Now imagine all of this but with a monthly income of $86, the average monthly income of a Nepali. Forget that they just got through the monsoons with no A/C and head into winter with no central heat, just a hefty winter blanket and body heat from loved ones. Add to this: landslides, floods, and the actual smell of death in the villages on really bad days for some.
Now Imagine all this hardship while being a tiny Christian minority. Many wonder that there are Christians in Nepal at all. Nepal is sandwiched between two ascending rivals: India and China. It is a new democracy and no superpower. Except perhaps in spirit.
Nepal has largely been shut down in the same way as most everywhere else. Stay inside mainly. Masks, social distancing, waiting for a vaccine. Tough folks Nepalis. Something we all share? Resiliency. Though we happen to be rich in comparison.
It is these same folks that we celebrate in A Kathmandu Christmas.
What is harder for us to empathize with are the social stigmas based in Nepal’s Hindu caste system roots, even with one of the most progressive constitutions in all of Asia. Our friend Brother Barnabas in Katmandu, a Christian leader of the highest order, relates that they are in a situation that five types of disasters seem to be aiming at them all at once: natural, economic, social, political, and even the religious.
He writes in his most recent newsletter: