Saturday, June 14, 2014

Miracle or Black Magic

From the E-desk of
Bhaju Ram Shrestha


        Miracle or Black Magic? Stories Stranger than Fiction

Story 1

Riding on the rockaby bus on the dusty road of the mountain top I came to a village called Dapcha with my intern pastor friend Pukar Shrestha.. When we arrived in the village, I found it was a sleepy place. The shops were closed and some people seem to be walking lazily around. It was once a lively village but due to the new high way made by Japanese down below the mountain, this village lost the luster of life. However, there were still houses and cluster of villages. In fact Dapcha is just 6 kilometer  behind the world famous Buddhist learning center, Namobuddha where I got to make two learned Buddhist nuns as my sisters-one from Malaysia and another from Bhutan.
    Dapcha is situated about 30 km from my village Dhulikhel or 55 km from Kathmandu. But the two hours hard ride from my village tells it must be 300 kilometer. Were I a pregnant, I would have deliver a baby because of thumpty thump and rocky ride. But as I arrived in the village, at first I was mesmerized by the imposing majestic Himalaya Mountains. Though it was hundreds of miles away from me, I  could stretch my invisible long hands toward it and hug it by saying “Thank you Lord for the beautiful 3 D art.”
    I heard much about this village since I was a child but this time I went to this village not because of the village itself but because of what was in the village. My friend Pukar took me to a small Tamang Budhist village where there was a cluster of a dozen houses having a Buddhist flag sticking up in the middle of the village showing who is the center of the village. At the edge of the village, looking over the mountains were small attached houses. In one of those houses there dwelt a small family that I heard much about it. It was the mother Sita of this house that constrained me to come in this village.
      Five years ago, Sita and her family were like any villagers in the village. They worshipped their traditional religion-Hindu and Buddhists gods and goddesses. Her husband drank, smoke as the culture and religion gave license to do it. Her two daughters and a son went to the village school just like any children. They had goats that were tended seven days a week. Life seemed to be as normal as any villager there was. Name of Jesus was shunned by this family as most other do. For out of 660 million gods and goddesses, why would they need Jesus who is treated as a foreign God anyway?
   Then one day thing happened that made u-turn of their life.
   Sita got little infection in her right finger. She tried to treat it locally as any person do. But the little infection showed its ugly face as she had to go to the Dhulikhel hospital to do a small surgery. Sita came home after the surgery, but something happened after a few days. She experienced poison being shooting out of that surgeried finger into her entire palm making it stiff and unmovable. The poison spread into her right arm making it paralyzed slowly. Terrorized by never be able to use her hand for daily chores of cooking, taking care of family and goats and spreading her loving arms toward the children, she went to the state of depression. The loving husband tried to do what he could to soothe her, the children tried to comfort her, the neighbors tried to cast pity on her. She spent days and months crying and crying and sleepless.
   “Offer chickens to gods and goddesses” her neighbors suggested. So she did. “Go to the shamans, witch doctors.” So she followed their advice. Over 50 chickens were offered, lots of not-have money were spend on trying to appease the witch doctors, gods and goddesses. They took her surviving income away but not her disease. She went to one doctor after another, one hospital after another. “You have to cut your arm, if you want to live” was the 20th century doctors advice she received from the hospitals.
  Heavily discouraged, she knew she came to the end of her rope of life. Her husband was (and still is) the truck driver for a village merchant with not much salary. On top of that the smoking and drinking had made his pocket with more holes. Sita knew she was dying as the pain terrorized her body.
   Then one day.
   Someone told her, “Why not go to the church?”
   Church that she knew in the village was not a building with imposing sign of the cross but a small company led by a man who was healed from mental torture that he had for several years. This man too had gone through all kinds of treatment and not finding relief, he finally went to Banepa where the mission hospital was there. He worked as a porter in a village and went to the church on Sabbath. With much prayer and fellowship, he got healed and now he became a formidable believer in Jesus. But only one who eats  an orange would know its taste, not many in the village had the taste of Jesus. So he had a small company in his home where they met every Sabbath.
   Someone suggesting Sita to go to the church seemed to be her last hope of survival. She talked with her husband. He said, “Well, if going to church will do any good, you go, but when you go don’t stop going there. I and our children will not go to the church.” That was fine approval.  Her schooled girls said the same thing, “Mom, you go to the church, we will not go.”
   So doggedly, she went to the room where a small group of believers were having Sabbath service. She was welcomed whole heartedly. There was no image of gods and goddesses. Her mind was full of images of gods and goddesses and witch doctors and modern doctors. As she started to attend the fellowship, she knew all those things had to be emptied out of her heart and mind. She sat in the middle and the believers began to pray for her. Within a couple of Sabbath, she was able to sleep restfully for the first time in several months. As she started to go to church, her dead fingers of right palms started to be revived and she was able to move them. Then the arm began to move slowly. Within a few months, she experienced the healing touch of Jesus and she was able to move her arms. Miracle outstated the black magic and witch doctors! Her joy returned and told around her  healing to her village friends and relatives.  Flood of tears rolled down from their eyes they listened to her.
   “Hey! What is in the church that made my wife healed?" The question ran like missiles in her husband’s mind. Then the man who abused his body through deadly habit, went to the fellowship with intention just to peep into it. That first peep was powerful enough to peep more till all his wrong habit being thrown out and joined his wife in believing Jesus.  Then the holy temptation to see what is in the church gripped her eldest daughter, then to the second daughter, then to the small boy.
   Yes, today, I found they were one of the most committed believers of Jesus I ever found. They are so strong in wanting to follow the teaching of the Bible that even the goats take rest on Sabbath. They stay in their manger and eat the foliage and grass that were brought by the end of Thursday. Sita’s daughters Sunita and Sarita are leading a small church now. Because of Sita’s testimony over a dozen accepted Jesus. Sunita,the high school graduate wants to go to Spicer to study theology. The young daughter, Sarita who is in tenth grade wants to do the same. “Because of my mother’s hands we came to love Jesus.” Sunita and Sarita have been proudly testifying to the churches and other occasions.
   “I can leave my family, but never Jesus.” Said Sita as the tears rolled down on this scribe. “I want nothing but my family be remaining strong and true to Jesus.” She added. Uneducated, she does not know how to read and write. But she listens to AWR radio program voiced by Pr. Umesh Kumar Pokherel. She feels enriched in Jesus as she listens to it.
   Sita is a proof that the faith lies not in the great learning but in the heart.

