Greetings in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. We could really use your prayers right now as FPGM is on the verge of jumpstarting a long-term ministry to Israeli backpackers in Nepal.
Sharing Christ with the Jewish people has become top priority as God prepares them for the Messiah’s return. As I perceived while laboring down in South America for the first six months of 2013, one of the greatest times to reach Israelis with the Gospel is during early adulthood when they are fresh out of conscripted military service and trying to figure out life. Moving forward, I am excited to share what the Lord is putting together in this vein in South Asia, as well as how you can be involved. Please be in prayer for these efforts. However noble it might be to labor on a foreign field, with the Jewish people, the work itself must be a humble effort: nothing extravagant, just redeemed-by-the-Blood Gentiles seeking to be a part of seeing Israel restored back to their God.
In short, FPGM’s goal is to set up a full-time ministry outlet for reaching Jewish backpackers. There exists an interesting cultural phenomenon that started back in the 1970’s: Israeli youth travel to exotic places to experience cultural mysticism, non-stop nomadic partying, and drugs immediately after their two years of required service in the Israeli Armed Forces. I’ll spare you the details, but about 50,000 Israelis travel the globe each year for this traditional stepping stone of life. One-third of them travel to South America where FPGM has previously labored among them; and the other two-thirds head for the Indian Subcontinent, including Kathmandu where FPGM already maintains an ongoing ministry to the Nepali people. This is not coincidence. The Good Shepherd is preparing us to call the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matthew 10:6-7) and to train up Nepali believers to help us do so.
I will be leaving next month for an indefinite period of time to help lay the groundwork for this effort. This will involve me living in Nepal more permanently and setting up a type of hospitality house while training some of the local Nepalis about Jewish ministry. How breathtaking it will be to have Jewish youth hear all about Israel’s God from the mouth of a Nepali Gentile! One of the biggest barriers standing before us concerns Nepal’s long-term visa requirements. Tourist visas only allow 150 days per calendar year, so the best you can do is ten consecutive months followed by a sizable gap of fourteen months before that same consecutive ten month cycle can repeat itself. I am asking the Lord to provide another alternative, be it a business visa, a student visa, or a research visa, all of which can be costly and difficult to acquire. Please join me in prayer for this matter.
Our desire is to have a more permanent presence in Kathmandu, interacting with the Israeli tourists during Nepal’s two annual tourist seasons and opening arms of hospitality to give them a warm and friendly place to stay as they inevitably travel through Kathmandu. Most Israelis have become accustomed to opposition and disdain on their travels because of all the anti-Semitism around the world. FPGM, on the other hand, wants to open arms of compassion and bless them. In a hospitality setting, we can then guide them to a more genuine experience of Nepal’s culture and geography while steering them away from the devilish influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that most are lured into. Such would yield prime opportunity to openly share with them about Jesus the Messiah while giving them free copies of the Hebrew New Testament. After I spent a season of ministry down in South America doing this very thing, FPGM sees the potential for duplicating this work in Nepal. Around 33,000 Israelis set a course for South Asia every year. In fact, the world’s largest Passover Seder is held annually in Kathmandu. As far as we know, there has never been a ministry that specifically targets the plethora of Israeli travelers who pass through Nepal, and we want that to change. For, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16).
In terms of logistics, I aim to start by renting a two-bedroom flat for myself and putting in a few extra mattresses to host male Jewish travelers. It will be as simple as going out to popular Israeli hangouts to strike up conversations and then inviting whoever the Lord puts into my path back to my place for a meal and a free place to stay. For nearly all come, it will be their first experience in a Christian environment and the perfect time to point them to God’s word. After sharing a meal together, Israelis are usually more than happy to sit in on a Bible study where they can learn about the Messiah. As they come and go, news of a hospitable place like this that welcomes Israelis will spread quickly by word of mouth to other such travelers. Of course, while I am there on my own, I will only be able to host men. And, the initial space will only permit me to have a few there at one time. The next step, however, is to find and rent an affordable house like where I lived with the Boyd family the last time we stayed in Kathmandu. It could then be outfitted with several beds to host groups of Israelis, FREE as the Lord provides. We would aim to find a place large enough to have a men’s dorm room and a women’s dorm room as well as living quarters for Christian volunteers that would live on site to maintain a Christian witness while hosting the Israelis. Something like this in Nepal with a large enough kitchen, enough rooms and bathrooms, and adequate living space will be affordable but not cheap. The idea is to provide them with something foreign and unique, yet with a warm touch of friendship as if they were sitting at their own dinner table back in Israel.
