08 February 2011
Today is a holiday in Nepal. The Hindu religion does not have a special day of the week where people gather and worship, but this is done connected with the holidays. Each one is different, and the way of celebrating is different. Some are huge affairs and continue on for days or even a week. On this occasion, members of the community gathered around the little shrine across the street. A variety of acts were performed, including keeping the bell ringing, preparing food and offering it to the idol, a little dancing and shouting, chasing the dogs away from the food, lining up for a blessing of sorts from the man (in this case, not a Hindu priest) who seemed to be officiating. Folks passing by often paused to bow or participate for a few moments, then went on their way. Some of the people weeemed very involved and some were only spectators. I have no idea what they were hoping to accomplish or the significance of the various acts. I have been told that most Hindus also do not know, but they just follow along. Our parter, with whom I am living, kept his kids home from school today because all of these things are part of the Hindu worship and they were practiced in the schools as well. I started to write another paragraph, comparing this to similar situations in the Christian world, but I think most of the readers "get" it. While you are thinking about that, do return to the fact that every Hindu is a person uniquely created by the same God who created you, who knows him like He knows you, loves him like He loves you. But the Hindu man is bowing down to another god.
Promod is a Nepali man, who I met years ago. How many years,I just cannot remember. He worked as a waiter in one of the restaurants where I often ate. I am not sure why he told me that he was a Christian, but that information was shared and from then on, he always came quickly to my table, with a huge smile when he saw me. He may or may not have been my waiter on any given occasion and I never gave him any larger tip than I would give to anyone else. I did not want to have a financially motivated relationship with him. For a long time, he did not know exactly what I do here in Nepal, but later on, as we talked more, we learned that he attends the "big" church where we have a sponsorship program. I have not seen Promod for a year or more. I thought I was just missing his days scheduled to work when I happened to be in the restaurant. But today, I learned that he has been in the Bible program of the church and is now ready to move out into the area he has been assigned to work. He will be using personal witness and relationship building to plant a cell group, gradually growing into a church. The church committee chose his daughter as one of five new children to come into our sponsorship program. She is a beautiful little girl, named Prasansa-- the Nepali word for Praise. Promod will receive a bare survivial stipend from the church for a while as he builds his church to the point where it can support him. Prasansa is 5 years old and should start Kindergarten in April, but her parents cannot pay the fees without sponsorship help. The church uses Allow as part of their support "package" and I find it a special privilege. Please pray with us for a sponsor for Prasansa and the other four new children, all in similar situations.
04 February 2011
At the place where I live in Nepal, there is a little Hindu shrine just across the street. The practice is to ding the bell to alert the god, kneel and pray for a time, then take some of the red powder and apply to one's forehead. The busy tme is early morning from about an hour before dawn continuing for at least a couple hours past. Today, I saw a small boy worshiping in the middle of the day. This is unusual, but perhaps he had a problem. Tomorrow, I will worship with the Nepali beleivers who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Following that, I will be taking pictures and filling in progress reports for sponsors. This church has 5 new children who need to come into our program. Every one of these kids will be under the discipleship of the church, as well as enrolled in school on our dime. Some will grow up as faithful beleivers and some will fall away- just as in the US. But every one will know the WAY to Salvation by faith in Jesus and this is our goal. It is likely that the little Hindu boy knows nothing or very little of the gospel. Some of them will grow up to be godly leaders who will draw others. This is the secondary goal. All of them will have an education and, because they are in our program, their basic needs for food, medical care, etc will be under watch and generally met. This is the third goal. I love this job- making a difference in so many lives.