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Bhutan

Bhutan

In this small, mostly mountainous Buddhist kingdom of about one million people in the Himalayas, we join hands with 27 pastors and missionaries. If Bhutan is known for anything, it may be that they are the only country in the world to officially measure national happiness. The index is known as Gross National Happiness (GNH) and has a greater emphasis in the country than GDP does. However, depression and suicide are common.  

The men and women we support focus on sharing the Gospel in their own villages and cities, as well as traveling to even more remote parts of their country to share the Good News. There is a significant emphasis on counseling, sports ministry with young people, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Despite harsh pressure by the authorities aimed at limiting the growth of Christianity, our Bhutanese partners have seen many come to faith in recent years.

In 2020, 130 families – about 520 individuals – received a month’s worth of emergency food supplies after intense flooding destroyed their livelihoods. Four pastors received motorbikes so they could expand their ministry field. Ultimately, 125 men and women began following Jesus.

Capital: Thimphu

Population: 755,000

Religion: Buddhist 74.7%, Hindu 22.6%, Christian 0.5%, Muslim 0.2%, Ethnic Religions and other 2.0%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 43

Ministries: Pastor TrainingHope Through Education

Leadership Information: Working amid substantial opposition, our Bhutan coordinator leads a network of missionaries who have planted 11 branch churches and over 40 house churches throughout the country.

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Kashmir

Kashmir

Kashmir is the newest region where we work. With a population of 13.5 million, this region is located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Since 1947-48, when the newly-independent nations of India and Pakistan fought their first war over which country the Muslim-majority princely state of Kashmir would accede to, the portion of Kashmir controlled by India has been governed according to Article 370 of India’s constitution. Article 370 granted Kashmir substantial political and economic autonomy. However, in August 2019 India unexpectedly revoked Article 370 and placed Kashmir on strict lockdown to quell protests against the unpopular move. Just as this lockdown was beginning to be eased, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and prompted further lockdown. 

Kashmir is divided into three regions. Jammu is majority Hindu, Ladakh is majority Buddhist, and the Kashmir valley is majority Muslim. Our main leaders, Peter* and Sarah*, and the other pastors and missionaries we support are working in the Kashmir valley. The majority are from Muslim backgrounds, and so are well equipped to reach their staunchly religious community with the love of Jesus. They also know the dangers they face in following Jesus. 

In 2020, our support made it possible for local believers to provide several weeks’ worth of food and necessary hygiene supplies to 500 families – roughly 3,250 men, women, and children. These believers planted two additional Bible studies, and 13 new believers were baptized after deciding to follow Jesus. 

Capital: Srinagar & Jammu

Population: 13.5 million

Religion: Muslim 68.31%, Hindu 28.44%, Sikh 1.87%, Buddhist 0.90%, Christian 0.28%

Ministries: Pastor TrainingWomen’s Empowerment & Social Enterprise

Give directly to our Kashmir fund:



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Nepal and Tibet

Nepal & Tibet

Nepal is the beautiful home of Mount Everest! It also borders Tibet, where we support ministry in the border region. With a population of 30 million, Nepal has the distinction of being one of the few countries in the region never to be colonized. As such, it has maintained a rich cultural history, despite being landlocked by the two most populous countries in the world – India and China. It even has its own calendar, called the Vikrami calendar, which is a historical Hindu calendar – while it’s the 2020s for most of the world, it’s the 2070s in Nepal. Until 2008, Nepal was the only Hindu kingdom in the world. In recent years, the church in Nepal has become one of the top ten fastest-growing in the world. 
 
Using The Timothy Initiative’s teaching materials, our partners have trained several thousand lay church leaders. The 55 men and women we support are spread throughout the country, and primarily in mountainous areas. Pastor training and disaster relief have also been key areas of focus, with several recent projects also focused on women’s empowerment and children’s education.
 
In 2020, about 270 people with critical food insecurity due to COVID-19 lockdowns, received food supplies. 180 children in extreme poverty were able to go back to school after receiving school necessities. The pastors and missionaries baptized 300 disciples, and about 700 people made a decision to follow Jesus. 

