Throughout Nepal, many evangelists and church planters are leading small churches in extremely remote regions. Often, these leaders have no formal training and very limited knowledge of the Bible. Living in such poor conditions, attendance at a Bible school is wholly impractical as they care for local believers and provide for their families. Online study is also out of the question, with internet access hard to come by.
To address this great need, one of our partners in Nepal co–ordinates a programme of pop–up teaching seminars in various parts of the country. Several times during the year, he and a few others will travel and host a regional pastor training seminar, alongside evangelism and outreach activities.
Pastors make their way to the venue, either on foot or by bicycle, often travelling for days. Over a few days, they sit and drink in Bible teaching which firstly encourages and strengthens their own faith, but also helps equip them to teach God’s Word and reach others with the gospel back home.
The church in Nepal is facing many challenges. In 2017 the government introduced new legislation making it a criminal offence to convert a person of one religion to another religion or to disturb the religion of other people. As Christians, our natural and healthy response to experiencing the grace of God for ourselves should be sharing that good news with others. While churches are freely allowed to meet in Nepal, evangelistic and outreach activities are met with opposition and hostility.
For many pastors and church–planters throughout Nepal, these pop–up bible teaching seminars are a real lifeline. They not only receive good, faithful Bible teaching but the fellowship and encouragement they gain from meeting together are vital. Meals are enjoyed together and the men sleep on thin straw beds on the floor of the room where the teaching takes place.
As the few days come to a close, some tracts, gospels and other literature are made available for the pastors to take home and use as they evangelise and disciple others. Setting off on their journey back to these remote villages, bearing the precious seed of the Word, these pastors often become targets for opposition and persecution.
Please pray that as lockdown lifts in Nepal over the next few months, our partners can arrange more of these pop–up pastor training seminars and help equip and resource the church as they share the good news of the gospel.