|The young man from Nepal whose testimony is detailed below.|
I am again pondering my November time in Nepal. Nepal…you have affected me! You have challenged my heart and my perspective. One young pastor, about 25 years old, got up one day to sing a song. His purpose was to bring his anointed voice to bless us before we started several hours of teaching. His voice was powerfully anointed, bringing tears to Deborah’s eyes only two bars into the song. However, it was his brief testimony (not planned) that tugged at my heart and challenged me as a pastor, leader, apostle and as an example in the body of Christ. He said that he had lived in a Hindu village where there was little Christian presence. However, someone testified to him of Jesus and he accepted Christ at a young pre-adult age. His father immediately threatened to throw him out of the house, cut off relationship and disown him from the family. His father demanded that he renounce his new faith in Jesus. This young man refused to bow to his father’s threat (a major affront in this culture) and said he would continue to follow Jesus. The father did not throw him out or disown him.
Sometime later the young man got married. Soon thereafter this young man felt called to be a pastor and to go to Bible College in India. His wife said if he left to go to Bible College she would leave him. His father also re-invoked his earlier threat and added that he would burn his house and all his possessions if he went to Bible College and became a pastor. The young man refused to change his mind and bow to the threats from his wife or his father. When the young man came back from college his wife received him and his house and possessions were intact.
God soon called him to relocate and plant a church in a Buddhist village. When he and his wife arrived and began the ministry, a local witch doctor began cursing and ‘witching’ him and threatened to kill him. Local villagers came to his house and told him he must take his family and flee to save his life. The young pastor said he was not afraid of the witch or his power, God’s power was greater and he would not leave! He knew he was called to bring the gospel to this village and that is what he would do. Three days later the witch doctor died.
Today, at the age of 25, he is senior pastor of that rapidly growing church in a Buddhist village. He walks in humility AND authority wherever he goes.
I am challenged by his brief testimony in so many ways. First, his conversion was radical, complete and unapologetic. It was 180 degrees opposed to his culture, family and national traditions. He completely aligned with His heavenly Father in a way few can fathom. Second, when his father and wife intimidated him with threats of estrangement and loss, he refused to back down on his call or his purpose in life. Family and relationships would not deter him from his destiny. And third, direct intimidation by overt evil only solidified his resolve to bring the Good News of Jesus to that village. He knew that the One who was for him was greater than the one who was against him.
This man’s journey brings tangible reality to the words of Jesus. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt. 10:37-39) This man found his life in Christ and was willing to give up life as he knew it to follow Christ. Let this man’s testimony be a challenge and inspiration to all of us.