Nepal (MNN) — 48 years ago, the nation of Nepal was completely closed to the outside world, except for 50 people who were allowed to obtain visas.
President of OneHope Bob Hoskins and his wife, Hazel, were able to obtain two of those visas. They flew into the country over snow-covered mountains and stayed with a local family because there were no hotels in the city where they stayed. There also was no heat.
"They had to pile sheepskins on us at night to keep us from freezing to death," Hoskins recalled. And there was something else that Nepal didn't have — it did not have any known churches.
The country considered itself the world's last Hindu kingdom.
Hoskins found a small group of believers and made a film to bring back to the United States. The film encouraged American Christians to pray that Nepal would open up to the Gospel.
"Now we see marvelously how God has answered that prayer," Hoskins said. "They did begin to open up, they did begin to allow some Christian activity. And then only a few years ago, they declared themselves a secular state. There's total freedom right now for evangelism in Nepal, and the church is thriving."
Hoskins recently returned to Nepal for another visit and discussed with some church leaders there how to reach more of the country with the Gospel. They decided to do something similar to an event called "Hope India," which reached over 400 million people in India with the evangelistic GodMan film.
Like that event, "Hope Nepal" will feature the showing of The GodMan on television channels all over the country over a period of a few days.
"We've set a target for Christmas, because that's an appropriate time to show the life of Christ on national TV," Hoskins said.
The GodMan is a computer-generated photo-realistic animation version of the Book of Hope which tells the life story of Jesus and can be targeted toward a particular country or culture. During "Hope Nepal," Christians will invite children to view the film in their homes and churches as an outreach. They will go through training and preparation before they do this.
"We'd like to have them come into homes or into churches to watch the television showing with believers who already have Books of Hope in hand," Hoskins explained. "After the showing, they can discuss the film, and our leaders can give them a Book of Hope. Then we do a follow-up called Hope Clubs, in which the children are invited back to those venues to study the Book of Hope together."
The event will resemble a similar one held in India, "Hope India." Over 400 million people viewed The GodMan through that event, including over 12 million children who received copies of the Book of Hope. Although Nepal is a much smaller nation than India, it has plenty of television networks, and Hoskins hopes that "Hope Nepal" will have a similar impact on the country.
"We expect to touch millions, and we expect the believers to have several million in their homes, so they can give the Book of Hope during that showing," he said. "It's an incredible impact on a nation."
Pray for the church in Nepal as it prepares for "Hope Nepal" and for OneHope as it works out the details; pray for the people who will hear the Gospel through the event. Also pray for the funding needed for the project. It costs one dollar to reach one child with the Book of Hope and The GodMan film.