Panos Photos :Ami vitale
NEPAL: A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY The Amazing Account of â€œThe Church of the Printed Page!â€?
Recently, word reached our EHC office in Kathmandu that a large group of believers had been worshiping regularly in this rugged Himalayan region where an eight-man team of pioneer missionaries trekked in with the Gospel 16 years ago, searching out unreached villages. Many of those villages will never appear even on the best of government maps. Their first visit to Dummana years ago actually lasted less than half a day because the first village they visited appeared deserted. But it was
soon obvious to the team that the village was inhabited because of small embers still burning in fire pits and a few chickens running about. They knew from experience that the villagers, with their children, were somewhere in the nearby mountains tending their flocks or farming,
and that it would not be uncommon for them to be away for several days. Realizing they had other villages to reach, as well as facing a twoday trek back down the mountain, the pioneer missionaries went to all the homes anyway, leaving a gospel message at each home, trusting that there would be at least a few who were literate in the village. Little could they have known their visit would result in the planting of a thriving church—one we are happy to name “The Church of the Printed Page”—that with almost no direct contact with the outside world during the ensuing years would grow to several hundred believers and even plant other fellowships high in the Himalayas. And all of this would be the result of the printed page, including an
initial booklet left at a doorstep and then a follow-up Bible correspondence course that would later be sent from our Nepal EHC office via a postal station at a distant village in the Himalayas.
The oldest member of the team, Fred Creighton, who is in his 70s David Lepcha, EHC’s to confirm firsthand if current National these reports were accurate. That visit took Director for Nepal; and Fred Creighton, EHC’s place in June of last International Pastoral year. Consultant from New The team included Zealand. What resulted Jacob George, EHC’s from their journey is a Regional Director for wonderful account of the South Asia Rim the grace of God region; Solon Karthak, manifested through a EHC’s Eastern Himalaya simple gospel message Director and former in the language of National Director of these previously Nepal for 25 years; unreached people.
It all began in 1993 when the eight pioneer missionaries brought simple gospel messages to the deserted village. Sixteen years later rumors reached EHC’s Kathmandu office of the profound miracle that had happened over those years. It was also learned that prior to 1993 no one had ever visited this area with the Gospel. Hearing these rumors, EHC Director David Lepcha decided to lead a small team of EHC leaders to eastern Nepal where they would trek up (left to right) David Lepcha, Fred Creighton, Jacob the mountains George, and Solon Karthak
According to Fred Creighton’s description of the trip, it was a long and arduous climb, with “perspiration flowing freely.” But in the end it was worth it. The group would be amazed at what they would discover as they penetrated the junglecovered foothills, climbing higher and deeper, and passing village after village of these “hidden people.” Dressed for the occasion in their rugged “trekking clothes,” the four arrived in eastern Nepal during the monsoon season after a journey of many hours from the capital of Kathmandu. The pouring rain did nothing to dispel the stifling heat. As they drove their Jeep toward the end of the road where they would begin their mountain trek, they became increasingly concerned at the ferocity of the rainfall, believing that the numerous rivers they would encounter might be swollen to flood stage. They knew this could prevent their vehicle from making it
through to the end of the road at the foot of the mountain where they were to begin their climb. Of even greater concern was the fact that flash floods could happen in an instant during the monsoon season, and their Jeep could easily be swept away with them in it. In fact, at the outset of their journey they faced a detour, which ultimately took them an additional two-anda-half hours along a road that barely qualified as a road in order to get around a flooded river. But it was along this road that they came across an elderly woman whom one of their team recognized as being from the Dummana area, the place to which they were traveling. The woman had come all the way down the mountains to get treatment for her ailing back and now was heading home on foot. The team was impressed greatly by the old woman’s stamina. When they asked the woman her age, she didn’t even know! They, of course, made room for her and her companion, along with their luggage, and continued on their journey.
The Trek Begins
Having reached the end of the road, the team set off on foot.
The first day would require a strenuous eighthour hike before they reached the village where they would spend the night.
Along the way they passed through several small villages scattered about in the rugged terrain.
It was a tough journey, especially for Fred who is in his seventies. He later told our staff, â€œI was tired and dehydrated. We were forcing ourselves up jungle hillsides, where we were warned repeatedly by villagers not to stop or lie down because wild animals might attack us! So we just had to keep going.â€?
In total, they crossed five swing bridges spanning deep gorges and raging rivers, cautious with each step when putting their weight on the sometimes-rotted wood. Being the monsoon season made the experience of these crossings even more harrowing.
