This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit another church in our community. When I walked into the room, I was greeted with many familiar sights: a woman raised her hands in praise while singing with the congregation while less-than-interested kids scribbled on notepads at their feet. Right in front of me a teenager stood with a couple of his peers, a Star Wars ball cap turned backwards adorning his head.
The worship leader sang loudly and led boldly, while the 100-plus crowd worshipped the Lord. The service contained song, prayer, the passing of the plate, and the preaching of the Word. The only difference? I didn't understand any of it. This church is made up almost entirely of Nepalese refugees. The service is conducted in Nepalese with a sew songs in Hindi. What a joy it was to see these people worshiping the Lord in truth, in their own language and in their own way.
I met one of their pastors recently for a coffee and he told me a bit of his story. His family fled Bhutan when he was just one year old and he then lived in a refugee camp for 18 years in Nepal. They rationed the vegetables and rice they would receive once every two weeks, surviving that little food and water from a cistern. It was there in the camp he met his wife, his high school sweetheart. It was there that the Lord entered his heart. A missionary came to the camp, he came to faith in Christ, and a few years later, made his way through refugee services to the United States. Now he proclaims the Word of the Lord; and this church has grown tremendously, with both east side and west side services. Our God is big! He loves to save sinners, and loves his name being praised in all tongues and all people.