Presently, I took a firebrand retired Korean Church pastor who has been helping to build the church there. The land was bought by the personal money from the man who go healed in the church.  The loving and committed Adventists from the Banepa hospital Church should of course, get credit for spreading its light to this and surrounding villages. The hospital itself might be in the rocky position due to the personals who have valued mixed up, but the light of God’s love it has been transmitting will not be clouded out.
    How much the dream of the Mother Sita to make her children and community  continue to grow  strong in knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ is yet to be seen by those who like to bear one another’s burden (Gal 6:1).

Sita displaying her healed hand as she shares her testimony
Sita her daughter Sarita,Sunita and cousin Anita who lead the church service
Ran Bahadur shows the land for the church
Imposing Himalayas over the sea of mountains viewed from Dapcha

Story 2:
It was time for this scribe to have a new day pack. So he went around shopping in the town. He prayed, “Lord, you know I need a new day pack.” “I know” God seemed to reply. Anyway he went for the window shopping. Of course, there were many inexpensive but soon to be worn out bags in the market. Then he got into a shop that sold strong bags and suitcases. He liked the one and asked the price. As soon as he heard the price, he nearly got electrocuted. The shop keeper said, “Rs. 8000 or $80”. Saying “Thanks” he walked out and deciding to decide not to buy a bag for time being.
    Then one day his Spicer professor’s daughter with her husband, sister and friends came to visit Nepal. He went to Banepa church with them in their hotel van. He took them briskly to the much talked about city of Bhaktapur after the church service in Banepa. It was evening when the trip was over. As this scribe was saying good bye, his Spicer friend Sally pulled out something from the car and handed over to him. It was the day pack! He asked her, “How did you know, I needed a bag?” “The Holy Spirit told me” was the quick reply. Not only that she gave him some warm socks that made his Christmas present for him and his family.
   “You walk with Me, I  will walk with you” How can a person misses out this loving and tenderly words of Jesus?

Story 3

“I am looking for someone who can write a series of life of teaching of Jesus Christ in my e-newspaper, will you be interested to write? You won’t get any money of course.” Said the human right activist and the Hindu editor and author to this scribe. “Wow!” this scribe thought. “People spend so much money to spread out the Good News about Jesus. And here I got to do it without any cost except my time.” “I will think about it.” He said to the editor. “Please consider it to write. I like your ideas” requested the editor.
    This scribe has been virtually swimming in own solitude world. His mind is like the restless sea lamenting like Apostle Paul having no like minded (Philip 2:20) to share what goes on in his mind.  Burdened to produce many materials to feed the sheep and lambs as Apostle Peter requested the church, he had hardly time to produce food for the goats. Yet, goats too are God’s creatures.  So after much prayer and skeptically, he wrote to first article on Jesus and sent to him. He liked it and published it in his secular e-news (  The feed back from the first article was from a Bhramin person “I like the article, please continue to write so that we can know more about the religion of Jesus.”  The editor requested to write the  articles in both in English and in Nepali so that both language group could read them.  It has been several weeks since he started to write. A militant Hindu protested him, “Why are you giving space to Bhaju Ram in your newspaper?” The editor replied, “I am a journalist. I give space to every body including you.” Interestingly this man has been writing article against Christians in the same newspaper. This scribe wrote four issues on Birth of Christ. He wrote the article on why Nepali politicians are having problem. He wrote on Daniel two to address the issue. Every thing he writes the editor publishes. Unfortunately he is  still the NSL (Nepali as a second language) and EFL (English as a fourth language) student. So he had to pray that the reader would wink at the dissonance English and Nepali in  articles. Due to the deadline and several things, he had to write the article in hurry several times giving no chance to the second person to correct the languages.
   He got the press ID card as a columnist so that he could go to people in all walks of life as a reporter. The latest article: Jesus gets lost:

Story 4
Neither the freedom of conscious is constitutionalized nor the production of Sabbath School lesson is institutionalized, yet both Patronized by God, this scribe produced the first quarter SS lesson on discipleship for 2014 written by Dan Solis. He has bee producing this Bible study guide for the last 8 years purely on faith base. At the end of translation, he comes in tet-a-tet with the Lord saying, “Here I finished it. Now it is your headache. If I don’t get to publish it, I will just make a few photocopies and circulated to the church where I attend.” Since the Lord is the only One who loves complaining, He does seem to mind this scribe’s threat. So far He has been helping through the Adventists who are the most generous of all Christians (EGW),he hopes that that will continue as 2014 moves on and so does his age.
 Discipleship Cover Page

Story 5 and final for now:
“Thank you for sending your publications. Because of your materials and the Bible study that I am giving two Nepalese Bhutanese refugees have accepted to be baptized into the Adventist Church. Please send me more materials” was the letter from invisible email friend from Missouri (US). 8 years ago when this scribe’s wife passed away, he hung into the coffin wishing him dead, but little did he know that what God has for him as Elder Dwight Nelson hugged him in Andrews University Church, “God has a plan for you in Nepal.”

