2016 November Thanksgiving Greetings

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8309 ANDAMAN ISLAND WORKERS — Mathew Varughese founded and runs Calvary Mission in the Indian Andaman Islands, located in the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and India. FOCUS: Sponsoring evangelism and pioneer church planters, among Hindus and Muslims, orphanages; and a micro business – goat farming. http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2015/06/

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8345 BOSNIAN WORKERS — Robert and Sandrina Jurjevich were missionaries in Sarajevo in the early 1990ties, but were forced out in 1992, when the war broke out.  They continued in ministry, pastoring in Holland and the US, and serving as Bridge staff. Three years ago they moved back to Sarajevo, where they live and serve in the Muslim part of the city. FOCUS: Church planting, discipling, ministry to women and children through their newly built Dobrinja Ministry Center.  http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2015/08/

 

br-rep-11-16-georgia8337 GEORGIA WORKERS — Stephen and Sophia Schmalz have lived and served in the capital of Tbilisi, Georgia for over 20 years. FOCUS: Pillars of encouragement and support to local pastors and their families; they minister in state orphanages; presently engaged in fruitful one-on-one evangelistic outreaches, delivering Bible scripts and tracts among Muslims from the Middle East who live and travel in Europe.   http://www.bridgeinternational.org/pdf/september2010.pdf

 haiti-felix-j-with-child-web8162 RELIEF AID – HAITI8010 HAITI RELIEF AID  —  A farm girl from Pennsylvania, later nurse in New York City, during a mission trip to Haiti, Jeanette Felix got a burden to serve people in the remote, impoverished mountains of Haiti. FOCUS: Has established and sponsors a full time Christian school ages 4-13. Currently, raising funds for the farmers, victims of Hurricane Matthew. http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2013/07/

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8323 HISPANIC WORKERS & 8162 RELIEF AID — HAITI — Jorge Urra is from Cuba; lives now in Miami, FL where he has planted and pastors a local church. Does extensive apostolic work among church planters by training, facilitating, and encouraging pastors and their churches cross-denominationally. FOCUS: Apostolic outreaches with Relief Aid into Cuba, Haiti, Dom. Rep., and other Central and South American countries. http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2016/04/

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8171 HIMALAYAN TRAINING CENTER — Dawa S. Bhutia, an ethnic Tibetan and former Buddhist from Bhutan was Dalia Lama’s personal bodyguard.  He is now a believer in Jesus. FOCUS: founder and leader of Himalayan Good News Networking Ministry.  Dawa has trained and discipled hundreds of pioneer evangelists and church planters who now serve the Lord in mostly rural areas in the Himalayan mountains among Bhutanese, Indians, Nepalese, Tibetans, and more obscure tribes. http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2016/09/

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8162 RELIEF AID — REFUGEES IN IRAQ — The Bridge has joined forces with an Arab friend and partner who travels to Iraq and personally oversees the distribution of the relief aid to the refugees.  With his team, he also ministers to their emotional and spiritual needs.  FOCUS: Serving the least cared for: Christian villagers and the Yazidi people. There are now 500 new believers among them,  being discipled by the local believers under the leadership of our friend.  http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2015/07/

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8338 ISRAEL WORKERS — Due to security considerations, we are not identifying thosewe sponsor in Israel. One is an American gentile, who has lived and worked in the Land for more that thirty years, and has been honored with permanent residency. FOCUS:  A light-bearer for the Gospel to the Jewish people, our partner continues the love-in-action and prayer ministry that Messiah be revealed in the hearts of the people! http://bridgeold.bridgeinternational.org/pdf/november2012.pdf

br-rep-11-16-kalmykia8156 KALMYKIA WORKER — Sarang Badeev lives in the capital of Elista in the Republic of Kalmykia, Russia.  The Kalmyks are the only Buddhists community in the West.  Sarang came to faith in 1985 through an American missionary, Andrew Vincent, who planted a church in Elista, which Sarang began pastoring when Andy returned home. FOCUS: Evangelism, church planting, discipleship.  Sarang also travels to Kalmykian communities and shares his faith in the States, China, and Mongolia.  http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2015/02/

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8341 KAZAKHSTAN WORKERS 1 In the 90’ties, The Bridge was on the cutting edge of pioneering evangelism and church planting in Kazakhstan, and sponsored many of the new indigenous ministres. We rejoice in abundant fruitfulness, as the majority of them are now self-financed and keep growing in grace and knowledge of God. We continue to sponsor Sargon Daniali, an Assyrian Iranian living in Almaty. FOCUS: Evangelism, teaching, and discipling Turkish and Farsi-speaking peoples in Turkey, Iran, and Central Asia.

