Manna Matters!

Manna Matters - May 2009

A David Among Giants

Squeezed between two giants, i.e., China and India, tiny Nepal could be easily overlooked if it weren't for Nepal's own famous giant - Mt. Everest. The church in Nepal is also squeezed between the giants of Hinduism and Buddhism. (The Buddha was born in Nepal). Through much persecution the church has grown rapidly in recent decades. Because they worship mostly in house churches, accurate counting is impossible, but estimates range from 200,000 to 500,000 Nepali Christians.

Napali people

Fostering that growth is a David-type man dear to Manna Publications - Loknath Manaen. As David advanced undeterred by Goliath's threats, so brother Loknath has advanced the gospel in spite of the threats and persecution of Christians coming from Maoists and Hindu extremists.

Loknath was asked in 1977 to launch the Nepali Bible Society through which he coordinated a team of Nepali scholars who produced an authentically Nepali translation of the Bible. What greater contribution to the rapidly growing young churches of Nepal than to provide God's word in their mother tongue!

Loknath left his directing of the Bible Society in 1995 to follow his passion to create good literature and music for his people. Many of his Nepali Christian songs are sung in churches throughout Nepal. He has written five novels, two collections of stories, two plays, a collection of essays and a cantata onNepali people Christ's life using the actual words from the Nepali Bible.

Loknath fervently believes Nepali Christians need easy-to-read biblical teachings. So when he saw Fred Morris's simple Old Testament Bible commentaries, he sought and got permission to translate them into Nepali. So far he has overseen the translation of all the prophets (Isaiah to Malachi) and Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon. He has not only published these, but has actively promoted and sold them.

But I'm jumping ahead in the story. How did this man from Nepal come to know about Manna Publications? In 1998 Lorna met Loknath at a Media Associates International conference in England. Upon arrival in London, Fred collapsed and was hospitalized. While Fred awaited a pace-maker, Lorna went to the MAI meeting for one day and attended Loknath's workshop on the pros and cons of subsidizing Christian literature.

Impressed by this Nepalese gentleman's wise approach to Christian publishing, Lorna introduced him to Manna Publications.

Loknath Manean translating in Harrisonburg, VA. USA

In 2007 God wondrously arranged for Loknath to come to Harrisonburg to consult with Fred on theological issues raised by the translations. God provided an apartment near the Morris's where Loknath devoted two months to refining the Nepali commentaries on the prophets.

"Our friends fell in love with him," Lorna said. They threw a 60th Birthday party for him, which was the first birthday party he had ever had. At the party missionaries who knew the Nepali Christian community told Fred that Loknath was the 'key' man in Nepal. A heart-attack soon after he returned to Nepal slowed him down for a while, but he continues serving the church of Nepal in many ways, including translating Manna books. His wife, Rosie, has been helping him translate the Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

map of Nepal

Because Loknath has introduced Manna Publications books to many Nepali Christians, others are wanting to print and publish Fred's commentaries and Lorna's Manna for Children books.

A pastor from a city that has many orphanages and houses for street children writes: "I am planning to distribute the Manna for Children book, Jesus is Alive, to street children and orphans. I hope to meet with your Manna Representative, Loknath Manean soon."

Thus Loknath, Rosie and others are bringing bread from heaven (Manna) to their Nepali peoples. It may seem like small David before the giants of Buddhism and Hinduism, but little is much when God is in it.

If two of you agree . . .in my name

"God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply," declared Hudson Taylor, who inspired hundreds of missionaries to serve in inland China. Part of doing it God's way is to pray with others. Jesus said, "If two of you agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you! . . .For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them."

What's required for effective small group prayer? We must agree (be 'of one accord') and pray in the name of Jesus. That means our prayer is according to Jesus' character. Manna Publications desperately needs you to find one or a few others to join in asking Jesus what he desires for Manna's ministry. Ask: What kind of prayer would you sign your name to, Jesus? Then once you agree on how Jesus would pray for us, trust that Jesus himself will show up in your group, as He promises, and trust him to do what only Jesus can do in response to your prayer. Some could form a prayer cell dedicated solely to Manna Publications.

Some of you might simply incorporate Manna concerns into a prayer group that you're already a part of. You might include Manna in your family prayer time - praying Monday for Manna, for example. And please let us know that you're praying for us - agreeing together in Jesus name.

You can help by -

Praying for well-equipped and fitting persons to take Fred and Lorna’s place at Manna's helm; Loknath and Rosie Manaen's health and their translating of Manna books into Nepali;

Fred and Lorna’s health and on-going leadership of Manna Publication;

Winning supporters of Manna from within your church and from others you know;

Sending this newsletter to others who might want to join in what God’s doing through Manna.

What we are not - and what we are

If a person is going to be effective in life he has to discover who he is. But it's also important to know who you are not, so you won’t waste time trying to be what you weren't created to be. The same is true for ministries. Manna Publications is not like a tract ministry with a focus on getting people saved. We’re dedicated to grounding believers in their relationship with God through helping them understand from Scripture the essential truths God wants us to know about him and ourselves and our world.

Because too many "believers" are biblically illiterate, we see them trying to combine their worldly, sinful old ways with God's ways. So they miss the goodness of knowing God fully and becoming more and more like him. And they damage the reputation of Christianity. Our literature is aimed at helping Christians mature in Christ and represent him well to the watching world.

If God leads you to contribute, checks can be made payable to:
Manna Publications,
1130 Highlands Place, #205,
Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

For more information on Manna Publications you can reach us with our contact form