"These kinds of changes happening across that region (are) just phenomenal," says Bruce Johnson with Asian Access, "and again it's without tremendous civil wars just upheaving those countries, but allowing basically a fairly peaceful turnover into a democratic society."
Christians are encouraged by greater freedom to share their faith and increasing openness of others to hear the Gospel. "It's certainly much more open now than it has been. Even this move with an interim government and now moving to a democratic constitutional government, will really give much more openness to Christians in sharing their faith within that country, and so we're looking forward to more openness."
Yet, says Johnson, "While there's openness to the Gospel, it also means there's just more openness to other influences that aren't Christlike, and so we're praying that the Lord would use this time to, again, further strengthen the church and allow these kinds of missionary movements to happen where missionaries are going now from Nepal into other parts of Asia.
That also highlights what God has been doing in that formerly closed country. For decades, the West had sent missionaries into Nepal, but while Nepal was more closed, those missionaries had to leave. Yet the Gospel has gone forward. Johnson says, "The church has expanded and been strengthened. And now, churches in Nepal are actually equipping missionaries and pastors to go from Nepal into other parts of Asia and plant churches and extend the Gospel to Nepalese that have moved to other countries across Asia."
Johnson says there are hundreds of thousands of Nepalese that are now living and working in Malaysia and other parts of Asia. Johnson says that Asian Access, along with many Christians, have a desire to establish churches in Nepal and amongst the Nepalese people.
Johnson tells the story of a divinely orchestrated connection Asian Access got to be part of. At a gathering of Christian leaders in Asia, the director of Asian Access in Malaysia, also a pastor, expressed his vision and heart to train and send missionaries to see churches planted among the Nepalese people. A businessman who was there spoke up, sharing that had hundreds of Nepalese working for his company. He had been praying that the Lord would send someone to minister among them and hopefully plant a church out of that.
Out of that meeting, the businessman committed to sponsoring a Nepalese pastor to minister amongst the Nepalese, and Johnson says it's exciting to see God make it possible. "Asian Access, in this case, was really more of a bringing them together. The Lord had planted the vision there; the Lord had equipped them, but Asian Access had the opportunity of at least connecting them."
To Johnson, seeing that connection happen "reaffirmed that the Lord is doing a special work in Asia and putting on the hearts of the pastors there to have a missionary movement of sending their workers into other countries of Asia."
As they continue to equip national pastors for ministry, Asian Access needs partners through prayer and finances. Johnson asks prayer that God would continue raising up pastors with the vision to send their people into other parts of Asia. Pray for greater effectiveness in equipping the saints for ministry, to build up disciples who make disciples, and as they plant house churches, which is an effective and widespread method of ministry.
And financially, Johnson says, "It takes dollars to do that kind of training. The Lord is faithful, but we're looking for continued partners willing to come alongside and see national pastors equipped to extend the Gospel in their countries."
If you would like to help support national pastors and leaders in Asia, contact Asian Access through their information listed here.