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8342 KAZAKHSTAN WORKERS 2 — Yermek Balykbekov lives in the city of Karaganda in central Kazakhstan.  He pastors the Kazakh fellowship within a larger, Russian speaking church. A Karate champion, Yermek came to faith in Jesus by visiting American athletes while in Moscow for further training and competition.  Heeding God’s call, he laid down his profession and returned home and planted a church among his Muslim people. FOCUS: Evangelism and pastoral care in the Kazakh language.   http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2014/07/

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8344 KENYA WORKERS — Paul Cowley, South Florida businessman turned missionary, with his wife, Marcia, heard God’s call to leave the comforts of South Florida, and move to Nairobi, Kenya to  minister among the poorest of the poor in the Mathare Valley, one of Africa’s largest slums.  FOCUS: With his team of Discipleship Support Ministries, Paul founded and built a Bible Institute in the slums where he teaches the Word of God, then trains and disciples the Pastors of the Least who live there.  http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2016/02/

 

br-rep-11-16-south-sudan8370 SOUTH SUDAN WORKERS — Matthew Deng Dut, a young South Sudanese, having lived as refugee in Egypt and Israel, the latter where he graduated from Bible College, returned to his homeland and war-torn city of Juba in 2012.  There, he planted a new church among his people who had just returned to the land, Elohim Shalom International Ministry which he had founded in 2005 in Tel Aviv. FOCUS: Evangelism, teaching, discipleship, and prayer based on Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  Project: A Microbank to help people with small loans to start cottage industries. http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2016/03/

Haiti – Devastation by Hurricane Matthew … Please Join Us in Helping the Victims!

BACKGROUND ON HURRICANE MATTHEW

haiti-map-webStill trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake which caused more than 200,000 deaths in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince, and an ongoing cholera epidemic and outbreak of typhoid during which 10,000 people have died and 700,000 have become ill, Haiti is again victim of a major disaster!  On October 4, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on south-western Haiti as a category 4 storm with winds up to 145 miles per hour.  It devastated the region with a population of 2.5 million people; a community leader describes the situation on the ground as “complete destruction”. Matthew has severely damaged 200,000 homes.  90% of the houses on the southern coast are destroyed.          

haiti-matthew-devastation-webIn the city of Jérémie, the hurricane blew off the roofs and collapsed 80% of the buildings, including every structure not made of concrete. Nearly all the crops and livestock in the larger region were wiped out by the wind or destroyed by the subsequent flooding, leaving the majority of the population, who are subsistence farmers, destitute. With bridges and roads washed away, many communities are now inaccessible to receiving relief aid, except by boat or air.  It is feared that massive death by starvation and a renewed cholera epidemic, due to lack of food and clean drinking water, may result in a catastrophic human disaster.  Major relief organizations and WHO (World Health Organization) are mobilizing efforts to help, but they may, regretfully, be running against time.

haiti-urra-kitchen-webOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bible commands us as believers to be generous towards the poor.  Practical expressions of compassion and mercy are intrinsically interwoven into the faith of the believers as an extensions from The Source: God’s love through Jesus Christ!  Although The Bridge does not directly work in Haiti since there is already a large Christian presence, and our focus is more on unreached nations, we make ourselves available to resource partners who serve the poor in Haiti on a grassroots level.  In the aftermath of the 2010 hurricane, thanks to our generous donors, we were able to send a sizable amount of money through them to help groups of victims restore their lives.

In Haiti, we have been working through two of our trusted partners, Jorge Urra, and Jeanette Felix who via their own individual ministries have helped establish a network of indigenous leaders in Haiti who serve people in their local communities. You will find more information about them and their ministries below.

There are many good, efficient large Relief Aid agencies in the States who, in disaster situations like this, are needed to do the heavy lifting, like mass emergency assistance and rebuilding of damaged infrastructure, however, often their overhead and administrative costs are sizable.  The Bridge is more the fish-and-loaves ministry. Through our partners we deliver from hand to mouth without middlemen or deducting overhead and admin. cost — trusting that God will multiply! Your donation will be applied in full, directly toward the spiritual and physical needs of Hurricane Matthew’s victims in Haiti! Please mark your donation 8010 Haiti Relief.

