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From San Diego to St. Augustine: 3,100 Miles for Children in South Asia
In a monumental effort, David Argabright, supported by his wife Sharon, rode his bicycle for 3,100 miles straight across the United States to raise funds for children in South Asia. On April 22, 2011, they reached St. Augustine Beach in Florida. Proceeds from the sponsored ride support Child Development Centres in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. This is the third year that Dave Argabright has embarked on this bike ride of compassion. (Read whole article or visit www.compassion575.com)

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David Argabright Finishes 820 Miles for Children in South Asia
On 22 May 2010 David Argabright and his team finished an 819.14 miles bicycle ride which started in Nashville, TN, on 10 May and ended in Houston, TX. Proceeds from the sponsored ride support Child Development Centres in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. This is the second year that Dave Argabright has embarked on this bike ride of compassion. (Read whole article or visit www.compassion575.com)

Making History: Bangladesh ordains 193, votes for 3 districts
The Bangladesh District made history at their 2010 District Assembly by conducting the largest graduation ceremony in South Asian Nazarene history (194 students), followed by the largest ordination in the history of the whole denomination (193 ordinants). This included the ordination of 30 women, the largest group of women to be made elders at one time in Nazarene history. (Read whole article from Where Worlds Meet)

India Designated as Seventh Eurasia Field
At South Asia's 2008 Field Conference, the South Asia Field was officially divided into two fields: an India field and another including the remaining countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka). Rev Sunil Dandge was named India's Field Strategy Coordinator, while Rev Ron Gilbert remains as FSC for South Asia. (Read whole article from Where Worlds Meet)

Two South Asian Districts Reach Phase 3 Status
In December 2007, the Church of the Nazarene's Board of General Superintendents acknowledged that Bangladesh and Karnataka (India) have fulfilled the requirements to be recognized as Phase 3 districts. They are the first two districts in South Asia to have made this significant step. (Read whole article from Where Worlds Meet)

 

From San Diego to St. Augustine: 3,100 Miles for Children in South Asia

Dave & Sharon Argabright on beach with bike“When NCM coordinators in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka asked my wife and me to continue the campaign for the needs of the wonderful children of South Asia, I asked myself, 'What more can I do?'”

On April 22, 2011, after 33-and-a-half days on his bicycle, David Argabright completed a 3,022 mile ride across the USA. His wife Sharon supported him in an SAG (support and gear) vehicle from San Diego, CA, to St. Augustine Beach, FL. God gave them strength and protection as hundreds of friends in the USA, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined 50,000 Bangladeshi brothers and sisters in prayer. “God has enabled us to complete this extreme ride for the children of South Asia,” Argabright wrote after the final 34 miles which completed the ride and brought the couple to St. Augustine Beach in Florida. “Ron and Dianna Gilbert, and Glen, Jeannie and Allison Argabright accompanied us from Hastings to St. Augustine Beach. As Ron Gilbert prayed to give this offering to the Lord, our emotions burst as we realized the many miracles God has performed to make this journey possible. Thank you for joining us on this journey. "The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes." Psalm 118:23 (NIV).”

You can join David in opening the windows of opportunity by sending a needy child to an NCM-run Child Development Centre for 1 year for an investment of only $9 a month or $108 a year. Please consider transforming the life of a child or children today.

More information and online giving is available at www.compassion575.com. For more information on this year's bike ride, please see David Argabright's blog.

 

David Argabright Finishes 820 Miles for Children in South Asia

Dave Argabright on his bikeAccording to UNICEF, 3 million children die each year from malnutrition and disease. That represents a child dying every 10 seconds. “This is totally unacceptable!” felt David Argabright. So he decided to do something about it.

