Nepali Diaspora in India

North Bengal is one of the least developed regions in India, and life can be hard there, particularly for the more than 1.1 million people who live in the tea gardens of the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts.

The closure of many of the tea gardens and pathetically low wages have brought poverty and destitution; parents struggle to provide even basic needs for their children, and more than 1000 people have died of starvation in these districts over the last 12 years. This has brought an alarming rise in substance abuse, violence, migration, and human trafficking.

Making Disciples in Cambodia

Buddhism has been the Cambodian state religion since the 13th century (except during the Khmer Rouge period), and is estimated to be the faith of 95% of the population. Christians in Cambodia number less than two percent of the population.

Dae Hwan Bae is a Korean Interserver who is serving with his professional skills in Cambodia. In 2005 he joined the newly formed Department of Electronics Engineering at Cambodia’s National Polytechnic Institute. Later on he founded the Union School of Technology, a Christian institution that is fully authorised by the Ministry of Education in Cambodia.

Discipling the Diaspora in Australia and New Zealand

Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Mandarin, Tagalog, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia... These are just some of the languages you may hear spoken on the streets of Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps in your own congregation!

The speakers, especially if they are younger, may also have good English, and be more or less comfortable in an English-language setting. However, many of these neighbours, friends, and fellow church members have a different ‘heart language’, and come with their own cultural contexts, experiences and ways of thinking. Some may be able to find a church service to worship or receive teaching in their own language; many cannot. And it can be harder still for them to find study materials in their own languages to further their faith journey.

Hope Amongst the Ruins

Local Christian ministries in Nepal have been heavily involved in practical response to the earthquakes. One that utilises Theological Training by Extension (TEE) courses to equip and empower the local church has been in the forefront of this effort, providing practical and prayer support. These Nepali believers, without the resources of an international NGO, have been able to show Christ’s love while demonstrating that their work is relevant both for humanitarian relief and for equipping and empowering church members and leaders. Here is an update.

“We are safe.” This message from Tanka Subedi in Kathmandu on May 12, after the second earthquake shook Nepal, was followed by posts describing cracks to buildings, showing images of destruction, and making known the various needs he has uncovered through his work for the Institute for Theological Education by Extension in Nepal (ITEEN) and as a pastor in the Nepali church.

Challenges in the Middle East

While TEE programmes are serving the Church in a variety of difficult situations around the world, the Middle East is perhaps one of the most challenging regions. Radical groups like ISIS, civil war and volatile political situations have led to millions of displaced people. It is in this context that the Programme for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE) provides evangelical theological education in Arabic.

The PTEE Executive Director, Jiries Habash, said, “So far we have been able to work in up to eight countries in the Arab world. We also work with the diaspora in the USA, Canada, Sweden and Australia.”

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