First Generation

Stories of rebels and pioneers

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First Generation is the fascinating account of a mass migration of people into an entirely new way of life. Individual stories, written in an unadorned style, are woven like a village basket, deft and earthy and insightful.

There are only a few places on this planet where the belief systems of the ancient world remain. Isolated between the Asian giants of India and China, and protected by the forbidding Himalayan mountains, Nepal has preserved through the centuries a way of life that is still mud and straw brick—a curious world of demons, idols, and god-men. Magic, astrology, fortune-telling, and even animal sacrifices are the norm. In their departure from a 5,000-year-old culture that is rooted in ancient Mesopotamia, Nepali Christians are truly Rebels and Pioneers.

These Nepali Christians may be some of the best examples we have of the early church. They are first-generation believers. Their theology is uncomplicated, their faith is innocent, and their lives are pure. We rarely hear their stories told in their voices. 

Perhaps these primitive believers, many of them illiterate, can sense something that we cannot. Perhaps they hear a message that we cannot hear in our sterile, synthetic, self-absorbed world. Perhaps they can teach us something about faith and love and living.

Professional Review

“The Tharu are an ancient people who live on the border between Nepal and India. Many of their customs, particularly those related to their practice of Hinduism, are so well-preserved they function like a cultural fossil of Mesopotamian Babylon. Nepal was, until 2008, the only Hindu kingdom in the world, and historically, Christianity was prohibited.

“Bev and Rick Zachary lived in Nepal during this revolutionary time, both witnesses and participants in the country’s religious transformation. They skillfully relate a striking series of sometimes-interlocking stories that chronicle the joys and tribulations of conversion, often conveyed from the perspective of a native.

“The authors’ prose is direct and succinct, and they express with impressive sensitivity and sympathy the experiences and worldviews of those they interview. The heart of the engrossing recollection, though, is the simple beauty of the Tharu’s brand of religious piety, uncomplicated by abstruse theological commitments and, as a result, emotionally unvarnished.” —Kirkus Reviews

What Readers are Saying

It is impossible to read these stories and walk away unchanged —Pastor Greg Surratt

A fascinating read —Libby Ordeman

These stories reconnected me with my first love —Pastor Jonathan Wiggins

A life-changing read —Jamie McCain

Extremely well written —Jim Cameron

Profound stories —Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong

A refreshing, authentic and inspiring account —Tamara Graff

A vivid tapestry of real-life characters —Hope Cantu

Powerful and elegantly written —Pastor Randy Craighead

Very insightful —Theresa Talbert

Beautifully written —Cathy Ciaramitaro

These stories touched me deeply —Gayle Bennett

A must read —Jeannette Harrell

The short-story format is perfect —Jenny Koselak

I loved the short story format —Mandy Lowery