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What do the dust-choked, chaotic streets of Kathmandu and the beautiful clean-aired mountains of the Himalayas have in common? Both are largely populated by people locked in the grip of Hinduism or Tibetan Buddhism. Nepal is full of very religious people but to see the darkness and hopelessness in their faces as they carry out their religious duties is a sad experience.
Is the situation hopeless? By no means! The church of God in Nepal is alive and thriving. It is still only a very small percentage of the population but the country and its people are open to the Gospel like never before.
During December 2009, a team of 12 Aussies (actually 10 Aussies, a lady from France and a lady from the Philippines now resident in Aus!) under the banner of GRN Australia, teamed up with the GRN Nepal staff for a 3 week mission in Nepal. After some orientation in Kathmandu we headed out to Jiri from where many Everest treks start. We hiked for six days stopping in many villages to encourage local believers and share the Good News of Jesus with the people.
We broke into 3 or 4 smaller teams to visit homes, each team with a Nepali leader/translator. We were amazed and encouraged by people's willingness to give us time. Many would sit and listen and talk with us for more than half an hour. Usually we would start by playing them an audio gospel message in their own language. Frequently this would start a discussion.
The GRN Nepal team had loaded Saber hand wind mp3 players with more than 20 programs in about 6 languages spoken in the area. These enabled the teams to share the Gospel in the heart language of the people. The Good News picture sets accompanied by the audio recording were a great help. Many times people commented how the presentation helped them to really understand the Christian message.
We also met with several groups of believers along the way. Sometimes we were able to leave cassettes, Good News picture sets and Sabers with them to use in reaching out in their own area.
In one place believers were feeling the pressure of local high caste Brahmans! We tried to encourage them from God's word. We saw God at work in many ways including one lady delivered from spiritual oppression.
After the 6 day trek we relocated to Dhulikhel, a beautiful holiday resort town in Nepal. From there we continued visiting villages and homes in the area. Again the openness and responsiveness of the local people was a great encouragement. Several people indicated they would talk further with local Christians to find out more about this 'new' teaching.
The greatest impact of the mission however was probably in the lives of the expatriate team. We came away inspired. The dynamic faith and commitment to prayer and evangelism of the local believers was certainly challenging. The stories of how God has worked in the lives and ministries of the GRN staff encouraged us greatly. The full impact will only become evident in the future.
What One Participant Said...
"The Trekabout trip was an awesome experience for me. It has exposed me to many of the issues within the world first hand. The time spent in fellowship with other Christians on the trip has challenged my way of thinking about church, as we compared the various practices of the local Nepalese churches compared with our own churches. Various parts of my personality were also tested, such as patience and acceptance, when things didn't go to plan. The trip was a wonderful experience and more Christians need to go on similar trips." -- David
Read how you can get involved with the next Trekabout.
Contact the Sydney office to register your interest.