by Patty Marsh
SPOKANE, Wash., March 28, 2017 - Volunteers who support the ministry of God’s Closet come from all walks of life. Several Nepalese families have served for three years. In appreciation of their service some who are involved closely with God’s Closet decided to host a thank you dinner for these families.
On a Sunday evening at the Spokane Central Church fellowship hall, a few Adventist families from three Spokane area churches hosted 30 special guests from Nepal/Bhutan for a “God’s Closet Thank You Dinner.” A Spokane Valley Adventist physician and wife, Wichet and Bobbie Jo Srikureja, provided the delicious homemade Indian dinner.
After the meal the main spokesman for the Nepalese stood and asked if he could share their story. A father, college student and a twin, He told the story of how as a small child he remembers fleeing Bhutan, riding on his father’s shoulders as his family fled in the night. To find safety, their trek included crossing a river with water flowing up to his father’s neck. Ultimately his family made their way to safety inside Nepal. He also shared that as a child he learned about Christianity from neighbor families in the refugee camp in Nepal. His father, who had carried him and his twin brother on his shoulders across the river, beat him for saying he was a Christian. His twin brother who was not a Christian at the time, wept over his brother’s beating. His brother received a beating for his sympathetic tears. But God is good and in the years to come his mom and dad became Christians. Now at the dinner his family was all there – the twin brothers, their wives, children and his now elderly parents – all Christians.
After his story, Adventist physician, Wichet Srikureaja, stood up beside the Nepalese leader and asked, “Could I, too, tell my story?”
The attendees listened as Wichet told the story of his grandfather, a Sihk, who fled Northern India on foot over 4,000 kilometers to Thailand. Ultimately his father attended an Adventist school and become a Christian. Somehow in his adult years, his father forgot Christianity, until Wichet’s asthma over many months became more life-threatening with every regularly-occurring episode. With Wichet lying at death’s door, his father promised God, “If you will heal my son, I promise to return and serve you as a Christian.” Wichet has never suffered asthma since. Yes, God is good!
The evening ended but the story is not over. The leader of the Nepalese group has shared that they would be open to sending their children to Sabbath School as their church has no children’s programming. They also want their children to learn about the true creation as taught in scripture. They welcome a Vacation Bible Schools, friendship, weekly Bible story hour, English as a second language classes. Perhaps the one thing they would like most is friends.
Friend, is God calling you to enlarge your circle of service and love . . . May we be faithful.
"In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world
will clutch at the sleeve of one Jew.
And they will say, 'Please let us walk with you,
for we have heard that God is with you.'"
**(God’s Closet is a clothing ministry held four times a year where individuals pay $1 to fill four bags with presorted children’s clothing of their choice)