Nepal (MNN) — In banking terms, if a three-month investment yielded over 100% return, it’d be making headlines.
In ministry terms, it’s pretty much the same story. World Mission Executive Director Greg Kelley explains what happened when they started targeting some villages in northeast India and Nepal. “Most of these people are totally illiterate, and so we’ve distributed our solar-powered Bible, called the Treasure, into this area. [In] one particular village, there were two known Christians. One Treasure was given to these people. Three months later, they found 12 Christians.”
Obviously, Kelley says, this unreached people group was primed and ready to hear God’s Word. “God just created us with a void for relationship with Him. It’s amazing, time after time, these villages that have never heard the Gospel, when the Word is put in their presence, their hearts just open up.”
World Mission is now targeting the whole of northeast India and Nepal. Kelley goes on to say, “With the added challenge of the Himalayan Mountains, it really creates some major barriers to the Gospel. So we have targeted some villages in that area. [In] one state in particular called Humla, of 50,000 people, there are 30 known Christians.”
What makes a group unreached? Kelley defines them as people who live “in a community that has no access to the Gospel. Typically, they describe that by the proximity of a local church (that can create the infrastructure to disciple the people and really nurture them in their Christian walk).”
As a whole, World Mission focuses on illiterate “oral learners” with no Scriptures in their language and/or very low literacy rates. They found an Israeli company that manufactures a small, handheld, solar-powered audio player called the Treasure. Kelley clarifies, “A Treasure is 2.5 oz. It’s smaller than the average smartphone. It has a solar panel built into it. It’s loud enough on the front with the speaker that about 12 people can gather around comfortably and listen to it.”
World Mission uses a model for distributing these Treasures that involves Christians in many countries. “We believe strongly in our national network because there’s uniqueness, as far as relational connection, that can happen, and that is really imperative” Kelley explains, adding, “We don’t want to just send in a gadget and assume that discipleship is going to take place.”
This 2.5 oz investment has an impossibly high yield, which takes the project out of the physical realm and places it in the spiritual realm. “When we send one Treasure into Nepal, 144 people will hear the Gospel for hours at a time every week. It takes $50 to send one Treasure in. Our goal in 2014 is to send 2,000 Treasures into the country of Nepal.”
Internationally there are 13 “national networks” with 300 national leaders actively distributing the Treasure. India, with over 1000 languages spoken, has three networks, the largest being in north India/Nepal. Once placed, each Treasure is used more than 2,000 hours over the duration of its lifetime. It’s safe to say that anywhere from 100 to as many as 2,000 people will hear about Christ through each unit. Click here if you can help.