Church Planting…

Dearest Family,
Greetings from Nepal! Well… After a flight leaving LAX at 6AM on Thursday, July 25th, four hours to Chicago, a 15 1/2 hour flight to Hong Kong, then a five hour flight to Kathmandu… I arrived at my hotel at 10:45PM on Friday!
At the airport, Kip received an awesome SoldOut Movement Welcome “without singing,” but the Kathmandu Disciples made up for that with a powerfully “loud prayer” by Luke Speckman – the courageous Mission Team Leader!
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A sprawling metropolitan population of 6 million, Kathmandu is famous for Durbar Square and Mt. Everest – just 75 miles (121 km) away!

Upon landing, I was joyfully informed of the second baptism of the fledging Kathmandu Church at 8:30PM that same evening – Goma!

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Goma has already endeared herself to all of the Kathmandu Sisters!

In LA I was asked, “Why are you so excited to get to Kathmandu? The answer lies back in the early 1990’s when the ICOC was “forcefully advancing” like no other Christian Movement had since the first century… On this long series of flights, I took out my notes that I have carried for years!

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Kip’s sermon notebook is filled with stories and lessons from the 1980’s and 1990’s!

I then read in tears a poem written to me by a very dear friend and partner in the Gospel entitled, “The Kathmandu Poem:”

Could I meet you in Kathmandu
As we go on our way
To save this world
Which has been hurled
Toward that last doomsday?

I’d stand by you in Kathmandu
And toast our dying breath
Pledge all it takes
For Jesus sake
And not shrink back from death.

Or meet me near the Southern Cross
Or find us in the East
As long as we’re mid hungry souls
And spreading out the feast

As long as we’re mid open hearts
And visions fill us all
Then Kip please know
That for you
I’ll meet anywhere at all.

Of course, when I landed this brother was not there as he had surrendered his love for God and a “movement to change eternity” and had reverted to autonomy and lukewarmness – the same conditions I rescued him from 15 years before.

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Meeting Kip in Kathmandu were his faithful ‘til death New Movement partners in the Gospel – Luke & Brandyn Speckman and Raja & Debs Rajan!

The Lord gave me a great night’s rest, and a terrific quiet time on Saturday morning, July 27th – the day of the Kathmandu Inaugural Service!

Kip woke up in Kathmandu at 5:30AM on July 27th, and gazed out at “other-world” beauty from his eighth floor room at the Fairfield Hotel!

My first appointment was a noontime lunch with Luke & Brandyn Speckman! Here Luke shared with me about the noble Gurkha Warriors! Wikipedia records this about Gurkhas: “Historically, the terms ‘Gurkha’ and ‘Gorkhali’ were synonymous with ‘Nepali,’ which originates from the hill principality Gorkha Kingdom from which the Kingdom of Nepal expanded… The name may be traced to the medieval Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath, who has a historic shrine in the city of Gorkha…” In the British Army for 200 years, the Gurkhas were and are considered the most fearsome fighters on earth. Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw of the Indian Army said, “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or a Gurkha.”

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Gurkha Warriors painted in 1815!
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A modern-day Gurkha soldiers still believe in a long repeated proverb, “It is better to die than to be a coward.”
Gurkhas are closely associated with the khukuri, a forward-curving Nepali knife, and have a reputation for fearless military prowess.
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The prized weapon of the Gurkhas has long been the khukuri!

After the inspirational lunch with Luke & Brandyn, I looked at my iPhone for the weather report… 100% rain at 3:00PM and 90% at 4:00PM when the service was to start! Remembering to Elijah’s prayer and the miracle of the Hong Kong Inaugural, I prayed for no rain until after the Inaugural began! (James 5:16b-18)

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Praise God that He held off the rain till 4:20PM after everyone had arrived at the venue for the Inaugural!
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Luke and Kip arrived at the “upper room” venue (above the Plumber Sign), a little less than two hours before the Inaugural!
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Luke & Roger ready the auditorium for the historic Kathmandu Inaugural Service!
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The view of Circle Road from the second floor of the venue window a few minutes before the Inaugural!

The Kathmandu Service opened with three songs: two in English and one in Nepalese! Then I was blessed to give the Welcome and introduce the Kathmandu Leaders after the Speckman Family of five leave – Roger & Yassa Green! The Greens enthusiastically went over the Order of Service!

