Greetings, dear brethren, in the name of the Righteous One who needs not. “Need” is a creature word. The Creator needs nothing: He doesn’t need our fellowship to be glorified; He doesn’t need to save us to be vindicated; He doesn’t need our worship to survive. Yet, for His pleasure He loved us and gave Himself for us. On the basis of substitution, He declared His righteousness: “that He might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). Praise God for this unspeakable gift, for the Narahari (i.e. Nepal for “God-man”) who came in the fulness of time, born under the law to redeem those that were under the law (Galatians 4:4). God manifest in the flesh, born of a virgin, now seated in heavenly places: something manmade religion cannot possibly understand.
PARAMESHWAR (i.e. Nepali for “One True God”) IS NOT RELIGION . . . THE BIBLE IS NOT RELIGION . . . YESHU MASHIHA (Nepali for “Jesus the Messiah) IS NOT RELIGION . . . and so we continue to preach and declare openly here in Nepal and throughout South Asia. Thanks for all your prayers, and for those who have and continue to support us financially, the fruit is yours. You have sown; we are reaping; and the day comes when “both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:36).
It has been more than a month since my last blog post. As is typical, much has transpired to the glory of Almighty God. If you have followed us on Facebook (JesseandJamieBoyd, or Full Proof Gospel Ministries), of this you are most certainly aware. But for others of you, let me at least synopsize.
First of all, since my last post, we have moved from our Jhamsikhel apartment to a house with a small yard and garden on the outskirts of Kathmandu, a much better refuge for Jamie and the children. The Lord is good. The place is in a great area with terraced slopes and farm fields nearby; the landlord is much easier to deal with than the previous one; and we are conveniently close to Ring Road (i.e. for carrying the cross around the city) as well as Bishnu and his family. We also have a new house helper, a MUCH BETTER situation than the previous one. Saju is a genuine believer who has been a big help to Jamie. We also brought in another local Christian brother, Deepesh, who had nowhere to stay. He works in a local restaurant and was sleeping there nights. Ricky and I fixed up and outfitted our little outdoor guardhouse, so he stays with us gratis, and in return, his presence near the gate is protection from thieves (a band already struck once and vandalized our outside bathroom while Ricky and I were in Tibet). More than this, I look forward to the discipleship opportunity we have where this young man is concerned. As for the house, there is a flag flying from the roof, visible from several blocks away, that boldly states: “Jesus Christ is God; the Bible is Absolute Truth.” A bit forward, some might say, but we can’t afford not to be bold in Nepal’s cesspool of idolatry, chaff of dead churchianity, and stubble of foreign “missionary” programs” that are devoid of the biblical Gospel and, therefore, better off defunct.
The big story, as of late, concerns the opportunity Ricky and I had to go into Tibet, one of the world’s most closed, one of its most unreached corners. For security reasons, I must be vague, especially since we hope to return there in the Spring and make a literature drop to some faithful long-term laborers. Many of you prayed for us fervently during this time, and for that we are immensely grateful. The Lord heard our prayers as all the materials made it across the border. There were some tense moments, but we watched in amazement as God clearly blinded the eyes of the military personnel who were hand-searching all bags. At that point, Ricky and I both knew “for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). We had to get all the materials out, no way they could be brought back into Nepal.
Anyway, over the next seven days we saturated Buddhist monasteries, hit the streets in the area’s three largest cities, had some interesting witnessing encounters, and made a literature delivery to faithful brethren who labor in a very difficult field. The Lord even gave us a couple of opportunities to preach in the open-air. Though in English and to the best of our ability, we are confident that the Lord used it and believe He gave some understanding as occurred in Acts 2 at Pentecost. Proof of this was when an elderly lady, having previously taken a tract, approached Ricky as I preached. She communicated that our message was not welcomed by the authorities and then pointed to one of the nearby cameras, motioning that they were coming for us and urging us to depart. We skirted off down a side alley; God gave us escape. On another occasion, as we saturated neighborhoods with tracts under cover of darkness, it became evident that we were being followed. Thankfully, there were plenty of dark alleyways out of the eyes of the plethora of cameras. Eventually, we shook our pursuers, logging probably 5-7 miles on foot that particular night.
Walking through the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, we put out tracts, sang hymns aloud, and quoted Scriptures in the face of spiritual darkness. In some places, tracts would be gone only minutes after we had put them out. They were being picked up. Glory to God. One monastery was so crowded as pilgrims pressed to get inside. The crowd was ridiculous with little room to breath. In the chaos, Ricky and I slipped Gospel tracts into people’s pockets and accidentally dropped our “Evangecube.” Oh well, hopefully someone picked it up, figured it out, and then discerned the message of the Gospel depicted thereupon. For any of you “couch-critics” out there who would arraign such efforts . . . Hey, at least the light shined in a place darker than you can imagine. We do what we can do; the rest is in the hands of a Sovereign God.
