mohanpur, mosquito nets, mass distribution & peru
Today (Monday, June 18), Brother Bishnu, our faithful national partner from Nepal, landed in Peru as he says: "to labor with friends to reach the Israeli backpackers and to get myself better trained in Jewish Evangelism so we can reach the Israeli backpackers who transit every year through Kathmandu." It was a miraculous provision from the Lord that he was able to obtain a tourist visa to come here. And, here at FPGM, it gives us great joy to give our faithful national partners overseas the opportunity to also carry out the Great Commission in what is their overseas. Over the years, Brother Bishnu has labored with us all over Nepal and also in India, the United States, Canada, and now South America! Glory to God.
Long ago, it was this brother's desire to preach Christ and Him crucified outside his own country. And, the Lord has fulfilled that desire yet again.
Before Peru, however, there was Mohanpur and the mosquito nets. The Lord heard another who called upon Him and also fulfilled this one's desire. In Bishnu's own words:
The small village of Mohanpur is in the Saptari District of Eastern Nepal, and a local church located more than five miles away has a member in that village. Brother Ram Narayan heard the Gospel when he was in the Middle East, free from the social and ritual bondages of his homeland. His name is the juxtaposition of the names of two Hindu gods. The parents give their children the names of Hindu gods and goddesses in the hopes that speaking these names frequently in one's family would earn extra karma. Amazingly, the Lord drew brother Ram Narayan to Himself, revived his spirit to see the need of a Messiah, and made him spiritually able to receive the greatest spiritual gift known to man. He repented and believed in the God of the Bible and His Anointed One. Later, he came back to Nepal and joined the local church. There are more than 500 houses in his village, and he is the only believer there. He and his church, a long walk for this brother, were praying to start a house group in his village. So, we were invited to help them toward this end through open-air preaching and mass evangelism along with the free distribution of mosquito nets to the poor of the poorest. FPGM helped us to purchase these nets which are most needful during the monsoon in the lower elevations. The Lord gave us the right time, the right courage, and the right words to speak to the crowd that gathered for the nets. Elderly people, widows, new mothers, physically disabled people, very poor youths, and even some local government officials were present. The Lord gave me the boldness to preach the Gospel clearly, while another brother translated it into their local dialect. I preached for almost an hour, and the local government representatives clearly heard the Gospel. It was truly a historic moment in Mohanpur where the Gospel had never been preached openly before. Certainly, the Written Word was also given out.
Afterward, the Ward Chairman helped us distribute the mosquito nets while members of his committee helped to call out names from the list. We gave out Nepali Gospels of John, Sacrifice Tracts, and copies of The Ancient Path with each mosquito net. We were humbled to help the very elderly grandmothers with the nets and of course with the Gospel. At the end, the Hindu Ward Chairman spoke well of us: "Thank you very much for preaching your religion and giving out the mosquito nets." This is a comment we never expected, not in a time when persecution in Nepal against believers is growing. God was really with us. After that, Brother Ram Narayan fed us a tribal meal, and the local government representatives ate with us. That was the last day of the Nepali Year 2074.
The government passed a law some months ago that criminalizes any form of evangelism and became "official" (whatever that means) on he first day of the Nepali Year 2075. So we enjoyed some good open-air preaching on the last day of our so-callled freedom in the village of a brother that the Lord miraculously saved while a migrant worker in the Muslim Middle East.
I am reminded, my friends, of the Lord's rebuke to Israel in Isaiah 65. To a rebellious people who had forgotten God, He says: "I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name (65:1). Accounts like this amongst the Gentiles are glorious to the Church, both Jew and Gentile. But, they are also an indictment upon the nations, both Jew and Gentile, who once knew the Lord and have now cast His truth aside. Messiah will one day save and restore the nation of Israel stiff-necked as they remain, but no such promise has ever been made for the United States. I see Brother Ram Narayan and his salvation more subtle evidence that my country is already under the judgment of God. America is ultimately doomed, but salvation remains available to any American who will repent and believe the biblical Gospel. As to these faces from Mohanpur, may it be so for my fellow-countrymen:
As Bishnu mentioned above, the opposition to the Gospel and Christians is growing in Nepal. The cult groups from South Korea try to force people to convert, and this is provoking the radical Hindu factions. Things are changing, and we may be forced to be more careful when it comes to the open-air preaching, particularly in Kathmandu, to which we have been accustomed. Notwithstanding, our job, doesn't change, and we continue to pray with Brother Bishnu for other opportunities committed as colporters to the mass distribution of the printed Word of God. Presently, Bishnu and his team are working on typing the Gospel of John that he has helped get translated faithfully into the Tharu Dialect. This is a first in history. Their goal is to get a copy into every Tharu home. According to census data, there are about 475,000 Tharus dispersed into about 100,000 houses. As we labor to preach Messiah to the Israeli backpackers first in Nepal, we also aim to assist in this work and help cover the cost of printing. The Great Commission demands that the responsibility of a Bible translator, printer, and/or colporter go beyond translating, printing, and distributing. Thus, Bishnu wrote to me: "We are praying that the Lord helps us in this project and in training and mobilizing local pastors and churches where distributions will be made. We covet your prayers for that and your partnership."
My friends, we fish with a Jewish net; such is our calling from the Lord. Notwithstanding, we rejoice to catch whatever we can in that net and a responsibility to the Gentile nations is ever before us.
Such is the South Asian prelude to the coming weeks in Peru where Brother Bishnu will be laboring with us to reach the Israeli backpackers first, and also the Gentiles with whom we cross paths. Lord willing, he will leave Peru on July 7 and return to Nepal via North Carolina and one of our supporting local churches, hopefully carrying with him a better understanding and a recharged zeal to carry on the work he has begun while broadening his scope to assist us with reaching the Jewish people who visit his distant land. On August 1, Eric & Mindy Trent (in Peru with us also until July 24) leave for South Asia themselves and will be working with Brother Bishnu for the rest of the year.
These are exciting times for FPGM. The last few months in Argentina were difficult and in some ways troublesome. Yet, the Lord remains faithful, and we have no choice but to continue. We could use your help, and we covet the accountability of Bible-believing local churches and believers who will hold the ropes for us out on the front lines through prayer and financial sacrifice. It's not cheap to travel to these places, to travel within these countries and go to where the Israeli backpackers can be found, to print copies of God's Word, to support national partners like Brother Bishnu in needful work, and to sustain two missionary families on foreign fields. Please prayerfully consider giving to this work: fpgm.org/donate.
Here is the sunset view from our apartment window here in Huaraz, Peru. All praise to the Maker of the Mountains, the Messiah of Israel, and the Saviour of the world. Jesus is His name.
-The Boyd Family