Every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation: The Kinnaura People
Winter comes early at 20,000 feet above sea level. Spring, summer, and fall jostle one another to fit into a cramped six-month span, but for the remaining half of the year, October through May, ice and snow are lord in the Himalayas.
Welcome to the Kinnaur district of northern India: population 66,000, average snowfall 12 feet per year. Ecotourists and adventurers visit the Kinnaur during the short summer months, catered to by luxury hotels promising modern conveniences in traditional Himalayan garb. Until October. Then come the snows, and then leave the tourists. No one visits in the winter.
“He gives snow like wool,” the psalmist says. “He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?” (Ps. 147:16-17). And yet in this alpine region, out of a population of 66,000 only 140 men and women call upon the Lord, who makes snow and ice his servants, who shaped the mighty Himalayas like a child with a lump of clay, and who gave his Son to redeem sinners. Only 0.17% of the Kinnaura people are Christians (see The Joshua Project). For the rest, Buddhism, Hinduism, or a blend of the two have captured their hearts. The cold and snows that define the life of the Kinnaura people are paralleled by a spiritual winter that no Buddhist temple or Hindu festival will ever thaw.
But, in the plans of the risen Lord Jesus, spring will come to the Kinnaura. Satan’s darkness and frozen hearts cannot forever keep the name of the King from being proclaimed from these mountains. Even now those 140 Christians represent the first awakening of all the saints that Jesus knows by name among these people.
This month, would you join with the purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ by praying for the Kinnaura people? Let these Scriptures guide your prayers:
- “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Is. 52:7). Pray that the Lord will send men and women to bring the good news to these mountain people!
- “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk 12:32). Pray for those 140 believers that the Lord would strengthen and sustain them, and add to his kingdom through their witness.
- “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:12-13). Pray that the Lord would deliver many of the Kinnaura people from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus!
Photo by Nick Irvine-Fortescue
Josh Blount is an associate pastor at Living Faith Church in Franklin, WV. He is a graduate of the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College and currently pursuing an M.Div through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Anna have one son, Elliot.
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