Monday, November 16, 2015

Driven From Her Homeland By ISIS, Her Eyes Tell The Story

Dear Church,

The shy but haunted eyes of our little friend in Iraq, "Amira" (right), tell quite a story.

She is one of masses of Christians that were driven out of their homes in Iraq's Christian heartland by ISIS. 

She recently received a winter coat and boots from ICC's donors. 

She was incredibly thankful but you can't read that on her face because of what she and her family have been through this past year. 

We were able to help her because you and a few precious others in the Christian community in the West care about their persecuted brother and sister and live out the Lord's commands. 

Deut. 15:10. You shall give generously to [your poor brother], and the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. 

Luke 3:11. John the Baptist: "Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise." 

Is. 58:6. Is this not the fast which I choose. . .   to divide your bread with the hungry; to cover (the naked) and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 

Prov. 19:17. He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and (The Lord) will repay him for his good deed. 
Have You Noticed?
You may have noticed that we rarely ask you for funds. As you know, that's highly unusual in the nonprofit world but we don't have any professional fundraising staff and we stay focused on ministry.   

Part of the reason I rarely ask for help is that I want people to know that when we do ask, we really need their help. 

Now is that time!

Did you know that 40% to 50% of our funds to serve the persecuted in 2016 will come in during this November and December? What we receive in the next two months will largely determine what we can do for the persecuted in 2016! 

Therefore, would you please give a generous gift to the persecuted here at year end? 

The persecuted are worthy of your time, treasure, and talent, and I plead with you on their behalf: Come and be gracious to them!

Please remember that whatever you give on their behalf will be used ethically, efficiently, and effectively. 

I Promise!

Jeff King
International Christian Concern 

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Help the Hurting in Your Church with Celebrate Recovery

Help the Hurting in Your Church with Celebrate Recovery

By John Baker
crEveryone is feeling the effects of the declining and uncertain economy. This includes our church budgets! I know as a church leader, one of the first things we consider in order to save money is cutting back on attending conferences. Let me give you some reasons why during these difficult times you need to consider attending the Celebrate Recovery One-Day Seminar:
  1. When the economy is struggling people in your church and community are hurting. They are facing the possibility of losing their jobs, their homes, or struggling just to pay their monthly bills. They can feel hopeless and defeated.
  2. History has proven that during times like these the number of people turning to addictions and compulsions greatly increases. When people are hurting, they turn to anything to numb the pain. They start abusing alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, and one another.
  3. In the United States, there are already 18 million alcoholics, 4 million drug addicts, 16 million sex addicts, and 4 million addicted to food. The list goes on and on. These numbers are only going to increase during the months to come!
We know the only true and lasting answer for those feeling hopeless and defeated is to turn to Jesus Christ! But how does your church reach out to those in your congregation and community that are struggling.
Over 19,000 churches have found a way to help individuals with any kind of hurt, hang-up, or habit. They started a Celebrate Recovery – a Christ-centered Recovery program based on God’s Word.
I am praying that you, or a team from your church, will consider attending a Celebrate Recovery One-Day Seminar. You will learn everything you need to know about starting a Celebrate Recovery in your church. For more information go to
If you already have a Celebrate Recovery Program currently running in your church, we will also have an Advanced Leadership Training track. It will help your leadership team be more effective in helping the individuals that God sends to your church to find victory over their hurts, hang ups, and habits.

John Baker

John Baker serves at Saddleback Church as the Pastor of Celebrate Recovery.

Pastors, Learn to Forgive People

Pastors, Learn to Forgive People

By Ronnie Floyd

It was the late 1980s. Our church was buzzing and growing. God was moving powerfully. We had just moved into a new Worship Center and all of a sudden, transition was inevitable. While our numbers gained greatly, we also saw a few individuals and families depart. As any pastor would be, I was troubled.

This Was an Important Moment for Me

God had raised up a man to walk with me through those days of transition. His name was Ron Lewis. He joined me on the journey to help the church as we advanced toward reaching our region with the Gospel, and he listened to me share about a few individuals and families who had departed our church. As a pastor, you know what it is like: we do not want to lose anyone and while God is bestowing our church with countless blessings, Satan sidetracks us with one little issue.
I will never forget what Ron Lewis told me that day.