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Roger & Yassa were converted in Chennai, were members of the 38 Spartans who planted New Delhi, and will lead the Kathmandu ICC when the Speckmans leave in two weeks!
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As the “Kathmandu Sisters of Encouragement,” Brandyn and Yassa presented Kip with a quiet time journal made of special Nepalese paper!
Before the Communion, Debzy Kent, Luke’s 70 year old parents – “Uncle Fred” & “Auntie Virginia,” and Luke sang in four part harmony, “The Old Rugged Cross!”
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The Debzy / Speckman Quartet practiced diligently before the “Big Event!”
Following was the heartfelt Communion by my awesome daughter in the faith Capil (Marhatta) Estep, who was born in Nepal! Amazingly, Capil had 21 visitors – 17 adults and 4 children!
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Joe Estep gave very warm introduction for his wife in Nepalese!
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Capil (center) brought several of her professors and former classmates to the Inaugural!
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Capil had several members of her immediate family attend the Kathmandu Worship Service, some driving 7 hours from the city of Pokhara!
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Kip was honored to escort Capil down the aisle as her “Dad” and then married Joe & Capil! Highlighting the conclusion of the ceremony was the releasing of doves by Joe & Capil!
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Joe, Capil and their youngest Joshua share a special moment after the Inaugural, as Kip was so proud of Capil bringing out 21 visitors!
Then Boisang Hoakip introduced Bridgette Speckman – just 16 years old – for the Contribution Charge! Bridgette shared powerfully about the “Character Building Day” just weeks before at the IGNITE Teen Leadership Program in Los Angeles and how she learned that she must give her “all in everything” – especially in contribution! (Colossians 3:23-24)
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Bridgette could not contain her joy as she shared about IGNITE for the Contribution Charge!
Then Luke delivered an outstanding lesson which he titled, A GREAT LIGHT HAS DAWNED! His three points from Jesus’ ministry were very simply and easy to remember: Teaching, Preaching and Healing!
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Luke preached to a packed house with Kids Kingdom on the floor at the back of the auditorium!
Luke’s insightful sermon touched all 66 of us in attendance!
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At the end of the service, Raja passionately pleaded for all of the visitors to study the Bible!
Following was a “time of tea” and a chance to follow up on all of the extraordinary visitors!
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The two new Kathmandu Sisters – Gona and Tabitha – served the tea! Tabitha had five visitors!
After about an hour in fellowship, Luke guided us to a “Chinese Pizza Resturant” just two blocks away for the celebration dinner!
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At the restaurant, all of the disciples so enjoyed “communicating” their “good news stories” about their visitors!
While waiting for the food, let’s just say we had plenty of time for “good news sharing” from the Inaugural Service!
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The fired up Kathmandu International Christian Church!
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For dinner, Luke & Brandyn persuaded Kip to enjoy the Nepalese specialty of “mo mo’s” – very much like Chinese dumplings!
Pray for the Kathmandu International Church, as 8 members were sent graciously by the New Delhi Church and five members – the Speckman Family of Luke, Brandyn, Bridgette, Uncle Fred & Auntie Virginia – were sent by the New York City Church! However, the entire Speckman Clan will return to New York City in two weeks, leaving only the “Delhi 8” and their two amazing converts: Tabitha and Goma!
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The Kathmandu Mission Team was sent out on June 30th from the Mighty New Delhi Church!
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Kip has full confidence in his beloved Grandson & Granddaughter in the Faith – Roger & Yassa – to lead the Kathmandu Church after the Speckmans’ departure!
I received this incredible news Saturday morning from Blady Perez – our Phnom Penh Mission Team Leader: Greetings from Cambodia! God is moving in incredible ways here in Phnom Penh! For the last 3 weeks, we saw a weekly baptism and tomorrow we will witness 3 more baptisms and that will give us a disciple in 4 different universities in Phnom Penh! Pray for us as we are begging God for 300 in attendance during the Inaugural next week and seeing by sight 6 additions as of right now! The Mission Team is on fire and the Remnant Group is inspired and moving along totally unified with us! We are so excited to welcome Elena & you to Phnom Penh in four days!
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In Phnom Penh, Blady (right) – the dynamic Evangelist – and Nick Bordieri – the compassionate Shepherd – make a powerful team!
In closing, I wrote long ago my acceptance of the “Invitation to Kathmandu:”
I will meet you in Kathmandu
As we go on our God planned ways
To save this world that has been hurled
Toward that last doomsday.
I’ve stood by you in the globe’s great cities
And cheered your stage processes
For I’ve pledge to you my heart and soul
Above my own successes…
Now I know that God intended for me to be in Kathmandu with Luke and Raja… two men that are “spiritual Gurkhas,” “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gurkha!” And to God be all the glory!
We are family… bold and unashamed,
Kip

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