On Monday, January 16, after a long flight with Alexandru Dermenji, we arrived in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. While we were waiting at the airport for Ajay, the coordinator of the Precept Ministries mission in this country, a little girl with her father was sitting next to us. Because we brought with us several inductive Bible study textbooks and because we also had the “God’s Amazing Creation” textbook (an inductive Bible study manual for children, based on the book of Genesis), I took a book out of my bag and gave it to the girl. Her father was very happy and suddenly began to read with curiosity. Another man sitting next to him approached and asked for a book for his child and I gladly offered it to him.
I offered a book, “God, Are You There?” in Nepali to the taxi driver who offered us a phone so we could get in touch with Ajay, and he was happy and grateful. He said he was a Hindu, but his wife and daughter are Christians and he wants to know more about Christ. I told him that this is exactly the best book, because he will learn how to study the Bible while studying the whole Gospel of John.
Nepal is a very religious country with a population of 30.5 million. Hinduism is the main religion and over 80% of the inhabitants are followers of this religion which is followed by Buddhism with 4.2% and Muslims 3.6%. Hindus and Buddhists accept each other in the territories of their temples to worship and place Buddha statues or Hindu gods. Hinduism includes a huge number of gods and idols that are placed everywhere and people constantly bring them offerings. Right at the entrance to the churchyard, I saw the neighbors performing a ritual of Hindu worship.
Christianity is very young in this country. My friends told me that 60 years ago there were only 300 Christians in the country who were extremely persecuted. Some persecutions still exist today. For example, Hindus and Buddhists burn the bodies of the dead on the stake, and Christians are forbidden to bury their dead. They are forced to practice cremation instead of burial and cannot do so just anywhere, but must bring the bodies of the dead to Hindu temples to be burned. God has blessed the work of the gospel in this country, and despite persecution, the number of Christians has grown to over 2 million, making up 2% of the country’s population. Now a pro-Hindu government is in power, and proselytism has been banned in the new constitution. There are already cases when Christians have been arrested for preaching the gospel in public or distributing brochures with a biblical message. However, Christians are full of boldness and the Holy Spirit and preach the gospel with power.
Precept Ministries started in Nepal in May 2005, when my teachers Mia and Costel Oglice commissioned me to come and teach a seminar for pastors in Kathmandu. Then I studied Paul’s Epistle to Titus. At night the translator translated the lesson, made copies of it, and during the day I taught. This is how the first manual was translated. I remember how Pastor Tej Rokka, who made the invitation to us, still on his way from the airport to the hotel, when he learned about the Institute of Inductive Bible Studies in Eurasia asked us to start a branch in their country. In the same year we started the Institute and until today a large number of leaders have been trained.
A few years later, being invited to a radio station, I talked about the evangelism work we do in Moldova by teaching English. Immediately after the show we were asked to send missionaries to develop this work in Nepal. So I sent Valentina Stepaniuc and Tatiana Colesnic who, for four months, translated the textbook into Nepali and prepared the first group of teachers. Tatiana was proposed to by Ajay and today thry live in Nepal and serve in the “Precept Ministries” mission. God blessed them with a cute little girl named Emma who speaks Romanian very well.
Being on our way to another country and having to wait two days in Kathmandu, we decided to do a seminar for the pastors in this city and to study again the Epistle of Paul to Titus, because this is a pastoral epistle and contains a lot of teaching and practical advice for pastors and all ministers in the gospel. Together with the nearly 30 participants, we were able to study a portion of the first lesson and discuss important practical issues related to preaching in the churches.
The seminar was also attended by Hom cu Niranjan, the two pastors studying in Moldova at the International Mission School – Precept Ministries Eurasia at the Faculty of Journalism. After completing the first course, they teach the Word of God in their churches and are involved in mission work. He also manages the media activity of the “Precept Ministries” mission in Nepal. During the break, Gaurau Gautam approached me and told me that he wanted to come to the football program of the International Mission School last summer, but he suffered a serious trauma and is now undergoing intensive treatment so that he can be admitted this year. Studies at the International Mission School – Precept Ministries take place every summer for two months and last 3 years. In the summer of this year, the studies will take place between June 20 and August 20 and admission will be made to the faculties of Taekwon-Do, Football, Fitness and Journalism. Visit http://www.ims.eurasiaprecept.org for more information.
During the seminar, Alexander told the pastors his personal testimony about how he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the impact of inductive Bible study in his life, and how he now serves in the gospel.
After the seminar I went with my friend Shyam Awale, the coordinator of Christian sports in Nepal, and we met an old friend named Deepak Bista, the most famous athlete in this country, because he is the only one who has won major international tournaments – 4 gold medals in Taekwon-Do. His wife is also a champion, and God has blessed them with a little boy. Deepak is now the head coach of the national team. The first time we met I told him the gospel message, because Deepak is a Hindu and did not know about Christ. When I gave him the Bible study textbook, “God, Are You There?” he was very happy and told me that he really wanted to know more about Christ. I left a book with his wife. Let us pray together for God to give them faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, for He alone is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can reach the Kingdom of God except through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Shyam then invited me to visit the rehabilitation center he founded 6 years ago and where 245 young men and women were set free from drug and alcohol slavery. They study the Bible daily and produce water filters they sell to maintain their center.
Being there, I told them about the effectiveness of the inductive Bible study in evangelism and spiritual growth, and the director wanted us to do a lesson with the rehabilitators right then. I studied the first lesson in the course, “HAVING A REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD” and everyone was actively involved in the discussions we had about the Bible text. Now Ajay will come to bring books to everyone and teach the next lessons, and in April the leaders and instructors of the rehabilitation center will come to pass the preparation for the session of the Institute of Inductive Bible Study in Nepal.
In the evening, when I arrived at the hotel, I read in the news that in the Republic of Moldova, compared to 2012, the number of drug users has doubled and that the age of onset of narcotics users has decreased significantly – from 18-22 years in 2012, to the age of 15-19 in 2015. According to a survey, among 10th grade students in three high schools in Chisinau, 18% of respondents said that they had used drugs illegally at least once in their lives and that it’s pretty easy to get drugs. I pray that the Lord will show us what we as a Church can do now to stop this evil and bring the gospel to all those affected by this deadly vice.
Today we are going on a mission to another country and we are in great need of prayer support. Pray that God will help us and all the pastors there to reach the place where the preparation will be and that the preparation will bring growth and vision to all participants and that they will then go on to teach the disciples of Christ to keep everything commanded by our Lord. In the next edition of the newspaper “Christian Moldova” I will tell you about the mission we are going on now.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc