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Nepal: rebuilding in more ways than one

By November 21, 2016

Nepal (MNN) — A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal just before midday on April 25, 2015.  The historical district was home to many insecure, old buildings that collapsed under the pressure.  The epicenter was in the district of Sindhupalchok, about 12 miles from the border with China.

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia/CC)

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia/CC)

Almost 9,000 people died in the quake and ensuing aftershocks, a further 17,000 were injured and 2.8 million Nepalese were displaced.

Even as the headlines faded quickly, the millions of survivors began trying to rebuild their shattered lives.  Moving on has not been easy with the loss of livestock and sheds.  Many were forced to abandon their homes and communities for tented relief camps, which remain occupied, more than a year after the disaster.

Emotional trauma is common.  And yet, Bibles For The World’s President John Pudaite says, “We have people who are working as pastors, church planters, evangelists, missionaries; some are working in praise and worship, music ministry, others are working with women in Bible studies and fellowships — a really wide range of people engaged in Christian ministry here in Nepal.”

That’s the backdrop behind a unique experience for Bibles for the World.  They’ve been in Bahrabesi, a town in the hardest hit area, helping to host a Seed Sower seminar.  Pudaite explains, “There are, in a population of about 300,000 in this district, less than 15,000 Christians.  We are here having our 12th Seed Sower seminar in the country of Nepal.”

(Photo courtesy Bibles For The World)

(Photo courtesy of Bibles For The World)

In the aftermath of the disaster, believers were an active part of the response.  Acting as the hands and feet of Christ, they were living out the Gospel before their communities…which became an open door and bore the fruit in hope.

As a result, there were over 200 delegates in Bahrabesi, and over 175 registrants in Kathmandu who came for two days of instruction, teaching, and resourcing.  Among them, many first-generation Christians, says Pudaite.  “This is the early Church.  This is the book of Acts here that we’re standing among, that we’re sharing God’s Word among, that we’re teaching, that we’re interacting with.  This is where the kingdom of God in Nepal will start from — this first generation of believers.”

BFTW believes in providing tools.  In this case, they’re giving each attendee 650 copies of the Gospel of John for use in their outreach in Nepal.  Additionally, “we’ll also be providing a box of New Testaments for each of the attendees and they can use those for discipling the young believers in their churches and fellowships.”

(Photo courtesy Bibles For The World)

(Photo courtesy of Bibles For The World)

Pudaite says these Gospel co-laborers need as much support as they can get.  “A lot of them are not supported or not on salary.  They’re supporting themselves and their own work through other businesses or other activities to earn their income.”

Then, there’s prayer.  Being a follower of Christ is not without its challenges in Nepal.  While persecution is less acute than in the past, it remains.  Pray that Christians will practice their faith with courage.  Ask God to give these believers opportunities to share their stories.

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