Final word for now:

Every work I do, every friend I make. I like to be able to say, “Won’t it be wonderful to go to heaven with these people who learned to come to close to Jesus through my passionate work for Him?”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

One Family's Commitment Continues to Lead Relatives and Neighbors to Jesus

"My wife and I were suffering from seizure.  Shamans, village medicine and doctors could not cure us, till we came to Jesus.  Now those complicated demonstration of evil's power is past" said Bishnu Roka as I asked him why he became a Christian.
    The eldest son of the family, Bishnu, lives in Kaping village about 80 km east from Kathmandu, just about 35 km to China border.  One takes a bus to the main high way toward the border, and gets down walking up about 90 minutes uphill to reach his village. Through his influence, most of his clan members (about 60) have become believers. His two daughters Sunita (just graduated from the high school) and Sona (still a high school student) with the helps from a few others are conducting children's ministry program every Friday afternoon. Not having a parochial school in Nepal, such program is a best source to lead children to Jesus though negligible amount is present SDA Churches in Nepal.
   The Sabbath of October 5, 2013 was a special day for Kaping. I was there on early Friday after riding the bus about 4 hours and walking up the hill. I was there early to see the children's program where about 30 children attend. Action songs, telling memory verse and stories were the main feature of the program. I was pulled in to tell the Bible story. The age 5 to the grown up youth enthusiastically participated the children program which was introduced by Uma Shrestha (then Spicer student) through VBS program some years ago.  Then the next day Sabbath, October 5 Pr. Umesh Kumar Pokharel, the Nepal Section President, and the Pr. Milan Dahal from Banepa conducted briefing in the church to the 19 candidates who wanted to take baptism on their own wish.
    It was raining, yet the believers prepared by the Gospel Worker Bishnu and his daughters through children's ministry for baptism did not want to wait for the fair weather.  So we all walked down to the village river whose water went on to mix with the river that came from Tibet. Surrounded by the beautiful mountain walls and over looked by the Heavenly Father up from the sky, helped by Pr. Milan, Bishnu and his brother, Pr Umesh baptized 19 members of Vishnu's relatives and neighbors.  One of the youngest ones was an orphan girl who was the faithful attendant in the children's program and the church.  She was about 13. The oldest one was over a couple who must have been over 60.  The rain did not prevent from the leading of the Holy Spirit to take steps for Christ.
     Several people like Pr. Naseeb Basnet, Pr. David Kumar Tamsang, Pr. Abirman Puri, Pr. Umesh Pokheral, Pr. Milan Dahal and other visitors played their role to give light to this mountainous   village church.  Though there is as if a rivalry church just a few second down to the SDA Church, and no matter what earthquake took place in the mission, Bishnu has been holding faithfully to the Adventist faith without being shaken, though from time to time other church pastors throw the temptation like, "If you join us behold, we will give you such and such."
    "How do you feel baptizing so many at once after being the president of Nepal Section for the first time?" I asked Pr. Umesh. "I feel good that the Lord has been steering people to make them the part of His family" replied Pr. Umesh.
May the Holy Spirit continue to work in the hearts of Bishnu, his family and congregation to include as many as possible to the kingdom of God.
Bhaju Ram Shrestha

147,181 sq km Nepal though declared a secular state, does not have legal religious freedom. The church can own no property, school or a church building, yet belief in Jesus Christ is spreading like a wildfire. The Lord has given the transitional time to spread the good News about the salvation. This time might be up when we have new constitution for which the second constitution assembly supposed to be held in November, though the success of it is still in question. The  land  of 660 million gods and goddesses is waiting to see the feet that spread the Good News of His love-not just through preaching but through witnessing by changed lives.

Beyond the last mountain lies the Tibeto-China-just 35 km from the church

Action Songs

Utilizing the half day holiday on Friday, Sunita (standing next to the young boy on the left) with the help of other lead out the children's ministry.

