Going Where Others Do Not Go
There is an urgency in Pastor Rai's voice as he describes the need to evangelize the eastern part of Nepal. "People are starving spiritually. They seek to fill this great void, but do not know where to turn. We must fill that emptiness with the gospel."
A farmer from the village.
Rai knows about that void himself. He is from an unreached people group in eastern Nepal, called the Rai people. Like everyone else from his village, he was caught in the clutches of Shamanistic ancestral beliefs and rituals.
But he left his village as a young man to join the military. Years later, after the death of his 3½-year-old son, he denounced his former beliefs and began looking for answers elsewhere. That was when the Lord began working in his life, and accepted Christ as his Savior in 1984.
Shortly after becoming a Christian, he felt called to serve the Lord. He started by using his gift of healing. Later, he began working with a church in Kathmandu until he started one of his own in 2005.
Villages like this one in Nepal are where native missionaries seek to introduce the gospel.
Christian Aid's South Asia Director visited him for the first time in 2006. After talking to him she learned he had a special burden to go back to his people, that he left so many years ago.
And, in fact, he did go back to visit occasionally, but it was difficult. Most of the trip is on foot and travel is over hilly terrain. There are 13 unreached Rai villages in the area-each one of them being a great distance from the other. Distance and expenses prevented him from making any real impact.
"They are suspicious of outsiders," he told the Director. "But I have relatives in these villages. This allows me access where others dare not go. Some have tried, but were either driven away or left in fear."
These women are from the village.
"Pastor Rai appeared to be the only solution for reaching this people group," she reported.
When she returned to the U.S., she brought this need before Christian Aid supporters. When she returned to Nepal earlier this year this was what she found:
"With the help Christian Aid provided, he was able to visit more frequently and establish relationships. His healing ministry, knowledge of their culture, and an understanding of their fears and concerns, brought people to Christ from each of these villages. His ultimate goal is to go back and live among his people permanently."
"We praise God for what He has done, and ask for His blessings in continuing to build up this ministry."