The team noticed how many porters were on the road carrying unbelievable loads on their heads and backs. Thatâ€™s how the old woman and her companion took their luggage up the mountain. Surprisingly, even many young children braved the dangerous slopes.
After trekking still higher and farther for eight hours on that first day, they reached the edge of the Dummana region, which covers a vast area requiring many hours to cross. Their actual destination was still five hours away, and it would have been far too exhausting to finish the climb in a single day.
That night they enjoyed cold baths and stayed in bamboo huts with thatched roofs. Before they knew it, they were awakened at 5 a.m. by their porter, who demanded they leave with no food, coffee or even a bathroom break! He told them this was necessary to get to the village on time for their visit.
Fred explains that as they trekked even higher into the Himalayas they would break out in spontaneous songs of praise with shouts of joy as they reached each new summit, only to realize there was a further summit on the horizon yet to be climbed. During this portion of their journey they stopped at a “tea shop” (something quite common in the region) for drinks and nourishment. Fred found himself—as he described it—the object of great attention as little children with their “inquiring expressions gazed at this strange white creature.” After the break it was time for their final ascent. Upon entering the Dummana Village,
named for the same region, the trekkers were welcomed by EHC’s very first convert 16 years ago, Brother Brinda Magar (Brinda meaning “man of peace”), who invited them to his home. Thus began a four-day stay that included much discussion and piecing together the story of how this village came to know Christ as the result of a single EHC booklet. During this time of reflection, Fred and his colleagues came to a clearer understanding of the challenges EHC workers face in taking the Gospel to such remote regions. First, the difficult terrain means they
Former Hindu priest, Brinda Magar of the team confessed, must limit the number the trek reminded of items they would them again and again carry to only gospel of the profound literature, not even dedication of EHC taking some muchneeded personal items, workers who do this as a lifestyle, just to be such as food supplies. sure everyone receives They can’t afford the the message of luxury of hiring porters salvation. for the task. Workers Fred and his colleagues also need to trust learned that after the villagers to offer them eight workers departed food. Even if they do the village in 1993, carry small amounts of having placed gospel money to purchase booklets in each home, food, they often must Brinda, a Hindu priest, fast, as there are no returned home and shops to obtain what is found one of the needed. messages on his Second, weather conditions can wreak havoc on those traveling in such regions, crossing dangerous terrain that often can be life threatening.
Third, there is no guarantee that once workers arrive in a certain area they will be welcomed by villagers or viewed as a threat. And finally, sleep is fleeting and very difficult as one climbs these heights. As Fred and the rest
doorstep. It was simply titled, “You Must Meet Him.” Interestingly, this was the same message that was first printed at the start of EHC’s work in Nepal back in 1983. That first printing consisted of just 10,000 copies. Brinda was moved by the gospel message, saying that it was unlike anything he had ever read. He sent for EHC’s Bible correspondence course, which required some effort because the nearest
Post office box where Brinda received his Bible correspondence courses post office was a three- turned the persecution hour trek, and postal around when the water service was very sparse supply to the village in that area! was cut off and the only person capable of The lessons finally arrived, and Brinda was fixing the problem was Brinda. The outcast gloriously converted as soon became the hero he studied them. His by supplying the conversion was obvious to the locals as much-needed water to the entire area! the Word of God took root in his life. With God’s help, Brinda found deliverance from Hindu practices as well as a severe drinking problem. All of this resulted just from studying the four-part Bible course. His wife and daughter also came to Christ and were delivered from years of demonic affliction. But Brinda’s conversion did not spare him and his family severe persecution and opposition from villagers. They were told to leave to the outskirts of the village. The Lord, however,
Soon Brinda’s influence as a good Chris-tian businessman grew. He established a flour mill, a telephone system, and opened a small shop. As his faith grew, so did his witness
Brinda works in his flour mill. A growing number of In our village they are villagers had come to called Christians.” Until faith in Jesus and that time these new wanted to know more believers had never heard or used that about their new faith. expression. They were even gathering in meetings One day Brinda and a and engaging in their fellow believer decided own form of worship, to make the two-day including singing and trek down the praying together. mountain to seek out more information One day a porter from about how they could another village further better follow Jesus. down the mountain God led them to a man passed by and in a town called Dharan quipped, “Are you who was a Christian people Christians?” and had, amazingly, “What is a Chris-tian?” served on the board of they asked. directors for EHC Nepal The porter answer-ed, some years earlier! “People like you who Most likely they had sing, pray, read the learned of this man Bible and call on the through their correspondence name of Yesu (Jesus).
