Moderator makes ‘timely’ visit to Nepal

15.11.2016 | Mission News, Global Mission, Moderator

The Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar, has begun a 13-day visit to Nepal, where he will see the post-earthquake emergency relief and development activities that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) contributed to last year. Dr. Sellar will also bring encouragement and pastoral support to PCI mission personnel who are based in the country.

Every year the Moderator undertakes an overseas tour and during his visit to the Himalayan nation Dr. Sellar will seek to build on PCI’s longstanding partnership with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). Since 1979 PCI has worked in partnership with UMN, sending and supporting mission personnel from different congregations to help in its work across the country. Basing themselves in the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, he and his wife Claire will also be meeting Christian Aid personnel at their headquarters in the capital.

Speaking before he set off for the Himalayan nation, Dr. Sellar said, “In April of last year, a massive earthquake hit Nepal killing 9,000 people and injuring 22,000. Our members across Ireland responded generously to The Moderator’s Appeal enabling us to send £640,000.

“It will be a privilege to visit this beautiful country to see first hand how these gifts are being used in the reconstruction process by our partners UMN, Tearfund and Christian Aid.

“I am also looking forward to seeing UMN’s cluster approach to its work with field visits to Sunsari in the south eastern part of the country and possibly Dhading along the northern border with Tibet, where their ongoing development work includes peace and mediation,” he said.

In Kathmandu, Rupandehi, which borders northern India, Tansen in western Nepal and Bhairhawa, a city 165 miles to the west of the capital, Dr. Sellar will see other projects. He will also preach at one of the congregations of the Nepali Presbyterian Church and at Kathmandu International Christian Congregation.

“We are very much looking forward to meeting the Coulter and the Lockwood families from PCI, sharing time with them and seeing something of their work. It will also be good to meet Joel Hafvenstein, UMN’s new director and give a seminar to some masters students at the Nepal Theological Academy,” he said.

Talking about the visit, Rev. Dr. Uel Marrs, Secretary of PCI’s Council for Global Mission said, “Ten years ago Nepal’s decision to become a secular state had great significance for Christians across the country, with wide-ranging implications for the Church and Christian community.

“The Moderator’s visit is timely in terms of meeting Christians and sharing with them their experiences. It will also provide Dr. Sellar with an opportunity to officially recognise the valuable work that our mission personnel do, as he supports them in that work.

"At the same time, being able to see on the ground how PCI funds, primarily from the Moderator’s 2015 Earthquake Appeal, have been used in providing a broad-ranging response, which has included emergency relief and reconstruction work. Please pray that the Sellars will bring encouragement and return home able to share some of the experiences as part of being a Church of Global Concern,” he said.

You can read Dr. Sellar's blogs from his overseas visit to Nepal here. You can also follow his travells on Twitter by following @pcimoderator or using the hashtag #pcioverseastour.

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