Training Christian Leaders

August 1, 2012 • Nepal

Samaritan’s Purse supports a program in Nepal to prepare the next generation of evangelists to share the Gospel with their communities

Samaritan’s Purse supports a program in Nepal to prepare the next generation of evangelists to share the Gospel with their communities

Tika Maya and Santosh Thapa come from very different backgrounds, but have one thing in common—they want to follow Christ with their entire lives and to make a difference for Jesus Christ in their local church.

About three years ago, Samaritan’s Purse started supporting a three-month long church leadership training program in Butwal, Nepal. House churches were growing, but the leaders lacked proper training to fullfill their duties as ministry leaders. We helped provide funding and materials for the program.

Tika and Santosh were among the graduates who completed the program earlier this year. Their class included six women and seven men, representing six different districts and church groups.

The staff teaches practical subjects such as leadership, Bible study, biblical counseling, church, and missions, and evangelism. Outside the classroom, the students participate in group devotions, and daily Scripture reading and memorization. This year, they memorized over 50 Bible verses.

Several students went the extra mile and also fasted and prayed for 40 days. Praying at the top of the nearest mountain helped them focus and get closer to God.

The program is not just about education and spiritual growth exercises. It is about putting the lessons into practice. A practical Christian ministry component is part of the studies. The students go into villages in western Nepal and lead outreach, including sermons and worship services in churches.

At the end of the program in May, the students had shared the Good news of Jesus Christ with more than 1,500 people, and distributed more than 3,000 Gospel tracts.

Tika was one of the students who dedicated herself to prayer and fasting for 40 days. She came from a very poor family that did not believe in Jesus, so her church helped send her to the training in February.

Tika experienced closer intimacy with God as she fasted. She prayed fervently for the members of her family to become Christians. God answered her requests, and all of them accepted Christ as their Savior when she returned home and told them about God’s Son, sent to earth to give Himself as a sacrifice for sinners.

With the knowledge gained from the Bible courses, Tika now leads classes for the youth in her local church. She also works for a ministry called “CAR Net Nepal”, which is dedicated to ministering to children at risk in the city of Butwal.

“I enjoy the work I am doing since I am helping these young lives become disciples of Jesus Christ,” she said. “I am also happy that I have a good job to support my family.”

The greatest lesson she learned was depending on Christ to get through the training. Philippians 4:19 became a very special verse since she had to remind herself that God promised to provide for all of her needs “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Santosh was another student whose life was radically changed because of the program. Unlike Tika, his parents were believers in Jesus. But even though Santosh came from a Christian home, he was not involved in the church.

He was working for a business in his hometown when God began to speak to his heart. Santosh realized he wanted to follow Christ, so he entered the program.

When he graduated, Santosh was ordained by his church, and he dedicated his life to ministry.

“My relatives and family members were not happy about my decision to join full-time minstry,” he said. “But as I prayed to God about this challenge, He clearly showed me that I was called to do this.”

Now Santosh is leading a church in a village in western Nepal.

“Pastoring is quite challenging,” he said. “However, I feel it is a great honor. Now I can testify that if I had not gone to the church leadership training, I would not have been in the ministry. God had a plan to prepare me to lead His flock.”

The graduation ceremony was a sacred and special time for the men and women who worked hard to finish their training. Over 80 local church pastors and leaders were present to witness the students’ success, to support them, and to pray for their future ministry pursuits.

Altogether, 130 students have completed the program, and all of them are currently involved in Christian ministry.