OUR PARTNERS WORKING IN HAITI

Jorge Urra — from Cuba to Haiti with the Gospel

You will find Jorge Urra’s background information, his testimony and ministry, posted at: http://www.bridgeinternational.org/pdf/july2011.pdfHaiti - Urra Distr Food

A few days after hurricane Matthew had passed through Haiti, I called Jorge to inquire if he had heard from his Haitian leaders of the churches and orphanages he has served on the island for over 12 years.  The answer came back, “The winds did some damage to buildings in those areas, but the floods have ruined the harvest and killed the farm animals.  Every place is up to three feet under water. There is little or nothing to eat, and the  drinking water is contaminated.” 

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Jorge will personally be going to Haiti with a team in a couple of weeks to bring as much relief aid and other assistance as possible to his Haitian network of pastors who will distribute them to the most needy among orphans, elderly and destitute. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jorge Urra was born near Havana, Cuba some fifty years ago. He grew up  surrounded by Fidel Castro’s atheist communist  ideology, yet at 14, he came to faith in Jesus Christ, and was filled with the transforming love of his Heavenly Father. God’s compassion and love translated later into a ministry toward the rejected and fatherless—the unsaved, the orphans, and the welfare of God’s people in poor countries.  He is presently involved in bringing leadership training to local pastors and relief aid to orphans in Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru.

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Before Hurricane Matthew struck, some 55,000 Haitians left homeless by the 2010 earthquake were still living in shelters, largely because billions of U.S. dollars of relief aid donations to Haiti disappeared  into corrupt hands, thus never benefited the people.  Above is one of those tent cities which Pastor Urra visited and delivered much needed food and medical supplies.

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Steve and I have known Jorge and partnered with him for 21 years.  He is a man of faith and passion with an apostolic gift and an impeccable integrity!  He presently lives with his wife, Magdalena in Miami where he has planted and pastors a multi-cultural church.

From New York City to the Mountains of Haiti

Likewise,  you will find Jeanette Felix’ background information, her testimony and ministry, posted on this website at: http://www.bridgeinternational.org/2013/07/haiti-felix-j-with-child-web

haiti-felix-old-school-webhaiti-felix-new-school-blg-webThe school Jeanette and her team founded in 2006 and continue sponsoring via their ministry Children in Need Haitian Project (CINHP), is located in Lespinasse in mountains up to 4000 feet about two hours drive south-east of Port-au-Prince.  The school  provides a full time Christian education including school supplies, and  a warm nutritious meal daily for 120 students grades 1-6, and 3 levels of Preschool. Recently, they finished building a new school building.  In the two pictures above, you see the old school building they initially renovated for educational use, and then new building adjacent to the old.  CINHP is largely self-financed by the Felix family and a few friends.haiti-felix-students-webhaiti-felix-classroom-web

 

 

 

 

haiti-felix-kindergarten-webMost of the people in the region are subsistence farmers, eking out a living in the valleys between the mountains. Jeanette writes, “ Apart from the south-west of the country which has total devastation, there are many other areas of Haiti that received heavy winds and torrential rains on steep mountains with few trees to prevent erosion and mudslides. These areas are never reported in the news and international aid does not reach them. The only access to most of these areas is by foot, like Nouvelle Touraine, located in the highest mountain range in Haiti in the south.haiti-felix-view-from-school-web

Friends and contacts in the region report on  unbelievable destruction to homes, livestock, gardens, crops, and food bearing trees (i.e. bananas, avocados, plantains, coffee beans), their sole source of food and income sold in neighboring towns, all carried by foot on the heads of these strong and resilient people.

There is an urgent, immediate need for basic construction materials— tin, 2x4s, nails, hammers as well as tarps, basic first aid supplies, basic medicines, and food.  We have people on the ground ready to buy, organize and mobilize all supplies into the steep mountains to reach these areas. Let us be the ones who show them that God has not forgotten them!haiti-felix-ny-partner-web

FROM R.K.’S CORNER

My first encounter with Haitian people was in 1985 when I first met Steve.  He owned and operated a 20 acre commercial nursery where he employed 23 Haitian field workers. Sitting in Steve’s car surrounded by his workers in the midst of myriads of potted plants, at his bidding, I shared my faith and told them about the mission work I was doing (my French was doable then). In the years after Steve and I were married, we employed over a hundred legal Haitian workers. They were all reliable, hard-working, and self-motivated to making a good life in America for themselves and their families.  God gave me a love for this beautiful people. Since then I have come to count many Haitians among my personal friends.