The young orphan Sumitra tells the memory verse while Sunita checks her name. She has no father and mother, lives with her sister-in-law who faithfully comes to the church but her, her husband does not care about the belief

Pr. Umesh and Pr. Milan lead out the words of commitment to God before baptism. It is the inside part of the worship place

Who care about the rain if the Lord rains His Spirit? The happy group ready for the baptism flanked by Pr. Umesh Pokherel on the extreme left

The baptism service: A candidate holds Pr.Umesh who prays, Pr. Milan blessing gesture

Young and old are baptized

 Pr. Umesh Kumar Pokharel, Pr.Milan Dahal, Brother Bishnu Roka

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

येशूनीति पूवीय दर्शन, क्रिश्चियानिटी पश्चिमको उपज


भजुराम तखाछेँ श्रेष्ठ
आज नेपालको जनजीवनमा क्रिश्‍चियन भन्ने शव्द कुनै नौलो छैन । झन डिसेम्बर २५ तारिखको दिन सार्वजनिक विदा दिँदा गैरक्रिश्चियनले पनि मजाले घाम तापेर बस्न र क्रिश्चियानिटी सम्झन पाएकै छन् । क्रिस्चियनहरूलाई पनि सम्मान भाव जागृत भएकै छ । जनआन्दोलनपछि कानूनी अधिकारै नपाएतापनि क्रिश्‍चियनहरू वढेका छन् भन्ने समाचारले कतिपयको जिज्ञासा बढाएकै थियो । 
मल्लकालिन युगमा प्रवेश पाएको क्रिश्‍चियन धर्मलाई राजा पृथ्वीनारायण शाहले नेपालबाट लखेटेका थिए। क्रिश्‍चियानिटी भन्ने वित्तक्कै ती आदरणीय राजाको कन्चट तातिहाल्थ्यो, त्यसैले उनले क्रिश्‍चियनहरूलाई नेपालमा जग बसाल्न दिएनन्। क्रिश्‍चियानिटीको आध्यात्मिक कारणले भन्दा राजनीतिक कारणले क्रिश्‍चियनहरूप्रति दोषी चस्माले उनले हेरेको नेपालको इतिहास साक्षी छ।
क्रिश्चियनहरूलाई बेलायतीहरू वा उनलाई मन पर्ने शव्द फिरङ्गीहरूसँग जोड्ने भएकोले नै तिनीहरू उनको आँखामा छारो हुन पुगेका थिए। नेपाललाई एकिकरण गर्ने उनको उद्देष्य थियो र त्यस उद्देष्यमा कसैले हस्तक्षेप नगरोस् भन्ने उनको चाहना थियो। क्रिश्चियनहरूले फिरङ्गीहरूसँग मिलेर उनको लक्ष्यलाई बिथोल्लान् भन्ने उनको डर थियो।
हुन त शासकवर्गहरूले क्रिश्चियनहरूलाई दोषी चस्माले हेर्ने कुनै नौलो कुरो होइन। आफूले नै जलाएको रोमलाई आफ्नो छवि सपार्न सम्राट निरोले क्रिश्चियनहरूलाई दोष दिन लगाएर तिनीहरूलाई जिउँदै छाला काढेर रोमको शहरको सडकमा बत्तीको निम्ति जलाएको विश्व इतिहासले बताउँछ।
क्रिश्‍चियानिटी विदेशी धर्म वा पाश्चात्य धर्म हो भनेर मल्लकालिन युगपछि फैलाएको धारणा हाम्रो देशमा अझै पनि आलै छ। यस आलेखको रचयिता आध्यात्मिक चिन्तनको छात्र भएको हुनाले क्रिश्‍चियानिटी र येशूनितिको बीचमा के फरक होला भन्ने सोचबाट प्वाक्क निस्केको केही विचारहरू यस इनेपाली खबरका प्रधान सम्पादकको अनुरोधमा पाठकहरूको बीचमा पोखाउने श्रृखला सुरू गर्न चाहन्छु। कुनै चर्चलाई प्रतिविम्ब नगरिएको, बाइबलका कुनै विज्ञहरूभन्दा टाडा रही रचिएको यस व्यक्तिगत जिज्ञासालाई व्यक्तिगतै रूपमा ढाली राख्‍न पाठक वर्गमा अनुरोध छ।
यस लेखकको चिन्तनमा क्रिश्‍चियानिटी यथार्थमा पश्‍चिमी सभ्यताको उपज हो भने येशूनीति दुई हजार वर्ष पहिले उदाएको पूर्विय देशको तारा हो। क्रिश्‍चियानिटीलाई अनुवाद गरिन्दा इसाई भनिन्छ भने अङ्ग्रेजीमाChristianity भनेर लेखिन्छ। क्राइष्ट र ianity दुई शव्द जोडेर क्रिश्‍चियानिटी हुन्छ भने यानिटीको अर्थ छैन । त्यसैले आगामी वाक्यहरुमा लेखक क्रिश्चियानीति लेख्ने अनुमति चाहन्छ । किनभने नीतिको अर्थ सर्वविदितै छ।