It was also a pleasure to behold glorious snow-capped scenery at extremely high-altitudes. Gospel tracts went out at elevations as high as 17,200 ft. The Lord allowed me to bag a small fourteener and a 16,000+ foot closed contour that I dubbed “Some Peak.” The Maker of the Mountains also granted us the favor of beholding with clarity Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shisha Pangma, three of the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks. The sights were a glorious testimony of a mighty God; yet in that land, so many have been deceived into serving the “creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Romans 1:25). In fact, the sad reality of Romans 1:18-32 was plainly depicted all around. The spiritual darkness was overwhelming and could be felt, a darkness that emanates where two wicked evils–filthy, vile Tibetan Buddhism and atheistic, abominable Communism–clash on a daily basis. Still, the light shined in the darkness, and we trust others to reap what we have sown and God to give the increase, “that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:36). Amen.
I wish I could write more about our time in Tibet. Perhaps some of the photos posted below and the video footage will provide a more detailed perspective. Pray that the Lord will open another door of opportunity to return in the Spring. Materials are badly needed for the believers there, and we hope to deliver some in a roundabout way. Please pray specifically for our government-appointed guide. He was very open to the Gospel, clearly heard it communicated, and listened with attentiveness as Ricky had an awesome opportunity to open the Scriptures to him as he walked us back to the Nepal border at the end of our journey. We saved a Bible for him, and he took it. Pray for his salvation. Please also pray for a man in a nomad camp who was healed by God of an infirmity, after being prayed for. He confessed Christ in those moments. Channels for follow-up were opened. Pray for this man. Finally, pray for a Nepali-speaking man that I met along the way. I had one Project Jagerna John/Romans edition with me for study purposes, and it was appointed for him. He took it as I shared Christ. May the Lord save him from hell. For security reasons, I’m not going to mention names, but God will know who you are talking about as you make intercession before Him. Also, it wasn’t just Ricky and me laboring up there. Others did their part as we interacted together, and we were thankful for the fellowship. Again, I can’t mention names or details. Nonetheless, it was amazing to see the Body of Christ, made up of those with different strengths and different giftings, labor together and cover for another in a very difficult mission field. To God be the glory. Who am I that He would allow me to carry His light into such a dark place? I am no one, a filthy sinner saved by His grace. Soli Deo Gloria!
As for the work in Kathmandu and Nepal, it has continued unabated. By God’s grace, we persist in preaching on the streets and making distribution of our Project Jagerna Scripture portions in a variety of venues without any trouble from the authorities. Several weeks ago, we were able to send 500 Gospels of Mark and 2,800 Gospel tracts to Nepali-speaking believers in Malaysia. A Nepali brother carried them down, and all made it through customs safely, a miracle as most Nepalis get searched when they travel to Kuala Lumpur. Again, the Lord blinded the eyes of the authorities in that Muslim country. Pray for all these materials as they go out into the hands of the Nepali migrant workers. Upon our return to Nepal from Tibet, the sweet smell of freedom, albeit amongst the trashy dump that is the Tadopani border town, compelled us to saturate those frontier streets. In less than twenty minutes, 300 Gospels of Mark went out. The day before Thanksgiving, Bishnu took a team of believers, Ricky included, up to a festival in the Sindapulchowk District. There, another 1,400 Gospels of Mark were distributed as were nearly 2,000 Gospel tracts. Brother Laxmi, an elderly brother saved out of years of staunch Hinduism was bold to lift up his voice and preach in that place, fruit of our discipleship efforts.
Let’s see, we have also continued our pursuit of carrying the cross all the way around Kathmandu’s Ring Road. The whole section south of the Bagmati River is now complete. So many Gospels of Mark and Gospel tracts have gone out along the route. A few days ago, a huge crowd gathered at the Koteswor Market as we walked in with the huge cross and preached for more than an hour. Oh, it was awesome. Then, a week or so ago, there was Gwarko Chowk where we literally stood in the middle of heavily congested traffic with the cross and made distribution. And, as for individual encounters, there have been not a few. Wow, the 25,000 Gospels of Mark that we printed a couple of months ago are going fast. Pray for Project Jagerna; we are going to need more printing funds soon. Thankfully, I was able to place an order for 50,000 Gospel tracts just last week. We wait anxiously for these to come off the presses. 10,000 of these are my Blunt Truth and Haven’t You Heard tracts in English, something the university students and young people like to read. It’s funny, in America it cost me $0.14 each to print these tracts. Here is Kathmandu, it averaged out to a mere $0.03 per tract. 40,000 of the 50,000 order are a new one-page tri-fold tract that Bishnu and I put together. Entitled What Provision Have You Made for Your Eternal Journey, it speaks directly to the Hindu and Buddhist worldview, declaring Christ and His salvation to be something very different from religion. I am real excited about this tract, and being only one page, we can print a lot for real cheap. The number-to-weight ratio is also good for portering up into the mountains.
