Dear Family and Friends,
As we waited to move into the new campus in the capital city of Kathmandu, Nepal there was an open door for Bond, Ryan and Efrain to spend a week in the mountains in a rural village. It started with a 6-hour van ride followed by a two-hour hike with only their backpacks on. A brother from the East Coast shared that he had 30 pastors and leaders in a remote area, but had been unable to travel to teach them as much as he would like. It made for a wonderful opportunity to go and teach through the book of Acts and highlight how the early church shared the Gospel preaching wherever they went!
India In Our Hearts
The past two years, we have spent several months during the spring working in India. Being so close in proximity (Nepal and India share a border), we decided to spend the first week of April visiting those who are going forth in ministry. After taking an overnight train to the base of the mountain, we were greeted in India by seven smiling faces at 5 a.m. We traveled another hour by jeep with Pastor Manoj and Nasreen and we made it in time to join them for Sunday service at CC Mussoorie, India. We sat outside on the steps leading up to the church because the building was packed full of people. When it was time for the Word, they called us inside and Bond was blessed to teach and to see all that the Lord has done through the church since it started in 2012.
We spent the remainder of the week teaching at the School of Ministry (SOM) and reconnecting with Pastor Pratim & Vinita. We were hosted by Deanna and Amy (friends from Saving Grace) that are living and serving there full-time. The first four young men will be graduating from SOM next month and we are so proud to have been a small part of their lives over the past two years as they prepare to return to their villages to serve the Lord.
Heather was able to teach the women’s study, visit the Promise Children and meet with the teachers to assess the ministry needs at the schools that we partner with. While we had a great time reconnecting with people, we were confronted with the sobering reminder of those who we have ministered to that we are no longer able to visit. Parmeela is a young woman in the Promise Child program whose mother died this past year. Parvetra had heard and seen the love of Christ demonstrated towards her family, but thought she had more time to consider the truth. Last spring we shared in our update about a family where the husband Anand was suffering from bone cancer and his children requested that we pray for their dad saying “we just want our daddy to live.” Meena (Anand’s wife) is now a widow with three children as Anand lost his battle with cancer this past year. The difference is that one family thought they had more time, while the other walked by faith and lived in light of eternity knowing that time was short. As we returned from India, we learned that Heather’s Uncle Stuart suffered a massive heart attack and is now in heaven. We have a renewed urgency in our heart to share the love of Christ with as many people as possible for tomorrow is not promised.
A New Work
Last fall we met with our dear friends Pankaj and Tonielle Sarkar in Kathmandu and they shared their vision to start a School of Worship in addition to their existing Salvation Worship ministry. After sharing our hearts, they decided to expand the vision to include a CC Bible College.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Indeed God is doing a new thing in Kathmandu, Nepal. After much cleaning, lots of scrubbing, tons of prayer and huge steps of faith we moved into the new School of Worship / Bible College campus this past month. Classes began on April 14th and we currently have 30 students enrolled and 10 of those students are currently living on campus with us. The campus is alive as you hear fellowship ring out, bible teaching going forth and the praises of the student continue on late into the night. We can’t help but share how amazed we are at all that God has done and is doing here. We know this is just the start of a new work to train up nationals in the capital of Nepal and send them back to their own communities / villages to proclaim the Gospel for generations to come!
We are thankful for the opportunity to invest in lives of nationals in Nepal and India because of your continued support and prayers.
With Love From Nepal,
Bond and Heather Gaona