For the second year in a row, Dave Argabright and his team have mastered an incredible challenge, for one simple reason: compassion. Having seen the hunger, the pain, the desperate hope in the faces of children in South Asia, Dave couldn't stand by and do nothing. So he decided to do something he does well: ride his bike. But not just around the corner: 575 miles he mastered in 2009; in 2010 he cycled a total of 819.14 miles, travelling all the way from Nashville, TN, to Houston, TX. Family, friends and partners all over the world support him in this endeavour by praying and giving towards the establishment of Child Development Centres in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Dave's 2010 bike ride which started in Nashville on 10 May and passed through 5 states (TN, AL, MS, LA and TX) finished triumphantly on 22 May with a 50-mile tour around Houston for which he was joined by five members of the Houston Living Word Church of the Nazarene, and a grand celebration later at the church. Dave expressed his gratitude for all the prayers that carried him throughout his journey—that, and the photos from churches and children praying in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which kept his focus on the mission: to raise awareness of the needs of the children in South Asia.

You can join Dave in opening the windows of opportunity by sending a needy child to an NCM-run Child Development Centre for 1 year for an investment of only $9 a month or $108 a year. Please consider transforming the life of a child or children today.

More information and online giving is available at www.compassion575.com. For more information on this year's bike ride, please see Dave Argabright's blog.

 

Making History: Bangladesh ordains 193, votes for 3 districts
by Gina Pottenger, Eurasia Communications

The Bangladesh District made history during its 17th District Assembly March 23–24. It graduated 194 students from South Asia Nazarene Bible College—more than five times the size of the previous year's class, and the largest ever class from a single district in South Asia. The next day, 193 of these were anointed as elders in the denomination's largest ordination in history. A third record was set as 30 women were ordained—the largest group of women to be made elders at one time in the global church's history. Finally, the district celebrated surpassing 1,000 churches organized, at a total of 1,223. The average size of a district in the denomination is 57 churches. As the largest district in the denomination, the assembly voted unanimously to separate into three districts, which is expected to be approved by the Board of General Superintendents later this year.

The Bangladesh District was started when a group of people meeting for a Bible study in the capital city wrote a letter to the Eurasia Regional Office inquiring if the Church of the Nazarene would consider coming to the country. Discussions followed and soon the church was registered. The church in Bangladesh began with an unusual model. Without resident missionaries, but with the support of the church's missionary structure, local leaders began planting churches using a completely integrated ministry strategy that blends JESUS Film evangelism with compassionate ministries followed by pastoral education and leadership training. Church leaders credit this model in part for the unprecedented rate of growth in the country. It became a self-supporting, or Phase 3, district in 2007, and has replicated itself by multiples of 10 every seven years.

“The Church of the Nazarene Bangladesh is for Bangladeshis,” said District Superintendent Nathan in his report to the assembly. “So we have to plan our activity considering the Bengali tradition and culture. We are never moving forward with Western thinking.” In his report to the assembly, the District Superintendent set a goal to organize more than 400 additional churches in the next five years.

 

India Designated as Seventh Eurasia Field
by Simone Finney, Eurasia Communications

Rev Sunil Dandge is standing before more than 400 South Asian believers in a meeting hall in central India, but his words are for the global church as much as for those within earshot.

“Today is a big day for us,” he says.

It's Thursday, 31 January 2008, and India has just become its own field—the first in the global Church of the Nazarene to be entirely indigenous.

From the 15 District Superintendents to ministry coordinators to field leadership—Rev Dandge has been appointed Field Strategy Coordinator—everyone is Indian, a shift that, according to several regional and global leaders, should have happened a long time ago.

“This is a huge step forward for the church,” said jurisdictional General Superintendent Dr Jim Diehl. “This is our philosophy of missions… We have very capable leaders in India that have been here for a long time. I'm just rejoicing that the day has finally come.”

The shift of the platform from international to national leadership is a literal one this week. Announcing India as its own field was just the beginning of South Asia's 2008 field conference, an event that had slotted several international guests to speak, but had to adjust at the last minute for security reasons. So in the end, it was India's own pastors who spoke, a shift that mirrors the new designation of the field. “There was no hesitation from any of them,” said Ron Gilbert, South Asia Field Strategy Coordinator, of the pastors who stepped up to preach. “I was working behind the scenes with them, and they were ready. Which says they've been ready.”

