The people of Nepal operate within the cultural caste system tied to Hinduism. One’s ability to find a job or earn a dignified source of income is directly determined by where she or he falls within this built-in social network.
Ministering alongside our local partner in Nepal since 2009, we have been able to build relationships with and serve rural villages which are considered lowest in the caste system.
The Musahar people, residing near the Indian border in southern Nepal, live near the jungle to harness its natural resources for survival. However, the Nepalese jungle is a dangerous place where people regularly fall victim to animal attacks and floods. This village, home to 600-800 people, consists of about 110 families, and their living conditions are far from ideal. Most of their homes are crudely put-together structures, and they face two major challenges: the lack of available work and a deep-seated skepticism towards education.
The Musahar people primarily depend on manual labor, including jungle wood and food harvesting, street food vending, and farm work. The community’s dire circumstances have even led them to hunt rats for food, a practice that further stigmatizes them in Nepal’s caste system, labeling them as “Dalits” or “untouchables.”
They struggle to secure basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter. When they manage to acquire funds, the little money they receive is spent on vices such as alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. Domestic violence and gambling are rampant, and the lack of education and job opportunities often pushes the children of this community into these dangerous vices as a means of survival. While Hinduism is the predominant religion, animism is also prevalent, and the village lacks a local church, making it susceptible to false teachings and cults.
Miracles Taking Root
Amidst these challenges, there is a glimmer of hope. A nearby village church has extended its hand to the Musahar village for over a decade. Through this outreach, 15-20 people have come to know the Lord. However, the Musahar people are often viewed as violent and unclean due to their struggles with addiction, making it a challenging environment to serve. Even the local government perceives the village as a nuisance.
The neighboring village’s school is also taking initiative by offering food to the children. This simple act effectively drew Musahar children to school, initially motivated by their families. Over time, the children formed friendships and developed a genuine interest in learning. The stability and structure provided by the school gave them a sense of belonging and purpose, changing their perception of education. While parents still don’t hold education in high regard, many children now desire to attend school, despite occasional obstacles posed by their families who see them as potential earners rather than learners.
In our efforts to transform this community, we’ve partnered with the local church in the neighboring village, which believes in holistic ministry, focusing on both physical and spiritual well-being. The approach is rooted in building relationships with the community while fostering spiritual growth.
With your generous support, we’ve initiated the process of coming alongside and building relationships with the Musahar community by distributing food to 100 families. This critical step has already had a significant impact, ensuring that these families have access to basic sustenance.
Our local partners in Nepal are also actively working to engage with the local government to secure long-term development support for this remote community. The ultimate goal is to provide housing, education, job opportunities, and most importantly, to foster local leaders who can eventually establish a church within the community.
A Holistic Approach to Ministry
With your support, we intend to work exclusively through the neighboring local church until one is established within the Musahar village.
Through building relationships, providing food, and fostering education and leadership, we are making tangible progress. We remain committed to our belief that the love of God can shine even in the darkest of places. Together, we can make a difference and uplift the lives of those who have long been cast aside.
Thank you for joining us in transforming communities like this one to look more like the Kingdom of God!
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