Sunday, June 16, 2019

Christians Might Be At Risk: But The Churches Move On
  My friend Dr. Ramesh Khatry who has a Christian library in Kathmandu, also was in jail for quite a few year during the rule of the king told me, “I also look forward August 17, 2018..”  Because I wrote to him that on that day the ghost of Prithivinaryan Shah who ousted the Christians in Nepal around 1768 is going to come alive as the present make believe democratic government has decided to come heavy hands on Christians preaching or publishing literature that threaten the religion of ancestor. I am going to call August 17, 2018 a Black Day for those who long to live eternal life. The government said they will deport the foreigners preaching and import the Nepalese to jails with heavy fine making  of course mockery UN Declaration of Human Right whose signatory was Nepal.
   Yet, I move on pressing the promise that God has given in Psalms 91:16 “I will give him a long life, I will make sure he lives a life of satisfaction and whenever he is in trouble I will deliver him.” On the condition of course, “If he stays on My canopy and is willing to follow My way” Psalms 91:1 (Bhaju’s paraphrase).
  With the strength the Lord has been providing me, I have been continuing to hop form one mountain to another each Sabbath. Three Sabbaths ago I was in Kosi Dekha which the president of the Union of India told it was the end of the world when he visited during the opening of the church a few years ago. On August 4, 2018, I was in a village of Sangachowk of Chautara district that borders between China and Nepal with the mountains, this Sabbath of August 11, I was in a non-Adventist Church in Charikot of Dolakha District of the epicenters of last major earthquakes. It is north-eastern side of Nepal
  Some pictures with some cooked flashy thoughts about the last two Sabbath trips.
Sangachowk SDA Church

Picture 1:  The daughter of a layman who is a strong man to keep the Sangachowk going.. He is a local man. Here his daughter leads the first part of the church. She was deaf and with a treatment, she could hear.. She told me God helped her to hear.
Picture 2:  Shankar lost everything including his wife when he accepted Jesus. He started a church in his village of Chautara, later on he handed over to a leader.. He went to Malayasia where he learned to drink and smoke.  But there he found the meaning of life in Jesus. When he came back his wife took all money and disown him. His parents persecuted him. He came wandering to SDA church, where he found Manna who was the Gospel worker. After getting the legal divorce from his first wife, he got married with Manna. Together they run the church with a small stipend his wife gets from the mission. Theirs is the survival by faith. He sold his gold chain to meet the end.. Their life is struggle with no extra source of income but they are happy and dedicated.. Shankar is a strong man in the church. In this picture he is telling the regular mission story that is printed in the SS lesson.
3.This person’s house was burnt down along with part of his body. He lost the beauty of his life but found beauty in Jesus. He is teaching the SS lesson.
4. I am salvaging whatever felt I have to use it to tell Bible stories for the message. People are enjoying saying that the felt pictures make the presentation of message vivid.
5. This is the congregation. Manna is sitting in front with blue dress. When she came to this village, There were only a couple of believers as the other believers got scattered due to the lack of a leader. She says now if everyone comes there are over two dozen. She and her husband Shankar take care of the believers by making them feel home. They regularly visit and have fellowship with them. Manna tries to retrieve the back sliders and also reach out to people by making friends.  Her family disowned her when she accepted Jesus. Both she and her husband are on call all the time resulting not able to do another job. But living by trusting in God.
6 The mission bought the land. The Koreans built it. It does not have compound wall making vulnerable to be used by public. Manna wants to protect the church property but the mission has no money. She   says the public is challenging to protect it if not it would be like a  public property. Christians are still treated as outsiders and have no legal voice.
August 11, 2018 I went, I gave message and left just a foot print
                                                                                              A Trip to Dolakha
Riding on the merciless twisting road, in a jumping bus that hit my head several times as a result of sitting way back, after about 7 hours I arrived in Charikot, Dolkha district on Friday upon the invitation of our faith sister to preach in her husband’s church which was not the SDA ignoring the warning by the newspaper not to travel far unless emergency..

