Children at Risk

"Come and see the Living Goddess!"

NepalWe had only been in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, for just an hour or so, when we were invited to see the living goddess.  Naturally, we were intrigued.  Enough that we gladly stepped through low arched entry ways into an extremely ornate open courtyard. 

Built in 1757, Kumari ghar is the home of the Kumari, or living Hindu goddess named Taleju. Problem is, the “living goddess” turns out to be a little girl--as in a nine year old kid from a local tribe.  Once chosen, she and her family live in the ornate palace for a few years...until someone is chosen to replace the girl.  (How do you explain to your friends that you are no longer “god?”).

To many, the idea seems ludicrous to the point of humorous.  But it's no laughing matter.  Clearly, people in Nepal are in search of the true Living God.  And if report cards were handed out for religious activity and effort, Nepal would surely get an A.  The problem is, what's being pitched to so many people is false religion.

This is one more culture in which Awana International is proclaiming Christ.   And the message is being heard.  More than 900 churches here now have an Awana program, with more than 23 thousand attending clubs every week.  Through unique partnerships with organizations like TransWorld Radio (which broadcasts Awana handbook content) people are responding to the Message.  

As I write this blog, there is no power in our hotel.  Generators kick in once in awhile, but you definitely need a flashlight.  (Hint: if sightseeing in Kathmandu, see your sights in the daytime because, city-wide, power is on only 12 hours a day).  We walked up five floors to our hotel room (no power means no elevator) with a borrowed flashlight.  Yet of far greater concern ought to be the spiritual darkness that envelopes so much of this rugged place they call Nepal.   And as Awana International points kids and their parents to the one true Living God, this place will at last have all the Light it needs!  

– Jon Gauger
from Kathmandu, Nepal



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