India Slammed by Covid

Dear Friends,

India is now taking the brunt of the Covid pandemic’s force as thousands are dying every day in the current spike in cases there. The government reports that over 3000 new deaths are being reported every day, a number that our ministry contacts say is greatly underreported. Leaders that we know well have seen Covid hit their own families and close friends. Many predict that India will soon become the world’s leader in Covid fatalities.

Pastors and their wives hit hard by virus

In a phone conversation with the ministry leader on Monday, we learned that nine of their pastors and two of their wives have passed away in just the last few days. These are men and women in their 40’s and 50’s who leave families and loved ones without any means of support. According to the leader, some of them were at the training we held in October of 2019 at their Navapur Bible School. Several of those in the attached photo are now with Jesus. These were vibrant believers who had already given much for the Kingdom of God.

Since most of the pastors serve in remote village areas of India, they do not have access to hospital care or the needed medical supplies that would help them fight off the Covid virus. And with the churches already shut down because of the virus, pastors were already hard pressed to make ends meet. Of course, India with its vast population of almost 1.4 billion is facing shortages of needed medical equipment all over the country as well as an insufficient supply of vaccines to take care of its projected needs. All of this is working together to create a disaster of epic proportions.

Our ministry partners are seeking to raise $2000 each for the families have died to try and help them get through this tragedy. With an anti-Christian government pressuring them from one side and the full force of Covid now sweeping upon them from another, believers in India need our prayers and support more than ever.

To help us in this effort, please visit our contribution page or send your gift to Hope Builders International, PO Box 91359, Austin, TX 78709.

Looking with you to Jesus on their behalf,

Lance & Christie Thollander

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Nepal Update – April, 2016

Dear Friends,
At this time last year Nepal experienced a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by hundreds of aftershocks and a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on May 12. Mission Network News reported that roughly 9,000 people were killed and more than 22,000 were injured. That was just the first of several difficulties that put the country into a tailspin. More than 800,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Historical sites and entire villages collapsed. Over 2 million people were affected, most of whom were instantly made homeless, orphans, or widows. Many organizations rushed to help the Nepalis, but the sad reality is that due to inaccessible roads, a blockade of the country by India, and demolished roads into China due to landslides, very little support actually made it to the people who needed it the most.
That’s where our ministry partners at Nepal Gospel Outreach Center came into the picture. Because of their contacts throughout Nepal and their access to remote areas through their ministry network, they were able to bring relief to many who were in distress. Here is the report we received from them in March in response to the aid that Hope Builders was able to send directly to them bypassing governmental bureaucracy and red tape. Thank you for your response to the desperate needs of the Nepali people.
On behalf of our friends and loved ones in Nepal,
Lance & Christie Thollander

Dear Ministry Partners,
During this year we went through much hardship and trouble. These included a devastating earthquake followed by the blockade along the Indian border and inaccessible roads to China due to landslides that brought the nation to a standstill. After almost seven months the blockade has been lifted and there are signs of improvement but overwhelming needs still remain. We want to thank you for your love and prayers and standing with us during those troublesome days. Despite hardships, we were able to serve earthquake survivors, orphans, widows and the poor in our community while preaching the gospel to all within our reach. While we are highlighting here the humanitarian work we have done, please know that hundreds have come to Christ through the preaching of the gospel that always accompanies our efforts. From those churches are being established and disciples raised up for Jesus Christ. Here are some of the activities we are involved with.


nepal students outdoorsWe have continued scholarship support for 18 school children. An additional 18 children received one time support at the beginning of the academic year. There are many more needy children because of the earthquake. Many of the mothers (single women) sobbed when they shared their stories of how we have helped. They shared the impact on their lives and the relief they experienced through the scholarship and support package their child received from our ministry support team, God’s Love for Orphans and Widows (GLOW). This picture shows children studying outside because their school building was destroyed.

Tailoring Training

nepal ladiesThe fifth batch of 23 trainees graduated after completing six months advanced tailoring training on March 20th. Since the start of this program, 79 participants, many of them widows, have completed the tailoring training. Many graduates are ready to start their own tailoring shops but need funds to purchase a sewing machine. The picture above shows the tailoring graduates.

Sustainable Agriculture

GLOW has received a plot of land free of charge, to use for training farmers. We have started with banana and vegetable farming and hope to expand the project and move to other locations in the future.