one who came to Christ as the result of his brother’s conversion 16 years ago. As Roshan grew in the Lord he decided to go to a well-known Bible college to prepare for leadership and learn how to train others for ministry. Roshan now believes God is leading him to return to Dummana to establish a Discipleship Training Center there, instead of staying in a more comfortable location in Nepal. The five Dummana church leaders from left to right: Vir Behadur, Rudra Magar, Naroal Bahadur, Brinda Magar, and Tek Bahadur. with the Nepal EHC office. God led them to this specific person who soon trekked to the village to help them establish a thriving church. When the group arrived in 2009, they were surprised to find a church building large enough to accommodate 200 worshipers at one time. They quickly learned that another church had been planted in a neighboring village, as well as seven Christ Groups in nearby areas, all as the result of Brinda’s conversion from a single gospel message. More than 300 believers regularly worship in these churches and Christ Groups. Even during this trip, a young
elder of the church was leaving to plant a new fellowship in yet another village—this one seven hours away! Still, the surprises continued. Brinda’s
brother, Roshan, arrived home from Dehradun Bible College where he is midway through completing a degree in theology. Roshan was
What Roshan didn’t realize, but now knows, is that EHC already had plans to establish just such a center for the region, using EHC’s Train & Multiply course as the major part of the curriculum. A Mobile Training Center
Roshan Magar (right) talks with Fred and Jacob.
Six new pastors receive prayer and their ordination papers from Brother Solon (back to camera).
being considered by using a motorcycle in areas where it is feasible and using mules where the terrain is more difficult. God clearly is showing His intention to expand and multiply His Church in eastern Nepal by training many new leaders from this very village and the surrounding area. And the expansion has already begun. Last summer, during the EHC leadership team’s visit to Dummana, Solon Karthak, founder of the EHC work in Nepal, had the joy of ordaining six new pastors, five elders and 13 deacons, totaling 24 persons—all of this happening in what we
call “The Church of the Printed Page” in Dummana, eastern Nepal. When the team was ready to head back down the mountain they had a final surprise. They met a 90-year-old hunchbacked man who was smiling broadly, his wrinkled face beaming. Like Brinda, he had been a Hindu priest for many years. Our team learned that just five months earlier he had been led to Christ by one of the believers of the village. Amazingly, all of this can be traced back to 1993 when a simple gospel booklet was left on the doorstep of
a Hindu priest, high in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal. As an added note, that booklet, which included the same content as the original message used to launch the work in Nepal in 1983, is but one of 14,275,285 gospel seeds planted throughout Nepal since our first coverage began. One can only imagine what may be happening with all those other seeds! At last count, 348,146 people have responded to the Gospel in Nepal, just as Brinda did in 1993. Today, through a program called Project Macedonia, hundreds of Christian leaders will be trained to be church planters, not only in eastern Nepal, but throughout all of the 75 districts of this Himalayan nation!
The team begins the trek back down the mountains.
Nepal is just one of 97 nations where EHC’s courageous pioneer missionaries are trekking into nearly
Brinda Magar still has THE gospel booklet left in 1993 that began this amazing testimony of God's Spirit moving in the region of Dummana EHC workers go to. inacessible regions of the world to offer eternal life to people who may have never heard the Gospel. God can use the message in a single gospel booklet to change the life of a Hindu priest or transform entire villages as the Holy Spirit leads the lost to salvation. Pray that God’s blessing will be upon every gospel booklet that is being distributed in Nepal and around the world.
The Brick A young successful executive was travelling down a neighbourhood street, going a bit too fast in his new jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.
and I can’t lift him up.”
As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the disabled boy back into his wheelchair, then took out his fancy handkerchief and dabbed the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.
The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting. “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you just threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?” The young boy was apologetic. “Please mister...please, I’m sorry I didn’t know what else to do,” he pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop...” With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “it’s my brother,” he said. He rolled of the curb and fell out of his wheelchair
Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”
“Thank you,” the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the jaguar. The damage was very noticeable but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him, “Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.”
Every Home for Christ
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Bible Readings: This month the daily text will be taken from John & Acts For those wanting to do the one-year Bible reading programme these chapters are in brackets.