Aside from God’s wisdom and provision, we will also need VOLUNTEERS to give of their own lives and partner with us in Nepal. If you know of any serious believers who are interested in this type of ministry, please point them our way. You don’t have to be an expert mountaineer or a theologian. We simply need true believers who are willing to share their faith. All the training necessary to be in the field sharing Christ with both Jew and Gentile will be provided. We are open to utilizing both long-term and short-term volunteers. The prime tourist seasons in Nepal are March-June and August-November. The short season from December-February can also be a good time.
For awhile now, I have been meditating on this verse: “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
As Christians, we have such a blessed opportunity to be a part of fulfilling this verse. How will they know Messiah if someone does not share the Gospel with them? If you would like to be a part of this Jewish ministry, please contact FPGM.
Intercessory prayer is our greatest need; and I mean that with all my heart. Please pray with us that the Lord will bring together all of the necessary components to launch this outreach ministry. At present, my monthly support levels are simply too low to maintain a work and long-term presence in Nepal. Basically, my one-way plane ticket has been purchased, and I have enough to sustain me for basically a month. Notwithstanding, I am leaving in faith, knowing that the Lord never guides where He does not provide. As for regular and consistent support it helps me determine when, where, and how I can and should make use of the Lord’s resources.
Because we, as Gentile believers, have received the spiritual blessings of Abraham, I want to encourage you to find a way to bless the physical seed of Abraham in return. Consistently sowing into a Jewish ministry is a way to do that; and this makes you every bit as valuable in the efforts as those laboring on the field. Your work week can then become a multifaceted ministry of witnessing to those around you, providing for your family, and sharing the gospel with the Jewish people. To live in a place where every man knows the Lord brings to mind a sort of utopia. But, my friends, the Scripture is not philosophy, fantasy or fable. It is in every way a fact. And, when you read a passage of Scripture, no matter how unfathomable it may seem, you can be sure that it DID or else WILL happen. The above passage, for instance, concerns the Jewish people. At one point, in the not so distant future, the whole earth will experience the greatest upheaval and judgment that mankind has ever known. Then, after judgment is poured out, the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, will set up His Kingdom, the only true utopia. The Jewish people call this Messianic concept “paradise.” In their mind, it is equivalent to going to heaven. The key for entering into the kingdom of heaven, however, is the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the ONLY way. Nothing else will grant access. But, again, how will they know if the Church does not preach this truth to them (Romans 10:14)?
If you believe this is a ministry you can support with more than your prayers, or if you already support FPGM on a monthly basis and feel you can increase that faithfulness, even if but a little, there are real needs with regard to my ministry focus upon the Israeli backpackers in Nepal. EVEN SOMETHING AS SEEMINGLY INSIGNIFICANT AS $50/MONTH (i.e. LESS THAN A TANK OF GAS), WELL . . . I CAN STRETCH IT FAR TOWARD THIS END. For more information on how you can financially support Full Proof Gospel Ministries, please visit HERE.
Lord Jesus, receive all glory to Yourself. For You are worthy. Amen.
P.S. For more details on what we have planned for ministry in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh over the next two months, check Jesse’s latest blog post: Anticipation is Making Me Late. I will post again in a few weeks detailing the labor once it is underway. Please keep all of us at FPGM in your prayers. God bless.