Portable Water Filter Distribution

nepal water filterGLOW, in partnership with a local Christian organization, distributed around 360 plastic water pails with attached filters, which are simple to use and to keep clean. This will supply families living in remote villages with safe water, prevent gastrointestinal illness and reduce childhood mortality. Here is a water filter set being explained.

Testimonies From Those Served

We have many stories from those who have been helped. Here’s a testimony from one of the widows. “We lost everything in the earthquake including our home! It was winter and we only had what was on our backs. We were living in temporary shelter when I gave birth and the weather was getting unbearably cold. We had no other alternative than to cry. You brought us food, clothes for us, clothes for our children and babies, and quilts. I have felt huge relief now that our needs are met. I do not have the words to thank you.” — Reshma Tamang

nepal babyHere’s another testimony from a village that we visited. Pastor Palsang and some of our team walked into the village. The pastor’s neighbors’ wife was in labor and called the pastor to pray for her. He quickly rushed there and as he was praying, she delivered a daughter in front of them. They walked back to the church and told us what happened. We returned to the house with infant supplies. There the mother and the new child were sleeping in a dark corner of a hut they had built after the earthquake flattened their three level house. We learned that their two daughters died when the house fell and buried them during the earthquake. This newborn is their sixth child. This is a family of believers who attend the church in the village. They asked us to pray for them and thanked God for this new gift to their family, bringing them joy and healing of heart. It was good to be there to witness and celebrate life with them in the midst of all the pain and hardship they had been through.

Please be sure that the gospel message is shared in all our programs and trainings. For example, in the tailoring training, devotions are held every morning before they start their day. The training participants have learned much of the gospel and about Christ since joining the training. They ask many questions and ask for prayers for themselves and for their family members.
Truly, the Gospel is the real hope that can truly change people’s lives… our efforts otherwise will be in vain. Thank you for your wonderful support that enables to carry the Good News of God’s love and new life in Jesus Christ to these people living in the remote villages of Nepal. God is doing a great work here!
With love in Christ,
Resham and Sita Poudel and the NGOC team

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Update From Nepal

Dear Friends,

Here is a report we recently received from our ministry partners in Nepal describing the difficulties they are facing and their response to them. We hope you will be encouraged by their hearts to serve and will join us in praying for the Nepali people that the Lord will come to their rescue both spiritually and physically.

For HBI, Lance Thollander

Greetings and love from Nepal. We have been busy bringing the light of the Gospel to our land. Last April a terrible magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the whole country and initiated one of the worst disasters in our memory. Nine thousand people died in the initial earthquake, 600,000 buildings were destroyed, and many aftershocks caused additional deaths and damage.

Then a new constitution was signed in August bringing sweeping political change. This led to tension with India. India wanted Nepal to return to the days when it was a Hindu Kingdom but this new constitution makes the nation more secular. Protests caused a blockade of imports. Due to that building reconstruction has been drastically slowed. Hospitals cannot afford medical help. The price of food is rising and many of our basic commodities like rice, cooking oil and gas for heating are very difficult to get.  Previously, for example, 300 trucks carrying fuel entered Nepal every day. Now the number is down to about 5. The U.N. estimates as many as 3 million Nepali children could face starvation if the situation does not change soon.

In the midst of this our humanitarian ministry, God’s Love for Orphans and Widows, GLOW, targeted three earthquake affected areas where we are working. We are distributing warm quilts in villages. Most of the earthquake survivors are living in temporary shelters. Many were left with only the clothes they had on their backs. Our goal is to provide warm clothing to 300 households. We have contacted a local manufacturer for jackets, fleeces, trousers and blankets for the people in those families. On average each family has five members and the cost will be $50 per family.  We need $15,000 to fully carry out that project. As the program grows, we will install water supply pipelines to the villages. Normally they have to walk a mile one way just to fetch water for their household needs.

Sewing and Tailoring Training

nepal quake photo 2Our sewing and tailoring training has been extended to more districts. The local churches there promote and manage these projects. This brings local buy-in to the effort. The church sets up the center, installs the sewing machines and obtains government approval. The training is primarily for flood victims and those who do not have the skills to make a living.  The cost is $2500 to set up each training center with the necessary machines. We are also working to provide filtered water for the 300 households.

In all these activities we greatly need the Lord’s guidance, power and provision. We covet your prayers and support as we reach out in the Name of the Lord Jesus.