Ronnie, Never Let Anyone Outside of Your Circle of Love

Sitting in a Bonanza restaurant, we were working through how we could sustain momentum in our church. Ron looked at me and said, “Ronnie, never let anyone outside of your circle of love.” I will never forget those words.
Ron expounded on his remarks. He shared that if my heart was big enough to forgive continually and love unconditionally, the very same people who may leave today may come back around in the future. Even today I hear those words resounding continually: “Ronnie, never let anyone outside of your circle of love.”

How Our God Has Used Those Words in My Life and Ministry

I took Ron’s counsel to heart immediately. Additionally, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the words of the great scholar and teacher of evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Oscar Thompson. He taught us continually, “The moment you experienced the love of Jesus Christ at salvation, you chose to forfeit the right to whom you would love.” Boom! At that moment, God did a major work in my life personally and as a pastor.
Starting that day, I have never let anyone outside of my circle of love! I do not have the right to love this person and not love that person. Jesus sets the bar: Love all people! Yes, unconditional love for all people. Even for a pastor and his family, there are times we are pressed on this issue. However, love and forgiveness always win!

Pastor, Learn to Forgive People

Pastor, let me share three simple actions you can take to never let anyone outside your circle of love. Every pastor needs to be a forgiver!

1. Take People to the Lord in Prayer

Pastor, there will be people in your church who will hurt you and even offend you deeply. Others will lie about you or cause problems in the fellowship. Still others will leave the church, even after you have won them to Christ, loved them, discipled them, and cared for them through some of their deepest pain. How should you respond?
Take them to Jesus in prayer one by one. Call their name out to the Lord in prayer. I am convinced that if I pray for people who have hurt me or tried to hurt the church, I will never let them outside of my circle of love. Sometimes we want to talk to everyone else about what they have done. Insure that you talk to God about them. He is the only one who can keep your heart soft and sensitive to Him and others.

2. Forgive Continually

Forgiveness is a way of life for a Christian, especially for a Christian leader. Please do not take it lightly. Do not try to turn the rattlesnake of unforgiveness into your pet or friend. If you do, it will strike you with a poison that will eventually destroy you and eventually your ministry. A pastor and his wife cannot let Satan win this battle! He will destroy you, your marriage, your kids, and perhaps even your leadership in the church. Unforgiveness and bitterness never has a place in the life of a pastor and his wife. Forgive continually.

3. Let it Go

Regardless of what has been said, written, or presumed about you, let it go. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Forgive continually. Then, let it go! You cannot go forward holding on to a past hurt. You cannot go forward resenting people, situations, or the church itself. Let it go!

Never Let Anyone Outside of Your Circle of Love

When you do not let anyone outside of your circle of love, eventually many will come back to you. I’ve lived long enough and pastored the same church long enough to see this occur. If I had not prayed, been forgiving, and let my personal pain go, my heart would have never been open to someone’s return or been able to invite them to return to us as a church family.
My challenge to you is very simple: Pastor, never let anyone outside of your circle of love! Remember, the moment you received the love of Christ into your life, you forfeited your right to choose whom you would love.
Ronnie Floyd

Ronnie Floyd

Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 37 years. Since 1986, Pastor Floyd has served as the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, which has baptized over 17,000 people during his tenure. Cross Church was one of the first churches in America to go multi-site. In June 2014, Pastor Floyd was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has authored over 20 books including FORWARD: 7 Distinguishing Marks For Future Leaders, releasing in 2015.

