HERALD INTERNATIONAL (Printing In Over Twenty Languages)
Declaring The Word Of The Lord In Nepal
Recently we received in the Herald office copies of the last five issues of the Nepal Christian Herald. Although we cannot read the Nepali language, we can read the titles of the articles because the editor, Nava Raj Panta, includes English subtitles. Some of the articles in these recent issues include "Releasing God’s Power Through Prayer" by Wesley L. Duewel, "Face The Future With Faith In God" by W. C. Moore, "The Lordship Of Christ In The Home" by Norman Street, "Essentials Of Revival Praying" by Mark Bearden, and "How Spiritual Power Is Lost" by R. A. Torrey. How grateful we are that the Lord makes it possible for messages such as these from the English Herald to be translated for believers in Nepal!
We are also grateful that the Lord has enabled our brother in Nepal to print and distribute this issue on a monthly basis for almost twelve years now. Because of the faithfulness of the Lord and the power of His Word, we are confident that readers of the Nepal Herald have been strengthened and encouraged in their faith. As the Lord says, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it" (Isa. 55:10-11). May the Lord continue to build up our brothers and sisters in Christ through His message to them through the Nepal Herald! Please join us in prayer to that end.
Freedom for Ministry
Your prayer support for believers in Nepal is crucial at this time. During recent years there have been significant political changes, and Nepal which had once been the world’s only Hindi kingdom, is now a secular nation (a federal democratic republic). This has opened the way for greater religious freedom and ministry in Nepal. However, even though freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, it is in limited measure. There have been problems drafting a new constitution, and Christians are concerned about efforts toward anti-conversion legislation. As one pastor states, "With conversions still deemed a crime in the suggested constitution, we feel that the draft retains the bias toward Christians" (Compass Direct News). Carl Moeller with Open Doors said that if the legislation passes as written, it would include sharing one’s faith as manipulative and proselytizing. There could be fines and imprisonment, and missionaries and foreigners convicted of such things could be thrown out of the country (Mission Network News).
The Apostle Paul writes, "…I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1-4). Please intercede for those in authority in Nepal, asking the Lord to lead them to establish a political climate and constitution that will be beneficial to the spread of the Gospel and not detrimental to it. Pray that efforts to thwart believers from sharing their faith will not be successful. And thank the Lord for the religious freedom that has developed in the country in recent years and for the open doors that are allowing ministry to take place, including the distribution of Gospel literature, Bible translation and distribution, The JESUS Film, campus ministry and Gospel radio. Pray that doors will remain open.
Pray for the Persecuted
Pray also for special encouragement and strength for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nepal as they face this time of uncertainty, and as some of them experience persecution. They are very much in the minority as about 80 percent of the population is Hindu and about 10 percent is Buddhist (these two religions are very closely related in Nepal). Christians represent only about two percent or less of Nepal’s 30 million people. Persecution toward them can come from the religious majority, but also from within their own families and communities. A report from Compass Direct News mentions several recent attacks against Christians and shares these comments from a pastor of a church in a town near Kathmandu: "Though Nepal was declared secular five years ago, there is growing persecution of Christians today."
Please also remember in prayer some of the special needs of the people of Nepal. Operation World reports that about one-third of the people live below the poverty line, on less than $1US/day. There are also an estimated 2.6 million children who are working as child laborers, the majority of which are forced to work 10-hour days or longer. The sex trade is also terrible, involving hundreds of thousands of girls. Pray for powers of darkness to be broken and for the Gospel to take hold in that country to help turn the tide of such exploitation. Ask the Lord for special protection for children.
The Mountains Declare God’s Glory
As you pray for Nepal, you may keep in mind the landscape of the country. Located in the Himalayas, Nepal has eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, including the tallest one, Mt. Everest. We know that the Lord is the One who has established the mountains by His strength (Psa. 65:6). We also know that the mountains declare His glory and should inspire people to worship the Creator: "For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. ...Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psa. 95:3-6). Let us pray that the Lord will turn the people of Nepal away from the worship of false gods and toward the worship of the true and living God. Let us pray for strongholds of false religion to be broken and for the light of the Gospel to shine throughout that nation, bringing many to salvation through Christ. And let us pray that the church will stand firm on the rock of Christ and be strengthened in evangelism, discipleship and ministry.
And, as we think of various aspects of Gospel work going on in Nepal, such as the work of the Nepal Herald, let us rejoice with the words of Isaiah: "How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’" (Isa. 52:7).