With love in Him,

Your ministry partners in Nepal

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Earthquake Update from Nepal

Dear Friends,

nepal quake photo3We recently received this report from our ministry partners in Nepal who are working in the quake areas. Your gifts are making a difference as GLOW is able to reach out to many through your help. Many hundreds of their church members like the woman shown here have lost homes in the devastating quakes. Even now ministry workers are trekking into difficult areas to bring aid, and are also reaching out to those in their immediate areas.

nepal quake photo 2The women at GLOW (God’s Love for Orphans and Widows), shown here, are a few of those who have been working long hours to make clothing for those who have lost everything. These women are among the widows and single women who have been trained in GLOW’s sewing classes in part through help from Hope Builders. Most people in the quake areas lost everything they owned when their houses collapsed in the earthquake’s aftermath. After the earthquake GLOW immediately began providing emergency food aid, water and tarps that were used to put up tent like protective structures. You can see their gladness in the picture below as they received the tarps.

nepal quake photo 4

nepal quake photo 5The short-term and long-term effects of the disaster are difficult to fully comprehend. Hundreds of thousands of families are without homes as the monsoon season looms, and the quakes and subsequent landslides and avalanches have undercut the country’s two primary sources of livelihood, agriculture and tourism. A leader of an indigenous ministry working in Dolakha District, where most of the casualties of the second earthquake occurred, said that 70,000 of the 75,000 houses there were destroyed. Another ministry leader said most survivors are living in the open air and need tents, food, water and medical assistance. Most aid that is being sent worldwide goes through government hands and is very slow to reach those most in need. That’s why we are so blessed to be able to work directly with Nepalis like Resham and  Sita who can use sent funds to buy and prepare the kinds of goods that will bring relief to the hurting as well as love and comfort in the name of Christ. Clothing for a woman costs $10 and clothing for a child costs $5 to produce. Sita is pictured, on the left, with some of the GLOW center women and a sample of the clothes they have produced.

Thank you for your loving prayers and support for our brothers and sisters in Nepal.

Lance Thollander

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Our Ministry Partners in India

the-story-of-vela-bhaiHaving lost six children, one after the other, Vela was desperate for help. He tried every kind of worship,went to the witch doctors, but nothing was happening. And then his uncle died. These continuous deaths in his home rattled him and he thought that it would be better to end his life. But the thought of his tired wife and the hardships that she would have to face, forced him to stay alive.

Then in a vision he saw a cross and felt that if somehow he reached it, he would be healed and set free from this curse of death in his family. He started to ask people where He could find this cross and was surprised to find a church building with a cross on it very close to his house. He went there, was prayed for and God delivered him completely from his fear. Today Vela has four grown up children and is also the proud grandfather of three grandchildren!”

Pastor Vela Bhai is one of the many people serving Jesus who has a dramatic story of conversion. Pictured here, today he is the pastor of three congregations and does not have a single minute to waste as he runs between services and villages, doing God’s will and restoring people to God like he himself was restored.

Recently provided with a new motorbike to make his travels easier, Vela shared these thoughts, “I was praying for a motorbike to help me move around faster and God gave this bike to me through the help of friends. I praise God for this gift and I am using it daily to commute and to win more and more people to the Lord. I have seen the darkness and I have seen the light. I want everyone to enjoy this light and I will do everything possible to share this light with one and all.”

Many more pastors and evangelists are waiting for bicycles and motorbikes that will enable them to reach many more villages for Jesus. Go to our contribution page to help in this effort.

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Syrian Refugee Children

This year Syrian children are suffering intensely as a result of the civil war there. More than 200,000 Syrian men, women, and children have risked their lives to flee the anarchy of their country, and that number is expected to double in coming months. Thirty-four percent are children, including newborns and toddlers. Syrian refugee families in Jordan, including nearly 70,000 children, are in desperate need of food, warm clothing, and blankets. In the camps, only canvas separates them from the deadly icy winds. Many of the shocked young ones come from Christian families who have been targeted by both sides in the fighting. In the worst cases these children have watched their parents abused and killed before their eyes.

Isam Ghattas of Manara Ministries has been working among the refugee populations of the Middle East for over 25 years. He has vast experience in getting relief supplies along with hope giving Christian literature into the hands of these destitute people. Your gift of $100 will provide food for a refugee family of four for one month.



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