PHULBARI (Nepal) – The scenery here is breathtaking, with beautiful greenery plains and majestic mountains. Phulbari village is situated on a hill overlooking the mighty Himalayan range, 45 km north of Kathmandu.
Our Nepalese evangelist was led by God to interact with the local villagers while in the process of helping a foreign owner to resolve some problems concerning his staff at a nearby resort. Eventually this encounter led to the start of a Bible study class for four students by our church planting coordinator.
Twice a month, he travelled from Kathmandu and trekked for 30 minutes up the hill to share the Gospel. These students soon became worshippers of Jesus Christ and started to rent a room for the weekly classes. The class soon became a fellowship with singing and prayer added into the programme. The Lord blessed the fellowship and more villagers came The fellowship soon grow to be a preaching point under the Methodist Missions Society Nepal and in June 2006, seven members of the fellowship were baptised. Today there are 35 members, 16 of whom have been baptised.
However, the preaching point is faced with a challenge: how to get the villagers from the different castes and ethnic groups to come together and worship God.
We may say that as Christians we do not accept the caste system as we are all equal in God’s sight. But the Nepalese find it difficult to ignore the caste system, and a neutral place of worship needs to be provided.
In June 2006, the Rev Dr Norman Wong, Mr Andrew Tay and I were invited to worship at Phulbari Preaching Point. After climbing up the mountain slope, which was difficult, we arrived quite exhausted, and were met by about 20 people cramped into a small mud room to worship God. They were singing and praising God in Nepali, expressing the joy of celebration and thanksgiving.
Just then, the Lord released a word of knowledge through a brother to the congregation that He is pleased with them and upon this rock He would build His church.
After the service, we gathered outside the house for tea and immediately someone mentioned that a piece of adjacent land was available for sale. We decided to gather there and prayed for God to provide.
On our return home, we shared the need for a worship place at Phulbari with Agape Methodist Church which had recently acquired a commercial building in Jurong for its use. As thanksgiving to God for providing the building, Agape MC challenged its members to buy the land and build a church for Phulbari.
A month later, the MMS received a donation of $6,500 from Agape MC to buy the land and build the Phulbari church. Phulbari members helped to construct the building.
The MMS has several preaching points located in Bahis Gagar (Kathmandu) and Biratnagar, Ranjani, Badantar and Jaharsing Gaun in East Nepal that need your help to build a house church.
Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng is the Area Director of the Methodist Missions Society.
SFMS appoints new Principal/CEO
ST. FRANCIS Methodist School (SFMS) has appointed Mrs Lenie Cho as its new Principal and Chief Executive Officer. Officially introduced to the staff of SFMS at a tea gathering on July 24, Mrs Cho was appointed on Aug 1.
She received a strong endorsement from Dr Stephen Yeo, the Chairman of SFMS Executive Board of Directors, who believes she is an excellent leader who will lead the school to greater heights.
Mrs Cho brings with her a wide range of experience as an educator and an administrator. Before her appointment with SFMS, she was the Deputy Principal of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) for 17 years.
An active leader in community services and non-governmental organisations, she has served in various capacities, including being a member of the Geography Consultative Committee at the National University of Singapore (1992-2002) and the Chairman of the Geography Teachers’ Association of Singapore (1992-2003).
Mrs Cho is currently serving in Living Waters Methodist Church as a Sunday School teacher as well as a member of the Local Church Executive Committee.
She is married with three children.