We lived and worked in Nepal for many years and in 2005 established a local charity for the purpose of supporting the Nepali Christian Community; we called it FONiC Trust (Friends Of Nepali Christians). Our mailing list has about 300 addresses and the charity draws in sufficient funds to support a number of local church-based workers, small one-off income generation projects, bible teaching translation work and we also produce maternal healthcare support material.
This April, we produced another Pmail (our take on email with a ‘P‘ for prayer!). We focused on several themes: the cancellation of our annual supporter’s get together due to Coronavirus, our recently published Prayer Diary, one Nepali pastor’s concerns about using the internet to lead services during lockdown and the plight of day wage earners who are suffering as a result of the county’s lockdown. In a passing comment, we wrote that the Trust had released some money to help a Nepali church meet the needs of their poor neighbours by providing food during lockdown.
Within a few hours we received several text messages from friends asking for the Trust’s bank details as they wanted to make donations towards helping Nepali churches provide for their communities. This prompted us to write a follow-up Pmail sharing our friend’s desire to help and giving our supporters several giving options should they wish to do likewise. We set a time limit of four weeks.
Even though I’ve worked in the faith voluntary sector for years and seen how much fundraising campaigns can generate, I didn’t expect to see close to £10,000 be donated within three weeks of just a small passing comment, several texts and one follow up email! Indeed, the day I write this the money raised has grown to £23,000, to be used for the work of the Nepali Christian community as they seek to meet the needs of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized at this difficult time.
We can seldom tell how a letter, email or comment will impact those who read or hear, but one thing is for certain, that God can and does use small things, even a passing comment, to do great things. Many hundreds of Nepal’s poor will benefit from the generosity of his people. At the same time, FONiC Trust supporters, friends and Trustees are encouraged in their faith as they ‘...lay up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust can corrupt.’