Nepal is a diverse nation of over 125 ethnic groups, with many different languages spoken and religions practiced. The Bhojpuri-speaking community is one of these ethnic groups that comprises over 1.8 million of Nepal’s population. This is the third-largest population group in Nepal. Despite their large size, less than one per cent are Christian, and they are considered an unreached people group.
In mid-March, before the country locked down because of COVID-19, the TWR Nepal team was able to visit a Bhojpuri-speaking district. The team met individually with listeners, shared the gospel and organized large rallies where they distributed program guides, Christian literature, Bibles and radio kits. TWR Nepal met over 700 people and were able to distribute 100 Bibles & 25 radio kits.
We are amazed at the response to the radio programs. In the 17 villages that were visited, 65 per cent of the people listen to the programs. Entire villages that are non-Christian say that they love the Bhojpuri programs.
Because of the radio program, the Bhojpuri producer has become somewhat of a celebrity. When the team arrived in the village, people began to recognize the producer and knew that the group was from TWR. The Bhojpuri producer asked them about the subjects discussed in the programs. Some of the listeners recited the topics as if they had been memorized! “We realized that people are very hungry and thirsty for truth in these areas,” said a TWR Nepal staff member.
As the team talked with listeners, they heard again and again that the Bhojpuri radio program is so helpful in communicating the gospel to them in their own heart language, as most of the villagers can only understand and communicate in the Bhojpuri language.
“I live a simple life and am from a middle-class family. When I came to believe in Christ, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to speak to my community about my faith. I am not educated, but I love to share my faith with my neighbours. The way I learn about Jesus is through the Bhojpuri radio programs that air in the community. This is how I gain knowledge so that I can share the gospel with other people. Now everyone in my village and community knows about me. I am a regular listener of the program and I often put on my clothes marks that show I am a Christian. I wear the cross on my sweater in hopes that people will ask me about Jesus. Thank you so much for providing me with a new radio. Thank God!”
We praise God that local churches are happily and enthusiastically promoting the TWR Nepal ministries and radio programs as it is making a big impact in evangelizing and reaching out to their people. Local churches are reporting that due to these programs, the gospel is spreading rapidly in the community. Some of the non-Christian villagers who listen to the program make calls to the TWR Nepal team to ask more about Jesus. The believers who cannot join worship services at church are also getting fellowship through these programs. It is encouraging, equipping and strengthening them in their faith. The church leaders and listeners keep suggesting that the program be broadcasted seven days a week instead of two.
We thank God for his timing in this distribution of materials to the Bhojpuri community before the COVID-19 lockdown! Please pray for those listening to the program, that their hearts will be transformed, and they will believe in the saving power of Jesus. Pray for all the church leaders in the Bhojpuri region, that they will be equipped with sound knowledge of God’s Word, and that they may lead their churches well.