The film has much to share including Christmas in Kathmandu, baptisms of recent believers, church services in the remote village Gorkha (ground zero of the 2015 earthquakes), Sunday school on Saturdays, clergy interviews, and much more. All filmed on location over the period stretching from the fall of 2015 into early 2017, you will see a broad panoply from the aftermath of the earthquakes, making the growth of the Christian movement all the more improbable.
The Flourishing Kathmandu Church is the culmination of two years of effort, starting with Nepal’s mega-earthquakes in April 2015. The community there is thriving as we see from the baptisms, services, Christmas happenings, and various denominations we feature in the film. To many it is surprising there are Christians in Nepal at all, let alone a growing flock. Why is the Christian community growing in Nepal, a place where Christianity faces so many seeming obstacles, both cultural and political? We want to know. And after all the time we’ve spent there, we are still wondering.
Many observers believe it is simply the Holy Spirit at work. Nepal is a remarkably fertile place to imagine early Christianity because there was almost no Christianity present until 1952 when the early missionaries came with the mountaineers scaling Mt. Everest.
Nepal is largely rural and we have accompanied swelling groups of parishioners following visiting pastors on their way to small churches in far-flung Himalayan villages. Walking with these groups, one gets a glimmer of what it might have felt like in early Christian times and places.
Many of the villages seem straight out of the first century with economies to match. Stone and mud structures with traditional cooking methods, as well as farm animals and extended families living together--traditional households one can imagine in the rural society of Christ’s day. There is also a recent history of armed conflict and a Hindu polytheism not unlike that of the ancient Romans in many respects.
What we find in Kathmandu in particular are brothers and sisters who enjoy worshiping together with three hour services being the norm. Most are Hindu and Buddhist converts, but there are many born Christian now. The Hindu and Buddhist deities and practices simply didn’t work for these believers--not that they didn’t try first before converting. We have narratives in our film that recount first-hand how people are healed and demons are driven out. We observe God’s love as something found in the Christian teachings and scriptures.
These are often uncomfortable accounts for Westerners to hear as we find it difficult to believe that these stories don’t have a more modern explanation, even though the gospel is full of such first-hand reports. In Nepal, and in our film, the Christians bare witness to these things happening.