Capital: Kathmandu

Population: 28 million

Religion: Hindu 81.3%, Buddhist 9.0%, Muslim 4.4%, Christian 1.4%, Ethnic Religions and other 3.9%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 34

Ministries: Pastor TrainingDisaster Relief

Leadership Information: The leader of our partners in Nepal and Tibet oversees a team that has planted over 70 churches in Nepal and 17 underground church gatherings in Tibet. He has been a leading coordinator of disaster relief efforts, especially after the April 2015 earthquake. He also serves in leadership with a large-scale seminary program for lay church leaders, in cooperation with several mission organizations.

Give directly to our Nepal fund:

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Myanmar

Myanmar

Myanmar, also called Burma, takes up a landmass the size of Texas, yet has twice the population, with 54 million residents. A beautiful country with a majority Buddhist population, Myanmar is rich with history, architecture, precious gems, incredible landscapes, and diverse culture. The country has a long history of foreign colonization and local military rule. After being under a military junta since 1962, a gradual liberalization began in 2010, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year. This led to an opening of the country, leading to an active tourism industry. Since then, an army operation and genocide against Muslim Rohingyas highlighted the continuing grip of military rule in Myanmar. On February 1st, 2021 the military staged a coup, claiming election fraud as their reason to declare a state of emergency and arrest Aung San Suu Kyi, while giving no evidence of the fraud. 

Now under the Military Junta again for the foreseeable future, Myanmar and the pastors and missionaries we come alongside there are walking into a completely new and extremely difficult era. We ask for your prayers for comfort, wisdom, and strength for the men and women we partner with and serve, and their fellow citizens. Now more than ever, we will continue to stand beside these brothers and sisters in their work of sharing the love of Christ. 

With a growing network of missionaries throughout the country, 26 of whom receive regular monthly support, Harvest Bridge comes alongside pastor training, child protection and education, women’s empowerment, economic development, printing and distribution of theological materials, and disaster relief. In 2020, about 3,675 men, women, and children – received several weeks’ worth of life-saving food supplies in the face of a hunger crisis precipitated by COVID-19 lockdowns. 51 children received monthly sponsorship. Nine women received micro-grants to invest in or continue their small businesses. Pastors and missionaries received 11 motorbikes and 15 bicycles to aid in their ministries. Over 120 men and women began following Jesus this past year, and 71 were baptized.

Capital: Naypyidaw

Population: 54 million

Religion: Buddhist 87.9%, Muslim 4.3%, Christian 6.2%, Other 1.6%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 18

Ministries: Pastor TrainingChildren’s MinistryHope Through EducationVocational ProgramsDisaster Relief

Leadership Information: Our Myanmar leaders oversee church planting teams in five regions of the country, including areas affected by long-running civil war. In addition to planting dozens of churches among unreached people groups, they have established two children’s homes and an organization that advances the well-being of tribal people.

Give directly to our Myanmar fund:

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Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Bangladesh, a country bordered by India on three sides and the Bay of Bengal on its southern coast, is a country rarely discussed on the world stage. However, with over 160 million people, it is the eighth-most populous country in the world, the most densely populated non-city state, and the fourth most populous Muslim country. 

We come alongside 51 Bangladeshi men and women who are reaching their country with the love of Jesus. Often while facing persecution for their faith, they focus on child protection, anti-human trafficking work, education programs, disaster relief, evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. 

In 2020, in addition to over 1,000 families receiving life-saving aid in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns and flooding, 22 children were sponsored so they could continue living with their parents or grandparents instead of being forced by poverty into an orphanage. Seven widows received micro-investments to help them provide for themselves during the economic crisis. Seven pastors were equipped with motorbikes, and many others received ministry tools. 1,190 men and women began following Jesus, 383 were baptized, and five churches were planted. 

