Nepal (MNN) — It began a few years ago when Mission Aviation Fellowship hoped to start a flight ministry in Nepal. But that may not be exactly what God had in mind, says MAF Pilot Tim Chase.
Speaking from Nepal, Chase says, "We came here originally to start a flight program, and about a year and a half into the process things weren't going very well…. So my wife and I had to think. We asked, 'Why did the Lord send us here?'"
It became clear to Chase when he visited the Nepal Bible Society. Chase says, "They wanted to have some electronic Bibles, but they didn't have the ability to do it. So when I came in the door and said, 'Do you want to try to do something like this?' they were really excited."
Chase had worked for IBM for 10 years before joining MAF. He says it took about nine months to convert files and customize software, but the project is now complete. Two new products were just dedicated: "A 'Go Bible' so they can have two Nepali Bibles on cell phone technology, and also an e-Bible program that [allows them] to have the Nepali Bible along with a commentary and a dictionary, all in Nepali."
About 350 people celebrated as Chase demonstrated two electronic versions of the Nepali Bible on November 30, 2010. After the service, the enthusiastic crowd purchased 100 copies of e-Bible on CD and another 70 on flash drives. The number has since climbed dramatically. Go-Bible is available via download from the NBS Web site .
NBS leaders then honored Tim & Karen Chase for their role in developing these tools and presented them with a framed letter of appreciation. The NBS General Secretary Elder Tej Bahadur Jirel said, "With the generous help of Mission Aviation Fellowship, we are able to provide a software product that will greatly help Nepali Christians in the study of the Scriptures. This site will be updated with current information as we learn more from our users' experience with the program."
Chase says having an electronic version of the Nepali Bible is strategic. "A lot of Nepali people are living outside of Nepal. Some of them are living in the Middle East where it might not be popular to carry around a hard-copy Bible."
This allows people to read the Bible in a less threatening manner. He also says the electronic version of the Bible allows them to share the Gospel by sending Bible verses to people via SMS text or e-mail.
Chase says the e-Bible for PC will have a specific target: "Pastors and Bible school students who, up until this point, have been doing a lot of their studying in English, which isn't their first language. Having this tool available will give them a lot of power that they haven't had in the past."
Chase is now praying that a Nepali support team will be developed to maintain these valuable tools.
While MAF is known for aviation, MAF also provides distance learning technologies to help train indigenous pastors who otherwise would not have access to biblical teaching or leadership training. Through partnerships with other organizations, MAF supplies digital biblical reference and study materials, helps establish learning centers, and provides cutting-edge learning solutions that support the growth of the church. You can learn more about MAF-Learning Technologies.