With regard to Project Jagerna, I have been working hard to put up a stand-alone website that conveys information about this Scripture translation and printing work. Check it out at www.projectjagerna.org. There, you can seamlessly go back and forth between fpgm.org and projectjagern.org, donate online to help us print, and view pdf files of all our printed materials. I am excited that Nepalis can now read these Scripture portions and tracts online. A man from Assam, India contacted us recently and requested permission to print Jagerna Gospels of John for the Nepali speakers in his area. Thanks to this new website, the pdf can be easily downloaded and printed. Glory to God, the pure Word of God in Nepali is going out in Nepal, Tibet, India, Malaysia.
There is so much more that I could write, but time and space does not allow. I do pray, however, that the photos and video clips posted here tell a fuller story. If you have a decent internet connection, enjoy and give praise to Almighty God.
Before I conclude, let me lay out a few important prayer requests:
1. We are planning to make a trip up into the Mt. Everest region either before Christmas or the day after. Lord willing, Ricky and I will be taking a Nepali brother with us so as to disciple him in the work of evangelism. Back in 1999, God gave me opportunity to carry the Gospel up the valley that leads to Everest Base Camp. I haven’t been back since. This time, however, we hope to target the Sherpa peoples of the Gokyo Valley and in the vicinity of Thame. And, we hope to do it in such a way that directly benefits the work of fellow brethren that have more of a long-term focus in that very difficult area. Pray for us as we put our heads together with these brethren and develop a specific strategy that has a long-term effect. Some Project Jagerna Marks were already distributed up there back in the Fall around Thame. We look forward to following up. This time of year, it will be very cold up in the Solu-Khumbu, but the tourist traffic will be significantly diminished, thus creating a more open door for the Gospel. We may also be required to cross at least one very high mountain pass. Back in 1999, my attempt in December to cross one of these passes failed. With the Lord’s help, I don’t intent to fail again. Pray that the Lord makes financial provision for this journey. It will require round-trip airfare to Lukla, the hiring of porters to help carry the material, and subsistence in one of the most expensive areas in all of Nepal. The Tibet trip cost us a pretty penny, but it was well worth every dime. Now, we wait on the Lord to replenish our funds, Ricky in particular, so that the work can continue. We will also be covering all of our Nepali brother’s expenses. Fortunately, in this racist caste-based country, Nepali plane tickets are much cheaper than the foreigner’s ticket. On a side note, Lukla is known as the world’s most dangerous airport in terms of airplane landing and take-off. It’s literally built into the side of a mountain with very little room for pilot error. I was nervous back in 1999; I am nervous again in 2011. Stay tuned . . .
2. Please pray for Bishnu and his family. Bimu, his wife, is in the late stages of pregnancy and is battling elevated blood pressure. There is potential for medical complication, though nothing has materialized as of yet. This situation, by default, has hamstrung Bishnu’s ability to labor with us outside of Kathmandu Valley and will continue to do so for a couple more months. I don’t like traveling into the mountains without him, but it’s the hand we have been dealt. Pray for an easy delivery of a healthy baby, Bimu’s health, financial provision for this family laboring in ministry (Bishnu’s monthly committed support through FPGM has declined in recent months), and for opportunity for Bishnu to return to remote fields in his own country, especially while time remains for us to labor here together.
3. Pray for me, Bishnu, and our Project Jagerna team as we hope to complete translation work on the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Hebrews in the next few months. Lord willing, we aim to run a batch of Matthew/Hebrews editions off the presses before my family and I return to the States in June. Friends, this work is very difficult as both existing Nepali Bibles are super-expensive, difficult to obtain in quantity, and fraught with translation problems. Right now, I am going back through the Project Jagerna John, Romans, and Mark looking for oversights and minor problems, the necessary work of revision. Pray for the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in this very important and laborious work. We need to print more Gospels of John soon, and I don’t want to do this until it has been reviewed with a fine-toothed comb once more. Also, I am trying to translate our new “What Provision Have You Made Your Eternal Journey?” Gospel tract back into English. It’s difficult, but God gives grace. Just pray for us as we try to properly balance this work with the needful work of bold preaching, distribution, discipleship, and church-planting.
