The 2015 earthquakes devastated communities across Nepal. As well as the sad loss of life, the quake destroyed infrastructure and livelihoods in many villages.
Manish is the local church pastor in a community in Lalitpur, a remote mountainous district in central Nepal. The earthquake damaged the main water source. Now, collecting water takes 30 minutes, and four trips are needed for an average household to get enough to wash and drink – leaving little time and energy to get more for cattle or to irrigate the land.
This left the farming community in dire need of extra income to feed and provide for families. What they didn’t realise is that they had a God-given resource all around them that could cause a bit of a buzz...
Tearfund’s partner is helping the church and community come together and seek solutions to the problems they face. They formed a group with Pastor Manish to look at biblical principles about how they could use the resources God had given them.
Manish was particularly inspired by studying the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in Matthew 14. He saw that with only five loaves and two fish, Jesus was able to feed so many people. This challenged him, and he remembered a skill he already had.
‘My church is getting more interest from local people. People see the progress.’
A HIVE OF ACTIVITY
Manish’s long-lost skill was beekeeping. He’d learnt about it a few years before, but never considered it a way of generating extra income. The training from Tearfund’s partner changed his outlook and helped him recognise that the bees were his loaves and fishes – a small offering that God can use and multiply.
He explained his vision to the group and offered to share his skills. He is now the community beekeeping trainer, and he has had many pupils. Before the project, Manish had one beehive. Now he has six, and 14 families are involved in beekeeping – they hope to increase this to 35. The organic honey has proved a hit at the local market and has even found its way to Malaysia.
‘To serve God is my greatest joy,’ says Manish. The beekeeping has attracted attention beyond the church group. ‘My church is getting more interest from local people. People see the progress.’