Our featured missionary in Nepal is the Director of Family Homes for Love Justice International and the Finance Director for Beauty for Ashes Nepal.
About Nepal: Nepal is situated between Tibet and India along the Himalayan Mountain range. Nearly 90% of the 28 million people are Hindu or Buddhist, but the Christian Church in Nepal is one of the fastest growing in the world, with an estimated 1 million believers. Prior to 1951, all foreigners and Christians were barred from entering Nepal. Although Nepal has made significant strides in economic development and reducing poverty, about 40% of the population lives below the international poverty level. As a result, human trafficking and child labor are rampant because of people’s desperation for survival. In many cases, it is the poor or marginalized groups most likely to be trafficked but many willingly go into risky situations because they still think it is the best option to escape poverty.
Although we are both in leadership with our respective organizations, we are a small part of the larger work being done by God in Nepal. Through our work, we hope to impact people's lives by meeting their tangible needs while also sharing the love of Christ with them. When we first moved to Nepal over 6 years ago, we planned to stay for only 2 years. But we continued to follow where God was leading us here in Nepal and we've both found positions where we can use our skills and experience to impact lives for Christ. We are not sure where God will lead us next but we are committed to following Him wherever He leads.
Love Justice International is a US-based organization that started in 2004, with its first children's home in Nepal. Their mission is to show the love of Christ by fighting the world's greatest injustices. They now operate 12 children's homes in Nepal, 1 in India and 3 in Bangladesh. In addition, they also do transit monitoring for human trafficking in Nepal and have expanded into many countries in Africa. In her role as Director of Family Homes, Pratiksha oversees the operations of all of the homes, the livelihoods of the kids in the homes, her staff and their future plans for expansion. Since adoption is really not an option, LJI's mission is to set up a family-style home, with long-term committed parents where the kids can grow up and have the same opportunities as a "normal" Nepali kid while also becoming difference-makers for Christ.
Beauty for Ashes Nepal is a wholesale manufacturing business in Nepal that serves women who were victims of trafficking, abuse or some other type of marginalization. It was started in 2008 by two missionaries who were working with women in transition homes and noticed that many women coming out of brothels struggled to find meaningful long-term employment. Although BFA is a mission that serves women in need, it is also a business that seeks to be financially self-sufficient through the products we sell so that our staff can provide for their families and so that we can continue to help more women in the future.