NEPAL - Pop 26,800,000 Map 131. Pray for the 348,146 people who have come to Christ in Nepal. Often their families “shun” and hurt them because they leave their Hindu religion. Pray God will keep them safe and happily believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. John 10 (Leviticus 8-10) THE POOR - A resident in a slum in Brazil said “sometimes I think” if I die, I won’t have to see my children suffering as they are. Sometimes I even think of killing myself. So often I see them crying, hungry; and there I am, without a cent to buy them some bread. I think, “I can’t face it! I will end my life. I don’t want to look anymore!” Pray and help the poor. See the enclosed gift slip. John 11 (Leviticus 11-14) MOZAMBIQUE - Pop 22,700,000 Map 8. Pray for the 109 pastors and church leaders trained through EHC’s Mobile Training Centre school at Mukombetwe. Pray that God would use them as effective tools for preaching the Gospel in an area that is thirsty to know God. John 12 (Leviticus 15-16) CHILE - Pop16,900,000 Map218. Praise the Lord for the harvest time EHC workers are experiencing! Pray for a moving of God’s Spirit among the Christian youth of Chile that they will desire to be knowledgeable in the Word and have strong convictions so they might reach other young people with the Gospel. John 13 (Leviticus 17-22) BURKINA FASO - Pop15,700,000 Map39. Pray for more workers for the spiritual harvest. Pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up dedicated people to work as volunteers to share the gospel messages to reach every home for Christ in Burkina Faso. To date, more than 800,000 homes have been reached. John 14 (Leviticus 23-27) TOUR ISRAEL - This will be the tour of a life time to see the place where Jesus lived when He was on earth. Pray those God wants on this tour will come. John 15 (Numbers 1-4) MALI - Pop13,000,000 Map 48. Pray for the spiritual strengthening of new converts, once Muslim, in Dar Salam. Pray for the family members of these new converts that God will minister to them and draw them to Himself and that they would come to know Jesus as the Son of God. John 16 (Numbers 5-7) THAILAND - Pop 66,300,000 Map 135. During this past year 350 prison inmates studied EHC’s Bible correspondence course and have been baptised. Pray for those who have made professions of faith-that they will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. John 17 (Numbers 8-10)
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PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM PSALM 122:6 AND THE WORLD.
ARMENIA - Pop 3,100,000 Map 103. Thank God for families who are hungry for spiritual fullness and invite EHC workers into their homes providing wonderful fellowship. Pray for villages in Lori Province where there are no evangelical churches even though there are several people who have responded to the Gospel.. John 18 (Numbers 11-15) CREATIVE ACCESS #9 - Praise the Lord for the opportunity to give children’s gospel booklets to the officials in one of the military camps. It was discovered that the officials went on to share the booklets left behind. Pray that many would come to know the Lord from this unique outreach. John 19 (Numbers 16-19) ZAMBIA - Pop 12,500,000 Map 14. Pray for the successful launching of the Gwembe Valley Mission project in 2010. Pioneer missionaries are bing trained for the village-to-village campaign seeking to cover 200 villages with an anticipated 4,500 responses and the planting of 30 new Christ Groups. John 20 (Numbers 20-24) ARGENTINA- Pop 39,200,00 Map. Pray for the advance of EHC campaigns taking place in the city of Salta where 126,500 homes will receive face-to-face evangelism encounters. Pray for follow-up efforts to 5,500 hospital patients and 30,000 students and young people. John 19 (Numbers 25-27) CZECH REPUBLIC - Pop 10,300,000 Map 80. EHC is directing efforts to share the Gospel in rural regions. Workers will be going home to home in 15 villages around Bohemia, 13 villages in Pacov, and 13 villages near Amest sharing the Good News. Pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on these efforts.John 20 (Numbers 28-31) MYANMAR - Pop 49,600,000 Map134. Praise the Lord for the 46,900 homes in 92 villages reached in a recent month. Pray that many would come to know the Lord through these gospel seeds that have been planted. To date, more than 7.4 million homes have been reached in Myanmar. John 21 (Numbers 32-36)
NIGER Pop 15,300,300 Map 35. Pray for the Christ Group in Nouveau Carre. The members are having trouble finding a place to hold their services. Ask God to enable EHC pioneer missionary Mamadou as he ministers to this group. To date, 76 Christ Groups have been planted in Niger..Acts 1 (Deuteronomy 1-4)
