“Let our sons in their youth be like grown up plants;
and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace.”
The Nima Tshering Family
Dear Ministry Partners,
Ever since Easter, I have been writing our weekly eNewsletters around the central New Testament theme that “Easter is never over.” It is not a once-a-year-event. Neither is Christmas. Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very spirit and soul of our faith, it is the heartbeat of who we are and all we do as Christians.
It is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus that makes Christianity a “living faith” rather than a “dead religion” – like all others. And since God is a relational God as revealed through the mystery of the Trinity, building and nurturing resurrection relationships is His supreme delight and our highest calling.
Marriage and family are the context created by God in which relationships are to be conceived and nurtured. For good or ill, we never fully rise above the nature of our nurture we received from our parents as children. As Patt and I have often taught through the years, the role of parents is to give their children both roots and wings. Strong roots anchor children spiritually and emotionally. Strong wings make it possible for them to soar to great heights of achievement.
Because our ministry has always been relationally focused, we have spent our lives building and nurturing relationships with people whom God has sovereignly networked us. First, it was with young people in America. Then, it was with national leaders in other countries. Both sets of relationships continue to enrich our lives!
As I have written before, we seek to build covenant relationships unto death – not functional relationships until some project is over!
What a joy it has been to have life-long relationships with some of our national partners to the degree that we have been a part of each other’s children growing up. Together we have experienced all of the “ups & downs…successes & failures…joys & heartaches…tragedies & triumphs” of parenting in the process – although often in very different cultural contexts. But, we have always found God’s principles of marriage and family to be trans-cultural. When faithfully applied, they work in any country, culture and context. As a result, we have literally enjoyed watching each other’s children grow and mature from infancy to adulthood.
In the process, it has been a joy known only to the heart of a parent to see so many sons “…become mature plants” that are fruitful for the Kingdom; and daughters become “…carved pillars fashioned for a temple.”
One such relationship is with Yacob & Linda Tshering. Our cultural backgrounds could not be more different. They are Tibetans; we are Americans. But, we have an eternal commonality in Jesus Christ that transcends our racial, linguistic and cultural diversity.
It has been our privilege to be a part of their family and ministry for several decades. We have partnered with them in the support of Tibetan orphans or needy children they have adopted and raised in their ministry they call “Champa Choeling,” or Place of Love. As far as we know, it is the only indigenous Tibetan ministry in the world – started by Tibetans for Tibetans. As we reported previously, Pastor Nima Tshering and his wife, Ridgzin, founded Champa Choeling. Pastor Nima is the recognized patriarch of Tibetan Christianity – and just turned 100 years old on January 1st!
After adopting, raising, educating and discipling needy Tibetan children, God gave their son, Yacob, and his wife, Linda, two children of their own – a girl, Dechen, and then a boy, Yondhen. They are both "miracle children", and have brought great joy to their parents and grandparents. Both are growing in spirit, soul and body.
The Tibetan newlyweds: Linda & Yacob Tshering.
Yacob & Linda with their young daughter, Dechen. At right,
Linda is pictured with their son Yondhen.
Their young family grows, as does their ministry.
Yacob, Linda & family with Pala & Amala Tshering,
the founders of Champa Choeling.
Dechen with her beloved grandfather, Pala, and at
right as a college senior on the Goshen College campus.
Just this past Sunday, April 24th, Dechen graduated from Goshen College in Indiana. We were honored to sponsor her parents to come to the States to be with her, and to participate in the graduation events.
Now Dechen hopes to go to Medical School and become the first known Christian Tibetan doctor! We covet your prayers for her as she studies for the MCAT exam this spring and pursues her goal of medicine in order to return to minister medically to the Tibetan people.
As you know from my last couple of emails, Yacob and Linda will be visiting us briefly in the Tri-City Area this week to meet with some friends and partners before returning to Nepal the first of May.
Your partnership with us has made our partnership with them possible. Thank you! Pray especially for Dechen as she continues to mature as the woman of God He created her to be – that beautiful “…carved pillar to adorn a palace!”
Enjoying resurrection family relationships locally and globally,
JL & Patt