How do you begin the conversation about Jesus? Sometimes, it’s hard to get the ball rolling . . . with our friends . . . or even in mission fields. Our synod has been developing new tools to help. And this tool is a movie, “Come Follow Me.”
Visualize this scenario: A non-member is injured in your church parking lot. It’s easy to imagine lawsuits and insurance issues. But at one WELS congregation in Las Vegas this seeming problem turned into an enormous blessing—a doorway to an entirely new ministry—a Korean ministry.
"Nepal - Where monkeys are gods and many people are blind."
On February 11th of this year Christian Aid and Relief sent their Director of Operations, Mark Vance to the country of Nepal to assess the effectiveness of the humanitarian aid grant program established with the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church of Nepal. In conjunction with the WELS Board for World Missions, CA&R grants funding for humanitarian aid projects to help the CELC of Nepal leaders and members to build bridges to Gospel sharing opportunities throughout their country. Currently, the CELC of Nepal has funding for 7 different projects that range from health clinics, to fresh water boreholes, to sewing clinics for women, to orphanage support and others.
Vance writes; "Until you actually travel to a country like Nepal and see the culture that Christians are up against, you can't fully understand the magnitude of the challenge they have in living and sharing their faith."
Nepal is a country whose religious culture is a mixture of Hindu influence from the west and Buddhism from the North. This mixture of beliefs and traditions has led to a culture of; "there are millions of gods and all are worshiped here." It is clear to see this culture as you travel throughout the country as you will see shrines and temples to just about anything from monkeys to snakes to even an 8 year old girl they call "The living goddess." It is sad that so many people are blind in their beliefs.
Most of the Christians in Nepal were once blind too. They tell their stories of how lost and hopeless they were in the emptiness of these beliefs. And now, how thankful they are that their eyes have been opened by the Word of the one true God.
There are almost 4,000 confessional Lutherans now in Nepal and almost all of them were initially brought to the knowledge of Christ their savior through the humanitarian aid projects conducted by the CELC of Nepal.
Purely by the grace of our Lord, the CELC of Nepal is growing daily in its numbers as eyes are being opened.
It’s not too early to start planning for the national worship conference set for late July. Should your congregation consider sending your music director? Absolutely . . . but that’s just the beginning.