Nepal (MNN) — The nation of Nepal is overwhelmingly Hindu, accounting for 80 percent of the population. Buddhists and Muslims make up another 13 percent. Only 1.4 percent of Nepali people know Christ as their Savior.
It can seem like an overwhelmingly large national population to reach. But David Shibley with Global Advance says they have a plan for ministry in Nepal, and just trained 256 new church planters.
“Our key man there has identified 4,000 villages and towns that are in need of Gospel witness, and from this there has been a very clear vision that has emerged. We have been praying and asking the Lord for the training of 150 church planters by 2020. That was accomplished above and beyond last week.”
Shibley continues, “Also, we have wanted, out of that group, to recruit seven coaches for the seven states within Nepal. That too was accomplished. Also, seven prayer coordinators for each of the seven states, that also was accomplished.”
Now, as Global Advance partners move forward with outreach in Nepal, they have some tangible goals in making disciples for Christ.
“We are believing the Lord that within the next three years, what they are calling the 2020 vision, that there will be the planting of at least 75 new churches all over Nepal in each of the seven districts. So we are excited that that took a major step forward even in this month of September, and now we are going to begin to roll out that plan of the actual implementing and planting of these churches.”
It’s a ministry model not limited to Nepal, says Shibley. “Nepali believers who are trained and plant churches within their own nation, they then can model this in other nations.”
Since Nepal is nestled between India and China, and is a hotspot for tourists, it’s a strategic country to reach with the Gospel message.
“There are still certainly some restrictions that the church is facing over these last several years, [but] there has been unique opportunity for the growth of the Gospel, and we’re still in that time period for Gospel advance that can move very rapidly in Nepal. So we’re striking, in a sense, while the iron is hot.”
In addition to church planting, Global Advance also trained over two hundred Nepali women, under the Esther Initiative, to become prayer warriors and spiritual leaders in their communities.
“We’re very grateful for a wonderful team of women who went as trainers from the United States and shared with these precious Nepali sisters in Christ,” Shibley says.
“This is one of seven training events that are happening this September….. It can essentially be said that every week, there might be two or three exceptions in a year, but every week somewhere in the world there is some kind of training of believers going on to advance the Gospel for the fulfilling of the Great Commission through the hospices of Global Advance.”
The reception, according to Shibley, went “very, very well. I continue to hear reports, our team has just gotten back within the last few days, but this seems to be something of a catalytic meeting with these ladies…. This could have great ramifications to really raise up a true Esther force of women in the nation of Nepal who could be a tremendous strength and force of the advance of the Gospel throughout that nation.”
As these church planters and women leaders go out, ask the Holy Spirit to guide their ministry and draw the people of Nepal to Christ.