Meeting with over a dozen church planters in Nepal is not as easy as it sounds.
They can’t just take a bus from the Himalayan slopes or be dropped off conveniently by helicopter. Most of them must make the long trek by bicycle and on foot from villages miles and miles away. It can take days for them to get here.
These men and women are willing to give up everything for the sake of the Gospel—it’s a way of life for them . . . a calling that fills them with passion and relentless determination. They’re willing to die if it means spreading the Good News to people who haven’t yet heard. They’re willing to risk it all.
As I looked around at the faces in the room, some having endured unimaginable persecution—torture, prison, and total rejection by society and family—I was overwhelmed by their strength and the joy that filled the room.
These church planters have started 45 churches throughout Nepal in partnership with World Help, strategically sharing Christ with unreached people who have never once heard the name of Jesus. We worked together to discuss our ongoing strategy to reach thousands for Christ through church planting and Bible distribution. It was an incredible time of encouragement and planning. God is moving in Nepal like never before, and we have a historic opportunity to be a part of it.
One church planter named Timothy shared a story I’ll never forget.
Nepal is a predominately Hindu nation . . . and as custom, Hindus do not bury their dead; they cremate them. One day, Timothy was contacted because it was rumored that a Christian had been buried in a cemetery nearby, and the Hindus in the community were outraged. For them to have anyone—much less a Christian—buried anywhere near them was the highest offense.
They forced Timothy to dig up the body that had been buried for several days. He and another church planter carried the body on their backs for over an hour just to find another place to bury him. At the first village they came to, they were seized and beaten mercilessly by a mob of angry people.
The two men, barely able to walk, were then forced to carry the body for another seven hours along the mountain passes to another village. The beatings started again . . . this time, it was almost too much. They were many miles from home, their clothes soaked with blood, with the body of their brother in Christ lying lifeless on the ground.
Timothy began to pray. After a few moments, he lifted his head and walked over to the body. His friend looked at him, confused and tired, wondering how they could endure another journey . . . or another beating. Timothy looked at him and said:
“God reminded me of how He gave Jesus strength to carry His cross. And He will give us the strength now to carry ours.”
An hour later, they found a location to lay the body to rest peacefully. Timothy and his friend knew that with God’s help, they were able to carry out their mission . . . even if it cost them their lives.
Nepal remains one of the least-reached nations in the world. Its borders were totally closed to outsiders until 1951. Back then, there were only 25 known believers. By 1985, there were 25,000. Today, the government reports that there are half a million Christ followers. However, our church-planting partners believe there are now over 1.5 million who have been transformed by the Gospel . . . so many more than the government would like to admit.
This is why it’s so vital that we invest in church-planting strategies, training and empowering pastors, and distributing copies of God’s Word by the thousands. We must continue to work tirelessly to share the Good News . . . because millions in Nepal still have never heard the most important news on earth!
Since beginning our work in Nepal, World Help has been able to plant more than 1,500 churches in some of the most remote villages in the entire world. Our vision is to plant thousands more.
Please take a moment to pray for our network of church planters in Nepal today. Pray for God’s protection, strength, and comfort in times of persecution. Pray for God to change hearts and transform lives. And pray that World Help can continue to strategically invest in laying a foundation of hope in Nepal.
This is the heart of the Gospel—Jesus’ famous last words to his disciples: to share the good news with every man, woman, and child—to the ends of the earth, to the end of the age. It’s our privilege, our destiny, and our calling as believers.
I hope you’ll get involved today! It’s a decision that will change your life and impact the world for eternity.