Supporting Nepali students during a difficult era
Citywide Baptist – Mornington/Lenah Valley/nepali
When COVID-19 shut down workplaces in Hobart, some of the people most seriously affected were the many foreign students. These people were dependant on part-time jobs to supplement money they received from family at home. For most, COVID-19 was a double whammy, as jobs disappeared and families could no longer afford to send money.
Many students from Nepal lost jobs and had no government support, so Pastors Paul and Suraj (Citywide Nepali congregation) responded. The need they saw was great. They began organising food parcels from their own funds. As they began doing this very simple thing, it became clear that the need was massive.
Citywide: Supporting Nepali students
Paul and Matt Garvin recorded a brief conversation on Facebook to alert our whole statewide online church family to the need . . . and the bags of rice started flooding in.
One of the people who saw our conversation was a friend who works for Samaritan’s Purse. The organisation provided $30,000, which we turned into vouchers at the local Nepalese store for the students and families. See photos below.
The consequence? The little Nepali congregation, led by former refugees, has moved to a position of leadership in the broader Nepalese-speaking community. Some families have started attending the church as a result of the care they received in their time of need.
Senior Pastor, Citywide