The Haitian people have continually suffered throughout their 500 year history under slave masters, wicked foreign rulers, corrupt local governments, and natural disasters.  Yet, the problem in Haiti is not socioeconomic … it is SPIRITUAL!   Self-proclaimed Voodoo doctor, elect President François Duvalier, declared in 1971 voodoo—religious witchcraft— the official national religion. This was affirmed in 1990 by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Therefore, I believe Satan has a legitimate claim on Haiti, albeit there are many sincere Christian believers among them. Please pray that the Lord will send His Spirit of comfort and revelation of truth to set the captives free, and strength to the Haitian believers that they may boldly share their faith with others!

 

 

 

 

Reaching the Himalayas for Jesus Christ – by Dawa Singye Bhutia

Note! The introduction to this story is at the end of  under the headline R.K.’s CORNER, where you also will find many more pictures from Dawa’s ministry.

Dawa with his wife and two sons

Dawa with his wife and two sons

map-of-himalayasI was born into a middle class family in a small town in Bhutan.  My family is Tibetan, and staunch followers of Tibetan Buddhism, which is a pantheistic religion promoting non-violence, family honor with a strong emphasis on preserving national religion and culture.

I excelled in school and displayed leadership abilities, so after my 10th final, I was sent to attend a military defense academy.  One day, Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet in exile, came to visit the school.  While he was inspecting the students, he suddenly pointed me out, and said, “When you have finished your education here, I will send for you!”  I was stunned and deeply honored.  I studied and worked very hard, as I was good in academics, but also at sports and different kinds of martial arts.  After two years, I graduated from 12th grade.  Shortly thereafter, Dalai Lama did indeed send for me! 

In 1950, China invaded Tibet and by force incorporated the nation into the People’s Republic of China.  Nine years later, due to a number of death threats, Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of his people, fled Tibet, and was given residency by the Indian government in Dharamsala in the northern part of the country where he established a democratically based shadow Tibetan government, which includes an army. 

tibetan-government-in-exileThe travel cost from my home town to India was paid for by Dalai Lama, and he also gave me a free scholarship to train as his personal security guard.   While in the security department, my duty was more than just guarding him, but I also spent a lot of personal time with him.  It involved meetings and planning.  I traveled to 40 countries with Dalai Lama, and met many worldly dignitaries, and rich and famous people, especially among film stars in Hollywood, from whom Dalai Lama receives huge amounts of donations – in the billions!  I accompanied Richard Gere on some of his travels to Dalai Lama’s headquarters  in India, and stayed in his home several times when Dalai Lama visited Hollywood.  He is a well known film star who has embraced Buddhism and is an ardent spokesperson on behalf of Tibet’s freedom movement.

I found Dalia Lama a gentle, kind, and a sincere person who takes his religion seriously. He lives a simple, ascetic life, is not involved in politics, but spends much time meditating in high mountains.  In contrast, as military personnel, we had no restriction.  As head of security, I was a tough guy, a troublemaker who was proud of my fighting skills.  I respected nobody, but demanded that everybody respect me.  During my days off, my coworkers and I we were carousing, fighting, and gambling. I earned a bad reputation, which came to my family’s attention and made them ashamed of me.  None of us took the Buddhist religion seriously. The religious rituals were rote with no conviction, no satisfaction, no peace.  I was like a candle in the dark.

There was just one problem.  My roommate – he was different.  During the two years we roomed together, I never heard him say a bad word, or do a bad deed.  There was a purity in him, and a peace that exuded from him which I did not have, and I was drawn to that.  I admired him, but he irritated me immensely, so I began watching him carefully and testing him, just to see if what he had was real.  He never gave in to the temptations presented.

One day, embarrassed by my own life, I asked him, “You are a nice guy, you don’t drink, you don’t gamble – why are you different from me?  Why don’t you just enjoy life?”  “Because of Christ,” he replied. I was baffled, “What?” “Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He has forgiven  my sins.  If you believe in Christ in your heart, confess Him with your mouth, you will be saved.”  I had never heard of Jesus Christ, had never seen a Bible, nor did I know anything about the Christian faith. “Your life has been talking to me all the time,” I confessed, “I see in you what I must follow.”  He then said, “I will bring you to my group.”

dawa-mountainsAfter a week of talking to him about these new ideas, he brought me to a secret group meeting of 5-6 young men, from different ethnic backgrounds; Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan.  One had been a high priest.

