Bhutanese Ministry Update

Outreach to Bhutanese refugees resettling in Madison began in April of 2009 when a Life Group committed to a 90-day sponsorship of the first Bhutanese family to arrive in Madison. Since then, our congregation has been blessed to witness many Bhutanese come to faith in Jesus through baptism, attend weekly Saturday evening Bible study and fellowship, and serve in our congregation and elsewhere.



Pastor Amos Shakya from Chicago continues to develop leaders in our ministry, visiting Madison every other weekend. He also provides wise counsel as the community encounters both celebrations and challenges that are often culturally unique. Mentored during the week, Bhutanese leaders teach the Bible study and lead worship every Saturday evening. One of our leaders, Ran Limbu, is in the midst of a 3-year basic theological training program with Pastor Amos as his mentor.


The AWANA club continues to draw youth and children from the larger Madison Bhutanese community. They quickly outgrew the limited basement space they were using in one of the apartment buildings and found consistent Saturday morning meeting space within walking distance at Good Shepherd Lutheran on Raymond Road. They have received a warm welcome from the faith community there and are now using the same space for Saturday evening fellowship and Bible study as well.

The summer months brought several celebrations. Two community picnics at area parks offered great food, fellowship, music and games. The AWANA club had a special celebration and program for their one-year anniversary in June. We provided support and comfort for several life transitions, rejoiced at the return of some faces we hadn’t seen for awhile and welcomed new babies into the kingdom of God through baptism.

Most recently we welcomed a brand new family to Madison. Our congregation generously donated home items to help get them settled and the Bhutanese community surrounded them for support. We anticipate another new family to arrive in the coming months.


Please continue to pray for this ministry. His continued protection and guidance is needed as we further His Kingdom work here in Madison. Pray for Pastor Amos in his leadership and Ran Limbu in his continued development and training. Pray for those who have reconnected with our ministry after time away, that they may be energized in their faith. Pray that our ongoing discipleship would bear fruit and grow and that all the resources necessary are available to allow this ministry to continue to develop and mature.

Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers!


Pass it On – Part 3: Live It

Pass it On – Part 3: Live It

It’s been a few months since Part II: Learn It was printed.  What was more difficult for you, recognizing something in another person’s life you want to learn, or asking them to show you? 

♫ Practice makes perfect.

Practice makes perfect.

I guess if I practice then better I’ll be. ♫

An annoying song (to me), but oh so true.

So here we are, Pass it on – Part 3: Live It

What in your life is worth following?  (You could ask someone close to you, maybe someone in lifeGroup, what they see in you that is worth following)

If it’s worth following, or if you want it to be worth following, making it a pattern will help.

  1. Identify your intentional habit (maybe the thing you asked someone to teach you)
  2. Experiment with it and refine it (step 3 from Learn It, just do it, is pretty important).
  3. Write down how you see God working through that habit in your life.
  4. Share your excitement with friends about how God is showing up.

Live it is really simple, actually live with the habit as part of your life.  Know what you’re doing, do it so you get better at it and so you can experience results, record and review what you appreciate about it, and share your excitement.

Good habits are rarely, if ever accidental.  They don’t become habits, and don’t become your habit, just the way you like it, instantly.  If you don’t record what happens as a result you run the risk of forgetting, or not even seeing it.  And if you’re excited about something, why would you hide it?

If you try something and aren’t excited about it, or don’t like it, tweak it, change it to a way that works for you.  Make it something you love to live out.  And please, share it with in the comments or via email:


Six Motivators for Listening to Your Family

All people need to know they are of value and listened to. This is especially true of our spouse and children. That is why listening should first be practiced in your home.

Many of us spend our days and often nights with people, listening, building relationships, developing partnerships, attending community events and a myriad of other activities. Often, the life-building skills we learn and practice with those we work with are not consistently practiced in our homes with those we hold most dear.

I, for one, struggle with this. My wife often gets the leftovers of my listening skills at the end of a busy relational day. Same with my kids when they were at home. Sometimes the people we cherish most, we take for granted.

I’m not alone. I hear this a lot from busy people. Perhaps you can relate.

All of us can learn from our mistakes, and we improve our listening skills each time we do. Here are six motivators for giving our families our best listening-self, even at the end of a day when you don’t think you can listen to another word.

Six Motivators to Listen to Your Family

  1. Listening to your family members will empower them to fulfill their potential as God’s image-bearers. Listen to discover their strengths and encourage them to make their unique contribution to your family’s and community’s well-being.
  2. Listening to your family affirms their dignity. Giving them your time and attention affirms their worth.
  3. Listening to your children increases their self-awareness as they discover for themselves their unique contribution to their family, church, neighborhood, and the Kingdom.
  4. Listening to your children teaches them to be problem solvers as they discover that the best solutions are found in the attributes they already possess.
  5. Listening to your family will foster deeper, more intimate relationships with them. The key is to pause your agenda and hear deeply the strengths and felt needs of your spouse and children.
  6. Listening to your family will improve your character as a disciple. The Jesus-life is strengthened by consistent behavior in all your relationships. The care and concern you show to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and others should be shown to your family most especially. By doing so, you increase credibility with your family and other people important to you. When listening permeates every aspect of your life, it’s the thread that sews your relationships together into a garment of integrity.

