Today was taken up with 2 beautiful experiences here in Kathmandu, Nepal.
We met with around 30 pastors this morning in Ram's church building. These were mostly local pastors who minister in the Kathmandu valley. This meeting was similar to the pastor's meeting we had in Chitwan. Ram is assembling the churches for unified action, and the miracle is that they are following!! He really seems to have a biblical and apostolic ministry. Pastors from different denominations are coming together under Ram with a strong vision to reach all of Nepal with the gospel, and then go out to key cities all over Asia and the Middle East. This morning Ram shared this vision with the pastors. He told them that he had been gone (to the USA) for the past few years, but that he is still involved in this ministry, and is back to continue the work. He urged these brothers to continue meeting monthly for prayer and fellowship. Many of these pastors are Ram's personal converts.
After the meeting we pulled aside one pastor who had suffered persecution and I recorded a video of his testimony, given through a translator. He was kidnapped by Maoists and tortured for a month. He showed me a broken tooth that came through the beatings, and a scar on his neck from where the Maoists pushed a rod into his neck. They hung him upside down for long periods of time and threatened to kill him if he did not give them money. He called his son, who surrendered the deed to their land to the Maoists. Even after his release he is still under the investigation of the Maoists, and had to leave his remote ministry and flee to Kathmandu where it is safer. He is now trying to restart his ministry, while family members continue his former one. I felt so unworthy to stand in this man's presence. He is rich in heaven. He has not stopped serving Jesus faithfully. He knows it is worth the price. We prayed for this brother, and then I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a big, long hug. This was the first beautiful experience of the day.
In the afternoon we traveled up a LONG, winding road that brought us to the top of one of the Himalyan foothills. There was a nice resort there, and we enjoyed a cup of real coffee (the norm is Nescafe instant). On the roof of the resort was a lookout deck where we saw magnificent views of the foothills, villages, and then...BAMMO! The snow-covered peak of Everest rising above the clouds, 150 miles away. Beautiful.
Tomorrow we are scheduled to work with the orphans and they are planning to BBQ a wild pig. Then, we have been granted an audience with the President of Nepal for Thursday morning! We plan to give him a Bible. He is a Hindu.
God is humbling me and moving on me in a powerful way on this trip. I don't know what the results will be in my life, but I am being challenged and broken. Please pray for me, and for the team. And most of all, please pray for this awesome move of God in Nepal. It looks like God's time has come in this nation! There is a new government and freedom; There is a hunger and passion in the churches; and the pastors are coming together in unity under Ram's leadership and vision. They only need our prayers and support. Hallelujah! Jesus reigns over the darkness and idolatry of Nepal! He is gathering to himself a people in this nation, for his glory!!!