The Tharu People
The Tharu people are an unreached people group who live in the southern part of Nepal. They are 95% Hindu and only 3 % Christian. They live in beautifully designed homes made of plastered mud and cow dung with huge plastered containers for their staple crop: rice! They catch fish in huge, intricate nets that they carry over their shoulders to the river together and throw it in. The people are beautiful! They are smiling, hospitable, and kind. Their clothing is bright and colorful, particularly the women, and they wear beautiful jewelry.
Unfortunately there is a high illiteracy rate among this people group which allows people to be taken advantage of by moneylenders who want their land. In this southern area of Nepal, there is also the problem of contaminated water. The water in this area of Nepal contains bacteria, viruses, and arsenic, which leads to many health problems including a type of cancer where people developed black spots all over their body. There is also the obvious problem of the stronghold of Hinduism on this people group. 95%! I was so privileged to visit this people group with my team and be used by God to be part of the solution to some of these problems.
We were in Nepal from August to September and had the amazing privilege to work with some of the Tharu people that belong to the 3% Christian population! We took a Tuk Tuk (it is kind of like a motorcycle with a cab attached) to the village of Bindarri and worked with the church there to build 7 slow sand water filters for the Christian Tharu families. As we built, we explained the importance of clean water and how it’ll help their health! We also had daily house fellowships where a different one of our team would share a message to encourage and challenge and build up the believers.
I love the hunger in the Tharu people, and in the Nepali people in general. Such a hunger for truth and for God to move. Anytime we asked if people wanted prayer, about 80 – 100% of the crowd responded. In Nepal, the major way that people come to know Jesus, is through experiencing His healing power. Most Christians I talked to, they became believers when Jesus healed them of a disease or horrible sickness or pain.
One Tharu family shared that their daughter used to be blind. When her parents became Christians, and got rid of the hold of Hinduism in their lives, their daughter was healed and the rest of the family became Christian too! I met the daughter, she can still see to this day!
One night at a house fellowship, a woman had a bad headache which had bothered her for a long time. We prayed for her a couple times and the pain was gone!
Through our time in Nepal God healed 40 people from headaches and stomach pain to chronic pain and joint problems God is encountering the people! Join me in praying for the Tharu people that those statistics of 95% Hindu will no longer be the reality but that Jesus will be the reality in their lives!