अङ्ग्रेजीमा इथिक भनेको नीतिशास्त्रू हो । क्रिश्‍चियानीति भन्ने वित्तिक्कै नेपाल लगायत सारा संसारका मानिसहरूको मनमा पाश्‍चात्य धर्म भन्ने मनमा बुनेको हुन्छ। पाश्चात्य इतिहासमा हेरियो भने त्यसलाई सतप्रतिसत होइन भन्न मिल्दैन। किनभने पूर्वी देश इस्रायलबाट फैलिएको यस धर्म प्रथम् पश्‍चिम देश रोममा हजारौँ इसाईहरूलाई शहिद बनाएपछि तिनीहरूलाई नाश गर्न नसकेको कारण तेस्रो शताव्दीमा त्यस देशले यस धर्मलाई राष्ट्रिय धर्म भनेर अँगाल्यो। तत्कालन अवस्थामा त्यस देशमा रोमी देवता देवीहरूको बाहुल्यता थियो, तर त्यस नौलो धर्मले तिनीहरूलाई ओझेलमा पार्‍यो र पछि ती देवीदेवताहरूलाई म्युजियममा सीमित पारियो। भर्खरै पलाएको इसाई धर्म भएतापनि हजारौँको संख्यामा वढि विभिन्न गुटहरूमा बाँडिएको त्यस धर्मलाई रोमको सम्राट कन्सटेन्टिनले त्यस धर्मका गुरूहरूको गोलमेच संमेलन गरि इसाई धर्मको ठेक्का आफ्नो हातमा लिए। आफू राजनीतिक व्यक्तित्व भएको कारण उनले एक जना सर्वमान्य भनेर गुरूको स्थापना गरे जसलाई पोप भनिन्छ। त्यही पोपको मातहतमा इसाई धर्म प्रचारप्रसार भएकोले इसाई धर्म पाश्‍चात्य धर्म भनेर सम्बोधन हुन पुगेको हो।
विश्वका इसाईहरू दुई प्रमुख खेमामा बाँडिएका छन्, रोमन क्याथोलिक र प्रोटेस्टेन्ट। क्याथोलकको अर्थ जगत् वा सार्वलौकिकू हो। यदि कुनै पनि धर्म वा वाद सर्वव्यापी छ भने त्यसलाई क्याथोलिक भन्नुमा केही आपत्ति हुँदैन। तर रोमन भन्ने शव्द जोडिदा पोपलाई मान्ने विश्‍वासीहरूलाई रोमन क्याथोलिक भन्ने जनाउँछ। धर्मकर्म गरेर र पोपलाई मानेर होइन येशूलाई सीधा विश्‍वास गरे मुक्ति पाइन्छ भनेर रोमन क्याथोलिक भिक्षु मार्टिन लुथर लगायत पोपसँग असहमत जनाउने पन्ध्रौं शताव्दीताकाका सयौँ इसाई धर्मगुरूहरू छुट्टिन पुग्दा तिनीहरूलाई प्रोटेस्टन्ट वा सुधारवादी इसाईहरू भन्न पुगियो। तर यो पनि पश्‍चिमी इसाई धर्मको उपज नै हो। यथार्थमा भन्ने हो भने यदि कुनै नास्तिक देशको खोजी गर्नुछ भने पश्चिम देशमा जानुपर्छ। येशूलाई क्रुसमा टाङ्ग्नेदेखि लिएर येशूको खिलाफमा विभिन्न पुस्तक र फिलिमहरू निकालेर उनलाई थान्को लगाउन चाहने विज्ञ भनाउँदाहरू पश्‍चिमी देशमै पाइन्छन् ।
तर गजबको कुरो के छ भने ठेट वा सही इसाई धर्म वा आस्था पश्‍चिमी सभ्यताको उपज नभएर मध्यपूर्व एशिया इस्रायलमा जन्मेका येशू ख्रीष्टबाट प्रादुर्भाव भएको हो। उनी जन्मिदा पूर्व देशका तारा खोइ भनेर ज्ञानी मानिसहरू खोज्दै इस्राएलमा आएका थिए। जब येशू वढे र हुर्के, उनी आफ्नो क्षेत्र इस्राएलभन्दा बाहिर गएनन् । एक पटक आफ्नो देशको सिमाना नाघेर गएको भनेर इसाई धर्मशास्त्र बाइबलले देखाउँछ। उनको जीवनीको वृतान्त र शिक्षादिक्षा केवल १०० पानाहरूमा मात्र सीमित छ भनिन्छ। वर्तमान इसाई क्षेत्रले मानेका कतिपय संस्कार, संस्कृति, डगमा वा धार्मिक सिध्दान्तहरू येशूको निम्ति नौलो नै थिए। क्रिश्‍चियानीति धर्मसँग जोडिएको छ भने येशूनीति मानिससँग जोडिएको छ।
येशूको निम्ति धर्मभन्दा मानिस ठूलो थियो। उनी कुनै धर्म स्थापना गर्न आएका थिएनन् तर मानिसको मोल धर्मभन्दा पनि ठूलो छ भनेर प्रमाणित गर्न आएका थिए । येशू ख्रीष्ट पापीको लागि आए, जसले उनलाई विश्‍वास गर्छ त्यसले तत्काल नै सही मुक्तिको स्वाद पाउँछ भनेर इसाई शास्त्र बाइबलले बताउँछ। आफ्नो अगाडि भएको भाईलाई माया नगर्नेले नदेखेको परमेश्वरलाई कसरी विश्‍वास गर्नसक्छ भनेर त्यस ग्रन्थले चुनौती दिन्छ। अन्याय सहनु पाप हो भनेर पश्चिम देशका क्रिश्चियन राजा र अगुवाहरूले दसौँ शताव्दीमा क्रुसेड गरेर इस्राएलमा रहेका कतिपय गैरइसाईहरूसँग युद्ध गर्दै तिनीहरूलाई हत्या गरेका थिए। तर यदि अन्याय सहनु पाप हो भने येशूले पाप गरेका थिए भने पनि हुन्छ किनभने उनले विनाकारण पश्चिमी देश रोमको बडा हाकिमको हातबाट मृत्युदण्ड भोगेका थिए । तर उनको नीति अन्याय सहनु पाप हो नभएर अन्याय नसहनुको नाउँमा अन्याय गर्नु नै पाप।
डाँडामा येशूले दिएको उपदेशलाई महात्मा गान्धीले नियमित पाठ गर्दथे भनिन्छ। एउटा गालामा हिर्काउँदा अर्को गाला पनि थापिदे भन्ने येशूको वचनबाट प्रभावित भएर उनले बेलायतसँग विनाहतियार भिँड्ने शक्ति आर्जन गरेका थिए । त्यसकारण इसाई धर्म पाश्‍चात्य धर्म हो भन्नु जायज देखिन्दैन । कसैले भन्छ भने यो पूर्वाग्रह र अल्पज्ञानको उपज हो भन्नुमा अत्युक्ति नहोला।
(आगामी श्रृखलाहरूमा येशूनीति सम्वन्धी जानकारी अगाडि बढाउन यो लेखक कोशिश गर्नेछ।)
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

