[Ed.: the following is a report about current activities in the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession Nepal (HCLCN), our sister church body in Nepal. It is written, in his own words, by the indigenous pastor who is our main contact in Nepal. Names of people and places are
being withheld because of the risk of persecution.
The report is lightly edited for clarity.]
In the year 2020, the world is fighting against Coronavirus. The world was halted for several months, hundreds of thousands of lives are being lost, and scientists and researchers are working round the clock to find a vaccine so that life can return to normal.
The pandemic has affected Nepal too. Since the Nepalese Government is imposing lockdown, the HCLCN is directly affected too. The HCLCN affiliated churches are now closed since April 21, 2020. All the HCLCN churches are closed until further notice from the government. The churches suspended all their weekly gatherings, but some of the churches that have internet access are doing online services using social media like Facebook Live and Zoom.
The HCLCN is working in Nepal to build and develop, and to train more workers for the harvest in the land where just 1.4% of the people are Christians. We were excited for the year 2020, as we had several plans that could help growth of our work in the country.
The HCLCN used to organize conferences and visitations and mission trips every year. This year too we had planned several conferences, mission trips, and seminars, and we were excited that we would grow bigger and better. Unfortunately, up to date it is not possible to travel anywhere due to the strict lockdown. However, we would like to thank the brothers and sisters at the CLC that shared their resources so that we could distribute food items to people in need. More than fifty families were helped by the assistance.
Regarding the Himalayan Bible Institute (HBI), we had completed courses at two HBI locations—one in Kathmandu, State 2, and another in Dang District, State 5. We have two batches of students who completed their studies, and we planned to graduate fourteen students for the ministry. It was scheduled for April 2020. Sadly, we lost a student in August, due to lack of medical attention during the lockdown. Now we plan to graduate thirteen students at the earliest possible date.
The HBI is closed this year as we could not train students due to lockdown. Therefore, we paused the training. We plan to start two more batches next year. We expect applications from the students beginning in early January.
The mission helper program in Nepal began in 2011. We were blessed to welcome the CLC Mission Helpers in 2011, 2014, and 2017. We love their presence as they bring the joyful Word of God to unreached children in the country. We look forward to having them in 2021.
We would like to thank the CLC Board of Missions and all the brothers and sisters at the CLC for praying for us and sharing their resources to construct a building for the HBI in Chitwan district. We plan to begin the construction work in November if the situation permits.
The pandemic has affected every area in the country. At the time of this writing, the country has been under lockdown for more than five months. It is hard and painful that we should remain at home. The stay-at-home orders are more strict than before. The rise of the COVID-19 cases in recent days is making everyone worry.
But there is a hope that someday the Lord wipes away the problem and brings a new dawn of joy and comfort. We are witnessing to people through technology, and people are asking for prayers. We look forward to going out to the mountains to proclaim the Word of God to the lost souls. We are sure that God is in control and whatever He wills, He does. We pray that the Lord will bless the sincere and faithful believers. We pray that the situation gets better so that many more people can hear the Word of salvation. Please pray for Nepal!