August 2015

Dear Friends of Far Corners Ministry,

As I write to you, I am thinking about how God has blessed this mission with faithful friends who support us financially, and continue to uphold us in prayer.  At the request of pastors in Nepal we planned leadership retreats for April of this year.  Pastor Steve Hiltz and I arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 17th.  After the first few days, we moved on to two cities in the south east near the Indian border, holding training sessions in each place with pastors from both Nepal and India – about eighty in total.  We were blessed to see Shakti and other friends that we hadn’t seen for some time.  These pastors were very appreciative of the teaching and have invited us to return there next year.

As the Nepali Christian churches have their main worship on Saturdays, we had just finished preaching in small local churches on April 25th when the earth began to shake.  It was rather unsettling, but we were unaware of the terrible devastation in other parts of Nepal until we watched the news at our hotels later that day.  The next day brought many aftershocks that at times caused us to leave what we were doing and quickly run outdoors.  As the second pastoral retreat ended we were faced with the uncertainty of how to return to Canada, as the situation in Kathmandu (the only international exit point) was growing from bad to worse.  Fortunately, the Indian government opened its borders for all stranded visitors in Nepal to transit through India, so were found ourselves unexpectedly in India, and arrived home safely.  This was truly the Lord’s providence!   We continue to remember the great numbers of people in Nepal as they face the daunting task of rebuilding much of their lives, which will take years.  

        

Beginning in May, we have initiated a monthly support program for local pastors in West Bengal.  We have started with four pastors, and will be adding others.  The $60 per month is a supplement that assists with their everyday living expenses.  We have recently partnered with PPRERNA in a community development project in a village called Panijhora.  In November 2014 our team visited this village as PPRERNA had started reaching out to them through a children’s ministry.  This village has about seventy families and the needs are great.  They were unable to afford even the seed to plant rice on their land, and were being taken advantage of by wealthy businessman from a nearby city, as they would often lease their land for very little.  There has also been very little hope for the youth as most have inadequate schooling and settle for menial jobs in the city.  Through God’s provision, FCM has been able to make a major investment of $10,000.00 in the first phase of this project.  This phase has begun as the villagers have been given rice seed and education about how to use their land productively, and the first rice crops are already doing well.  A major part of the project is the establishment of a poultry farm which will provide funds to support pastors and evangelical outreach, along with helping with the cost of our retreats for men and women in leadership.  Construction of the poultry building is just beginning.  These projects, along with several others, will provide finances for self-sufficiency and hope for the future. 

Most recently Shakti took a ministry team to a very remote area of West Bengal near the Bhutan border which is only accessible by walking uphill for 5 kilometers after the road ends.  The team carried in bundles of mosquito nets for the local churches to distribute.  They are building relationships with four communities and conducting small group meetings and times of fellowship at their churches.  These are just some of the ways that God’s love is reaching out to the far corners of West Bengal.

Please continue to remember us in your prayers, and contact us if you have questions about ways that you can partner with us.  Our next mission trip is November 5-21st, 2015, and there will be opportunities to teach pastors and women, to help with the kindergarten & special needs school programs, and the chance to see firsthand many exciting projects and experience rich worship experiences.  If you wish to join us this November, or in March 2016, please contact me by phone or email.

Yours, in the Lord’s service,

Rev. Dr. Shant Manuel

Executive Director

Far Corners Ministry