A mountaintop experience: the 2015 Himalayan Leaders Conference
This January, Asia's Hope will be sponsoring our first ever Himalayan Leaders Conference. My wife Kori and I will be co-hosting this conference with our India director, Pastor Nandu Gurung, and his wife Anu. And we couldn't be more excited!
We're inviting hundreds of pastors from Northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh to join us in our hometown of Kalimpong, West Bengal. We'll be subsidizing transportation, lodging and food costs for pastors who would be otherwise unable to attend.
Whereas most everyone can understand the general benefits of such a conference, one might ask, "why is Asia's Hope hosting this?"
In other words, what does a pastor's conference have to do with orphan care?
As a nearly 100% indigenous organization (outside the U.S., we have a total of zero Western employees), we have deep roots in the Christian communities our ministry serves. The majority of the children in our care were referred to us through a vast, yet under-resourced and often persecuted network of indigenous churches.
This conference gives us a chance to deepen our relationship with those local church partners, and to invite Western pastors to come see what God is doing in his Church in the Himalayas.
Although most of the teaching at the conference will be done by Nepali-Indian pastors, there will be opportunities for visiting pastors to teach, both at the conference and in other settings (e.g. local churches, village outreaches).
We hope that this conference will provide the following:
Encouragement for the indigenous leaders -- Many of the pastors attending this conference operate in relative isolation on a day-to-day basis, serving in communities that are nearly 100% unreached. By inviting a delegation of pastors from the U.S., we honor these leaders and signal both to them and to the community at large our solidarity with the indigenous Church.
Expansion of vision for visiting pastors -- Our ministry in India occupies a unique ethno-geographic and strategic intersection. Although Asia's Hope India's primary agenda is to rescue and raise orphaned kids at high risk of exploitation, we are also deeply enmeshed in a network of local churches committed to evangelism, church planting and leadership development.
We've invited a group of Western pastors who are directly involved with Asia's Hope (their church sponsors one of our homes), indirectly involved (their church has a high concentration of Asia's Hope supporters) and not-yet-involved. We hope that these pastors' interactions with each other and with Asia's Hope's staff and kids will provide clarity for congregations that already or may someday partner with our ministry.
I believe that as Western pastors return to their congregations energized and inspired, this conference will provide a springboard for future partnerships and a deepened sense of commitment for existing ones.
How you can help
- Pray — Join us in praying that God will use this conference to encourage and equip the Himalayan Church, and expand the vision of pastors visiting from the West.
- Give — This conference will cost about $7,500. Please help us underwrite these costs with a generous, one-time gift!
- Go — If you are a Christian pastor or church looking to expand your church's partnership with Asia's Hope, maybe you should consider attending this conference. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 614.285.5813 today, as spots are filling up quickly.
- January 19 -- Depart USA
- January 21-- Arrive in Siliguri
- January 22 -- Travel to Kalimpong, rest
- January 23, 24, 25 -- Conference, Worship on Sunday
- January 26, 27 -- Time with Asia's Hope staff and kids in Kalimpong
- January 28 -- Village outreach, church visit
- January 29 -- Time with Asia's Hope staff and kids in Kalimpong
- January 30 -- Travel to Siliguri
- January 31 -- Depart from Siliguri