Archive for July, 2010
“…and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Nepal is probably the world’s only officially Hindu country. My India isn’t, as it is a multi-religious and non-theocratic State. Now this small country Nepal, with a population less than that of my hometown Mumbai (Bombay) is receiving the Lord Jesus…and how!
Greater Grace World Outreach (www.ggwo.org) has planted 18 churches in the Himalayan country, famous for the Mount Everest. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of Nepal’s believers actually live in mountainous caves, hours away from ‘civilization’. Recently, our pastor narrated the story of a Nepali pastor from the Praja tribe. This pastor is just 28 years or so and has a family to support. He cannot leave his family behind for years to attend Bible College. So he stays with his folks for a month and goes down to the city for a month. He will do this for the next 3 years, in order to get trained up in the Word of God and carry it back to his folks up in the mountains.
This may not sound too difficult to do. Except when you consider that:
• To reach the city, he climbs down the mountain on a 9-hour journey on foot.
• He climbs down the mountain on which he lives, then climbs up the next peak, then down it, then up the next and then down that one too.
• Along the way, he crosses a river – crossing it 17 times, at its various bends.
• In the rains, the river gets flooded chest-high. So the young pastor wades his way across the river, holding his bag up in the air, as it contains his Bible, books and clothes.
• After his 9-hour descent, he reaches the highway.
• He changes into a dry pair of clothes and takes the bus to the city, which is another 8 hours away.
• He will stay there in the church building with a dozen other pastors in the same room, until better facilities are available.
• He will go back up the same way he came, after investing a month in formal Bible study…
• …all this, to carry the Good News to people just like you and me, so that if they accept Jesus, they will continue to live in Heaven even after they die physically on earth.
The conditions are so tough, that some tribal children have probably never even seen a car. If they want to see one, they must walk their way down to the highway, which is 9 hours away. Pastor remarked that one day, when we get to Heaven, we will probably see a spirit shining like a star; and when we ask Jesus who it is, he will tell us it’s that tribal pastor from Nepal, who labored – and not in vain.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Everything is not perfect in this world because Earth is not Heaven! Every adult I know has some problem or the other. And the bad news is that we cannot become children again. But the Good News is that Jesus Christ invites us to hand over our heavy burden to him.
Jesus changes lives!
Jesus has changed – transformed – the lives of billions of people over the ages, some of whom I know personally. Like my uncle, for instance. He was deeply in debt, but when he earnestly prayed to Jesus and began attending church and studying the Bible, God cleared his debts in a matter of a few months.
There’s a youngster who was suffering from AIDS. He faithfully prayed to God and began attending prayer meetings at my family friend’s church. He was healed completely within a few months! Medical tests confirmed that he was free of AIDS. He even married after that. Now he attends church and you must hear him pray. I am convinced that the Spirit of God gives him utterance as he prays fluently and just right, quoting Scripture!
One pastor I know was a local rowdy trained in martial arts, until he gave his life to Jesus. Now he has been the world over, preaching the gospel. There was a time, he said, when he could not go to sleep at night unless he had hit someone. The Lord has turned his life completely around and dealt a body blow to the devil in this pastor’s life! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
So if you think your life can do with a makeover, let that makeover artiste be Jesus. He knows a thing or two about turning lives around for the better. He did it for Mary Magdalene, for Saul (Paul) and for me. He can do it for you too. He is the true turnaround expert!