Syrian Refugees Drown Trying to Reach Europe

Syrian Refugees Drown Trying to Reach Europe

November 12, 2015
After surviving a trip by sea from Turkey, a Syrian refugee boy enjoys food distributed in Greece.
Syrian and other refugees trying to reach Greece by sea are still pushing off from shore in record numbers, including more than 300 whose boat recently capsized in harsh seas off the island of Lesbos. At least 43 people lost their lives.
Desperate refugees have defied expectations that their numbers would dwindle as the changing seasons bring more tumultuous waters. An indigenous ministry in Greece serving Syrian arrivals from Turkey is helping to keep up with the needs of immigrants fleeing war and the Islamic State (ISIS). A ministry team recently went to the Greek island of Lesbos to help refugees who survived the treacherous trip from Turkish shores.
Arriving by boat from Athens, the team headed to northern Lesbos, where most refugees arrive, the ministry co-director said. It was 11 p.m. when they began the 90-minute drive to the shores of Skykamia. As they walked toward the beach, she said, they saw many freshly arrived refugees walking in the dark, as well as piles of discarded life jackets.
At a plateau leading to the beach, they saw some movement shining in the moonlight, said the co-director, whose name is withheld for security reasons.
"We thought it was trash," she said. "Getting closer, we realized it was not trash but 53 people, 10 of them children, who had just arrived from Turkey. Someone gave them thermal blankets. They were scared to death, as it was nearly 1 in the morning, and they were in a deserted area, not knowing where to go or what to do."
Drunk, angry villagers were shouting at them, while others were trying to persuade them to pay 25 Euros per person to take them to the port.
"A father was staying awake, trying to protect his wife and a few-months-old daughter," she said. "We calmed them down. We called the police, and they said they would come to pick them up the next morning. My husband [a ministry co-director] made sure the locals would go away and not return back."
Kinder locals were cooking food for the newly arrived, and the team spent the next day helping to bring refugees to a distribution site and serving the hungry.
"Certainly, the kids wanted to wait not even one minute," the co-director said.
The next day the team brought food to the port where hundreds of refugees had only the shadow of the ferries to protect them from the sun as they awaited registration. Just as the ministry provides aid and orientation at its base in Athens, team members came alongside the refugees as thousands boarded a ferry for the Greek capital and, upon arrival, walked to the subway to make their way to the city center. Listening to refugees' tragic stories, team members also found many just wanted to know where to catch a bus for Germany.
Though in exile and need, the survivors counted themselves fortunate. After the boat with more than 300 aboard sank on Oct. 28, authorities recovered the bodies of 20 children, 17 men and six women who drowned. It was the highest number of fatalities from a refugee boat in Greek waters since fighting began in Syria in 2011. Four days later (Nov. 1), six infants and five other refugees drowned after their boat sank off the island of Samos. The next day, four refugees died and another six went missing when their boat capsized off the island of Farmakonisi.
That weekend (Oct. 31-Nov. 1), Greece's coast guard reported rescuing more than 1,400 people in the Aegean Sea. The number of migrants and refugees entering Europe by sea in October was 218,394, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – just shy of the total figure for all of last year, 219,000.
In Turkey, the country from which most refugees are setting out to sea, indigenous ministries are among organizations helping to keep the 2 million Syrian refugees there from risking the trip across Aegean waters. A ministry Christian Aid Mission assists in refugee camps near the south-central city of Adana recently provided 125 boxes of food and other relief items to 125 families.
"The aid you supplied provided very well for each family," the director of one indigenous ministry said. "Thank you so much for your help for these desperate people in the name of the Lord Jesus. When they received the boxes from us, they were so happy."
The need for clean drinking water continues to be critical. The ministry team provided 1,500 bottles of water, 12 bottles per family or 24 bottles for families of seven or more people, the leader said.
A Syrian mother arrives in Greece carrying her child and her only remaining possessions.
"God gave us opportunity to serve these people in this way, and we are preaching the gospel at the same time," he said.
Another ministry based in northern Turkey visited a 1,000-tent camp in the south. The indigenous director said the team visited tents one-by-one, discussing needs with the predominantly Muslim refugees and praying for them. Team members previously had given them New Testaments, and on this visit they left them with booklets in Arabic entitled, "Why Jesus?"
"Now we want to prepare the wood that the refugees will need in winter," the director said, adding that a single family needs 40 sacks of wood at a cost of $180 in total to survive the cold season. The wood is used for cooking, keeping warm, and heating water for bathing.
"In Turkey, they don't sell wood as a bundle, they sell it by sacks," he said. "We are planning to give each family 40 sacks, but we can't give it all at one time. We must provide the 40 sacks over two or three visits, because they can't keep 40 sacks in their tents."
At the Adana camp, refugees told ministry team members that they are concerned about their children's futures, especially as many have gone years without attending school. Such needs tempt parents to head for Europe, putting their children onto overcrowded boats ill-equipped to withstand Aegean waves, and the ministry team prayed with families about schooling.
"They have been unhappy and worried about their kids' future," the ministry leader said. "Every person we talked with, when we provided help, they always reminded us about their kid's education. They never wanted to be this way. They want this war finished, and they want to go back to their country."
To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 400REF. Thank you!