God's Amazing Move

"Save the baby" a voice surged through me as I beheld in terror,  my 9 months old half brother was ready to be butchered by my schizophrenic step mother. I jumped and grabbed the baby and saved him from the wild step mother. I was all alone with the mad step mother in a small room in Kathmandu. I took the baby and crouched in the corner of the room that was in Kathmandu, while she cast her fierce face on me but did not harm me. Of course, I was only 5. That same voice told me, "Bhaju, what are you doing here in the Buddhist monastery?" while I was attending the church on Sabbath and learning the teaching of Buddha on Sundays in my village, Dhuilihel.  That same voice told me in 1969, "Accept Me, I will take care of you the rest of your life." while I was in the valley of decision to accept Jesus or not.  The same voice that tells "This is the way walk in it" one day told me, "You start a Bible study in the Central Church of Kathmandu." "Lord, it is not my job, let the pastors of the church do it, let Nepal Field do it (Of course Nepal Field is wounded now), You know I don't have time. Anyway who will come?" I argued back as a little child does to his father. 
   Finally, the Voice became louder especially in the present pot holes circumstances in our church, along with Pr. Umesh skeptically I announced last Sabbath, "If anyone wants to come to interactive Bible study, please come to the church between 5-5:30 PM on this Tuesday (March 5, 2013). I will lead the study, since we don't have a Bible college, but at least we can share the Bible knowledge". I knew it means committing myself over two hours of public bus ride. I knew it means traveling over 14 km after my work, I also knew that it means along with other evenings, I was going to give up doing other important things in Tuesday evening.
     When that Tuesday came, reluctantly I went to the church thinking I would be happy to see even if there were enough quorums that Jesus prescribed, "Two or three".  When I was there I was flabbergasted to see about a dozen people, men, women, children and students waiting for me and at the end of hour there were nearly two dozen in spite of no electricity. As we discussed the expectations of the study session,  one believer said, "I have been in the church for over 4 years, and I don't know what the Bible is". Joined by Pr. Umesh, I felt overwhelmed at the interest to study God's word seriously. In fact they rightly complained saying one evening a week was not enough.
  At the end of our fruitful hour that passed so quickly without our notice, we also decided to have a special prayer night this Saturday evening- to pray for Maya Tamang (featured in my blog entitled, "Wrestling with demons") who has been getting reoccurrence of possession after she decided to take baptism, for other members, for the country and specially also for our wounded church,
    God is Wonderful. He uses amazing tact to show He cares, He loves and interested in let Him be known more by those who want to know Him.
    Won't you join with me in praying for our saints in Nepal, who are hungry for God's words as we move on with systematic study?

With a vision to have this study group grow and eventually inspire to have  a seminar,
Bhaju Ram Shrestha
March 7,2013

                                                            The Hungry Hearts

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

                                            LEST I FORGET

I would like to share my story that was published in Guide magazine on September 12, 1972. I am sharing  for the 40th year of my anniversary of my baptism into the Seventh Day Adventist Church, where I am learning that being a Seventh Day Adventist has nothing to do with anyone including me, which is the  message that has been passed to me through visible,  invisible and unrecognized pioneers from age to age.  The story  entitled, "Bhaju's Long Search" has been coined by the late Goldie Down who was the active contributor for the Guide magazine. My search for God was found in Jesus, yet my long search continues, this time my search for Jesus in a man or woman or a child. I continue to seek the one whose mind is being transplanted by the mind of Jesus,(Philippians 2:5-11)., who did not care whatever people think of Him as long as He could project God. He did not care for His own reputation or seek His prestige or even honor in the then existing society. He came to win the heart not the pocket. He was not after the attraction but affection even that means stooping down low as even to wash the feet of own betrayer. He defined what is a true love through His example. He showed that the climbing the Mount Everest is not that brave act as to dare to worship the only Creator for He was taken to the highest mountain to disturb His loyalty to the Heavenly Father.
   Today I stand at the threshold of eternity to find out the difference between Christianity and Jesusnity (nity means ethic according to Sanskrit language). Christian is the one who follows Christ and people tend to follow Christians who too are human being with imperfect disposition, but Jesusnity is the one who follows Jesus and Jesus only, who had the perfect disposition, the Model Man. He gives me vision to live for. He uses me to chisel out the materials for His hungry sons and daughters while I survive by faith rather than fate to surface my work.
  The reason for sharing my article is to let you know that I have not forgotten my past which was the foundation of present, which is the foundation of the future. I trust that you will continue to pray for my solitude journey toward eternity where Jesus resides as the true King of heart. 
Love and prayer,
Bhaju Ram Shrestha dJC
January 2013


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Goats and Gospel
A submission story:
Bhaju Ram Shrestha

"Oh, gods, we have done everything to prevent our goats getting sick. We have gone to the veterinaries, to shamans and what not. Our goats suddenly get sick and they die. As a last resort, we are calling  you all the way from Kathmandu to pray for our goats and ward off the evil spirit" the lady of the house pleaded by folding her hands.  Her husband and his brother together own about 50 goats for their income.  All of them were Hindu family except the lady who claims to be a Christian.  Raja Ram was the elder brother who requested us through one of our church members in Kathmandu to go to his village and pray for the goats.