Sara and an SDA believer who used to be a light bearer in Kosidekha is married to Naran who is the metal potsmith. They come from poor and schedule class. Naran did not believe that I would be there. After spending some time with the value of study of Bible he said he would like to spend a couple of days in Adventist Point with me to study about Adventist message.
In absence of a pastor this Baptist congregation was led by a young girl. It is a rare opportunity to lift Jesus in the congregation other than own..
The high light of my visit was to meet these two sisters-Amika and Ranjana of the Baptist church. Amika said she had been a Christian for 22 years because her husband got healed from devil possession but now does not go to church She did not know much about the Bible because she did not know read and write. I bought an alphabet book, note book and pencils (in the second picture) , and requested our sister to teacher reading and writing and also reading the Bible. Amika said, “Thank you for encouraging us. God has sent you to encourage us.”
Charikot, Dolakha is a beautiful mountainous place, presently blanketed the  beautiful view of the mountains due to the monsoon. It has 12 churches. Nearly a couple of years ago 7 Christians were arrested for distributing Bibles along with the notebook in the school that is shown in the picture. After a month of custody, they were freed. After August 17, more Christians are expected to be arrested. Christians might be arrested but the no one can arrest the power of Jesus.
Sara and her husband lives in a small rented room having a kitchen in the same room. They insisted that they sleep on the floor while I sleep on the bed. Such repeats often when I go to the villages. The I find the light bearer often sleeping in the porch outside while I sleep inside. This is why I can’t charge anyone for using the Adventist Premises for God’s laborers.
In a couple of months they plan to move to near China border in Khadichaur where they hope to get better income. They will attend the church that is 11km up. I suggested to start a company in their new place which they  hope at least to start with a tin shack.
My weekly spiritual fellowship with the daughters of ex-bonded labors and the family who is taking care of them under an organization has been blessing to both of us. I provided Bibles, notebooks and Sabbath School lesson. It has been looking forward event.
Once in a while I do get treats.. I got to be invited at the dinner hosted by Pr.. Umesh of Himalayan Section to the students who are learning primary health care under the leadership of Dr. Calvin David from SUD and the liaison from Vellore Medical College for the health training that is being held in SMH. Most of the 15 participants are active SDA church members from different parts of Nepal. The program is the first of its kind conducted by the Southern Asia Division according to Dr. Calvin Joshua. (Sitting front are Shanti Pokherel wife of Pastor Umesh, Pr. Umesh, Dr. Calvin Joshuwa and Pr Abirman Puri. The behinds are the teachers and the trainees.
Finalley, in spite of extracurricular activities, I have finished translating the last quarter SS lesson for 2018 entitled Unity in Christ. It should be in the press within two weeks after proofreading and formatting. The last of the faith base SS lesson for 2018 in which the Lord and I seesaw to publish it.

I am starting to translate the new SS lesson of first quarter of 2019, entitled the Book of Revelation by Ranko Stefanovic

Welcome to Adventist Point in Dhulikhel to view:

Friday, May 26, 2017

Enepalikhabar electronic newspaper articles:

