CMS - Inspire September 09 - Manoj, mission and Nepal
In countries like Nepal, hundreds of Christians are now committed to evangelism and are helping to strengthen the Church worldwide
Kushiram, like almost all Nepalese people, comes from a Hindu family. Nine years ago he was infected with Japanese encephalitis. He tried several treatments and witch doctors, but his health deteriorated.
On his deathbed, Kushiram asked a friend to pray for him in the name of Jesus. From then on, his health began improving slowly and Kushiram began attending church.
His budding faith was tested when his young son passed away; however Kushiram continued to trust in Jesus.
Kushiram felt called to share Jesus with others and become a church leader, but where could he go for the training he needed?
It’s a challenge facing many Christians in Nepal: Christianity is growing fast in the recently secularised country, but without skilled church leaders there is a risk it won’t take root.
Hoping to fill this “leadership gap” is Manoj Pradhananga, who directs the Leadership Training Department of the National Churches Fellowship Nepal.
Like Kushiram, Manoj was brought up in a Hindu family; he remembers when he used to participate in idol worship. “Religion was a mere tradition for me rather than a relationship,” he says.
One day, Manoj decided to visit a church, where he was inspired by the message and impressed with the people. “After a long study of the Christian faith, I made a decision to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.”
Manoj became passionately committed to evangelism and to providing solid Bible education for Nepalese Christians. Recognising his potential, in 2000, CMS provided a scholarship for Manoj to study at a seminary in India. Afterwards, he took up his current work, helping to train hundreds of church leaders – like Kushiram – for Nepal and surrounding countries.
Kushiram is just one of hundreds of success stories. After completing his training, he went to a nearby village to plant a church. Within six months the church grew from one nominal believer to 16 committed members.
Stories like this make Nepal one of the most exciting places in mission today and Manoj one of mission’s key figures.
As an Asian Christian leader working in his native region, he is a strong example of the shift that’s taking place in mission – away from a “West to the rest” mentality and toward the raising up of people who can help strengthen the Church worldwide.
Nepal is one of the poorest nations on earth, which is why CMS is committed to supporting people like Manoj through their Timothy Fund.
“We also recognise that mission partners like Manoj have much to teach us,” said a CMS spokesperson, “which is one reason why Manoj, along with another powerful voice in Asian mission, Ram Prasad Shrestha, will be touring UK churches this Autumn.”
To see where Manoj and Ram will be speaking in the UK this month, see www.cms-uk.org/speakers
For the free CMS Harvest resource, which focuses on the work of Manoj and another Asia-to-Asia mission partner, Po Kau Tang, see www.cms-uk.org/harvest
Watch this space! More stories of people like Manoj are coming up in the next Inspire.