When they began singing, I was overwhelmed by a great sense of harmony and peace which I had never experienced before. After a cup of tea, the high priest guy shared his testimony; while I listened, I was struck by a great fear and began shivering.  The Lord was convicting my heart of my sin.  I had a flask of alcohol in my pocket, so I quietly went to the bathroom and emptied it into the toilet.  When I returned and sat down, I burst out, “I don’t know how to say this, but I am with the right people for the first time in my life. I want to become like my friend – I have never before had this kind of feeling of peace and harmony.  What must I do?”  The high priest guy said, “I will pray – it’s very simple.  Jesus Christ will come and stay unless you reject Him.  Simply give your heart, mind and body to Him; the Truth will set you free and you will stop being a man-pleaser.” With sincerity I prayed the sinner’s prayer.  After that, I went back to the camp. I was changed!

dawa-baptism-2I began longing for this kind of fellowship and for people who could teach me more from the Bible.  I wanted to live a different life; to go away and study the Book.  But I took some time to contemplate and filter through my thoughts and my life.  God is the caller and qualifier.  I hung onto the scripture verse in Hebrew 11 and kept it in my heart – God is the author and finisher of our faith, and – who can separate us from Christ?  I decided to leave my job, but gave no reason to Dalai Lama for my resignation, and he accepted that.  I decided to go home. I had a message.  I was the prodigal son!

When I arrived home, I was warmly welcomed.  My family had been ashamed of my bad lifestyle, but proud of my position with Dalai Lama. The entire community came together, and when they were gathered, I began speaking, “I want to say that I have not been a very good son, and I am sorry.  But from now on, I will be a son you can be proud of. I have a testimony to share – I am now a follower of Jesus Christ!

A long, stunned silence followed.  Then, my uncle exclaimed, “What are you doing?  You are a Tibetan, and as such you are a Buddhist.  A Tibetan must always be a Buddhist – Jesus is a foreign, Western God!”  I protested, “My home god never gave me peace and joy.  This God has given me peace and deliverance.  I am happy to tell you about this God.” 

Not in my wildest dreams would I have expected the chaos that followed.  I thought my family would be proud that I had changed for the better.  Instead, the negative, emotional reactions were profound, but I felt God’s word to me, “Stand firm.  Open up and speak from your heart with kindness and grace about your life– I will speak through you.”  So I stood firm, strong, and steady and continued sharing my testimony.  That evening, everybody was very upset, so the Elders decided we would talk collectively the next morning.

This time, the community leaders met with me.  My uncle began, “You are our son, our community will accept you, but we have our own gods and culture which we must follow very strictly.  If you continue to be aggressive with following this Western god, we will excommunicate you from our society.” I answered, “This Jesus gave me peace,  happiness and deliverance.  He is the only powerful god I have known.”  “Think twice, this is a matter affecting a whole generation,” they said.  I stood firm, “I am following Jesus!”  They gave an extra day to consider my options.

The third day as we gathered again, the elders asked me, “What is your final decision?” “I stand firm as yesterday,” I replied. “Do you know what the consequences are?” “No.”

“We will excommunicate you from our family, and from our entire community.  We will consider you as dead, like a broken egg.  You will have no part in our business, and you will not be given any inheritance from our family. If you leave now without anything, where would you go? Let the Christians take care of you!  But if you return, we will welcome you 24/7, but only as long as you come without your god.”  Since that day, I have never been permitted to return home to my family.

dawa-hanging-bridgeI was ordered to leave my home and community.  I was not even allowed to take my suitcase, so I walked away with only the clothes on my back and a few hundred rupees (approx. $15) in my wallet. I had learned that there was an Indian Bibleschool 12 hours away by bus further to the North, so I bought a ticket and arrived there.

I knocked on the door of the Principal’s office.  I shared my testimony with him, and told him I wanted to study the Bible.  “What church do you belong to?” the Principal asked.  “I do not have a church, and I do not have any money.”  “So, who will pay the $300.00 a year tuition for your studies?” he inquired. I admitted I had no one to support me.  But I was insistent, “Sir, please give me a chance!” Finally, I was permitted to enroll in the school with the condition that I would work in the school kitchen and do the gardening during weekends in return for tuition.

