Brian Richards passed away on January 6, 2022, after complications with a surgical procedure. At age 90, he was still a dedicated member of the Interserve SA family, following prayer notes from his computer.
Brian and his constant companion and wife, Pat, were the first couple to set out from Adelaide as Bible Medical and Missionary Fellowship partners. The date: June 15 1959. The destination: Nepal.
Brian and Pat welcomed their first child, Heather, while studying Nepali in West Bengal. When she was just 1 month old, the young family flew in to Kathmandu to take up residence and continue study in the newly ‘opened up’ kingdom.
As the only western trained pharmacist, Brian took the lead in setting up the pharmacy in the Shanta Bhawan Hospital. He then encompassed running the hospital pharmacy in Pokhara, which led to him establishing a central supply depot for pharmaceutical goods for the whole country.
After the birth of their sons Stephen and Paul, they relocated to a small 35-bed hospital in Bhaktapur, 15 kms away from Kathmandu. There Brian took on the role of not only pharmacist, but also x-ray technician, business manager and building supervisor.
During this time, Pat cared for their family, assisted newcomers with the arrangement of language lessons, and supported health clinics in schools throughout the region. Their lives were far from convenient, as roads were yet to be sealed (or made), public transport options were scarce, electricity was intermittent and the water supply would only last a few hours in the morning and evening.
The church was small in its infancy, and communication with the outside world was rare. The flat roof of their Bhaktapur home acted as a worthy venue to hold worship meetings, and from that open pulpit Brian would preach to the community. Their faith grew deep to meet the demands of the day.
Following 15 years in Nepal, where their children were educated, the family returned to Adelaide.
Several years later they made a short return trip and Brian acted as an interim pharmacist.
Brian and Pat continued active roles in the SA BMMF/Interserve team, assisting with the organisation and running of public meetings, attending monthly prayer gatherings, interviewing candidates and encouraging new partners on the field. For many years Brian would volunteer to tally finance and accounts in the office locations at Norwood and Keswick.
We have been greatly blessed by Brian’s zeal to serve with integrity and his servant spirit totally devoted to serving Jesus. Though a quiet and unassuming man, he brought zing to many gatherings with his dry wit and humour. We honour Brian Richards as one of God’s mighty men of valour and faith.