Throughout the gospels, Jesus exhorts His disciples to love their neighbors and to live lives of sacrificial service. What does this look like today?
One poignant example is the testimony of Madan Shah and the church in far west Nepal. Madan is the founder and president of 1Church 1School Wholistic Ministry. He is also a trainer for Harvest International and a champion of Disciple Nations Alliance materials. He works to help the church in Nepal break through long-held prejudices and misbeliefs by reaching out in love to its community and embracing self-sustaining solutions.
This has not always been the trajectory of Madan’s life. He describes his youth as full of gambling, fighting, drugs, and dreams to leave Nepal. Eventually he did, moving to the Philippines where his lifestyle soon landed him in trouble. Desperate, he accepted the help of a friend, who he soon found out was a Christian and a seminary student. Through this friend’s love, prayers, and support, Madan met the Lord, and his life was changed.
Shortly after his conversion, Madan attended a Vision Conference in Manila where he met DNA co-founder Bob Moffitt. What he learned at this Vision Conference changed his worldview, and he felt God’s calling to take the biblical truths he had heard to the people and churches of far-west Nepal.
Upon returning home, Madan soon recognized that the church in western Nepal did not believe they had sufficient resources to make an impact on their community. As Madan and his team taught biblical worldview to the pastors and leaders of local churches, this belief started to shift. Soon an incredible transformation was taking place.
The same churches have now done over 165 seed projects, and more than 90% of these projects have been accomplished using local resources. What’s more, over 60 churches that were once only concerned with spirituality are now also focused on other sectors of their community, especially loving their Hindu and Muslim neighbors.
The community’s perspective toward the Christian church has shifted as it has watched the church actively build schools, help the poor, provide food, and reach out to their neighbors in various other ways. As a result, many families have committed their lives to Christ. Even nonbelievers are thankful for the church and the role it is playing in their society and lives.
One vivid example of this community impact is seen in the schools the church has helped establish. These schools teach love, fairness, a biblical work ethic, servanthood, and basic biblical values. Nonbelieving parents and leaders were initially fearful of these schools because they did not want their children converted to Christianity. Yet they have begun to see the benefits of these biblical teachings, and more and more children are being sent to the classes.
A local leader states, “The church community is contributing to peace and social and economic development in our society.”
Additionally, Madan is working with pastors in Nepal to teach them how to be self-sustaining. They are starting their own businesses, tithing to support the local church, and using their resources to preach the Gospel.
“By God’s grace, Nepal is one of the top nations for Christian growth in the world. We praise God for that, but we realized that Nepali Christians and churches need to be self-sustainable by mobilizing local resources. God has put special things in my heart for young people. We want all our young people to be self-sustaining so they can support their studies, families, and local churches,” writes Madan. “I am a very small guy from a small town. I don’t deserve it, but I thank God for using me in different areas.”
Personally, Madan has been able to start Prince House, which a guest house and café, and Prince Travel Company. These joint businesses provide a source of income for Madan as he ministers to the church in Nepal. Their motto is “Serving people, Creating Business, Glorifying God”.
To hear more from Madan and learn about the self-sustaining efforts in the church in Nepal, watch this video from the Harvest foundation: https://vimeo.com/302930913/91e0111d32
Madan shares his testimony with joy and hope in what the Lord can do. The love of a friend and a Vision Conference transformed his life forever. And now, the love of the Nepali church is transforming its community.
How might you apply biblical truth to impact your community?