Tomorrow I will fly from St. Louis to Chicago to Doha to Dhaka, Bangladesh. If all goes well and there are no flight delays, I will be met at the Dhaka airport by Pastor Banarjee and his family around 9:45 Friday morning. That's 9:45 pm Thursday night central standard time. Bangladesh is exactly 12 hours ahead of my home time.
Pastor Monotosh has a full schedule planned for us. We will hit the road (or the train track) directly from the airport. Pastor Monotosh has arranged train tickets to take us to Parbottipur where we will spend the night. During the thirteen days that I am scheduled to be in Bangladesh, I will be working alongside the pastors, teachers, elders, evangelists, and leaders of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission (BLCM) to proclaim the Gospel at several BLCM congregations, preaching stations, and evangelism fields. I will also have the opportunity to teach a two-day pastoral training seminar for fourteen pastors, elders, and evangelists.
I am excited and thankful for the privilege and opportunity to work with these dedicated disciples of Jesus to proclaim the truth of God's saving word in this nation that is predominately Muslim. The U.S. government estimates the total population of Bangladesh to be 159.5 million. According to a 2013 census, Sunni Muslims constitute 89% of the population, 10% Hindus, with the remaining 1% being Buddhist and Christian. (U.S. State Dept. website) There is much work to be done in Bangladesh. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him by assisting those who preach the Gospel to the people of Bangladesh!
From Bangladesh, I will take a quick flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu, Nepal where I will spend sixteen days working with Pastor Raju and the pastors, leaders, evangelists, and seminary students of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession of Nepal (HCLCN). My last trip here was cut short by a Covid surge in Asia. I was fortunate to get one of the last seats on one of the last flights out of Kathmandu before the country was in total lockdown for three months. I am excited to be able to finally be going back!
Pastor Raju has an ambitious schedule planned for us. Because of the geography of the Himalaya foothills in Nepal, travel is always a challenge and takes up quite a bit of my time in the country. We are scheduled to visit and proclaim the Good News of Jesus at eight HCLCN congregations and preaching stations. The new HCLCN seminary/headquarters building is also scheduled to be dedicated for service to the Lord and His kingdom towards the end of the visit. Most of the pastors, evangelists and new seminary students will be there for the dedication so we will also have a two-day pastoral training seminar at the new building. I am so thankful for the blessings of this building and excited to see the Lord's continued blessings unfold over the coming years as this building will be used to train more faithful preachers and teachers of God's saving word! What a privilege the Lord has given to us to be a part of this harvest work!
I'm not sure how much time or access to the internet I will have over the next four weeks, but I hope to update this blog as much as possible. If you want to receive updates in your email box, you can subscribe here or with the subscription widget at the top right corner of the blog.
If all goes as planned, I will return home to my family on Saturday, April 9th, just in time for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and the celebration of our Savior's resurrection!
Your prayers for Beth and my family along with safe and uneventful travels and the Lord's abundant blessings of wisdom, compassion, humility, patience, commitment, health, stamina, and everything else that is necessary are requested and much appreciated!