Nepal has a population of almost 29 million people, only 5,000 of whom are Adventist. There remains a caste system in Nepal, due to the majority of the population being Hindu.
In April, 2015, a devastating earthquake shook many mountain villages. Chepang was one of the most vulnerable villages. The Chepang people are considered a marginalized community and have dealt with historic discrimination and severe neglect. Something incredible was about to happen in the remote Chepang village, however.
Chief Surendra Chepang was devastated. He was the pagan witch doctor and leader of his people. His two sons had become deathly ill. He tried every potion and chant to heal them, but none of his spells worked. Sadly, his two sons died. Surendra realized there was no real power behind his beliefs, so he gave up witchcraft.
One day, at the top of his remote mountain, Surendra tuned in to an AWR broadcast. He wondered: was this the power he’d been searching for? Surendra called the radio station to ask questions. Our AWR station manager sent a Bible worker to hike to the faraway village to meet with the Chepang tribe.
This Bible worker taught them the Biblical principles of health, sanitation, and, most importantly, the hope of the gospel. They have applied the biblical lifestyle to their village and have built an outhouse and a small church structure. Their plan is to start a small goat farm that will help provide for their basic needs.
The people are very simple and hard-working and do not have direct access to electricity, drinking water, or other basic necessities. People rely on open sources of water, like rivers and streams. There is no road access, so they walk in their flip flops from the top to the bottom of the mountain to get basic items such as food, water, and clothing.
In June, our AWR team was in Nepal and decided to visit the Chepang village – no matter how remote or difficult it would be to reach. We squeezed into a local bus for a 45-minute drive through a rocky river bed, then trekked up a steep mountainside to meet with the Chepang people.
Our team members, guided by locals, hiked for three hours with 17 bags of rice – each weighing 30 kg (66 pounds) – onions, noodles, and other basic provisions. The villagers were so excited to know that AWR personally cares about them. We had worship together and listened to their stories. It was a thrilling experience!
All 17 families in this village are listening to AWR and learning about their Savior Jesus, and they want to be baptized. Choosing to become a follower of Christ and being baptized in Nepal is no easy matter, however. Baptisms are held in secret. Please keep these precious souls in your prayers.
There are 25 local FM radio stations broadcasting the Advent message throughout Nepal. Additionally, our shortwave programs can be heard in the most isolated and obscure regions.
Nepal is in urgent need of Bible workers to study with the hundreds of listeners who call in to the stations daily, inquiring about the God of the Bible. Providing transportation, salaries, and necessary expenses for three full-time Bible workers is only $1,000 a month.
Jesus is coming soon, and doors of opportunity are open today that soon may close. Now is the time to be involved and spread the gospel like never before. Thank you for joining us in hastening the second coming by your needed prayers and generous donations. Together, we are making waves from broadcast to baptism. This is AWR 360º!
by Cami Oetman
Vice President for Advancement