Capital: Dhaka

Population: 165 million

Religion: Muslim 90.5%, Hindu 8.5%, 0.6% Buddhist, 0.4% Christian

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 31

Ministries: Pastor TrainingChildren’s MinistryHope Through EducationDisaster Relief

Leadership Information: Our leader in Bangladesh is the founder of a local mission organization that planted 29 churches and baptized over 3,200 new followers of Jesus in just seven years. He has served in leadership with several other international NGOs, gaining experience in missions and finance.

Give directly to our Bangladesh fund:

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Pakistan

Pakistan

Although our ministry in Pakistan is smaller than in other countries, it is making a deep impact. Our greatest focus is in supporting a school in Eastern Pakistan. This school has been providing free education to poor, orphaned, abandoned, and exploited children in Pakistan since 2012. It is a Christian school, but it employs both Muslim and Christian teachers and enrolls about 90% Muslim and 10% Christian students. Although small, the school has set an example of what it can look like for Muslims and Christians to work together, and it has caused the Muslim community to give greater respect to the historically marginalized Christian community, while opening doors for the Gospel. 

In 2020, our partners carried out small-scale food distributions under COVID-19 lockdowns, reaching several dozen families with a month’s worth of food. In the economic fallout of COVID-19, helping children with school supplies and equipping the school with cleaning supplies made it possible for dozens of children from poor families to continue their education. 

Capital: Islamabad

Population: 212 million

Religion: Muslim 96.0%, Hindu 1.8%, Christian 1.6%, other 0.7%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 5

Ministries: Hope Through Education,

Give directly to our Pakistan fund:

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Andaman Islands

Andaman Islands

Although they are south of Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a union territory of India. They are are home to what is sometimes referred to as the most isolated place on earth – North Sentinel Island. With a population of just 400,000 throughout the islands, the local pastors and missionaries we come alongside of have the opportunity to make a large impact on the culture of the entire main island, Great Andaman.  

Our 20 local pastors and missionaries reach out to people unreached with the Gospel, help children escape poverty through education programs, and more. In 2020 our support enabled these local partners to help over 100 families hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with emergency food supplies for a month. Two churches were repaired after storm damage, and at least 54 men and women made decisions to follow Jesus – with several hundred more men, women, and children indicating a great interest in the Gospel. 

Capital: Port Blair

Population: 380,000

Religion: Hindu 69.4%, Christian 21.7%, Muslim 8.5%, other 0.4%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 10

Ministries: Pastor TrainingHope Through Education

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India

India

India is where it all began! Here, we come alongside local leaders all throughout India in 11 states and three union territories. We directly support the work of about 30 followers of Jesus on the mainland (not including Andaman Islands or Kashmir) who are reaching their people for Christ through childcare and education, pastor training, women’s business empowerment programs, disaster relief, and more.

Nearly one in five people on earth live in this diverse country – India has 121 languages spoken by 10,000 or more people, and its geography ranges from the Himalayas to dry deserts to tropical rainforests and everything in between. Not only is it home to the largest Hindu population in the world, it is also home to the third-largest Muslim population.

Through conferences and pastor training courses, Harvest Bridge has trained several thousand Indian church leaders. In 2020, more than 500 men and women began following Jesus, and 374 were baptized. In 2020 amidst the pandemic, nearly 1,700 families – about 8,500 people – who suffered tremendously due to COVID-19 lockdowns received food and sanitation relief items. 650 children were educated through night schools run by pastors and church volunteers. 15 children received monthly sponsorship, enabling their families to afford keeping them at home instead of sending them to an orphanage. 14 men and women received job training or micro-investments for their small businesses. Although the ability to plant new physical churches was next to impossible with lockdowns, dozens of new online Bible studies began. About 150 pastors received education through two Bible schools, and 60 believers completed lay church ministry training throughout the country. 

Capital: Delhi

Population: 1.35 billion

Religion: Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh and other 3.7%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 10

Ministries: Pastor TrainingChildren’s MinistryHope Through EducationVocational ProgramsGATEDisaster Relief

Leadership Information: Our India Director oversees HB’s network of partners in India. For over 40 years, he has helped plant dozens of churches and has led pastor training and discipleship programs throughout South Asia.