Christianity is illegal in the country of Bhutan, and believers are forced to meet together in secret house churches for times of corporate teaching and worship.
In a place that is so hostile to Christianity, finding individuals who are qualified to lead house churches and provide follow-up counseling for those who hear the Words of Hope radio programs is a real challenge.
Words of Hope’s partners in Bhutan have been addressing this scarcity by offering a two-year diploma program in pastoral ministry. The program recently concluded with an in-person training for the new pastors. Participants had the opportunity to engage in a foot-washing ceremony and participate in the celebration of communion.
The rest of the training time featured guest teaching on the topics of shepherding children and church congregations.
One participant shared the following words of thanks following the training: “When dealing with our children’s behavioral problems, appealing to the conscience by asking questions is something I have never heard before. Also dealing with the child’s heart issues rather than his or her behavioral problems was very new to me and my husband. Truly thankful for this learning experience, because our sons are still very young (ages six and four). For us the timing couldn’t have been better than this.”
Another attendee expressed appreciation for the teaching regarding congregations: “When a member of my church would be not very cooperative and decide to leave the church, I used to feel happy. I never bothered to reach out to that person to bring them back to the church. But this time I learned that a good shepherd will not let even one sheep be lost. He will go and search till he finds it, and after he finds it; he will carry it on his shoulders and celebrate with his friends and neighbors. I want to be a good shepherd who will follow the example of our Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Thank you for your prayers and support that are making such biblical training of new church leaders possible in the hard-to-reach country of Bhutan. We are thrilled to see the ways in which God is at work to bring people from this nation to himself.