Pastor Nandu Gurung, a Christian pastor from northern India, will tell you that missions to his part of the world are sometimes few and far between.
But he and his partners at Lake Forest Church aren’t giving up on helping Gurung’s people just because the road is hard to travel.
“We have orphanages and pastor training, and we’re trying to do something for the Lord,” Gurung said.
Gurung, who arrived in Huntersville Sept. 21, has been traveling to churches in the area to recruit people to help expand his mission programs. He trained 140 pastors over the last seven years and helped create more than 20 churches.
Gurung, along with Charles McGalliard and Mike Whittington, pastors at Lake Forest Church, developed the Rural Church Building Project, the Bible Training Center for Pastors, an orphanage and a medical mission.
Gurung seeks to build as many as 200 churches in rural northeastern India, near the border with Bhutan and Nepal, but building these churches isn’t as simple as erecting a building, McGalliard said.
“The medical mission trip goes hand-in-hand with the church planning,” McGalliard said. “You can’t just go into some of these villages and say, ‘I want to plant you a church.’ It takes time to win over their hearts and their minds.”
Some of the villages oppose Christianity, Gurung said, while others are more receptive.
“The thing is that Lake Forest is not coming there to preach, they are coming as a medical help,” Gurung said.
Gurung said he wants worshipers to use the buildings on Sundays, but they can also be used as first-aid stations and schools in some villages.
In some of the most rural areas in northern India, people have to walk days to have access to those kinds of services, and many people rarely – if ever – have the chance to see a real doctor.
“The hardest thing to do was to close the doors when it’s time to go and there are still people outside,” McGalliard said.
Want to help?
Lake Forest Church is always looking for people to help with the medical mission, donate supplies or sponsor churches or orphans. Contact Mike Whittington at Lake Forest Church at 704-948-3232.