So four of us from upon the direction of Pr. Umesh Pokherel of Gathaghar Church-two ladies, Durga and Indira and Mr. Sharma (80) and I went to the village that was over 50 miles from Kathmandu that took us about 3 hours.  When we arrived in the nice village I saw many healthy goats, sick goats and a couple of sick kids who were sleeping under the basket. After the lady's plea we tried to console them through the Bible. I read Psalms 24 and the promise from James. Other urged them to believe in Jesus, so that the evil spirit would go away. Mr. Sharma pointed the story of King Hezekiah and in fact he urged the younger brother to read. Perhaps that was the first time in his life that he read the Bible.  They all gave the words that believed in God and eventually they would spread their interest in Bible and join the church.  We did not have a Bible to give to them; however, we left the illustrated Bible that we published and the Steps to Christ. Both were in Nepali language. After sharing our faith, I poured the olive oil on the head of a sick kid as if I were a priest ready to sacrifice the goat. Each of us took the turn to pray and pleaded the Lord to make the goats healthy, drive the evil spirit away from the premises so that the owners would glorify God who owns everything.
     After the prayer the household gathered together in a room where I presented the power point on why we suffer.  It was my intention to direct the villagers' mind to Jesus through whom God showers the love, and He does not cause evil as all the major religions depicts.
     Within a couple of hours we finished our mission assignment and headed toward Kathmandu.
    Please pray for those goats in Sanga chowk which is in Sindupalanchok district that borders China.  Please pray that through the healing of the goats, the owners would glorify God and turn their eyes on Jesus.  In the book of Joel the plague of locusts was upon the land of Israel so that the chosen people would turn to God. Likewise according to John 3:16, God has chosen everyone for eternal life provided he or she chooses Him.
    It was the wonderful experience on last Sunday (Dec 9, 2012) that we had heeding the Macedonian calls from the goats.
Indira shows the Illus Bible

 The owner reads the Bible
 I Pray fort the goats and the owners

The Goat saving party

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wrestling With the Power of Darkness:
Not a Fiction
(Not for publication because of the sensitive information)

