Iris Nepal Update March 2020

Written by Joel and Tammy DeBortoli

Blessings in the matchless name of Jesus!

We pray for all of you in these uncertain times. We pray that you would all maximize this amazing opportunity to grow in intimacy with Jesus. He is the God of the storm, He is the God of the trial, He is the God of the mystery, and He is the God of the unknown. We were reminded today of this lyric in the song “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns: “To step out of my comfort zone, into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is.” We pray the promises of Psalm 91 over you all!

Miraculously by God’s grace, Nepal has not been affected by COVID-19. There was one confirmed case a month ago from a person who had flown in from Wuhan and they are healed. We are so thankful to God for His love, mercy and grace. Because of what is happening in the rest of the world, the Nepali government has just recently begun taking steps to help assure the virus’ spread into Nepal. All incoming international flights have been cancelled and currently both foreigners and Nepali nationals are not allowed to enter. All schools are closed and no gatherings with more than 25 people are allowed. To respect and honor the government’s decision, we have divided our church services into 3 sections so we do not exceed 25. We have a service at the children’s home, another at our normal venue at The Freedom House, and we take another group out onto the streets and have a street church service with our brothers and sisters who are homeless. Other than that, we are continuing to do the work during the week that God has called us to: caring for orphans and widows, caring for and ministering to the poor, and sharing the gospel in word and deed to every unbeliever He puts in our path. Thank you all for praying for us to continue to boldly minister in love with the joy of the Lord as we should.

Children’s Home
The Iris kids are doing awesome. Their end-of-the-school-year exams were moved up so now they are on a month school break. We will use this time to focus on spending quality time with them worshipping, praying, teaching, discipling, camping, working, playing, encouraging, and growing. They are excited about what this next month holds in terms of being able to fully participate in ministry alongside us. Please pray for their growth during this intimacy with Jesus, in wisdom, in faith, and in the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Freedom House
The rehab center is going very well. We just had our first litter of piglets born and it is very exciting for all involved to see multiplication happening. One of the rehab guys, Bikram, has been going through kidney surgeries and has one more to remove one of his kidneys in two weeks. Please pray for him. The two current rehab patients are growing and getting physical and spiritual healing day-by-day. We are praying for more addicts to come and voluntarily join this work of God and get healing and freedom. We have capacity for up to 8 patients currently. Raju, the director, is an amazing man of God...superhuman work ethic, love, grace, and wisdom. We are so blessed that God sent him to us.

We have continued to do street and village outreaches and are praying for our next steps during the school break. We just finished hosting a team from Kona YWAM and we got to see God do so many amazing things for His glory in both villages and the city of Kathmandu. There were healings, salvations, the gospel was boldly preached in word and deed, hundreds of people saw the Jesus Film, the church grew, and believers were strengthened and encouraged.

One specific testimony that we want to share was from the most recent mountain village that our team went to. One challenge that we have in villages is that we don’t see as much fruit in the elderly as we do in everyone else. The challenges are: 1. Communication (many have a hard time hearing and many only speak their tribal language and not Nepali), 2. They will accept prayer for healing, get healed by Jesus, acknowledge and glorify Him, but ultimately don’t want to leave their idols, and 3. They falsely believe that they cannot change their religion. They believe they were born that way, lived their whole lives that way, and it’s impossible to change. Our team got to pray for an elderly man and woman in the village. Jesus miraculously healed the woman of a fever and headache and the man of chronic back pain...but the real miracle happened when they both said that they wanted to give their lives to Jesus!

Final Encouragement
We really want to encourage you all in the Lord during this time. Many prayers and prophetic words have come forth indicating that 2020 is the year of revival...specifically a worldwide “billion soul revival.” We choose to believe this and desperately want to see it. We don’t think it’s going to come in huge stadium/revival events. We truly believe that God is calling His church to “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Is. 60:1-3. We believe that the one billion soul revival will come from 1 billion believers “arising and shining” and each loving one person unto salvation. The current state of the world is an amazing opportunity to be a light in the darkness and be the loving hands and feet of Jesus to those in your sphere of influence...your family, your neighbors, your friends, and your co-workers. Find those in need and love and serve them. Pray for them...pray against fear, pray the peace of God that transcends understanding would flood over them, and pray for healing if they are sick. Whatever they need, you have the answer because the Spirit of God lives inside of you.

We love you all dearly and pray the protection of God’s all consuming fire for you and your families. “Fire goes before Him and consumes his enemies on every side.” Ps 97:3 He will protect you from this enemy of COVID-19.

Love, love, love!
Joel and Tammy