South Asia Field, which formerly encompassed India, will continue to include all neighbouring countries in the area where there is work. So the field distinction isn't a matter of geography so much as one of growth and maturity among one of the oldest mission areas within the Church of the Nazarene. “I think it's time, and I think it's the right time,” said Rev Dandge, who has been serving as the president of South Asia Nazarene Bible College (SANBC) for the last several years. “You see more districts wanting to take responsibility for themselves, for growing and sustaining. It's a sign of health. And being a field will strengthen and enlarge that feeling among the districts.”

India became a mission area in 1897, 10 years before the Church of the Nazarene was officially organized. Today, it comprises 15 districts and more than 1,311 congregations. It's home to several child development centres, 65 JESUS Film teams and an educational institution, SANBC, that has extension education in 80 centres across India and neighbouring countries. The field seems poised, as ever, for growth. The Conference confirms this with so many local pastors leading daily seminars on topics like compassionate ministries, reaching unreached groups, church growth, and JESUS Film ministry. Add to that the closing ceremony that recognized 44 new SANBC graduates and ordained 21 new elders from Bangladesh, Nepal, and two districts in India (the other India areas ordained 10 others in district assemblies earlier this month, as did Sri Lanka, which ordained four new elders five minutes after they graduated from SANBC on 17 January). Most of these are already pastors in their local areas, but they're among the group that passed the college's 'quality control' inspection, according to SANBC's academic dean, Simon Jothi.

From here, India's journey moves into uncharted territory. “All the prayers of the church, the region, and the general church: we need them,” said Rev Dandge. “There's growing opposition from some groups [in India], so we need to be guarded by God and guided by Him and wisely plan our strategy and outreach.”

 

Two South Asian Districts Reach Phase 3 Status
by Simone Finney, Eurasia Communications

In December, the Church of the Nazarene's Board of General Superintendents acknowledged that Bangladesh and Karnataka (India) have fulfilled the requirements to be recognized as Phase 3 districts. It's a designation that acknowledges the missional work of the Church of the Nazarene in two unique South Asian areas: at the time of its Phase 3 designation, Bangladesh had 19,619 members in 506 organized churches, and Karnataka had 6,571 members in 90 organized churches (compared to the 92 members in four churches it had when organized in 1981).

For areas where the Church of the Nazarene has existed for 15 and 26 years, respectively, the numbers only scratch the surface of two unique journeys. “These facts sound like mere numbers,” said Eurasia Regional Director Dr Gustavo Crocker, “but behind them there are stories of victory, consecration, commitment, faith, and endurance.”

Both districts fulfilled the quantitative requirements outlined by the Manual in areas like membership, leadership and finances, but have also met the 'district health and development indicators' encouraged by Eurasia as part of its District Development Initiative. The classification enables them to elect their own District Superintendents, self-govern and self-multiply, among other things. “Both districts not only have the number of members, elders, churches, and financial viability to be considered self-supported, self-governed, and self-propagating,” said Dr Crocker, “but they also exhibit missional, doctrinal, educational, financial, and organizational depth and health.”

For decades, the only Phase 3 districts in Eurasia have been in Northern Europe. Located on the South Asia Field, Bangladesh and Karnataka represent two districts that reflect a more balanced development in Eurasia. It speaks to a depth and breadth of ministry, according to Dr Crocker, and recognizes that achieving Phase 3 is possible for districts that are intentional about it. “The only hindrance for some districts has been self-support,” said jurisdictional General Superintendent Dr Jim Diehl. “Once we get one—and we got two at once—in the next five years, we're going to see several more. When one breaks through, then others start to come.”

“We are very happy. It's difficult to explain, but we're so grateful,” said Bangladesh's District Superintendent, adding that the status also comes with increased challenges. “When you reach a standard, you can't decline,” he said. “And it's very difficult to maintain that standard.”

The designation is also significant for Eurasia because it will increase the South Asians' ability to be represented in global matters. Historically, the representation of the Eurasia Region before the General Board has been European leadership. By receiving Bangladesh and Karnataka as Phase 3 districts, these two districts now also have the ability to nominate potential candidates for the General Board, not to mention the increased number of delegates to General Assembly.


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