|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.
|Harvey presenting Kalli with a CFIA graduation certificate.|
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing (Col. 1:6a). Today I am reflecting on my time in Nepal ministering to a select group of 31 pastors and leaders. This was my first time back to Nepal since 2005. My perspective of ministry, especially success in ministry, has changed in these past 10 years. I now see how the Father uses a small number of people to cause demonstrably large shifts in cities, states and nations. I call this the ‘remnant principle’. While we ministers may cast the seed of the Word broadly, it is only a few recipients, a remnant, that bear fruit that remains; fruit that bears more fruit, 30, 60 and 100 times what was sown (Mk. 4:20; Luke 8:15). Such people produce cultural shifts and kingdom results! Among those to whom I ministered is such a man named Kalli, now 72 years young and continuing to sow the word of grace that produces fruit.
Thirty-six years ago, Kalli a passionate young pastor, visited a high mountain village in the Himalayan Mountains. A handful of people accepted Christ and became believers. Shortly after, a young Buddhist mother gravely ill and filled with demonic influence from her culture, asked for prayer. Those new believers gathered at her house and prayed for her in the name of Jesus. She was healed, delivered from demons, and accepted Christ. Seeing the hand of God in action, some more families in that village believed on Jesus Christ, and a church, the only church in that district was birthed. That young mother had a 13-year old son, a goat herder, who accepted Christ. Even though he had no education and could not read he began to teach himself the Nepali alphabet letter by letter and accrued a minimal reading ability. As he grew in spiritual understanding he became a passionate evangelist and Kalli mentored him and sent him to Bible School. At the age of 30, Kalli installed him as pastor in his local village and he soon planted 4 more churches. He mentored the leaders of those churches. Over a period of 19 years those 4 churches spawned 35 more churches. Today there are over 235 churches in that district!
It all started with one man, Kalli, who sowed the Word in a remote village. Kalli then mentored and discipled the young goat herder who then mentored other young men. From goat herder to Word sower, from gathering goats to mentoring ministers...it started with a remnant that produced fruit, much fruit, fruit that remains.
Today, Kalli alone has seen over 400 churches come from his labor. He is now focused on the highest mountains near Tibet, traveling as much as 9 days on foot to reach one church, a remnant. What Paul the apostle said to the believers in Colossae, are words Kalli could also speak today, ‘All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its Truth.(Col.1:6)