NOTES FROM THE FIELD
In this series, thoseinvolved with CLC foreign missions profile one aspect of our overseas endeavors.
The following is a report from Pastor Raju Bithrakoti, in his own words, about current activities in the Dang Province of Nepal. The report is lightly edited for clarity.
This is a story of Bhoglal Gharti from Rolpa district in western Nepal. in province number five. Bhoglal was born on December 18, 1956. He was raised in a Hindu family and when he grew up he became a Hindu priest. He used to worship a number of gods and goddesses. He had organized some Hindu text reading conferences and meetings. He was a well-known Hindu leader and had influence on local people. He was also involved in witchcraft and would sacrifice roosters and goats. He started to get drunk and use marijuana and other drugs.
He got married in Hindu culture. He moved to a town called Tulsipur in Dang. He was a constructor as a profession and would build houses and was involved in politics, too. He used to be a member of the National Democratic Party, which is basically a Hindu nationalist party.
He has five daughters and two sons. In his family they didn’t have any peace. Every day he would come home drunk and quarrelling and fighting. Nobody in his family was happy. They were very depressed and sad.
Sometime later his daughters and sons received the Gospel from Pastor Nawaraj Dangi. This pastor would visit his children and preach the Gospel. The children of Bhoglal started going to church. Bhoglal was against the conversion and he would make difficulties for them as they were going to church in Tulsipur. The district of Dang is well known for its anti-Christian movement. He was a conservative Hindu, so he would start to persecute and say bad about the church, pastor and his children. Every day he would create problems in his family.
When his children got baptized and became faithful Christians, they started praying for their father. After praying and telling something about Jesus, a few years later the Lord worked in his heart and in his heart he was feeling some good for Christ. He asked for a Bible, and started reading through it. As he was reading the Bible he was moved by the Lord and he started going to church. At the age of 50 he was growing in faith. He threw away the idols and images of false gods that he used to worship. He believed in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” He repented of all his sins. He was baptized at Immanuel Church in Dang by Pastor Nawaraj Dangi. As they grow in faith together, his family is feeling blessed and also happy with each other. The broken relationships with his children are better now.
Eternal Life Christian Church
After baptism and some years at church, the Lord led him to witness in his own village where there are many people who do not know of the true Savior. He left his politics and started a small house fellowship at his home, and Pastor Nawaraj would go there sometimes to encourage the small church. Now they named the church Eternal Life Christian Church. Seeing the transformation in him, the villagers are impressed and they do hear the Gospel. As he preaches and gives testimony, people listen to him and are amazed at the work of God in changing his life. The church is growing, and more people are coming to the church. There are now forty-five members at the church.
He gave his land to the church to build a building. They gathered the locally available resources to build a church. The Himalayan Church of the Lutheran Confession in Nepal (HCLCN) was able to provide a roof for their newly built church. They appreciate the assistance and are glad to have a church nearby. The church is growing and the Lord is blessing it with more members.
They have started a house fellowship on Wednesdays. They also plan to reach out to other people in the neighborhood.
At the request of Pastors Nawaraj and Bhoglal, the HCLCN has now begun a Bible institute in Dang. There is a need of education and training so they can equip themselves to go to their churches with courage and proclaim the truth of the Word. The HCLCN passed their request on to the CLC and they are supporting the new training in Dang.
Now Bhoglal and his younger son Narayan are receiving training through the Himalayan Bible Institute in Dang (HBI-Dang). Bhoglal is one of the most diligent students at the training. He has completed his first year of the training and has one more year to complete it. He receives the training and learns enthusiastically. He wants to complete the course at the Bible institute and go to other villages with the Gospel of our Savior.
He thanks God for this transformation and thanks the local pastor, the HCLCN and the CLC that has supported and encouraged him in his work in the area where Christianity is not well received.
Now he requests prayers for the church he is serving and for his preaching of the Gospel in surrounding villages and districts.
Raju Bithrakoti is a pastor and missionary in the HCLCN. His home is in Nepal.