One of our assignments for the weekend was to visit an ethnic church. Our family chose to go to a Nepalese church. The church met in an apartment and hadabout 15 people attending, counting the children. As we entered we took off our shoes at the door. I don’t think the people quite knew what to think of us. They insisted we sit at place of honor on the couch. The service began with singing. They would sing in Nepalese and then in English but most were just in Nepalese. They were energetic in their singing and clapped as they were accompianed by a drum. After the singing, they had a time of prayer mixed with singing. When they pray, they all pray at one time. To me, it was a beautiful thing hearing all those voices praising and interceding. They spent quite a bit of time in prayer. It made me think of a quote a friend sent me this week by Leonard Ravenhill. It said “Let the fire go out in the boiler room of the church and the place will still look smart and clean but it will be cold. The prayer room is the boiler room for a church’s spiritual life.”
Next, one of the pastors gave a message from Philemon. Later another pastor was giving exhortations and also translated a few words for us in English. He talked about how Onesimus means useful and made the assertion that we are truly useful after we meet Jesus. The service ended with prayer and the pastor asking us introduce ourselves. The pastor especially liked Winter’s name. The congregation came around and introduced themselves and shook our hands. I did notice their way of greeting each other was to put their hands in a praying position and then bow their head. I decided to do this to the older lady next to me and I was met with a smile and she returned the gesture. The service began at 10:00 and lasted two hours.
After the service, we were invited to share a meal with them. It was a spicy soup with potatoes and beans that you put over what the pastor referred to as beaten rice. Our drink was milk tea. Our hosts were very gracious. Our prayer for these people is that they will continue to grow in the Lord and serve him. Most came to the US as refugees from violence in Nepal. We also pray that God will provide many with some type of employment to support their families.