Before beginning class this morning, I asked these Nepalese students—most of whom are pastors—to tell me some of the daily challenges they face. In a Communist country where Hindus and Buddhists make up most of the population (and followers of Jesus make up approximately one percent), it can’t be easy. Here were some of their answers—
-the overwhelming idolatry. Everywhere you look, there are idols. Almost every home, shop, business, school, and government office is filled with all makes of idols (not to mention the roads that are lined with them)
-one is not free to share one’s faith without the real risk of being incarcerated
-poverty is everywhere, and almost every pastor works outside the church at a job to make ends meet
-travel. Many of the roads are terrible, often impassable during the monsoon season—which hasn’t ended yet. Many of these students travel 1-2 hours to class on bike
-growing religious extremists who threaten and intimidate believers, disallowing prayer and singing in Christian homes for fear this will disturb their gods
-discouraged pastors leaving the ministry—or the country
As I listened, I was thinking—if only they knew the challenges I face—
-the fear of not getting an aisle seat when heading back to Portland
-the daily traffic on Hwy 26 that often stalls just past the 217 interchange, meaning an extra ten minutes on the freeway before getting to seminary
-someone listening to Pandora at home, interrupting my opportunity to listen to my music preferences while driving
-the athletic club has closed the Jacuzzi for repairs, and it might be a week!
-really, leftovers—and only these three choices of salad dressings?
-unwanted computer-generated phone calls, as well as all of the disgusting junk mail
-the real possibility my team won’t be televised this Sunday
-the WSJ not delivered on time
-hard to find parking at Costco
-there’s nothing to watch on Netflix
We are developing a special bond.