May 25, 2017

Bhaju Ram Takhachhen Shrestha)
The court was set. The Emperor Akabar of India sat in his throne. His ministers gathered in the court. This day the Emperor looked little bit angry. All the ministers looked in suspense at the serious looking face of the emperor. Floods of questions ran in the brain of those ministers. Suddenly the Emperor Akbar asked, “What shall be done to the one who pulled the emperor’s mustache?” Stunned, his ministers stared at each other with. Akabar’s voice again sounded out asking the same question. Of course the ministers knew the answers. Some said, hang the person, some said put him in the life imprisonment, some said the person should be flogged publicly. Each one had own answer to appease the emperor. But none of the answer appealed to him. Then he asked wise minister Birbal, “Birbal what do you say since you are keeping quiet?” Promptly the witty Birbal replied, “He should be rewarded with sweets!” The answer that turned the court upside down, everyone including the emperor opened his mouth and asked in surprise, “What?” “Yes, I mean it” Birbal stood firm in his answer. “Why?” the Emperor asked. “Who but own grandchild could pull Your Majesty’s mustache but your own grand child?”The man with the telescopic thinking Birbal knew why the emperor asked that question. To the shocking surprise to all other ministers, the Emperor Akabar spoke with beaming smile, “Birbal, you are right. This morning my grandchild pulled my mustache as he was playing with me.” Yes, the innocent grandchild did not know that he was pulling the mustache of one of the greatest the emperors of India.
This thought shot me back to the incident that happened two thousand years ago in the realm of Christniti (Dear readers please notice my exploration to surface ethics or way of Christ, may not necessary reflect the popular form of Christianity as religion). The disciples of Jesus misunderstood Jesus thinking He was going to overthrow the Roman government and He was going to sit on the throne of Israel to establish theocracy which was disbanded several hundred years ago after the Israelites pestered the Prophet Samuel to appoint a king over them. Theocracy means the kingdom which God of universe rules with love, justice, mercy which is of course crying need of even today. In it there is no king or publicly chosen president but God’s emissary, a prophet or a judge. The fact was, Jesus was not going to be the Religious King as the disciples expected. How many people go to the church for how many years, the people still misunderstand Jesus even today. The twelve disciples thought of them becoming ministers in the Kingdom of Jesus and wanted to know who would be the prime-minister, so they asked, “Lord, please tell us who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Mt 18:1 of the Bible). The question was quite interesting because they did not ask “Who will be?” but “Who is?” which means of course “who is the greatest person in the sight of God now?” for Jesus was preaching saying, “Now is the kingdom of heaven…” To Jesus God’s kingdom is not to experience after death or after the eons of time but present time.
Jesus perceived what was going in the mind of the disciples. He knew they were having competitive feelings with each other rather than being complete with each other. He also knew that the disciples completely missed the point for which Jesus came, not to establish the earthly, political or religious kingdom but the kingdom in the heart for what is the use of the glory of the external kingdom if the internal kingdom exists in internal turmoil, fear and cruelty. So Jesus does very strange thing to stun His disciples. He called a little child in front of Him. Evidently Jesus had so interesting and affectionate personality that even the children were eager to listen what He had to say. He sets the child in the midst of the disciples and listening crowd and firmly gives the strangest and mind boggling not suggestion but directive, “I am telling you the truth, unless you are changed or converted and become like little children (now), you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (or experience the present eternal bliss, the sachhidananda). Any person who makes himself humble as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives or respects a little child in My name, he is really receiving Me or respecting Me. Moreover, whoever abuses these little ones who believe Me should be punished by putting a milestone on his neck and let him be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Mt 18:2-6).
There is exhaustless information in the above a few statements Jesus made. If one tries to meditate on these, a grand book would come out of this. But the terse reason for this article is try to understand why did Jesus say, no matter how old, educated, religious pundits or have all PhD’s in theology, one must have a childlike mind in order to obtain the kingdom of heaven or eternal bliss? Yes, only the grandchild of the Emperor Akbar has a right to pull his mustache and say, “Hi, Grandpa!” Only a childlike person can pray to God and say, “Our Father which are in heaven” and He would hear. Why? Because a child is humble and Jesus expects anyone who want to follow Him should be humble as a child. The classic example of what it means to be like a child is found in the mind of the King David, the second historical king of Israel. In Psalms 131 he says, “Lord, my heart is not proud or haughty, nor my eyes have a lofty or stubborn look, neither do I exercise myself in the great matters or things too high for me. Surely, I have behaved and kept quiet myself as a child who is weaned of his mother. Let Israel hope in the Lord from now and forever” (Psalms 131:1-4). Imagine, the mighty and powerful king of Israel humbling himself as a child who was sucking mother’s milk!
A child has many qualities that we can learn from him in order to learn to penetrate the realm of Christniti or way or ethic of Christ. Humility is one of the grandest qualities of a child. Today even among Christians, one find this is the greatest lack. They take pride of their knowledge in the Bible, their degrees in theology, their position or want to be in the position in the church-such mentality of so called Christians bled Apostle Paul and the beloved disciples of Jesus and John. These competitive feeling of make believe Christians that say “I can do better or I am holier than thou” rather than being complete with each other caused the apostle to write pleading letter even while going through persecution under the cruel emperor Nero who played the pipe while Rome burnt and put the blame Christians . The disciples came to Jesus because they were suffering from some of this habit of mind, which wanting to be master by pulling other’s leg rather than a servant. “Learn to be humble and a child is the greatest teacher who teaches how to be humble” is the cry of Jesus to each person who is born in this planet earth.
Of course, besides being humble a child has many other qualities that we should contemplate on, and because of these qualities Jesus pronounced a heavy judgment on anyone who abuses a child, He said, “Whosever” which means race, nationality or gender does not matter when it comes to treat a child with respect and his right. A child does not know race, gender, religion, position and status of his mother or father. He is free from prejudice. As he is attached to his mother through the powerful nutrient-her breast milk, a turned around or converted person must learn to attach himself with Sanatan or Eternal God. (It is interesting that Both Apostle Paul and Peter appeal the follower of Jesus to attach to the breast milk which happened to be the Word of God according to them).
In the society where a child is treated as nothing, addressing him as a puppy, and abusing him, it is not easy to digest what Jesus commanded nor have understanding of the Emperor Akbar or Birbal. But Jesus’ pronouncing judgment on child abuser or mistreater should alarm everyone for He said, “ A big rock should hang on such a person and throw him in the sea.” No doubt a child abuser might run free or a heady mind might gain power over other, but by refusing to have a humble mind of a child Jesus had already pronounced His judgment on the culprit.

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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