Sweet Relief

To Syrians who have fled war and the atrocities of the Islamic State (ISIS), food and other aid in refugee camps in Turkey is heaven-sent. At this camp in south Turkey, few men are found during the day because they have gone to work in nearby fields, said the director of one Turkish ministry. “Most of the people seen in the camps are women, children, the elderly and sick people,” he said. “We are happy that the men are working, but where a wage for Turkish people is $10, people are paying refugees $2 for the same job. There are even reports that they don’t get their money at the end of the job.” Refugees who become discouraged see little alternative to leaving work and returning to camp to wait for Syria’s civil war to end. Their families’ greatest needs remain food, clean water and, as winter approaches, heaters or firewood.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



Lahir pada tanggal 27 September 1887, Lillian Trasher besar di Brunswick, Georgia. Suatu hari, saat masih gadis, dia berlutut di dekat sebuah batang kayu yang roboh di hutan. "Tuhan," doanya, "jika ada yang bisa aku lakukan untuk-Mu, beritahukanlah kepadaku dan aku akan melakukannya."

Allah memiliki sebuah rencana. Pada tahun-tahun berikutnya, seorang wanita yang bernama Miss Perry meminta Lillian bekerja untuknya di sebuah panti asuhan. Hal ini menuntunnya masuk ke Institut Pelatihan Elhanah (Elhanah Training Institute). Di sana, ia belajar bagaimana merawat bayi, memasak, dan menjahit. Banyak anak kecil dirawatnya, dan di institut inilah ia belajar memercayai Allah akan kebutuhan hidupnya. Pada waktu itu, Allah menjawab doa-doanya sewaktu kecil, tetapi ia tidak menyadarinya.

Ia tidak memiliki uang dan merendahkan dirinya dengan memakai sepasang sepatu pria yang sudah lama. Ia juga bertemu seorang pria muda yang hebat dan dalam sepuluh hari, mereka berencana untuk menikah.

Lillian merasakan adanya panggilan ke ladang misi, tetapi dengan pernikahannya yang tinggal sepuluh hari lagi, itu tampaknya mustahil. Hingga suatu ketika ia pergi dengan Miss Perry untuk mendengarkan seorang misionaris dari India. Khotbahnya menyentuhnya begitu dalam sehingga dia menangis sepanjang perjalanan pulang.

Miss Perry bertanya kepadanya ada masalah apa, dan Lillian memberitahukan kepadanya bahwa Allah baru saja menyuruhnya ke Afrika dan bahwa dia akan menikah sepuluh hari lagi. Semuanya terlihat mustahil.

Karena menyadari bahwa menaati Allah lebih penting daripada menikah, ia mengumpulkan beberapa barang kepunyaannya dan bersiap-siap berangkat ke ladang misi. Ia percaya Allah akan menyediakan jalan ke Afrika -- dan memang benar. Lillian dan adiknya, Jenny, sedang dalam perjalanan mereka ke Afrika beberapa waktu kemudian. Akan tetapi, Lillian membutuhkan janji dari Allah. Ia membuka Alkitabnya dan membaca kalimat ini, "Aku telah memperhatikan dengan sungguh kesengsaraan umat-Ku di tanah Mesir dan Aku telah mendengar keluh kesah mereka, dan Aku telah turun untuk melepaskan mereka; karena itu marilah, engkau akan Kuutus ke tanah Mesir." Benar-benar ke Mesir!

Dalam perjalanan menyusuri sungai dengan perahu, bagi Lillian, Mesir tampak seperti tempat yang terindah di dunia. Namun, beberapa saat kemudian, ia melihat anak-anak gelandangan yang kotor dan berpakaian compang-camping, anak-anak yang tidak diinginkan oleh siapa pun.

