THE training of Nepalese pastors has been done mainly in the capital city of Kathmandu. The city hosts more than 35 training institutes run by various organisations and more than half of them run three-to five-month residential courses.
The main challenge that the churches outside Kathmandu face is that their trained people are unwilling to return to their churches where they come from as they are attracted by modern living in the capital.
To date, there is only one training centre in the entire Eastern Development Region of Nepal: Caleb Bible Institute (CBI) run by the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) (Nepal).
The MMS (Nepal) will be adopting a two-level strategy in providing Christian leadership training in Nepal:
1. There is the Certificate Level Training through CBI. This is a vernacular training institute located 620 km outside the capital in East Nepal. Started in 2001 with the initial cooperation of Wesley Mahimit Church (now under the MMS) in Jhapa East Nepal, CBI serves 16 districts with a population of about 5 million people, of whom 20 belong to the unreached people groups.
There are some 650 churches and fellowships scattered across the Eastern Development Region. CBI is also positioned to reach the seven sister states of North-east India.
2. Accredited Degree Training – This next level of training is vital to the Nepalese church. The MMS is working in partnership with the Asia Institute of Theology to establish the Kathmandu Institute of Theology (KIT). Eventually, KIT will be to the Methodist Church in Nepal what Trinity Theological College is to The Methodist Church in Singapore. In the beginning, CBI conducted training for men and women separately with no proper sleeping quarters. Still there are many candidates waiting to enrol for training. Living quarters are make-shift attap huts with woven bamboo walls which are not sufficient to keep out the cold Himalayan winds during winter.
Currently, there are no proper study areas for the students. A new building, now under construction, will allow CBI to conduct training for men and women concurrently, therefore providing a richer learning environment.
CBI will provide training in practical church-planting skills to national pastors and church leaders.
We continue to rely heavily on Singaporeans to assist the churches in Nepal. We appeal to you for:
• Your prayers for our training efforts in Nepal.
• Your time to go as trainers for both the certificate level (CBI) and degree level courses. We propose that each visit should last at least two to three weeks.
• Your finance for equipping CBI as well as for the operating cost of running the residential programme for 20 students for five months commencing in February 2009. The cost for each student’s participation is $425.
The construction of CBI is the MMS’ first major building project in Nepal.
Col (Retd) Quek Koh Eng is the Area Director of the Methodist Missions Society.
MMS golf tourney at Raffles’ Lake Course
THE Methodist Missions Society (MMS) will hold a fund-raising golf tournament at Raffles Country Club (Lake Course) on April 18, 2008. Tee-off is 1.15 pm, shot-gun start.
Mr Lim Biow Chuan, MP for Marine Parade GRC, will be the Guest-of-Honour. He is the Lay Leader of Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church.
All proceeds will go to the MMS missions fund. Your generosity will enable the MMS to continue to help the poor in seven surrounding countries – Cambodia, China, Laos, Nepal, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam – break out of the poverty trap.
Participation fee is $350 per golfer, inclusive of lunch and dinner. Outright donations are also welcome.
Please make all cheques payable to The Methodist Church in Singapore (MMS) and indicate on the reverse of the cheque MMS Golf Tournament 2008. Send the cheques to the Methodist Missions Society, 70 Barker Road, 6th floor, Methodist Centre, Singapore 309936.