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“It was a Joy”

Nepal 2017

Bill Deiss, ARDF Executive Director, preaching “up” to Nepali villagers

Do you remember exactly where you were two years ago? Probably not. However, for those in Nepal, they will never forget the days following the devastating earthquakes of April 2015.

Earlier this year, a team of Americans traveled to Nepal to visit Anglican churches hardest hit by the earthquake. ARDF is in partnership with the Anglican Church of Nepal to rebuild communities still affected by the disaster.

Bill Deiss, ARDF Executive Director, reports, “On this trip we had the privilege of giving out blankets and rice. How did we determine that that was what was needed? We asked them. Instead of telling the Nepalis that they need blankets and rice it was the people of Nepal telling us. So we gave each family 5 1/2 kg of rice and one blanket. We split it up evenly it was a joy.”

And indeed it was a privilege for all involved. Rev. Lewis Lew, the Dean of Anglican Church in Nepal, explains how this act of generosity reflects the Gospel.

“As the the dean of Nepal I oversee 82 churches working together with seven clergymen and 802 pastors to reach out and expand God’s kingdom across this whole country. Many people are reaching out to people of the lower caste. Because of the caste system there is the belief that they [lower caste members] do not deserve the life that God desires for them to have. There are so many who are just living in the kind of darkness that requires a breakthrough in their lives. It requires for them to see that God loves them and that God’s love is not just for the rich and for the powerful but is for everyone in this whole country.
“Many are known as the Untouchables. So it was amazing when the team from America came and related to them as brothers and sisters—as fellow people at the same level. And when the team came and laid their hands on the locals and when they begin to even speak up to them instead of speaking down to the people—that broke a huge barrier in terms of how they relate to people who are believers. That allows them [the Untouchables] to experience the love of God. And this truly is what the gospel is all about.”

While the Americans at first had no idea of the impact their interactions were having, Rev. Lew knew immediately that this was a unique event. When he gave the context to the group later that day as they debriefed on the day’s events, everyone was as deeply moved as the “Untouchables” had been earlier.

Jennifer Collins, a member of the Nepal team, shares, “My most lasting impression is Hebrews 12:28, ‘Therefore since are a receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe for indeed our God is a consuming fire.’ The faith of Christ’s people in Nepal and the spread of Christianity in Nepal, is a testament to our God who is unshakeable! The earth may shake but God doesn’t.”

ARDF will be offering more opportunities to visit Anglicans around the world through ARDF. Vision Trips are a chance to see the worldwide Anglican Church in action. These trips enable North Americans to come visit, encourage, pray, resource, and serve our global brothers and sisters implementing ARDF projects. Come with us to Rwanda (Jan/Feb 2018) and Ghana (October 2018) and Brazil (TBD in 2018). Or join a team returning back to Nepal in October 2018. For more information contact Christine Jones, Director of Mobilization.

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