BALTIMORE (BP)--Gray skies and steady rain outside did not dampen the spirits of those who came to the Sunday service and fifth annual medical block party for the community surrounding the Nepal and Bhutan Baptist churches in Baltimore.
Photo by Laura Sikes
Inside, pews were filled with worshippers clothed in colorful ethnic dress who celebrated as some 30 men and women made professions of faith during the joint service.
An excited Samuel Cho, 72, pastor of both The Nepal Baptist Church of Baltimore and The Bhutan Baptist Church, welcomed the diverse congregation of 170, a mixture mostly of Nepali and Bhutanese as well as some Korean, Filipino, Indian, white and African Americans. The First Secretary for the Nepali Ambassador for the United States, Ananda Sharma, was an honored guest and speaker.
"I'm going to give you one of the best messages of the Bible, because I love you so much," Cho said from the pulpit.
The sermon, "You Must Be Born Again," taken from John 3, is Cho's favorite for inviting people to know Jesus. And Cho, a North American Mission Board missionary, is no stranger to giving that invitation wherever he goes, wasting no time sharing the Gospel and praying for a harvest.
After worship, the group joined in with about 80 others who had come for the Nepali festival and free medical fair. Volunteers from the church served traditional Nepali food while festival-goers could choose to receive haircuts and clothing, along with blood pressure checks and other tests, dental exams and doctor referrals.
During lunch, Cho presented Nepali Bibles to those who accepted Christ that morning. Twenty-three-year-old Hari Karki, who had arrived in the United States only 25 days earlier, received a Bible. She beamed and said, "I'm so happy."
Baltimore is home to about 3,000 Nepalis and about 500 Bhutanese refugees. To serve this growing community, the medical fair was launched five years ago by The Nepal Baptist Church of Baltimore along with Global Mission Church, a Southern Baptist church in nearby Silver Spring, Md., which provides medical volunteers for the fair.
In 2005, Cho planted The Nepal Baptist Church, the first Nepali Baptist church in the United States. The medical fair helped introduce the new congregation to the community and allowed the church to provide some much-needed medical service.
In 2008, Baltimore began receiving some of the first wave of Bhutanese refugees coming to the United States. Cho went to the airport to meet some families and invited them for fellowship. Read More