Nepali-Speaking Ministry

Worship: You are invited to join in Thornapple’s Nepali-Speaking Community for worship service at 10:00am on Sunday mornings.


In 2008, Thornapple began a new ministry by assisting in the acculturation of a Bhutanese Nepali refugee family. After spending as long as twenty years living in refugee camps, families are settling into a new life. The Nepali-speaking community continues to grow as new families move to Grand Rapids. 

Here at Thornapple we help Nepali-speaking families with basic needs (medical care, government paperwork, education, furnishings) as we share our friendship and faith with them.

God has richly blessed our church family by bringing this world of new friends to our doorstep.

Ongoing Needs:  There are several ways/levels of commitment where you can help. Refer to the list below. Please contact Patty Dekker with your interest or questions at 957-0580.

  • Drivers: The church will pay for you to get your CDL license. Church bus and van drivers (CDL required for bus drivers and no special license needed for van drivers) are needed on Sunday mornings. Praise God, more Nepali Christians are attending church thus the need for more drivers! Contact Greg Longworth to learn more.
  • Medical visit transportation: We need people to drive folks to a medical appointment, a translator meets you at the office.   
  • Paperwork: Life in the US involves an overwhelming amount of paperwork! Assistance for food/medical, and Green card applications are ongoing. Could you commit to walk with a refugee through the process of completing 1 set of paperwork?  
  • Family liaison: Adjustment to life in the US takes several years and  caring individuals are needed to meet regularly with a family in need helping them understand all of the complexities of their new life.
  • Tutors/educational coaches are needed for adults and children in our Nepali-speaking community.  The commitment would be for a once a week meeting during the school year.  For information, please contact Elaine Graves.
  • Discipleship: There are a few individuals who are ready and interested in one on one Bible study, and who have enough English that this could happen.  We are looking for a few people who might commit to meeting weekly over a 6 week time frame to work through a basic Bible study program.  Most of these people are Hindu, but have expressed an interest in learning about the Christian faith.

Contacts: Patty Dekker is the Nepali-Speaking Ministry Coordinator