Nepal, the Land of 660 million gods and goddesses, is a unique planet within the planet earth. Every Nepalese is regarded as a god or goddess, animals too are not left out, This is the place, the voice that echoed in Eden Garden, “You shall be like gods” (My theology does not say God), have been successfully spread in the mountain garden of Nepal.  Truth is truth, whether dark or light.  Though according to John 3:16, God loves Nepal too, it has been my personal conclusion that Lucifer has made his capital here.  Not only us, the power of darkness also struggle with each other.” From childhood I witnessed such darkness, for example: masked dancers putting their fingers through the piglets body to take out their hearts to eat raw, the power of a man who carried idol for in order for him to walk toward the temple hundreds of people had to push him, necromancer performing his feat, a holy man healing people right in front of my eyes, naked sadhus smoking hashish invoking the power of Shiva, and me living with a step mother who was schizophrenic but having a super power to break her chain and stock in spite of witch doctors, shaman, divines tried to fight demons with her. As early as I was five when I had to rescue my few months old step brother when his mother tried to butcher her own child. I was kept locked with her in a small room.  Due to famine of mental hospital in Nepal (even now only one in entire country in spite of one out of 4 are mentally disturbed population according to the survey), my step mother was not cured by any drum beating shamans, and she was put in a prison where she died. Before she died I had to visit her every day to give her food, and I used to see her naked in an isolated room in the prison.
      Little did I know that the Lord was preparing me to let me understand the Great Controversy between Jesus and Satan in a larger scale through concentrated action pact incidents.
  October 8, 2012 was a normal Sabbath worship day in Gathaghar main SDA Church just a few miles from Kathmandu. Brother Gavin Simpson from Maryland was the visiting speaker that day. It was during Sabbath School program that he witnessed a scene as never before in his life no matter where he had been. A woman in congregation started to go into convulsion. She started to shake, became stiff showing her fearful eyes and putting up her fearful face. The ladies immediately surrounded her, held her powerful limbs as many of us prayed asking Jesus to chase the demons from her. I personally put the Bible on her head and prayed. It was about 30 minutes of intensive prayer of all of us that she came to normal position. But immediately the demons seem to enter into 15 year old gentle girl. She was lifted by over half a dozen ladies and took her down to the room to pray for her. Brother Gavin was so stunned that he knelt and prayed outside of the room.  We had ex-witch doctor who became Adventist who started to pray and grab her head and chin, which I had to force to release his grip, he prayed, spoke in tongues, read the Bible, and put it on her head and chest. All the while the girl was in such a feat that she started to tear the Bible with her mouth, her body was so strong that all of us about half a dozen tried to hold her down not to harm herself and any of us. She bit my knee. After 90 minutes of struggle with the demons within her through pleads  and songs, she came to be normal, and she did not have any clue what went on during that 90 minutes.  It was too much for Brother Gavin to understand the reality of demons power. After everything calm down, the service was resumed when he presented a powerful message on Rev 12 proving through history and the scripture how the devil particularly  is making war with the Remnant Church.
    Then a week passed, but on Sunday Oct 13, Brother Gavin was to witness another feat after him requesting us to see that girl. Pr. Umesh Pokherel of Gathaghar Church arranged the girl to be in the Gospel Worker’s home nearby church. Brother Gavin and I went to see her. She was perfectly normal as she described her episode. As early as age of 5 she was working as a house girl in a neighbor’s family who had a shop. The girl’s aunt too had a small shop, but it flourished more than the family’s where she worked. The family asked her to bring hair or cloth piece from her aunt. Instead from her aunt, she took the thrown out piece of cloth around the water spring and gave to the family. The family later gave her a handful of rice to spread in the shop of her aunt who became sick. They found grain of rice spread in their room. Upon inquiry and torture from her mother, the girl, by the way her name is Maya Tamang revealed how the grains of rice  were spread on the floor. Police case took place and the villagers wanted to chase the family who bewitched away from the village, but the negotiation took place through the police intervention. However, after they came out from the police station the culprit family cursed Maya saying within 8 years she would die, and they would not leave her alone. It had been 6 years, and she has 2 more years go live. Maya does not have a father who too suffered the same fate. Her only brother beat her mercilessly and her mother is too helpless and poor to do anything. Maya tries to run away and hide from her brother(18)  whenever he comes home from the hostel. Maya said, she believed in Jesus, she liked to read the Bible, but often she experienced darkness covering her making her unconscious.  She had been taken to the hospitals, shamans and necromancers, and nothing have helped her and she believed only Jesus can cure her. She was to finish her grade ten but due to this, she slid down to grade 7.
        After she narrated her story, we all knelt down to pray, even she agreed to pray. But as soon as prayer started to go up, she went into convulsion. Her hands and legs became stiff, she started to shout, half a dozen of us including 6 feet tall strong Gavin tried to hold her down. She demonstrated super strength, tore the Bible with her mouth, scratched brother Gavin who was praying as never before now acting as exorcist, I put oil on her head and we all started to pray and sing.  Her face looked like snake’s fang.  All of us were asking the Lord to remove demons from her. I anointed her head with the olive oil, which I usually do when I pray for the sick. After 45 minutes of intensive prayer and singing, she came back to normal. When she was asked whether she knew anything, she admitted that she did not. As of writing of this episode, she still continues to suffer from the demonic possession. .Brother Gavin is trying to be a good Samaritan for Maya in trying to save  her from the grip of death but the power of the One who told the story of good Samaritan is more longed by all of us.
If this were the case in America, 9/11 would have been called, of course in Nepal such service is a myth. We are thankful that we can claim John 3/16 to solve the demonic problem.    The amazing thing is this hundreds of men and women with such cases were healed coming to the church regardless of denominations resulting many joining the church and alarming the Hindu fundamentalists.  One doctor of the doctors from a reputed hospital laments on their inability to cure such case this way, “Maybe we could ask the Christian proselytizers to give us some pointers on how to move forward. They have the required qualities and a track record of being able to deliver their target objectives (mental health cure).
I am certain they would be happy to help us, if we ask them.’
Dr Lakhey is the Professor of Orthopedics and an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Kathmandu Medical College
March 19, 2012 ekantipur (The full article can be read in the earlier blog)

Nepal is a place where myth is alive. We like to see socially, spiritually , politically, economically, mentally  catch up with the 21st century, though we know that this century is moving into deep quagmire, It is a place where we come to realization what Paul said, “We do not fight with the flesh and blood but the cosmic power of darkness.” Eph 6:12.Yet he knew that people even believers can be bewitched (Gal 3:1)  It is also a place where innocent women are tried by communities as witches making the Salem's witch trial just lost in the pages of American history books.    Nepal is also a place where a true believer is more busy fighting with such power than with any leader irregardless  who traps people with the borrowed promises. Pray and don’t play with the devil have been our day to day challenge. Won’t you pray for us in Nepal?

Possessed gods, no one dare to fool with them as they dance in trance

A perfect normal girl as she narrates her story
She goes into convulsion  in the church

Holding her down as Brother Gavin Simpson prays

She demonstrates super human strength as she gets relapses

This is the previous case that happened in May 2012. This woman in the middle started to attend the church, she went to the same traumatic experience in the church, where she was prayed for. Then we went to her house to pray. She got well, but stopped coming to the church in spite of repeated visits of church members. I personally found out that people use our church for mental asylum. When they get cured, they stopped coming to the church. In Jesus' law it is okay, but as we continue hope the problem does not reoccur. 

Bhaju Ram Shrestha

p.s. If you would like to continue to get such human interest stories of us who are ordinary people but running along with the Extra Ordinary God  so that you can join with us as a prayer partner and follow the plea of Apostle Paul who said, "Bear one another's burden" (Gal 6:2), please let me know. The Central Adventist Church under Pastor Umesh Kumar Pokherel in Gathaghar, adjacent to the capital is growing beyond a few of us could handle. Quite a few members are those who have been released by the power of darkness. It h as two other satellite congregations where too the members experienced the power of Living God more than the living Satan, yet unfortunately we have to live within Lucifer's territory  till Jesus comes.