Suatu malam, seorang pria mengetuk pintu mereka dan bertanya kepada kedua saudari itu untuk datang dan berdoa bagi istrinya yang sakit. Mereka terkejut ketika masuk ke dalam rumah dan melihat seorang bayi sedang minum susu berwarna hijau yang berserabut dari sebuah kaleng timah. Baunya memberi isyarat kepada mereka bahwa bayi tersebut mungkin tidak pernah dimandikan. Sebelum ibunya meninggal, ia memberikan bayinya kepada Lillian dan Jenny, tetapi bayi perempuan itu tidak pernah berhenti menangis. Misionaris yang lain meminta mereka mengembalikan bayi perempuan tersebut dari asalnya. Lillian ketakutan. Ia seharusnya mematuhi mereka yang bertanggung jawab atasnya, tetapi ia tidak bisa melakukannya.

Lillian memutuskan bahwa ia akan mengembalikan bayi itu, tetapi ia juga akan tinggal bersamanya.

"Apa?" atasannya terkejut. "Seorang wanita lajang hidup bersama orang Arab? Jangan begitu bodoh, Lillian. Kau akan mati kelaparan, bahkan mungkin dibunuh."

Lillian adalah seorang wanita yang gemuk, berambut cokelat, dan bersuara bagaikan petir, "Saya yakin. Allah akan memelihara kami."

Setelah menyewa sebuah rumah kecil dan beberapa perabotan, ia tidak memiliki uang lagi. Dewan misi tidak memberinya apa-apa dan dengan saudarinya ia kembali ke Amerika, ia harus mengemis. Ia hanya mendapatkan uang yang cukup untuk makan sehari -- tiga puluh lima sen. Meski begitu, orang-orang masih memberikan bayi-bayi kepada mereka. Lillian mengambil mereka dan merawat mereka sebisa mungkin.

Akan tetapi, terkadang ia mengalami masalah yang begitu buruk. Pernah suatu kali, ia tidak bisa kembali kepada anak-anak dan harus bermalam di sel penjara dengan seekor keledai. Namun, Lillian merasa bahwa jika seekor keledai saja sudah cukup baik bagi Yesus, hal itu sudah cukup baik baginya.

Akhirnya, orang-orang mulai mengirimkan bertumpuk-tumpuk pakaian kepadanya dan terkadang uang. Para tetangganya yang adalah orang Mesir juga membantu. Ia menceritakan kepada mereka tentang kuasa Allah untuk menyelamatkan mereka dari dosa.

Ketika bayi-bayi itu terus berdatangan, Lillian mengatakan kepada Allah bahwa ia akan merawat mereka, tetapi Dia harus memberinya uang. Lord MacLay dari Skotlandia datang ke panti asuhannya dan memberinya 100 dollar. Selanjutnya, dengan merasa bersalah bahwa ia tidak memberi cukup banyak, kemudian ia memberikan 5000 dollar. Kemudian, 20.000 dollar.

Lillian membatalkan pernikahannya karena ia jauh lebih mengasihi Yesus. Sering kali, ia tidak pernah tahu dari mana makanan berikutnya akan datang. Akan tetapi, Lillian Trasher bahagia dan tidak pernah menoleh ke belakang, pada apa yang mungkin ia dapatkan. Hari ini, bertahun-tahun setelah kematiannya, panti asuhannya masih menjadi salah satu panti asuhan terbesar di dunia.

"Dan setiap orang yang karena nama-Ku meninggalkan rumahnya, saudaranya laki-laki atau saudaranya perempuan, bapa atau ibunya, anak-anak atau ladangnya, akan menerima kembali seratus kali lipat dan akan memperoleh hidup yang kekal." (Matius 19:29) (t/Odysius)

Diterjemahkan dari:
Judul buku: Missionary Stories from Around the World
Judul asli artikel: Mother of the Nile
Penulis: Betty Swinford
Penerbit: Christian Focus Publications, Denmark
Halaman: 81 -- 87


1. Mari berdoa kepada Tuhan Yesus untuk usaha pekabaran Injil di Benua Afrika. Kiranya Tuhan membuka jalan untuk penyebaran Injil di sana dan melembutkan hati penduduk Afrika untuk menerima Injil Yesus Kristus.

