Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Perspectives on Nepal

Before: Dharahara Tower, KatmanduAfter: Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

April 25, 2015 saw a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the Kathmandu Valley in Napal.  Though it began there it radiated some 50 miles out, reaching to India, Mount Everest, and the Nepal/China border. The after shocks registered as if they were full blown earthquakes, still between 6-7 on the Richter scale.  The first estimated death toll was somewhere in the vicinity of 1200 with countless others injured.  The new death toll is around 8,000.  Since then there has been another quake around 7.3.  Dozens more were killed in that quake.

This is a horrible natural disaster.  What are we to think?  How do we process this...or do we?  As every horrible thing that can happen is played out on the news for all to see, I find myself fighting not to be desensitized to the truly horrific nature of an event such as this.  It so easy for something as significant as this to get lost in the may other newsworthy events which surround it.  Events that are happening in our own backyard such as racial tensions, huge moral shifts, and then there is the everyday grind that we each strive to survive in our own personal lives.

So What Are We To Think

I have been impacted greatly by those who are far more globally-minded and missions-minded than myself.  Men such as David Platt whom has spoken numerous times of the impact to his own heart upon visiting Nepal a couple of years ago.  Dr. David Platt has been a local pastor with a global heart for the last 9 years and has only recently resigned that assignment to step into the role of President of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Platt speaks of flying into Kathmandu, India not so long ago and hiking for miles through village after village in the mountains of Nepal hoping to impact these people with the gospel.  He speaks of the desperation he felt as he saw the conditions in which they lived, the idolatry that they practiced and of coming to an understanding of the impact that sex slavery has on the little girls and young woman of that country.  These people desperately need the gospel!  Who is going to bring it to them?

Dr. Platt speaks of one particular moment when he witnessed a burial ceremony of the recent dead in these villages.  He witnessed bodies, layed upon funeral pyres, burning as they floated down the river.  He said that it struck him in that moment, that he was visualizing in the physical, the burning horror that was now the spiritual reality for the souls whom these bodies belonged to just hours before.  Except their souls will never cease to burn.

Thousands Burning In Hell

What we must come to grips with is that of the 8,000 people who have died in these quakes, the vast majority are now burning in hell because no one has told them of the good news that Jesus came to save sinners.

You see the dominant religion in Nepal is Hindu.  This is a pagan, idolatrous religion that does not believe in the God of the bible or place their faith in His Son.  Christianity is not just a minority, it is almost non-existent.  Nepal classifies as an unreached people group which is defined as a people group in which less than 2% of the population is Evangelical Christian.  Globally, there are approximately 6,400 people groups.

On the maps below are listed thousands whom, if they die in their current state as unreached with the gospel, they will go to hell and suffer eternal separation from their creator