The Himalayan Regional Vineyard Story

Started by Todd Rutkowski, Aug 07, 2017, 12:48 PM

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Todd Rutkowski National Catalyst of Vineyard Emerge

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Noel & Dona Isaacs moved from Northern India to Winnipeg, Manitoba in the mid 1990s for 3 months to join the church planting team, led by David & Anita Ruis, that had arrived in Winnipeg earlier to plant the Winnipeg Center Vineyard. After 3 months they all believed God was calling them to plant a Vineyard church in Kathmandu, Nepal  and work among the Riverbed people... the poorest of the poor in the city. With the "sending" of Noel & Dona that day little did we know what God would do over the next 20 years.

Many years and many stories later, with much heart investment from Canada, shared worship and prayer, laughter, tears, jetlag, trips back and forth between Nepal and Canada, good times, hard times, miracles, earthquakes, military coups, deaths, births, weddings, and so on would we have believed how God would weave hope and life change into their unfolding narrative. Over 2500 new believers now find community between the 20 plus Vineyard churches and church plants, as the Kingdom of God continues to expand in the Himalayan Region of Nepal and Northern India. The Vineyard churches are largely led by first generation Christians, who are being trained through our mobile bible school.

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Then in April 25th, 2015 while pastoral staff from Winnipeg Center Vineyard were visiting the Kathmandu Vineyard a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal killing over 8,000 people and leaving nearly 3.5 million people homeless in the region. The event was both overwhelming and galvanizing for our Vineyard community in the region. Whole villages where we had churches were homeless and cut off from supplies. We saw an incredible outpouring of funds from around the globe through our Vineyard family. In the relief stage tarps, food and medical supplies were sent in for our team on the ground to serve our communities and their neighbors. A helicopter was secured through a mission organization and medical help and supplies were delivered to the now cut off communities. During the relief stage 7,400 bags of rice, 600 blankets, 217 sleep bags, 360 tarps and 50 tents were given out to help as interim food and shelter. There were 5 medical outreaches reaching over 2,000 people in the relief efforts.

In the rehabilitation stage over 424 homes were rebuilt or subsidized, 217 lots cleared of rubble, 9 church building were rebuilt or subsidized, 36 micro businesses were started or upgraded in Kathmandu and a 5km (3 mile) road was built to access a remote village destroyed by the earthquake. A plot of land was purchased for 11 families, who were previously landless and due to their class and social status unable to own land. Over 21,000 people were impacted by this small team and their international partners.

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This event brought our HRV leadership team to new heights and to deeper connections. Learning to cover each other in times as devastating as these can make a team. The HRV team made up of Noel, Silas, Mikma, Raju and Ramesh. We have been on a journey since early 2016 to release the Himalayan Region as their own National/Regional Church planting movement and sit at the International Vineyard table.  Due to recent political unrest we have had to delay the celebrations and releasing ceremony to 2018.

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