2. Mari berdoa kepada Tuhan Yesus untuk para pekerja misi di Afrika. Kiranya Tuhan yang meneguhkan panggilannya dan memberikan kekuatan dalam mengabarkan Injil di Afrika.

3. Mari berdoa kepada Tuhan Yesus untuk anak-anak kecil di Afrika yang kekurangan gizi. Kiranya Tuhan akan menggerakkan pemerintah dan instansi terkait untuk semakin peduli pada keadaan anak-anak di Benua Afrika.

"Segala sesuatu ini aku lakukan karena Injil, supaya aku mendapat bagian dalamnya." (1 Korintus 9:23)

Her Dad’s Killer Is On the Loose

Her Husband's Killers Are Hunting Her

Her Dad’s Killer Is On the Loose

“Flor” still misses her father every day.

Her father, a pastor, was killed when she was just a preschooler, but his death left a huge hole in her world. Then the news came that his killer had been released from prison and was now hunting her family.

Flor’s father pastored in a rural area of Colombia. When his killers delivered his body to the door of their home, VOM immediately helped Flor and her mom relocate to a safe house. VOM supported them as Flor and her mom restarted their lives, helping them begin an agricultural business.

Eight years later, her father’s killer was released from prison. Neighbors warned the family that he was asking about them. Again, VOM immediately relocated the family to a safe place.

Support Safe Houses for Persecuted Christians

Just last week, Flor called her VOM contact and asked to be picked up from school. She was struggling with grief and fear and needed some encouragement.

Your gift to the Families of Martyrs Fund supports believers like Flor and her family. This fund allows VOM to quickly relocate a family when there is immediate danger, and it also helps provide for them in the long-term with jobs, housing and education for children.

You can be a part of this crucial work supporting persecuted believers like Flor with a gift to the Families of Martyrs Fund.

Donate to the Families of Martyrs Fund

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Constitution in Nepal Bans Converting Others

