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ASIA

Asia: Contrasts Are Only the Beginning

 

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, covering about 30% of Earth’s total land area. Asia is notable for not only its overall size and population but its dense as well as barely populated regions within the continent of 4.4 [?] billion people. Asia has exhibited economic as well as population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen to world average levels. Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia may actually have more to do with human than physical geography. Asia varies greatly across its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.

 

Population: 1,439,000,000

Spiritually lost: 1,400,000,000 (98%)

Unreached people groups: 3909

  • Serving in Tibet & Nepal since 1991
  • Mission focus: church planting and discipleship
  • Tibet/Nepal teams: unnamed short-term missions
  • A church has been planted having an indigenous pastor

Tibet/Nepal

Tibetans, a largely unreached people group, live on the “roof of the world” at an altitude of 12,000 to 16,000 feet on the far west side of China. High mountains and harsh, bitter weather have created an almost impassable barrier to missionaries throughout history. In 1959, China annexed Tibet, increasing the difficulty for missionaries to gain access. Read more below.

More About Tibet/Nepal

About 2.5 million Tibetans live in their homeland and the surrounding Chinese provinces while many others find refuge in Nepal and India. Most of them have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ. They are culturally Buddhist and extol the exiled Dalai Lama as “God-King”, their spiritual and former political leader. Tibetans have a long history of resisting the Gospel.

Nepal is Tibet’s southern neighbor. A few Tibetans have been reached with the gospel in Nepal, but missionaries have found them still quite resistant. They have a deep-rooted fear of losing their cultural and religious identity. They have been taught by their leaders that to be Tibetan is to be Buddhist. In effect, very little strength has emerged among the Tibetan Church. However, missionaries have found accessibility to the refugee population in India and Nepal as never before. The refugees dwelling in remote Nepali villages along the Tibetan border have been much easier to reach than those directly under China’s influence. Our hope is that eventually they will take the gospel into Tibet in a way foreigners have been unable to. In 2010, we changed our focus from having our team reach out to the major cities in Tibet to these remote villages.

An IOM team has made numerous trips to Nepal and Tibet in the last 25 years. In 2011, they founded their first successful church plant along the border. Eighteen Tibetans have since come to know the Lord through this fellowship and there is a tangible, growing hunger among the villagers for the knowledge of Christ. There is evidence of the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit being birthed and hearts are opening to receive Him. The indigenous village leader has become the spiritual leader of the fellowship. It is an encouraging fulfillment of Jesus’ word about “the man of peace’ or “worthy man” leading, indicating a man of “weight” or centrality in the community. Jesus taught the disciples to seek out and focus on these specially chosen people of influence, and our team has followed this example by sewing the spiritual, financial and physical things of God into this man.

We encourage you to pray for this team as they continue to work with this historically impenetrable people-group. Through your prayer, God will bind the forces of Satan and release the power and gifts of His spirit. To support them financially, label your gifts “Tibet” or “Nepal” and send them to IOM.