The church in Nepal is now said to be one of the fastest growing churches in the world. When Friends of Nepal did a survey c1958 they found six Nepali speaking believers Now there are estimated to be over two million. This growth is mainly due to Nepali believers speaking to their own people rather than relying on missionaries from overseas. We visited Nepal for three months to get alongside local churches, encourage them in Christ and help disciple new believers.
On Easter Sunday we were in Kathmandu and witnessed a sunrise march into the city centre for a celebration service at Ratna Park. An estimated 30,000 believers attended. It was a wonderful expression of our unity and joy in our risen Saviour. We then spent time with one church going to visit their satellite churches in the mountainous villages around the city. Many churches have been planted in these villages since the earthquakes in 2015 when believers reached out to their neighbours with practical aid.
We also went with a team into the Gorkha region for an outreach weekend and saw a whole village turn out for an open air evangelistic meeting. After the sermon, they all came forward to be prayed for one by one. It was a blessed time and involved being hosted by ordinary village believers in their simple homes.
I spent five weeks on the back of a motorbike with my translator Sushil. I had expected to be teaching pastors, but ended up teaching at youth camps in five different churches. After the harvest the teens and young adults come for up to a month of intensive evangelism training. They are then sent out, two by two, into the villages to preach the Gospel. It was a joy to be with such enthusiastic young believers with a passion to reach the lost of their country.
Returning from one meeting our motorbike had a puncture. It was not much fun pushing it for a couple of miles in 40+ deg C! When we got to a small garage the young men running it asked my translator why he had a foreigner with him. He told them that we were teaching the youth in local churches from the Bible. They were very curious and exclaimed “A few years ago there were many more Hindu temples for every church but now it seems that there are many more churches for every temple!”
However, pressure has been put on the Nepali government from India to bring in an anti-conversion law. This is already causing tension and, if implemented, could mean that anyone baptising someone into a new faith would face a large fine and up to five years imprisonment. Some children’s evangelists that we know have recently been arrested for distributing children’s Bibles. Please pray that the government would climb down over this issue.
Article by: Friends of SAC working in India and Nepal