to a half million dollars (retail) were shipped to Kathmandu for use by the agencies Tej is connected to. Once again, we are thrilled to see how God uses a bit of seed sown in good faith, to produce tremendous results. Now pray with us that the medicines shipped will actually find their way through customs and red tape to the people who need them the most.
By Lou Geense, Associate Director, EMCC World Partners.