SERBIA - Pop 7,600,00 Map 70. Pray for more evangelical churches to partner with EHC in Serbia. Pray for God’s encouragement, strength and love, as well as a new vision of how to take the Gospel to the remote parts of this nation where no evangelical churches exist. Acts 2 (Deuteronomy 5-8) CAMBODIA- Pop 14,800,000 Map 136. Pray for an answer to the Cambodia-Thailand political conflict. No one knows how God plans to work in this matter, but please pray for both nations—that they can find a resolution to their differences using peaceful means. Pray for God’s protection over His Church in Cambodia.. Acts 3 (Deuteronomy 9-11) RWANDA - Pop 10,000,000 Map17. Pray for a team of 30 workers who are ministering alongside Pastor Amos whose goal is to win at least 150 souls for the Lord in an outreach in Gihorwe. To date, 171,873 people have responded to the Gospel in Rwanda through EHC’s efforts. Acts 4 (Deuteronomy 12-18) BELGIUM- Pop 10,500,000 Map 85. For the second month in a row, EHC workers have shared more than 90,000 pieces of gospel literature. Pray that those who have received the materials would open their hearts and minds to the words of the message and that the Holy Spirit would draw them to Christ. Acts 5 (Deuteronomy19-26) UGANDA - Pop 31,800,000 Map 26. Pray for the EHC Uganda family of believers. As it grows, pray that new converts will mature in their walk with the Lord and that their relationship with Him will result in a greater impact as they testify of their salvation to family and friends who do not know the Lord. Acts 6 (Deuteronomy 27-30) PHILIPPINES- Pop 89,800,000 Map 167. Pray for the national elections that will take place in May 2010. Also, pray for the EHC Philippines team that conducts feeding programs for children in Muslim communities. Pray that many hearts and lives would be open to the Gospel as a result of this outreach. Acts 7 (Deuteronomy 31-34) HUNGARY- Pop 9,900,000 Map 77. The ministry of EHC continues to encourage believers to become involved in sharing the Gospel with their friends and families. There are 4,000 families in the town of Szolnok who recently had the opportunity of hearing the Good News. Pray that many would accept the Lord. Acts 8 (Psalm 91) SENEGAL- Pop 12,400,000 Map 46. Pray that God’s provision would be poured out on EHC workers in Senegal. May God give them a renewed vision for reaching the Muslims in this nation. Pray that God would grant them courage and boldness as they go home to home sharing the message of the Gospel. Acts 9 (Joshua 1-5)
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ROMANIA- Pop 21,000,000 Map 76. Praise the Lord for the open doors in neighbouring Moldova where EHC workers have spent time reviewing future plans and ways in which an EHC ministry can be launched. Pray that many hearts would be receptive to hear the Word of God in Moldova and Romania. Acts 10 (Joshua 6-8) LIBERIA- Pop 3,900,000 Map 41. Pray for the provision of The Heart of Man charts to equip churches and ministries who are receiving evangelism instruction through the Mobile Training Center initiative. Praise God for the many professions of faith and rededication of lives this past month in Liberia. Acts 11 (Joshua 9-12)
MONGOLIA- Pop 2,700,000 Map 173. An estimated 1,200 people attended an evangelistic meeting and 500 made decisions for Christ. Praise the Lord! Pray that EHC’s outreach efforts will not be curtailed by authorities who have been raiding churches and terminating their licenses. Acts 12 (Joshua 13-17) ANGOLA- Pop 18,500,000 Map 13. There are many open doors for EHC to minister in Angola. Pray for Ricardo Teodoro, a member of parliament. He has invited EHC National Director Pieter de Villiers to give a presentation to leaders in major cities. Pray for great favour and wisdom in this special outreach. Acts 13 (Joshua 18-21)
CAMEROON- Pop 19500,000 Map 24. Thank the Lord for the 3,465 new professions of faith and the 269 Christ Groups formed in a recent month. Pray for the people of Lèkié Sud who need to be delivered from the spirit of darkness and demon worship to worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God. . Acts 14 (Joshua 22-24)
KENYA- Pop 39,300,000 Map 27. Pray for the many decisions for Christ as a result of the soccer ball project. Pray that these new believers will grow in their faith. Kenya has been challenged by cholera outbreaks that have affected many lives. Pray that this scourge may be completely destroyed. Acts 15 (Judges 1-3)
TANZANIA- Pop 42,900 Map 16.Pray for the success of outreaches in Ndanda. Ask that the Holy Spirit would work mightily so that all opposing forces of darkness will be rendered ineffective. Ask for God’s blessing and continued protection over EHC workers as they minister the Gospel. . Acts 16 (Judges 4-5)