Seven Thousand and Seven Hundred Miles

Seven thousand and seven hundred miles is a long way. Yet, between the state of Virginia and the Himalayan mountain range, there is more than distance. The two are separated by language, religion, and customs.

For seventeen years, Jack D. worked for Verizon in the state of Virginia. The job paid the bills, supported his family, and gave him opportunities to grow.

Jack grew up going to church but was apathetic at best. However, at age 32, God grabbed hold of his life. Jack fell in love with Scripture, and he knew that he wanted to receive a formal Bible education. Jack adored the radio preachers and teachers he heard from Dallas Theological Seminary. With that in mind, Jack enrolled at DTS. Working in Virginia meant that online classes were the only viable option for his schedule. However, he felt a pull to attend in-person. He had started working at a church as a care pastor. With their blessing, Jack traveled over a thousand miles down to Dallas in 2012 and crammed as many in-person classes into the spring semester as he could.

As a MABS student, Jack had the freedom to customize his electives and focused on missions and counseling. One of these electives centered on ministry in Asian contexts, where he met adjunct professor Dr. Low. The two became friends, and Dr. Low invited Jack and other students to join him on a trip to Nepal. Intrigued, Jack traveled across the world and saw native Nepalese reaching their communities through ACTS International.

Jack’s passion for reaching the unreached was ignited. He continued to visit and teach in the training centers in eastern and midwestern Nepal. ACTS International was doing incredible work despite incredible obstacles. Currently, less than 7% of Christian giving goes to missions. Of that, very little goes to unreached people groups (42.2% of the world population). For every $100 Christians tithe, only a penny goes to those who have not heard the gospel and do not have the means to do so.

In 2019 at the age of 54, Jack started a ministry with a huge vision. He started Acts of Himalaya, fundraising only through prayer and personal connections. Acts of Himalaya continues to use the same highly replicable method as ACTS International; small training centers are spread throughout the region to train pastors who will then disciple others. The goal is to find gifted, God-ordained Christians and provide theology, biblical exposition, counseling training. Many students apply for each training class, but only about fifteen gifted leaders are chosen for the scholarships. The students receive the training cost-free. Their food and lodging are also provided. Often, these students live with the Acts Training Directors or simply sleep in their classrooms. One of the most fascinating sights to Jack was to see men putting away their bedroll and pulling out desks, eager to start on the day’s work.

Jack’s dream for Acts of Himalaya is 30-20-10. He is praying that there would be 30 training centers in Himalaya; that of the current Hindus, 20% would come to know the Lord; and 10% of the Buddhist and Muslim population would become Christian. Virginia and the Himalayas are separated by over seven thousand miles and drastically different cultures. Yet, Acts of Himalaya is bridging the gap to the glory of God.