New Constitution in Nepal Bans Converting Others

November 05, 2015
A convert to Christianity is baptized in Nepal.
Nepal has quietly enshrined a long-time ban on proselytizing in its new constitution. For an indigenous ministry in Nepal that has long found ways to quietly proclaim Christ as Lord, that means business as usual.
As did the interim constitution of the prior seven years, the new constitution signed by Nepal's president on Sept. 20 outlaws "any act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behavior to undermine or jeopardize the religion of another," with violations punishable by prison and/or fines.
The ban fails to allow choosing one's faith to be seen as a matter of individual rights as required by international treaties that Nepal has signed and ratified, advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide noted in a press statement. "Nepal's Treaty Act of 1991 requires the nation's laws to conform to the principles of the international treaties it has signed and ratified," it stated.
While the ban on proselytizing appears to contradict Nepal's assertion of the right to profess and practice one's faith, Christians were relieved that framers ultimately did away with a reported concession to Hindu groups to ban all religious conversions and rejected their demand to restore the Hindu monarchy.
The government instead approved a constitution defining the state as secular and thus neutral toward all religions, over rancorous objections and violence that included attacks on three church buildings. Nepal thus completed the transition it began in 2008 from the world's only Hindu monarchy to a secular, multiparty, constitutional republic. In the process, however, the Hindu groups showed their extremist bent, and a leader of the ministry based in Nepal said possible backlash remains to be seen.
"There could be some reaction," he said, "though not so much in the majority-Nepalese-speaking areas. But in other areas where there's not been much gospel work, there could be some reaction. We'll just see how things go."
Ethnic demands, along with violence that killed more than 40 people, overshadowed the religious concerns in the constitutional framing process, he said, and in any event Christianity has flourished in spite of legal restrictions in recent years. Originating during a harsher period in the 1980s and '90s, the ministry learned from the outset how to proclaim Christ in discreet ways. Bible correspondence courses were primary.
"It started with my mom copying down 100 names and addresses from the back of a magazine of youths looking for pen-pals – basically, they were looking for love," said the ministry director, whose name is withheld for security reasons. "My mom started writing letters to them, and she would say, 'If any of your friends would like to read my letters or would like to read more about Jesus, then please send me their addresses.'"
People sent addresses of their friends and relatives, and the current director's parents officially began the ministry in 1992. When students began completing the courses two years later, however, those who had earned certificates sent them back to the ministry leaders.
"Some were torn to pieces," the director said. "They didn't accept the certificates. Basically, the problem was they wanted more of the gospel. That was their way of protesting."
Some of the students showed up at the ministry office desiring more knowledge, and others waited two days at its Post Office box, eager to accost the leaders and request more instruction.
A villager examines a gospel tract he received from an indigenous ministry in Nepal.
"It was new; so many had never even heard the name of Christ before," he said. "They wanted to know who these people were that were sending all these gospel materials. Except for one person, all of them were college graduates. Some were in the police and military, some were judges and professors. That's when the ministry of discipleship training started. We realized it's about time we start a face-to-face."
For the first on-site training session, the ministry sent out 50 invitations; 265 people showed up.
"We thought 10 might show up," the director said. "It was a seven-day class, and at end of the training, more than 100 took baptism."
Since then, more than 500,000 students from Nepal's 75 districts have enrolled in the Bible correspondence courses, with 50,000 completing them. The Bible correspondence courses are tailored to reach Hindus (75 percent of the population), Buddhists (16 percent), animists and communists. After taking the Bible courses, more than 10,000 students have taken part in the ministry's discipleship training process.
With a philosophy of ministry geared toward quality rather than quantity, the ministry then provides a 75-day leadership training for potential gospel workers, as well as pastoral training. Taking place at different church halls every three months, the pastoral instruction involves nine, week-long sessions over two years. It is designed for those already in leadership but without adequate training.
The ministry is training two groups of 25 pastors each, at a cost of $15,000 to $20,000 per year for each group, he said.
"When there was persecution, professing the name of Christ was very costly, but since the government became secular there's freedom, and because of that there's a lot of false teaching coming in, so it's imperative that they know what true teaching is," the director said. "With Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, prosperity gospel and others coming in, that problem is increasing, and the people that they are shepherding need to get fed the truth of the Scripture."
As unreached peoples are a high priority, the ministry's strategy is to reach out first to those who know both Nepalese and a tribal language, he said. These new, bilingual Christians would then reach their own people in their own local language.
"Ideally we would like to be training 100 people – four groups," he said. "But we need teachers able to do that, so we're working to get them, and of course we need finances to get that going. The teachers are paid, and we use local pastors. We do have pastors with just biblical degrees, but ideally we're looking for guys who have a master's of divinity and are pastoring local churches."
Five years ago Operation World estimated the Christian population of Nepal at 2.85 percent, or 850,801 people, the vast majority evangelicals; that figure is now estimated at about 1 million. With 309 unreached people groups, Operation World estimated 55 percent of Nepal's people had never heard the gospel.
After a period of persecution in the 1990s and more freedom since a transition to a secular democracy began in 2008, the ministry that has quietly proclaimed Christ as Lord has planted hundreds of churches. At present it is helping to develop 66 churches, 13 less developed fellowships and 14 incipient cell groups.
"The harvest is plentiful, the workers are few," the director said. "We need the people capable of taking the work forward. We can definitely use more funding."
To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 702NGOC. Thank you!

Recovering from Loss

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 and another registering 7.3 on May 12 devastated the country nestled in the Himalayas, but private citizens are leading the effort to rebuild and recover, according to the director of an indigenous ministry. Many churches lost buildings and homes. In Dhola Kha, a local ministry with assistance from Christian Aid Mission has purchased land and is rebuilding a house to be used for worship, including a small room in one corner where the pastor will live. “We still need financial help for this project,” the director said. “It is a very hard time for the believers. In winter it will be very cold. Therefore, we are planning to temporarily put a tin wall round it. If there will be no earthquake any more, it will be okay for a few years. But yesterday again a 5.5 earthquake came. It is on and off.” The ministry also offered a three-day, earthquake trauma program for more than 300 children, including worship, drawing, art and dance, to help them overcome their ordeal. “We also did a medical camp for two days, and around 280 people benefited from it,” the director said. “We had many helpers as full volunteers from our church and from our sister church. Of course we did gospel work, too, through these works. To run the program we had offering collections and your help.”