Ever since last Saturday, the eyes of the world have been on a small country sandwiched between China and India. Daily, it seems, the number of those who have died as a result of the last week’s earthquake climbs. It was over 7,000 when I saw it today.
Numbers can be overwhelming, but certain numbers can also help us catch a glimpse of what life is like for the people of Nepal and help us come to know the people for whom we are praying. Consider:
- An estimated 30 million people live in Nepal, a nation about the size of the state of Illinois. They speak more than 100 languages, only 8 of which have had the entire Bible translated for them. Another 17 languages have the New Testament. A handful of others have portions. Most have none.
- Fewer than 5 out of 10 people could read a Bible if it was available.
- 75% of the people are Hindu.
- Another 16% are Buddhist and approximately 5% are Muslim.
- Fewer than 3% know of and believe in Christ’s love for them.
- The average income per person is less than $500 (USD) per year. The nation is one of the poorest in the world, and about 25% live below poverty level.
- Less than 15% of the land is capable of producing crops.
- In the entire nation, there are less than 5,000 km (or 3,100 miles) of paved roads.
- The country is home to 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains.
Many people are unreached; many more seem unreachable. Even before the earthquake, stable roads and strong infrastructure were lacking. Many desperately tried to survive one day to the next. They have no insurance, no health care, no savings account, and nowhere to go. The only One who can bring healing for today and hope for tomorrow is Jesus. Please pray with me that He will touch the heart of every hurting person in Nepal.