For us, the 2014 CLC Mission Helpers to Nepal, it is going to be a very special day of worship as we gather with likeminded brothers and sisters in Christ of Eternal Life Church of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal (HCLC-Nepal) here in Lalitpur (Kathmandu), Nepal. We will worship our Lord and Savior, rejoice in the absolution of our sins, grow in our understanding of His Word as our faith is strengthened through God's all powerful word, and receive His body and blood for the remission of all our sins and the strengthening of our faith. Raju and I discussed the specifics of the service yesterday just to make sure we were all on the same page. Here's the basic order of service we will follow:
10:00-10:45 - Worship, Hymns, prayers, confession and absolution
10:45-11:00 - Mission Helpers sing three hymns
11:00-12:00 - children go to Bible Study
11:00-12:00 - Rob Sauers and I each preach
12:00-12:20 - The Lord's Supper
12:20-12:30 - Benediction, announcements and dismissal
I'm excited and a bit nervous and can't sleep this morning. It's just like a Sunday morning back home...awake at 5:15 in anticipation of the privilege of sharing God's saving word and lifting my voice together in praise, worship, and rejoicing for the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life that my Savior has won for a wretch like me!
While elements of the worship service will be anything but familiar to us foreigners, the message will be the same...we are sinners, very much in need of a Savior and Jesus Christ is our Savior!!! This is a point that has been emphasized over and over as we have taught hundreds of children over these past couple of weeks. There are so many things that seperate us...we speak differently, we dress differently, we eat different foods, we listen to different music, our way of worship is different, we go about our daily activities in different ways, our skin is different colors, and so on, BUT we have two very important things in common...
1. We have all sinned in our thoughts, with our words, and by our actions and have done nothing to deserve or earn God's love and favor,
2. We have a Savior who loved us so much that He willingly and sacraficially offered His perfect life for our sins on the cross so that we could have forgiveness, salvatioon, and eternal life!
Praise the Lord for our differences and for the Good News that we have a Savior in common!
We will have one more teaching opportunity tomorrow (Sunday) morning near the Tibet border. After worship service and lunch today, we will make the five our trip north where we will spend the night and then teach 150+ children at a private school that is run by a pastor and congregation who are affiliated with the HCLC-Nepal. Many of the children in this school are well versed in English so no translators will be needed. Please pray for both the teachers and the hearers of God's word today and tomorrow, that faith may be stirred in some and strengthened in others.
On Monday the pastors of the HCLC-N will meet here in Kathmandu for a pastoral conference. Rob Sauers and I will have the opportunity to teach and train these men. Many of these pastors have had no formal training and look forward to the opportunity to work together in increasing their understanding of Scripture and the privileged task to shepherding a flock of God's chosen. Please pray that the Lord will grant His wisdom, love, compassion, and all that is necessary for this task to both teachers and students on Monday.
Tuesday morning (the middle of night really) we will head for the airport and bid farwell to our brothers and sisters in Christ of Nepal. It has been and continues to be such a privilege to work with the pastors and members of the HCLC-N and these incredible Mission Helpers whom the Lord has brought together and gifted in so many ways for His good and gracious purpose. Thank You Lord for ALL you do!