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A legacy of love

Discover the impact of Andy and Jenny Saunders in Nepal.

“Jesus didn’t leave a building, Jesus left people.”

These words have been echoing in my mind relentlessly since I interviewed Andy and Jenny Saunders. Sent to Nepal over ten years ago with BMS World Mission, they’ve recently returned to the UK after finishing their time in Kathmandu. Come and discover their impact after a decade of investing into the people of Nepal.

Nepal is a rugged country by nature, with nearly 75 per cent of the country covered in mountains. Andy and Jenny described it as a land of the Old Testament – full of temples, priests and sacrifices with over 100 tribal communities and cultures within its borders. The constant tension between the traditional and modern is evident. Traditional houses, gardens farmed to feed families and animal chorus coexist among the looming modern housing blocks and the constant buzz of traffic. All of this surrounded by the Himalayas and illuminated by the rays of the sun all year round, diffused by the constant dust. It's also one of the most polluted countries globally. Whilst in the UK we might have an Air Quality Index score of 20, Nepal is regularly at over 150, deeming it a hazard to the general population and a serious risk to those with underlying health conditions.

Your support is helping share abundant life across Nepal.

It's against this backdrop that Jenny found herself consulting and supporting the work of BMS partner Elijah Counselling and Training Centre (ECTC), helping to raise up a generation of equipped councillors and working with them to create effective trauma recovery programmes. All this work was put to the test after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck west Nepal in November 2023. That day, theory became reality for the team at ECTC. The team travelled up to one of the most affected villages high up in the mountains to provide their counselling and trauma support skills to those heavily impacted by the disaster.

Until they left, Andy was teaching theology at a local seminary. During his time, Andy helped build structures that worked with the culture the students knew, rather than just borrowing from the UK. It was wonderful for him to see his students flourish. One of Andy’s students even decided to give up everything to help translate the New Testament into his mother tongue – a task that could take over ten years!

For the Saunders, their time in Nepal expanded their understanding of what’s possible through God’s power. But the nature of being called to another country to join in God’s mission is that you will be called away again. Looking forward to the next adventures God has planned for the Saunders, Andy is currently finishing up his research so he can submit it over the coming months. And in a rather poetic full circle, Jenny has recently joined the BMS team in Didcot as our Pastoral Care Worker – supporting overseas workers so that they can bring the full abundance of Christ to those they work with.

Andy and Jenny are so thankful for the legacy they've left in Nepal.

Andy and Jenny are incredible reminders of the real heart of global mission. It isn’t just about what we build, but the input we have into people's lives. Yes, Andy and Jenny have left behind the tangible impacts of their work – structures to help empower people through counselling or theological training. But they’ve also left behind people whose hearts have been touched by their presence in Nepal. They’ve left behind a legacy of love, and they’ve left behind colleagues, friends and community who won’t ever stop dreaming of a brighter future for Nepal.

Author: Ed Axtell

Published: 20/07/2024

How to keep supporting Nepal

Thank you for loving Nepal. Your heart for it as a country and its people has meant that many have had their lives transformed thanks to God. Andy and Jenny have now completed their service with BMS, but could you continue to support the transformative work happening in Nepal? BMS workers Alan and Megan Barker are still working with our partners to bring abundant life across the country, why not find out more about how you and your church can support them?

Support Alan and Megan

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By completing this form, you are confirming that you are happy for us to contact you. You can change your mind at any time by emailing supporterservices@bmsworldmission.org or phoning 01235 517638. We will never sell your data and we promise to keep your details safe and secure. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

For more details on how we use and protect your data, visit www.bmsworldmission.org/privacy