AG Move of God Touching Hindus and Buddhists

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Valley Christian Center youth group
Valley Christian Center Pastor Chris Dawes leads a recent youth group (Facebook)

Dawes says he felt the Lord has told him that his church's responsibility is to help this first generation of Pentecostal believers to feel "at home" at Valley Christian Center. The church is doing its best to do just that. Dawes is studying the Nepalese culture and language in an effort to help bridge the communities into one community. And for every step they take, Dawes observes, it seems Deepak and his church take two towards them in return.

Of course, with the influx of new faces and cultures come other opportunities and challenges.

One of the greatest opportunities, Dawes says, is that his youth group of three kids now suddenly has 33 youth—with more Nepali youth coming each week. Many of these new students are still working on their conversational English, which provides an excellent opportunity for the church to speak into their lives.

"A lot of the kids also want to learn how to play guitar so they can be part of leading praise and worship wherever they are," Dawes says. "We've been doing our best to round up guitars, and so far we've gotten eight of them into the hands of kids and I've been teaching them how to play, with more kids on the waiting list for a guitar."

However, Dawes has come to realize that there are also challenges. Many of the Nepalese have only arrived in America and made a decision for Christ within the last year or so, and the pitfalls of Satan surround them.

"These new Christians that have only recently arrived in this country do not always realize that 'all that glitters is not gold,' and that some elements of American culture are both unbiblical and spiritually deadly," Dawes says. "My desire is to share the timeless truths of the gospel with them in a way that is culturally relevant and help them effectively assimilate into the American culture while maintaining their Christianity."

For Dawes and Valley Christian Center, it's a time of wonder and amazement as they witness God working in ways they never imagined in their church. Although at first blush, it appears this is a singular work by God, Dawes quickly corrects that impression.

"There's a group of Nepali believers in Fargo who, thanks to the generosity and wide open arms of Pastor Kevin Zaun and Heartland Community Church (AG), now have a home as well.

"We're averaging about 40 a week in the Nepalese service," Zaun says. "We've been holding services about six or eight weeks now and people are getting saved; miracles are happening!"

However, Zaun and his church are not new to working with different cultures. For several years, they've been working with African refugees, and helping to start All Nations AG in Fargo, that is home to Africans from at least 12 different African countries.

And recently, Dawes and Zaun have learned there are more Nepalese Christians in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Calvary Assembly and Pastor Dan Kuno have now opened their doors to this group of new believers.

Deepak recently shared that each of the three AG churches—Grand Forks, Fargo and Sioux Falls—would see an increase of at least 50 from the Nepali communities in those cities if additional transportation could be provided.

Dawes and Zaun say they both feel an urgency to reach these first generation Americans for Christ. But Zaun adds that it's not just those from Nepal where God is working.

"There are a lot of new Americans from a lot of different cultures and countries coming to America who are being impacted by the presence of God," Zaun says. "They are, in many ways, the future of our country and we need to embrace them, disciple them, invite them into our church culture and involve them."

"I feel God is definitely moving," Dawes says. "I don't know where this is all going to go, but I know right now, we're supposed to work, because night is coming, and we must welcome them and reach them now with the love and gospel message of Jesus Christ."

For more information about Valley Christian Center, visit its website. To learn more about Heartland Community Church, click here.

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