One of the reasons in creating this blog and mission page was for readers to be able to get a small glimpse into the daily routine as we serve here in Pittsburgh. Over the years I have shifted quite a bit (at least I feel like I have) in the way that I talk about this missions life. Refugees, the marginalized, the lost, or even “those we serve” are terms that just don’t make it into my conversation most of the time. I’m sort of done trying to help readers or potential missions supporters understand who is on the inside and who is on the outside.  

Clearly, I know enough about Scripture to make some judgment calls on defining parameters and strategic mission guides our decisions. But more and more, I find my life being so surrounded by my Nepali brothers and sisters that it feels sort of strange to say these are the people I serve. Or they are in some way marginalized and in need of my charity (no pun intended). I needed a sound system speaker today and the first person I called was an 18 year old Nepali guy. If I need a ride somewhere, again I’m gonna call a Bhutanese-Nepali friend. The “people I serve” are simply my family, friends, and neighbors. While our stories and personal background may be altogether different this family is done with labels.


In light of all that, I’ll share a small window today in one of the things we’re doing to help disciple each other around here. I give the first bit here as a backdrop, helping anyone reading to understand that discipleship is a two-way street in which we are constantly learning from each other.


Bible Discovery Tool

We are using this simple tool to help each other think about Scripture called Bible Discovery. I believe it was originally intended to be a method to use with people who have no biblical literacy at all or who have never heard the story of God. We are using it primarily with new believers. Basically, you take 30 or so stories from cover to cover in the Bible and you read them one at a time together. The first time through students read alone. Then someone reads aloud while students listen to the passage. Next, students take turns retelling the story to each other. If they have omitted anything, students in the group help. If they included something that was not directly in the passage, students bring clarity to that as well.


After reading, hearing, and speaking the Word of God this way, we ask a few basic questions. What do we learn about God? What do we learn about people? What do we need to change in our lives to obey? The multiplicative edge to it is that anyone can retell the story or start their own group of sharing these stories with others.  


We are doing this in 3 different forums in ministry right now. We do this at a Nepali youth group that meets every Saturday. I host a very small discipleship group of 3 young men where we are doing this as well. And then on Sundays, we lead a small children’s church for a Nepali congregation where we use the Bible Discovery process as a foundation for all that we are teaching. The goal is for this format to be expanded into various age groups of people and amongst various groups of believers and seekers in the Nepali community.


Being Transformed During Our Own Team Study

Probably one of the most exciting things I’ve ever gotten to do in ministry is meeting with our current ministry team (that has consisted of Molly and Charity over the last few months) and does the Bible discovery together. Our commitment is that God should be dealing with us first and we should personally be discovering the story of God afresh. We find ourselves overwhelmed with huge questions about God, struggles, doubts, and man, it is so incredibly challenging to honor Jesus with our obedience at times. There have been many Tuesday mornings where we stop, with tears in our eyes, wrestling with big questions about God, realizing that He is God and we are not and we still have so much to learn. On more than one occasion, I let my rich theological education interfere with simply hearing Charity or Molly and I have to let this discovery of the Bible be renewed again. These two ladies continually remind me that I don’t know everything and the Spirit is deep, deep at work in their hearts.


The Bigger Picture

I guess I’m blogging about all this today to give some of you a glimpse into the bigger picture of what it is that we’re after around here. The mission and aim of our work is to see transformation come individually and collectively to the Bhutanese-Nepali community here in South Pittsburgh. This includes a holistic scope including people’s spiritual, emotional, economic, educational, and vocational needs. We choose to start with the foundation of the story of God as it is His very Kingdom alone that inaugurates all transformation. The Lord’s Prayer after all was that God’s Kingdom would come on this earth as it is in heaven . . . in bible studies, in personal relationships, in business practice, in health care . . . in all of it. His Kingdom come. His will be done.


So we are thrilled that we get to do all the relational stuff that I have talked about before. Inviting people into our homes, being present in theirs, communicating in Nepali about very personal issues – those are huge, earth shattering sorts of things in our work. There is so much love and trust in that. Now though, we get to come alongside our neighbors and discover the actual story of God together. Such a story has always led to and always will lead to God’s creation being renewed and transformed. We all feel like this is something we can give our lives do. So we continue to study. Continue to talk. We continue to obey. Ultimately, this is all about worship and hopefully when it is all said and done, Christ will be reflected as the true and beautiful Lord that He is.


There is the window guys. Thanks for reading and peeking in a bit tonight. The story of God is the story of all stories and the one we continue to fix our gaze upon.