By Noel Isaacs (edited by VM team)
After careful assessment for the past 40 days, The HRV leadership team has decided that there is too high a risk of failure if we forge ahead toward the projected release date in September of 2017. Being released as an official Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC) is a time to celebrate all God has done and is doing in this region of the world, and we are so grateful to all those leaders and friends who had made plans to join us in this jubilant time. However, the optics of a celebratory event to the outside world would attract undue attention in a negative way, and even the smallest violent response could be disastrous.
Moving 15 busloads of people from outside the region and gathering over 1000 people in one place would set off a serious negative response from political activists who are demonstrating enough passion to support an indefinite shutdown of the economy that threatens lives with hunger and violence. The strike began more than 45 days ago as of this writing on June 12, 2017. So far eight people have been shot dead by the police in order to suppress the peaceful demand of the Gorkhaland state in India. (For more on this story, google “Gorkhaland Strike”).
While we don't concur with these actions, our decision seemed prudent and wise when considering our responsibility to provide safety and security for a large gathering.
As an HRV team we have carefully considered all things, and concurred in the decision to postpone the event to a time when peaceful and secure surroundings can be guaranteed. We hope to see this celebration rescheduled sometime in 2018.
We ask the global Vineyard family to stand with us in prayer for a peaceful resolution of this conflict and the safety of all peoples in the region. We need your ongoing support for all the opportunities that God has given us to reach the lost for the Kingdom.
If you would like to take a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal only, then the previous dates are still fine for us to host you. But we will not be traveling to Siliguri, India (the venue of the release meeting). We will miss you this year, but surely we will meet next year with a greater expectation to know God’s leading in all of this.
Our passion for Jesus remains strong!
Thank you for your understanding and flexibility.
Vineyard Himalayas Leadership Team