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 has planted three daughter congregations with 40–50 baptized members each.
Surunga BIC Church celebrated the inauguration of a long-awaited church building on December 10, 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.
The Global Church Sharing Fund is administered by Mennonite World Conference (MWC) as a way to share financial resources among the worldwide family of faith. MWC member and associate member churches in Africa, Asia, and Latin America/Caribbean receive Global Church Sharing funds for ministries that advance the life and mission of their churches.
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.
Henk Stenvers, who serves as secretary for the Deacons Commission of Mennonite World Conference, 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.