Nepal (MNN) ― King Gyanendra justified his coup in Nepal this week on the need to beat back the Maoist rebels.
However, it appears by undermining democracy in the process, he may have strengthened the rebels' position. The Maoists now have less incentive to negotiate than ever. Even worse, the king's crackdown won't do much to change conditions.
We spoke with an Interserve physician who worked in Nepal. For security reasons, she's unnamed, but she says the instability has gone on for years, so this is nothing new. "In my communication with both missionary friends and local Nepalis who I'm friends with, over the last week they had said, 'you know, it's actually not that different. It feels a bit like we're more in hibernation than it is that there is an outright war going on.'"
While many involved in outreach are keeping their heads down, she explains that ministry work has had to slow because "It's harder to get food in some areas, it's harder to travel, but it's actually not that different than what's gone on."
In fact, it appears the difficult conditions believers live with have helped their vision mature. "I think the church in Nepal has gone from being a first generation church, very focused on just evangelism, to realizing that they need to care about their country, and need to care for each other, and so there's the beginnings of social witness in Christians in Nepali churches, and that's sort of exciting to see."
Please pray for those involved in missions' work in the country. Many of the workers could be considered 'bi-vocational' and have their visas because they provide a valuable service to the country, i.e.- medical work, nursing, education and business. For those working in this manner, sharing the hope of Christ comes through lifestyle evangelism. Pray for the strength of their testimony during this time.
Nepal's crisis sees continued backlash.
Posted: 11 February, 2005
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