"God With Us" IBC Grads Share Jesus Christ in New Places
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Written by India Gospel Outreach
Categories: Prayer & Praise
Praise God for becoming “God with us,” through His Son, Jesus Christ to deliver us from darkness. Praise God for calling and equipping many to go deeper into the darkness and continue His redemptive work.
This staggering biblical mandate lies at the heart of Jesus’ Great Commission. It lies at the heart of our own ministry at India Gospel Outreach and of our training institutes which prepare men and women called by God to bear His light and dispel darkness.
At India Bible College and Seminary, our faculty, staff and students pray every day for God to call, train and send men and women into those places still without the Light. Often, God surprises us with what He has in mind. He always plans bigger and more unexpected things than we would imagine ourselves.
In recent years, IBC has seen rising numbers of men and women students who come from Nepal. Nepal, whose 29 million people are more than 80% Hindu, seems so remote from India Bible College in faraway south India. What a sacrifice for these people to make the long trek south, and yet, year after year, they keep coming.
Right now, Nepal, just north of India, is the world’s most responsive nation to the gospel according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, based at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts. In 1950, no one knew of any Christians in Nepal, but today, there are at least 411,000 Christians, and their numbers are doubling every 6.6 years.
Nepalese Christian leaders take issue with this figure. The International Institute for Religious Freedom puts the number of Christians in Nepal as high as 2.3 million, or almost 10% of the population. Whatever the true figure, Christians are multiplying in Nepal like nowhere else.
Rodha Lama came to India Bible College and Seminary from Nepal. She comes from the capital city of Kathmandu, where she heard the gospel and committed her life to Christ. She soon heard God’s call to spread the gospel to more of her people in Nepal’s remoter regions.
Since graduating from IBC in 2008, God has gradually led her and her husband, Phendey, to seek out the remote Dolpo Tibetan people in Nepal’s province of Upper Dolpo.
Upper Dolpo rises high in the Himalayas, in northwest Nepal, and borders on Tibet. Centuries ago, the Dolpo Tibetans migrated into Nepal to find better pasture for their yaks. Until very recently, they have lived isolated lives. They live under harsh and primitive conditions, at elevations of 13,000-19,000 feet above sea level. What spectacular scenery--but what impoverished lives!
Their literacy rate is only about 10%. The people have no electricity, clinics or health care, education, grain mills, telephones or other things we take for granted.
Almost 99% of the people belong to the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, characterized by occult practices and appeasement of spirits. In centuries past, the people made blood covenants with the powers of darkness that still imprison the present generation and prevent them from new lives. Only Jesus Christ can free them, but only a few isolated individuals who have traveled outside have the slightest knowledge of Jesus Christ. They are truly unreached people.
For the first time, this past May, Rodha and her husband traveled 10 days by donkey over narrow mountain trails to reach the Dolpo Tibetans in the village of Dho Tarap to meet them, develop friendships and eventually to share the gospel among them.
As Rodha writes,
“We aim to transform them spiritually, socially and economically through the Word and good deeds, to love God and glorify Him. Spiritually [they] are dying without Christ, therefore we are compelled to serve among [them]...”
These are all goals Rodha learned at India Bible College and Seminary.
Rodha and her husband, who knows Tibetans and their ways well, ministered to widows, street kids, orphans and youths abandoned by their families and ignored by the rest of society. They bathe and feed the children, care for the widows and are building trust among them. The poverty and suffering of these people is hard to describe and harder for us to grasp.
The village of Dho Tarap has many street children, rejected by their families for various reasons, alone in the world. The couple gathered the neediest and most helpless children to their tent, invited them inside, provided them with food, clothing and toys. Soon, the word got out, and rejected children flocked outside and played together because no one else in the village paid attention to them. Once a week, Rodha and her husband bathed each child, one by one.
Clearly, the children liked Rodha and Phendey, and their love for the children opened doors to share the gospel. Love and care go a long way in a place where love and care are luxuries.
Because they are young, Rodha and Phendey get along well with Dolpo youth. They have joined them in their work and play activities. A great avenue of trust has built up with the youth, and they are becoming anxious to learn more about the outside world. Rodha and Phendey use this curiosity to share the Good News with them. These friendships with young people are opening many hearts to hear more about Jesus Christ.
The couple also ministers to widows. Among the Dolpo Tibetans, widows suffer almost beyond belief. After their husbands die, widows without children or relatives are left to themselves to get along as best as they can. As the women get older, they can no longer get food, clothing or shelter for themselves. They cannot get water to drink, cannot hear or see well. They die alone, and the community does nothing to help them.
Rodha and her husband are beginning to build relationships with province leaders that will help them in the future. Already, they are sharing the gospel, and some are responding. If a person believes in Christ, he/she faces family and community opposition. Evangelism is very difficult, but God is bringing people to salvation through Jesus Christ and raising hunger for the Word.
Rodha and Phendey are training new believers in the Bible, showing them how to share the gospel with those who are open to hearing about Jesus Christ. They want to open a medical camp for the many sick people. They want to provide support for widows, open a home for orphans and street children, provide literacy programs, and do other things in the name of Jesus.
Every year, hundreds of men and women like Rodha Lama graduate from India Bible College and Seminary and other IGO training institutes. They take the gospel to places like Upper Dolpo where people have lived for centuries under bondage to Satan, knowing nothing of Jesus Christ.
In such places, these new evangelists must receive support from the outside world because there are no local Christians to sustain them.
- Pray for our IBC graduates as they enter new places like Dho Tarap in the coming year to share the light of the gospel for the first time.
- Pray for God to prepare receptive hearts and minds to the Good News.
- Pray for resources to meet the physical, emotional and economic needs of the people to whom they go.
- Pray that God will meet every spiritual, physical, financial and emotional need of our graduates and their families as they enter these challenging places.
- Pray for monthly sponsors to financially support these graduates.