Nepal (MNN) — Christian Resources International is doing another Great Crate project. "It's going to take a bit of a different form than we're used to. As much money as we can raise for Reuben Rai's ministry in Nepal, we're going to send as many large
boxes of Bibles and books air-mailed to him as we can possibly get into there,"
said Fred Palmerton of CRI.
Getting as much in now is important in light of Nepal's recent transition to a federal
democratic republic. Palmerton is excited about this opportunity. "The
chance and window of opportunity for Christianity to spread in that region of the world is open, and it's going to be a short window, we're afraid."
This opening gives a chance to meet the desperate needs of Rai's multi-faceted
ministry. Rai does street evangelism, has a radio ministry into Hindu and communist nations nearby, and helps train pastors. "The pastors that he's teaching and raising
up don't have any material at all. He has to share his Bible, his concordance, his encyclopedia, all while he's teaching," said Palmerton.
Rai's ministry also includes printing tracts and holding children's sports events for anyone in the community. He raises enough money to give winners a small token for their
participation. Rai sees many people come to Christ. "In May, he finished a
teaching conference to anyone who would come in off the street. Among the 35 kids that came in, at least four of them accepted Jesus Christ on the spot. They were excited enough to want to become pastors. These are kids–he's guessing 14 or 15 years old," Palmerton explained.
Even when people accept Christ, they have no resources to study, to read, or to share with others. Palmerton asks, "Can you imagine going to church and not having access to a Bible? And can you imagine your pastor trying to prepare a sermon and not have any resources at his command and not have anywhere to buy them?"
CRI's ministry has seen the effect of the devaluation of the U.S. dollar on other Great Crate projects. It has made U.S. goods attractive overseas–so much so that ports are beginning to get plugged up, meaning that orders that previously took a day or so are now backed up for up to six weeks.
For the Nepal project, rising postal rates are going to be a challenge, but CRI will
send as many boxes as their funds will cover for postage.