The Great Physician

Claudia Elzinga Bhutan, Tibet

Holistic Ministry

In order to reach people living in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet, Words of Hope partners with an organization called “Gaweylon” to produce daily half-hour radio programs. These programs minister to many aspects of the lives of native Tibetans, with topics on health, Tibetan culture, Bible messages, traditional and modern Tibetan music, Christian music, care for the environment, and food and nutrition.

Our partners don’t just broadcast messages into the distance, though. Regularly, members of the Gaweylon team travel the countryside to meet listeners face-to-face, distribute radio program schedules, and provide people with printed literature and CD resources.

In the past year alone, nearly 20,000 health tracts were distributed. Many of these tracts are printed in the Central Tibetan language—a special blessing for those who have been displaced from their homeland. The most popular tract in this past year educated readers about Tuberculosis. Another sought-after handout explained the dangers of smoking.

The truth is that Words of Hope’s Tibetan broadcasting partners have a deep love for their neighbors. They see the needs that are not being met, and are eager to provide easy-to-understand information as a resource for their community.

Hope for the Future

Like Jesus, our partners also care about the far-off futures of those they are coming into contact with. In addition to health programs and literature, the “Good News booklet” was distributed to many. A tract that tells the story of Noah, and another that explains the parable of the Prodigal Son were also very popular.

The team visits health centers to offer their health resources for free. Doctors are eager for the pamphlets and CDs so they can hand them out to patients. They even find the up-to-date information helpful for their own medical practice. One doctor shared: “I appreciate the radio programs, health literature and CDs. I am able to learn about so many health problems and get the latest and correct information in my own language. Most of the latest information about health is available in English, which is difficult for me to understand. Thank you for this new material, I will distribute it to the monks and people who visit my clinic. This will benefit them.”

People Respond

Along the way, individuals who tune in to the programs to learn about health and nutrition also hear stories of Jesus and his salvation.

And slowly, individuals who hear the truth of this good news are starting to ask questions. After receiving a program schedule, one Buddhist monk contacted our team:

“I want to get more information about Tibetan Christians,” he said. “I have never met a Tibetan Christian. I am a Buddhist, and apart from that Christianity is my best religion. I admire Christians who build hospitals and schools for the poor. Keep up the good work.”

Jesus cared for people physically and ministered to them spiritually. What a powerfully simple model to follow. Our prayer is that, one by one, people living in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and India would see that Christians are different. Christians care about those around them—care enough to take steps to improve their neighbors’ lives.

When people see this, they will start to ask questions. Pray that the Words of Hope Tibetan team will have the opportunity to share the answers with many.