Rooftop Worship

Church life in Nepalgunj

Pastor Ramesh Regmi's congregation meets on the roof of his home, beneath a tarp, in Nepalgunj Western Nepal. The congregation supports a social services arm, MILAP, founded on their desire to care for people spiritually and physically. 
How did you come to faith, Pastor Ramesh?

I come from a Brahmin family. I’d read of Christianity and Jesus Christ as part of a study of different religions. It didn’t mean a lot to me until I came to Pokhara for higher studies and became a trekking guide on the Annapurna Circuit.

Here I met a Dutch couple and heard the gospel for the first time. It was revolutionary to me and I began to question my life – I hadn’t experienced it personally, but I knew of discrimination against the so-called untouchables in our society.

"I heard from the Dutch couple that God loves everyone equally, and I felt that this was a call I could follow." 

When I returned to my village, I began meeting with Christians from a Korean project for Bible Study. Political instability in my area meant I had to leave and I went to Kathmandu, where I attended a Bible College.

In 2000, after much prayer, my wife Prema and I began the Smyrna Missionary Church in Nepalgunj. 

What’s the vision of your church?

We have four priorities – Church ministry, social work, education (both theological and secular) and business that can support the ministry. 

We saw an immediate need to support people practically.

In 2007 there was a big flood in Nepalgunj and we provided shelter in the Church space to those who were displaced, as well as food, utensils and blankets.

This was the start of MILAP (Reconciliation), our Social Service organisation. We were mindful of God’s vision of reconciliation as we established the work, and we wanted to focus particularly on people with disabilities.

(Read more about the work of MILAP here)

We are continually sharing in Christian ministry in Nepalgunj and have baptised about 150-200 new believers in our time. Many people come to the city for work or study opportunities and then are dispersed throughout the country, but since we began we have a solid core.

We’re praying that we’ll be given the opportunity to expand further into our Biblical teaching and education work, and that a business opportunity will be provided to help fund this work.

What challenges do you face as a Church in Nepalgunj?

One of the challenges as a church based in the city is that many believers who attend the church don't remain in the church permanently- people move back to their regions after looking for work or study opportunities. Our believers are spread across the country. Not having long term service attenders affect the ministry and also the income of the church.

We are meeting on the roof of our home covered with a tarp for church service but this year we hope to build a church on the same site. It will be a multipurpose building for a resource and training center.

We also hope to extend church ministry through church planting and gospel sharing in new areas. We are  praying for some income generation work so that profit from it can be used to cover administrative expenses of organisation.

We're reading the Bible together with Pastor Ramesh, his partner Prema from MILAP and supporters from all over Australia. The dates are March 20, 27 and April 3, Monday evenings 8pm.


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