“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
Where do we even begin! So much has happened since our last update. We apologize for the lack in communication through our blog and email updates, but hopefully most of you have been able to follow us on Facebook to see all of the photos and hear all that the Lord has been doing in our lives.
For those who do not have Facebook or are not following us, we will do our best to put into words everything that has happened lately. To make it a little easier, we will break this update into months.
Late November 2014
We had the amazing opportunity to go back to the States to visit family and friends over the Christmas season. As a surprise, we flew out one day before Thanksgiving and gave my (Tonielle) parents the surprise of a lifetime by showing up at a friend’s house they were visiting with. The look on their faces, says it all!
The process of getting into the States was not all fun and games, though. When we arrived in Los Angeles, we were informed that Pankaj was out of the US for longer than is allowed with a green card. After 45-minutes of being separated from each other, he was given a “verbal warning” and then was told that if we planned to return to Nepal and stay outside longer than 11-months, he needed to apply for a “re-entry permit”. This permit will allow him to be out of the USA for up to 2-years without getting in any trouble with the government. We quickly turned in his application and are still in the process of waiting for the approval. Please continue to pray with us as we wait to see how long we can stay in Nepal until our next visit to the States.
It was so nice to be able to meet with our loved ones during our stay! Thank you to everyone who helped make our trip so enjoyable. Everyone’s generosity and love overwhelmed us during our trip! Between free tickets to Disneyland, multiple lunch, dinner, and coffee dates, and invitations to stay over at everyone’s houses we felt like celebrities!
In addition to visiting with everyone, we had several chances to share at different churches and fellowships. It was such a blessing to see the family of God praying for us and excited to see and hear about the works in Nepal.
At the beginning of January, Calvary Chapel WestGrove gave us an amazing gift by sponsoring us to attend the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference in Murrieta. It was so encouraging to hear how the Lord is working in different parts of the world. We were able to talk to and learn from new and “veteran” missionaries and we learned the importance of being faithful with every opportunity God has given us – large or small.
After the week of refreshment at the missions conference, we had about one more week Stateside and were able to spend it with family and catch up with the remaining friends we had not been able to see yet.
On January 20, we headed back to Nepal and hit the ground running in preparation for our new semester starting up at the Salvation Bible College (CCBC Nepal).
We had the privilege to host Pastor Dan Finfrock and Pastor Larry and Sheila Scroggins for the first two-weeks of the spring semester. Pastor Dan taught a weeklong class on Inductive Bible Study and the following week, Pastor Larry taught Apologetics. The students were excited to learn from these awesome teachers and are already talking about how they will use these techniques back in their villages.
It was great seeing the new and old students get to know each other and have the beginning of the semester start so smooth.
In addition to this being my birthday month, lots of exciting things happened in the month of March! During the first week, Pastor Paul Ho came and taught for a week at the school, then a few weeks later, Pastor Art Phinney and Gino Colacchia came to teach and serve on campus. While Pastor Art taught at the school, Gino made minor repairs to the campus. It was such a blessing to meet each of these visitors and to be able to host them at the school campus.
The grand opening of our newly built sanctuary also took place on March 14th! It was an awesome time having other churches and leaders come and see what God has given us. We had a ribbon cutting ceremony, time of worship, special message by Pastor Timothy KC from Jesus College, special music, and a dedication prayer by Pankaj. We created a special video of the construction process and dedication ceremony! If you would like to watch it, please click here: https://youtu.be/Vj23_7IKxhg
Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Our Provider!!
When we look back at the past few months, we are amazed by God’s faithfulness! There were a few very large “wish list items” that God provided for us.
We already talked about the sanctuary, but this was one of the biggest things that was provided to us. With the help of Calvary Chapel of the Sierra, Calvary Chapel WestGrove, and many other individual donors, we were able to get the building up and functional within 6 months – this is VERY fast when it comes to “Nepali time”. All praise be to God!
Two other very important things needed for ministry here is electricity and transportation.
Nepal has regularly scheduled power cuts every day so there are many hours that we do not have electricity on campus. With 25 people living on site, a bible college, music school, church, recording studio, and many other activities happening on campus, electricity is very important.
We had been praying for a motorcycle for the staff to use at the bible college to make life a little easier to go into town for groceries, transport visitors and students for recreation and emergencies, and do other various jobs around the city.
We have one other exciting announcement (if you are on Facebook, you most likely already know), but we would like to make a special email for it. Please keep your eye out for a special announcement in the next few weeks!
In closing, we want to say thank you so much for your constant prayers for us and the ministries. We have received several emails from you telling us you are praying for us and have seen so much love come in through financial support as well. We are truly blessed to have you partnering with us.
Thank you again for everything.
Pankaj & Tonielle Sarkar