The First United Methodist Church Dedicated in Nepal
On January 19, 2003 in the village of Tanmuna in eastern Nepal the first United Methodist Church was dedicated by Dr. S T Kimbrough, Jr., Associate General Secretary for Mission Evangelism of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) and Dr. David Wu, Assistant General Secretary for Congregational Initiatives of the Board.
The congregation and the development of the church building have been under the leadership of United Methodism¹s first indigenous missionaries, Mr. Devi Bhujel and his wife Ms. Karuna Bhujel, who have been missionaries since 2003 in Nepal.
The United Methodist Church has had a presence for almost fifty years in Nepal through the United Mission to Nepal, and continues this strong and important relationship of vital medical and health, agrarian, educational, and a variety of technical services and ministries in a country with tremendous needs.
Also present for the dedication were United Methodist missionaries in Nepal Mr. Larry Asher and Ms. Phyllis Asher.
The Tanmuna church was built by the native villagers, largely out of their own resources and with very little outside assistance. It is a lovely brick building with a plaster covering and a capacity of about 200 worshipers.
On the occasion of the dedication, however, there were over 400 people present. Devi and Karuna Bhujel, who are the spiritual leaders of the congregation, led the service. There were greetings from pastors of other churches, including the Lutheran, Baptists, and others. Dr. David Wu of GBGM preached the dedicatory sermon and Dr. S T Kimbrough, Jr. led the act of dedication and was the celebrant for the first Holy Communion in the church. The church was dedicated to the glory of God, the service of Christ and the church, and the people of Nepal.
The Bhujels are graduates of Trinity Theological College in Singapore, from which they hold Masters in Theology degrees. In addition to his responsibility of providing pastoral supervision and nurture for the six United Methodist congregational and fellowship groups in East Nepal and Katmandu, Devi Bhujel is exploring possibilities for the beginning of a center for theological training in Nepal which would be ecumenical in outreach. Karuna Bhujel is developing ministries to women, children, and youth, including leadership training seminars and outreach ministries among women.
The Bhujels are candidates for ordination in Northwest Philippines Annual Conference under the episcopal leadership of Bishop Benjamin Justo.
Date posted: Feb 19, 2003