Nepal (MNN) — Up until 2008, Nepal was still strictly a Hindu monarchy. Two years later, the country has at least four Christian radio stations and a growing church community.
The radical political change to a democratic republic opened doors for ministry. Directly after the 2008 change, HCJB Global ministry partners obtained radio licenses with the hope of beginning two Christian stations. With six months to install the stations before their licensure expired, the group came to HCJB Global for help.
HCJB Global's Ty Stakes and John Brewer answered the call for help, and within two weeks, volunteers had been trained and the stations were ready for business. The Gospel could begin to go out via radio.
Of course, spreading the Gospel through a country with the taste of Hindu monarchy still lingering in its mouth requires a slightly different approach than that of Christian stations in other countries.
"It's very difficult for people to do real direct, evangelistic type radio outreach," explains HCJB Global regional director Ty Stakes. "What really works better is for people to express their faith in ways that are very relevant to the community–meeting community needs, speaking to people about what their concerns are in their particular situation and context, and using the radio as a way not only to share the Gospel in creative and contextual ways, but also to meet community needs."
The stations–now four in total–meet these needs in several ways. In the past, these have included anything from community development through agriculture to assisting a partner who helps victims exit the sex trade. However the stations are involved, they show the people around them that Christians care for them, dispelling the frequent misperceptions that many have about believers.
More importantly still, radio broadcasts and community work have resulted in many lives won for the Gospel. Stakes says it can be difficult to get feedback for any of HCJB's 50 partner stations in Asia, but when he asked a radio director to collect conversion stories, within a few days he was able to gather a list of 18 different people who had come to Christ in the last couple of months.
Stakes says saving lives like this is really what it's all about. "That's where community-based programming really works: where you're helping people not only to know the truth, but also to live a better life and to show the love of Jesus in very practical ways when you do it."
HCJB Global has managed to help get four stations up and running in Nepal in just two years, but they long to create more. Stakes asks you to pray that they will be able to set up four more stations in 2011. Pray also for their efforts to form more partnerships, including one with FEBA Radio, a ministry that unites broadcast facilities with healthcare institutions in Nepal.
If you want to get involved with this ministry, you can give to HCJB Global projects like the ones in Nepal.