Sherpa in United States

Photo Source:  COMIBAM / Sepal 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Sherpa
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 5,100
World Population: 190,300
Primary Language: Sherpa
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Sherpas of Nepal are famous worldwide for their abilities in leading mountain climbing expeditions in the Himalayan Mountains, the highest mountain chain in the world. In Nepal they earn a good living from their wealthy, adventurous clients. However, the job is very dangerous. Most Sherpa live in the small Himalayan nation of Nepal. Others live in India, Bhutan and China. Some Sherpas have migrated to the USA. When the Sherpas come to the USA, they face huge changes from their mountainous Asian homeland.

There are few if any Sherpas in the USA who have become followers of Jesus Christ. In India many Sherpas have become believers. The New Testament and the JESUS Film are available in the Sherpa language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Some Sherpa men have married female clients and moved to the United States where they are no longer in their element. About a fourth of the Sherpa men in the US are married to American women. With limited English skills, Sherpa men often face unemployment. They easily become dependent on their American wives. Many live in New York City where they drive cabs or work in restaurants or retail.

All Sherpas who come to the USA must learn or improve their English. They must find a place to live, enroll their children in schools and obtain some type of employment. Children learn English quickly and adapt to their new American home. For adults, the changes are more difficult.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of Sherpas are Buddhists. They also think of the spirit world as something to be used in order to gain what they need. There is no concept of a loving, Father-God to guide them through life's challenges. Instead of embracing some form of Christianity like many other Buddhist peoples, most Sherpas in the US have remained Buddhist. Their brand of Buddhism is heavily influenced by folk religion and animism. Some Sherpas in the USA become secular while others visit Buddhist temples on a regular basis.

What Are Their Needs?

Marriages between Buddhist Sherpa men and secular or New Age-oriented American women are sometimes strained. Many Sherpas find adapting to modern urban life difficult. Counselors who believe that Christ has the answers can help Sherpas and their spouses to see that Jesus offers them the guidance they need. Believers can help the Sherpas improve their English and find jobs.

There are no Sherpa or very few followers of Christ in the USA. However, there are Nepalis in the US who have embraced their Savior.

Prayer Points

Pray that Nepalis believers in the USA will reach out and share the gospel with the Sherpas.

Pray for the Buddhist Sherpas to have a hunger and thirst for spirituality that will lead them to the loving, living heavenly Father.

Pray for a people movement to Christ among Sherpas and Nepalis in the US that will spread to the Sherpa community in other parts of the world.

Pray that American churches would reach out and sponsor Sherpa families in the USA.

Text Source:   Joshua Project