Where it all started:
"The reason why I have such a burden for Nepal begins with the history of my family. In 1991, my Aunt and uncle surrendered to be missionaries to the Tibetan refuges in Nepal. Below is an article from Baptist International Missions, Inc. about Joe and Tanna Collins."
-John Sellers, founder of Letters in Motion
"When BIMI missionaries Joe and Tanna Collins arrived in Nepal in July 1990, they settled in a town of 50,000 people named Boudha. Boudha was not far from the capital, Kathmandu, a teeming city of one million. Nepal, an official Hindu nation, was notorious for its prohibitions against 'proselytizing' —their word for any efforts at evangelism. Joe set about to learn the Nepalese and Tibetan languages; along with its being necessary for ministry to the Nepalese, he and Tanna were in the country under student visas and that was his official 'job.' At the same time, he began Bible studies with local people to introduce them to Christ. Joe felt specifically called to minister to the Tibetan refugees who had settled in the Kathmandu area.
"Submersed in the Buddhism and Hinduism of the Nepalese and Tibetans, Joe and Tanna and their young children saw every day not only the simplicity and friendliness of their new neighbors, but also their abject poverty and bondage to traditions. The street children, many of them orphaned, placed a particular burden on their hearts. Joe began praying about starting a children’s home. In 1992 a Nepali who knew that Tanna had recently given birth to twins approached them. A two-month old abandoned girl needed someone to feed her and take care of her. Although Tanna was unable to do so, Joe found another way: establishing homes based around already existing families. After taking in the infant, who was given the name Shristi (meaning 'Creation'), Joe became involved in the lives of six street boys who survived by begging.
"After ensuring that there were no living family members who could take Shristi or the boys in, Joe rented a home and moved a Nepalese convert, Brother Krishna, and his family into the home with the seven children. Brother Krishna gained custody of the children, and according to Nepalese law, he will be able to confer Nepali citizenship on the children. Joe funded the home and paid Brother Krishna’s salary from his own missionary support in order to make what would later become the 'Collins Children’s Home' a reality.
"Early on, the decision was made that the children would be raised in much the same manner—dress, education, food, living conditions--as they would in any Nepali family, except in the nurture and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ. They would receive a better education in many respects, since they would be taught English, a true advantage in a developing nation like Nepal. But they would not be Westernized.
"In 1992, not long after the establishment of the home, Tanna’s health demanded that the family travel to Thailand for better medical care than what was available in Nepal. In Thailand she learned she had typhoid fever, but the treatments were successful and she regained her health. However, Joe and Tanna and their five children never returned to Boudha. On the trip back to Nepal, their Thai Airways plane crashed into the side of a Himalayan mountain on July 31, 1992, killing all 113 on board."
Read the full article here: http://www.bimi.org/worldMag/101A2.p
"After my Aunt, Uncle and their five kids passed away, my grandparents picked up the work that was left, and for the next 20 years countless lives were changed. In the last years before my grandparents passed away, my mom and dad surrendered to go to Nepal.
I always knew I was going to be in Nepal, but I didn't know to what capacity."
-- John Sellers, Founder of Letters in Motion