A new United Methodist church near Kathmandu, Nepal, has been named in memory of a missionary killed in a road accident in April.
The Karuna Memorial United Methodist Church at Bakhtapur, named after the Rev. Karuna Bhujel, was dedicated on June 1, 2005 by Dr. David Wu, the assistant general secretary of the Evangelization and Church Growth Program Area of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM).
According to GBGM, a hundred worshippers took part in the memorial and dedication service that came on the 40th day after Bhujel was killed when the motorbike on which she was riding was struck by a truck. Prior to her death, Bhujel was the primary organizer and nurturer of the church at Bakhtapur, an area in a flat area known as the Kathmandu Valley. The decision to name the church for her was made by the congregation, GBGM reported.
Wu, who was visiting Bhujels husband - the Rev. Devi Bhujel who is also a United Methodist missionary, reported that the Bhujel family was supported by its strong faith and the kindness of the local Christians in the wake her death.
In addition to Devi Bhujel, Karuna Bhujel was survived by her two teen-aged daughters, who are in school in India, where she grew up, and her younger son, who resides with his father in Kathmandu.
Currently, there are three United Methodist congregations in the valley, including those at Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Other United Methodist churches are scattered throughout the mountainous country.
Nepal is one of 11 new mission initiatives of the General Board of Global Ministries.