There is so much happening this time of year: Children are back in school, fall sports are in full swing, school clubs and extracurricular activities seem to increase exponentially, the coming holidays require planning, preparing, traveling or receiving travelers.

Above all else, let’s make this a season of listening in our homes. May that be true for us all and may we listen well in Jesus’ name.


Serving with DAIS - Hope Amidst Hurt

As many of you will recall, our church and preschool community lost a dear friend and teacher in August of 2014 when Ashlee Steele’s husband killed her.  In the weeks and months following Ashlee’s death, many community members and organizations rallied around preschool teachers, families, and church staff as we grieved and navigated our way through this tragedy.  One those organizations, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), has provided many opportunities to learn more about domestic abuse (the ultimate form of which is homicide).  I’ve participated in workshops for faith leaders and helped facilitate teaching sessions for teens and youth group leaders; DAIS led a training for church staff here in 2015; and in September I completed 34 hours of advocate training at DAIS in order to join their crisis response team, whose members volunteer weekly to provide victims with listening and support, access to community resources, and assistance with safety planning.  


October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and I’m sharing all of this with you because domestic abuse is a significant problem, a community problem, that requires a community response.  Did you know that domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 7 men?  Approximately 1 in 3 teens will experience some form of dating violence before they become an adult.  Abuse is not always or only physical -- it can be verbal, sexual, and emotional as well.  Children from homes where domestic abuse occurs can also suffer serious consequences even if they are not directly abused.  We all know someone who was or is a victim of domestic abuse, and we can all learn how to help.  


If you have questions about domestic abuse in general, about your own safety, or about the safety of a loved one, please call the DAIS Help Line (608-251-4445 or 1-800-747-4045) or to talk to me or another trusted staff person at the Church.  We want you to know that we are here to support you, and that suffering from abuse is never your fault.  

Please join me in praying regularly for victims of domestic abuse in all its forms, and consider participating in the community response to domestic violence in one of the following ways:

Learn more by attending an upcoming DAIS Community Education Event or their fall fundraiser:

What Does It Mean to Support a Survivor?

Wednesday, October 26, 5:30-7:00pm
DAIS, 2102 Fordem Avenue, Madison
RSVP online or by calling 608-251-1237

Dress for DAIS Fashion Show

Thursday, October 20, 6:30pm
Overture Center Main Lobby


Power of One

Participate in DAIS’ Power of One campaign, which aims to shift the conversation in Dane County fromviewing domestic abuse as a women’s issue to a community issue, and engages men in our community through education, awareness, and social change. More details are on their website (


Become an Advocate

Consider becoming an advocate (regular volunteer) with DAIS.  The next New Advocate Training will take place in February 2017. 

Become a Host

Host a workshop, training, or presentation at your workplace or community group: email Faye at or visit for more information



Fear. A small word that has a strong influence on how we live our lives. As I have been listening to others, reading social media, and watching the news, it has become so clear to me how prone we are to living in the grip of fear. Here are just a few examples of where I have been seeing fear show up: child starts a new school, another child doesn’t get the desired teacher, finances, politics, loss of a job, health issues, broken relationships, changes in our jobs/church/homes/etc., transitions with family members,  uncertainty about the future; I could go on and on.

We don’t always see our responses to these situations as fear, however. We experience a multitude of other emotions, often failing to see the underlying fear that is driving our responses and behavior.  That underlying fear, and the mis-beliefs that accompany that, show up in a variety of ways.

  • We strive to over-control the people around us and environments we are in.
  • We make assumptions of others.
  • We pull back and stop taking risks.
  • We idolize safety.
  • We resist and challenge those who don’t see things as we do.
  • We speak harshly to and about others.
  • We seek our own interests above the interests of others.
  • Our ability to trust those around us is greatly diminished.
  • Anger and frustration become our go-to emotions.
  • We aren’t able to listen well and relationships suffer.
  • We push our emotions and fear onto those around us.

This is just the short list.   I would challenge you today – if you notice any of the above responses in yourself – to consider what are your underlying fears? What beliefs are you holding on to that are prompting the fear?

There is an alternative. Fear will come. Our broken, human nature is one that is prone to believing lies, and being trapped by the fear brought on by those lies. However, our response is under our control. 1 John 4:18 reminds us, “Perfect love drives out all fear.” On our own, fear will control us. It will sneak in and consume our thoughts and behaviors. Thankfully, we are not on our own. We are loved with a perfect love by a Savior who eagerly comes to our rescue. Let us learn to trust in His perfect love and grow in our dependence on Him. When we rest in the author of perfect love, and lay our burdens on him, we are freed from fear. (Ps. 34:4).

1. Acknowledge and confess the fear

2. Consider: What would it look like to trust Jesus in this situation that is causing this fear?

3. Move forward confident that God is in control and works for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) Hear and respond willingly to God’s call and be free to experience the blessings that come with freedom from fear.

This week, would you spend time reading Psalm 46? I’d love to know what God reveals to you as you spend time in His Word this week!