The beautiful and rugged land of Nepal was cut off from the rest of world until 1950, when it opened its borders and started on a long path to democracy that finally came to fruition in 1990.
Years of failed governments and civil war have left many in poverty without ready access to healthcare or education. Yet the gospel is flourishing in Nepal, as people look to the hope found in Jesus. The indigenous church is among one of the fastest growing churches in the world, sparking high demand for Biblical teachers, training, and spiritual guidance among the developing Christian population.
“The rapid growth of the Nepali church is a good problem,” said a worker in Nepal. “The problem is that they don’t have the needed resources to develop leaders for these fast-expanding churches. It’s very common for churches in the rural area to have a pastor that has an eighth grade education, maybe one to two weeks of Bible school, and that’s about it.”
A major stumbling block for training pastors is the lack of available resources – or so it seemed. “Actually, over the last 50 years, a lot of Nepali and Western organizations have developed Nepali-language Christian material, but nobody knows what’s available or where it’s available,” the worker said. “A pastor from a rural area came into town and spent three days wandering the streets, looking for a book on a specific topic, but had no idea where to find it.”
That’s when two Western organizations came together with a Nepali organization to develop a website called Nepali Christian Resource Directory (http://ncrd.org.np), a database of Nepali-language Christian resources. The database is searchable by category, including subjects such as children, pastors, Christian living, and discipleship. Once users find a resource, the website provides details about who publishes it and where it’s available. If the resource is electronic and free, users can download it immediately from the website.
The non-profit, non-denominational website, sponsored by the Nepal Bible Society, has garnered more than 4,000 hits since its launch in February 2013. Resources from more than ten major distributors are listed, with more being added each month. There are already more than 300 resources listed in the database, and the hope is to increase that number to 1,000.
And it’s not just Nepali church leaders who are using the website. Nepalese who work overseas in Muslim-majority areas of the Middle East do not have access to Christian materials, but they do have access to the Internet. They can search the Nepali Christian Resource Directory and order or download materials. “This is helping Nepalese reach other Nepalese in countries such as the UAE, Qatar, or Malaysia,” the worker said.
-Written by Lisa H. Renninger