Many of you following ICM’s story are well aware of the model developed to empower indigenous peoples around the globe. Every so often it’s good to be reminded of how special this method of cooperating with others really is. Just this past week I was forwarded a thank you note from an organization in the snow-capped mountains of Asia called Reach Himalaya Ministries. They applauded what they’ve witnessed ICM’s material do within their very own ministry:
While we do not have the structure, staff or funding to meet your criteria for church buildings, we believe that your Mini Bible College program is an answer to Reach Himalaya Ministries prayers. Now we have good, sound Bible based lessons and study materials to train our pastors and believers in their native language. Pastor Haron and three of his pastors that have reviewed the training study plans and lessons have decided that they would also like to present the study materials orally as well in print. They have started to read and record the study booklets and the student workbooks. We have two people that have had some experience in recording studios and script reading on air. One individual is Pastor Haron’s assistant and another is one of his church members in Kathmandu. This work is currently being hampered by the sporadic availability of electricity. It seems like recently it is off more than it is on in Kathmandu.Another individual that the Lord brought to Pastor Haron in the last three weeks is a son-in-law of the pastor of a large church (around 800 members) in a very remote area near the Tibetan border. He wants to go back up into the mountains to reach villages that have never heard the gospel and establish churches in those places. Suraj also likes the training and has volunteered to read the written study booklets and workbooks into Tibetan. He is fluent in Nepali and Tibetan. We plan to soon start that.For now, Suraj will work on the written study booklets between his trips into the mountains. There is a lot of interest in recording the messages into Tibetan. He feels his people will really benefit by having the lessons in their native tongue. We would like to have a process to follow and not have to develop a new process if one is already available. We are grateful for the help that you have given us already and would appreciate anything that would make it easier and faster to get the lessons into Tibetan.We are seeing other benefits developing as a result of our adoption of your MBC. Pastor Haron is recording worship songs between the lessons. Before people start the study session, they will be able to sing along with the song. It also allows remote groups to hear new worship songs.In addition, we are going to record a “Basic Christianity 101” course that the pastors can use with new converts. This is an offshoot of our “The Hope” and Jesus Film ministries. After spending three days to a week with new converts teaching them the basics, we will begin leaving a mini speaker with them that has the basic new believer’s teachings in addition to MBC’s Sermon on the Mount series.All of these efforts will involve a whole lot of those mini speakers. Haron and Bikash had their pastors add up the number of house churches and cell groups RHM has to get an idea of the potential need for the speakers. There are well over 1000 of these groups from West Nepal stretching across the Himalayas to Bhutan. That is beyond our capability right now so we will start with the pastors first, key leaders next, then house church leaders. Somewhere in there will be the new villages as we get the training recorded.
We love to see unity among believers and generosity in God’s people. I have yet to hear the next step of this correspondence, but would not be surprised if ICM found some way to cooperate with this ministry. The Church body is making connections within our ministry and outside of our borders. Thank you Jesus!