While I was in school I had no spending money, but I knew I was not to ask people for help – God was to be my provider!  I had one set of clothing, so every night I would wash my underwear and hang it in front of the fan to dry.  I would squeeze toothpaste from tubes the other students had discarded, and collect nearly used up bars of soap.  But I buried myself in the studies, deeply motivated to learn more about God!  In between semesters when the other students went home to their families, or took vacation, I stayed, as I had no money to go anywhere.

dawa-pioneer-churchAfter three years, I became part of a church.  One day, and older church member, a retired doctor, came up to me and said, “Will you be my son?”  She shook my hand, and invited me home.  There, I celebrated my first Christmas.  Eve, my new “mom” gave me 20 rupees (app. $1.00).  It was huge!

After the graduation from the school, I started out as evangelist from my church. During this time, I met my future wife.  I did not even have a ring for my wedding, but a friend bought it for me.  There were lots of ups and down and struggles during this time, but my Heavenly Father never left me!  In 1994, Campus Crusade came to India, and I worked with them for three years before I received a salary, but it was a good time when I received international training.

Ministry Center and The Leadership Bible Training School of Himalayan Good News Network Ministry

Ministry Center and The Leadership Bible Training School of Himalayan Good News Network Ministry

In 2002, I left Campus Crusade and founded Himalayan Good News Network Ministry.  At an international conference, I had met Kaj Holte, a Norwegian minister.  In 2004, Kaj and his friend, Ole came to the Himalayas to pursue the story of eight young Finnish women who in the late 1800 traveled to these mountains as missionaries. They were totally rejected by the local people who locked them out of their lives, so they ended up starving and freezing to death.  Kaj and Ole found one of their graves, and worked on erecting a stone in their memory.  The Free Church of Finland Mission has now 200 home churches throughout the Himalayas.  Kaj and I became good friends, and Kaj recently helped finance the building for our ministry’s Leadership Bible Training school.  We are also partnering with  Troens Bevis who are sponsoring  a number of our pioneer church planters.

dawa-graduating-classToday, our ministry has 260 graduates from our Bible Training School who have been sent out to remote and rural areas in the Himalayas to evangelize and plant home churches.   We have just started a new semester at the Leadership Bible Training School with 50 attending students, both men and women.  When they graduate, like the others, they are ordained as Ministers of the Gospel and are then sent as ministry partners all throughout the Himalayas, to do pioneer church planting mostly in rural areas.  There will then be  will 310 of them.  There are regional leaders to whom the missionaries are accountable, and twice a year, HGNNM brings them together for Alumni Ministry Partners Retreats.

We encourage the missionaries to be tent-makers, that is, they keep their jobs, so that they can support their families.  The medium expense for a family of four in the city is $300 per month, and in rural areas $150 per month.  We add $60 per month to cover some of their ministry expenses.

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FROM R.K.’S CORNER

dawa-steve-and-rkLast month, I reported from my July trip to Norway, where, among other things, I attending the annual Summer Festival at Troens Bevis, one of the largest and most effective mission organizations in Europe, with whom we have partnered for over thirty years.  They sponsor over 1000 indigenous missionaries around the world.  In the last issue, I focused on their ministry, the Festival, and Rune Edvardsen’s gift in bringing the Gospel afresh to a new generation, both at home and abroad.

During the Festival, there is always an appeal for missions funds for their indigenous missionaries. This year, the focus was on the Himalayas. The guest speaker, Dawa S. Bhutia, is an ethnic Tibetan and former Buddhist from Bhutan, who is  founder and leader of  Himalayan Good News Networking Ministry with hundreds of pioneer evangelists and church planters.  They serve the Lord in  some of the most remote and inaccessible places in the Himalayan mountains among Bhutanese, Indians, Nepalese, Tibetans, and more obscure tribes.

Dawa shared his testimony — a vivid demonstration of the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ in a Buddhist society.  I sat down with Dawa, confident he had been well vetted by the leaders at Troens Bevis, and interviewed him for the following story.  It is a stirring account of the loss of all things for the gain of the Peace that passes all understanding!

Guess my surprise when, at the end of August, I received a phone call from Dawa, who was in the States!  He was visiting Nepalese believers he had mentored in refugee camps in India. Steve and I flew him down to Florida where he stayed in our home for a few delightful days!  We came to know him better. Dawa, and Steve with kindred hearts for the world, became friends. The  Bridge gave a generous gift toward his Leadership Bible Training School.  We believe support of his ministry and pioneer missionaries are a valuable contribution to the Kingdom of God!

Please look to the top right to find ways by which you can sponsor his church planters!