In 2000, the Brethren in Christ (BIC) church board of Nepal sent Bhagan Chaunde to Surunga, Jhapa, Nepal, to plant churches. The passionate evangelist shared the gospel and planted a church. Starting with one new believer, Surunga Church has grown to 120 baptized members and planted three daughter congregations with 40–50 baptized members each.
Surunga BIC Church celebrated the inauguration of a long-awaited church building 10 December 2017. “It was an answer to the prayers of believers who eagerly awaited the day to worship the Lord in a newly constructed church building,” says BIC Nepal director Shemlal Hembrom.
For years, the growing church body had been collecting funds to purchase land and construct a new building. With the help of BIC Nepal, Surunga Church purchased land. “When they received a grant from Global Church Sharing Fund, they were so excited to begin the work,” says Hembrom.
Pastor Bhagan expressed the congregation’s gratitude to God for God’s provision and to the Mennonite World Conference Deacons Commission for offering prayers and giving financial assistance to construct the church building through the Global Church Sharing Fund.
Deacons Commission secretary Henk Stenvers offered a dedication prayer, brought greetings from the worldwide Anabaptist church body, and shared from Scripture about the church as the body of Christ.
All members need to be honoured and be responsible to care for each other, Stenvers said. Everyone in the body of Christ is called to build up the house of God, the place where they pray and praise God together and answer the call to increase God’s justice and peace in the neighbourhood and community.
“The whole congregation is so grateful to have such provision where all believers can have enough room to gather together for regular worship services,” says Hembrom. “Please continue to uphold the congregation to carry out God’s mission through various activities of the church and reach out many more people in the area.”
The church’s mission was lived out even during the worship service. A local family attended the dedication out of curiosity. After hearing the sermon, Hembrom reports, the family made a decision to follow Jesus and join the congregation.
—Mennonite World Conference release
Praise God for the resilience of Nepali people who are rebuilding after severe flooding in September. Landless villagers are grateful to MCC and Brethren in Community Welfare Society that provided materials to rebuild, leased land to farm, facilitated a market to sell produce, and trains women in the seamstress trade. Uphold the local BIC congregations in prayer as they carry out God’s mission through various activities of the church and reach out many more people in the area.