4. Finally, please pray for Shawn Holes and his family. I have labored with this dear brother in many venues around the United States, and he is a bold preacher being used by the Lord on college campuses and city streets all across the home-front. Anyway, we are praying that he, his wife, and his teenage son can come labor with us for a month or so here in Kathmandu. I really could use his help; Jamie really could use the fellowship with his wife, her longtime friend; and I believe his boy would benefit immensely from what we have going here in South Asia. Our two families are seeking the Lord on this, and the plans are them to arrive here sometime around January 10th. January and February are prime months to be in Nepal, and there’s much work to be done during that window. Obviously, the cost of roundtrip plane tickets for three people (about $1500 each) is a barrier. Also, Shawn had a stint put into one of his arteries a couple months ago. It was a miracle that the doctor’s caught the clogged vessel when they did (i.e. the result of a random screening), and thankfully, Shawn seems to have healed nicely. Still, a big journey so soon thereafter bears risks. Nevertheless, this dear brother is willing and ready to come. And, we want his family to come with him. Just pray that the Lord makes provision and guides clearly in this matter.
5. Please pray for Jamie and the children. Homeschooling is challenging here on the other side of the world. Still, the Lord’s grace is abundant, and I am so thankful for a wife and children who see their role as nurturing and edifying Ricky and me as we go out to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Without said tender care and concern, we would surely stumble into discouragement and self-pity. Praise God for my family!
Well, as Pilate said when the Jews whined about the sign posted on the cross of the Saviour, “what I have written, I have written.” Soli Deo Gloria.
If the Lord should lay it upon your heart to contribute financially to our ongoing labor in Nepal, the Project Jagerna Scripture printing work, Bishnu’s monthly support, Ricky Springer’s support, or to help facilitate the Holes’ family in coming to assist us here in Kathmandu, please visit www.fpgm.org/donate or www.projectjagerna.org/donate for more information. Don’t forget that all donations are tax-deductible for United States citizens. Moreover, for any contribution, please note how you would like it applied so we can insure it gets used in the proper fashion.
Again, thanks for all your prayers and support. So many gifts have come unexpected, and every dime has been greatly appreciated. May the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified in your lives this Christmas season as you spend time with family and friends. Don’t get caught up in the cultural and commercial insanity. Instead, utilize the opportunity to proclaim the One who came once in a manger as One who will soon come with clouds. As for us, Christmas will just be another day here in Kathmandu, and it will be lonely without family and friends. Nonetheless, we look forward to getting together with some of our Nepali brethren in our backyard and roasting a big old goat over an open fire. Mmmmmm . . . Oh, and then there’s the chance that Ricky and I will be sauntering below snowy Himalayan giants on cold, frosty mornings in high-altitude Sherpa villages next week sometime, singing old Christmas carols in praise to the God who became flesh and dwelt among us, and preaching the babe in a manger who went to the cross, rose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Soon, He’s coming back. Are YOU ready?
I like the words of an old song by Scott Wesley Brown:
Who would have thought that long ago, so very far away:
A little child would be born, and in a manger lay.
And who would have thought this little child was born the King of Kings,
The son of just a carpenter, but for whom the angels sing.
And who would have thought that as He grew, and with other children played:
This child with whom they laughed and sang would die for them someday.
And who would have thought this little child could make a blind man see,
Feed the hungry, make rich the poor, and set the sinner free.
And who would have thought this little child was who the prophet said,
Would take away the sins of man and rise up from the dead.
Oh, I believe, and I will always sing, this little child is the King.
Oh, I believe, and I will always sing, this little child, He is the King of Kings.
Many years have come and gone, yet this world remains the same.
Empires have been built and fallen, only time has made a change.
Nation against nation, brother against brother:
Men so filled with hatred, killing one another.
And over half the world is starving, while our banner of decency is torn.
Debating over disarmament, killing children before they’re born.
And fools who march to win the right to justify their sin,
Oh, every nation that has fallen, has fallen from within.
Yet in the midst of this darkness, there is a hope, a light that burns:
This little child, the King of Kings, SOMEDAY WILL RETURN.
And, I believe, and I will always sing, this little child is the King.
And, I believe, and I will always sing, this little child, He is the King of Kings.
Oh who would have thought this little child is who the prophet said,
Will return to judge this world, the living and the dead.
Oh, can’t you see that long ago, so very far away,
This little child, our only hope, was born a King that day.
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).
Your Humble and Obedient Servants,
The Boyd Family & Ricky Springer
P.S. In case you haven’t had an opportunity, don’t forget to listen to the inaugural episode of “Out of Season,” FPGM’s internet talk-show. Here’s the link:
I never got a subsequent episode out from Tibet, as I had hoped, but the plans are for the next episode to be broadcast from Solu-Khumbu in the shadows of Mount Everest.