2015 Nepal – Jae Hee Suh

Redemption

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits… who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Psalm 103:2-5

When Lisa, our church’s Missions Director, asked me to lead the Nepal missions team, I had some serious reservations. I was on New Philly’s first missions team to Nepal 3 years ago and it was a difficult trip. The team was amazing and so was the ministry, but there were energy strikes all across the country and therefore limited access to heating and hot water. The cold temperatures, especially in the evenings, were unbearable. I had memories of doing jumping jacks before going to bed for extra heat. I remembered getting very sick because of the harsh conditions. This made the idea of going back to Nepal, let alone leading a team, very unappealing. But after some honest, extensive conversations with Lisa and getting her word that the conditions would be much better this time around, I decided to accept the challenge. Before the trip, I knew that I was privileged “in theory” to be the only person from the previous team to be sent back. It was through me that the team would be able to build upon the relationships we had established on the first trip. But now I know truly what an honor and privilege it was to be sent back as a minister to Nepal.

From beginning to end, this trip was marked by redemption. Most of our team flew to Nepal via Malaysia Airlines. One of our team members flew in separately via Air Asia. Both airlines had been getting a bad reputation for major accidents lately, but all of us were perfectly safe during our long flights. While we were in Nepal, we traveled 8 hours on narrow, winding roads cut into the Himalayan mountains. These roads have no guard rails and are barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other. While driving through the mountains, it is normal to turn a corner and almost collide with large trucks driving towards you. But each time this happened, our team would just yell “HALLELUJAH,” be shocked at how close we were to the edge of the cliff as we inched past the other vehicle, and then carried on. Grace is real. Praise the Lord for His divine protection! As Team Leader, I felt the weight of your prayer covering and protection more than ever and I am so grateful for His grace upon us. In addition to providing safety and protection, God completely redeemed the hardship of my previous trip by also providing wonderful accommodations. The hotels we stayed at in both Kathmandu (the capital city) and Hetauda (a city several hours south) had heating and warm showers. As a result, the team was well rested, sickness was minimized, and we were able to minister well over a packed week. What full redemption!

In addition to the theme of redemption, the Lord showed our team that Kingdom work results in tangible fruit. One of the most incredible moments of this trip was visiting an area in Hetauda that had been a barren field three years ago, but now has a beautiful church and growing Christian community. The Native Missionary Training Center (NMTC), which functions both as a church and training center, is built on a very special plot of land. Three years ago, New Philly’s previous Nepal missions team had joined hands in a line and swept over the area with our prayers, asking the Lord to raise up a church in that very location. Now, what once used to be an empty field is a local missionary training center doubling as a church that holds services every night! It was unbelievable to see the tangible fruit of our prayers. Just in case, I actually asked Uncle BP, our local contact, several times if this really was the place we had visited and prayed over. And indeed it was. I recognized the beautiful green fields and sea of yellow flowers. It was such a surreal experience.

Uncle BP shared the testimony of how God faithfully and miraculously brought in the funds to build the center. This time around, I was able to share an exhortation to the congregation and local pastors about living stones. The Church is not only a building, but the very people who make up the community. To top this all off, our team actually adopted a puppy during our 8-hour van ride across the Himalayan hills to this missions training center. We literally grabbed him from the middle of the mountain road (with permission from the owner, of course) and named him Philly. This adorable pup is now joyfully serving as the guard dog of NMTC. We believe he is a prophetic dog and that as he grows, so will the church! He will be a large, handsome, strong dog by the time the next team goes to visit.

I’ve learned through my time in Nepal that the fruit of Kingdom work is not only tangible, but also lasting. Our team had the opportunity to hold two youth revival services in the field. Before leaving Korea, I shared with the team that one of my expectations was to see the baptism of the Holy Spirit manifest powerfully upon the Nepali youth. I wanted them to be marked to bring about lasting transformation in their cities and their nation. And fire did fall. We saw youth encounter the power of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues for the first time, and get powerfully touched. But in addition to the outward manifestations, God showed me something even more powerful: lasting fruit.

At the team’s second revival service, we specifically ministered to youth leaders in Hetauda. About 50 youth from 5 different churches gathered. The largest representation was from the church where the first New Philly team had ministered powerfully three years ago. I recognized some of their faces and it was a joy to see them still burning and going hard after God. It was evident in the way they worshipped and prayed, as well as in the joy of their fellowship with one another. Our team had a chance to personally connect with some of these youth and I asked if the Holy Spirit had been moving since the last time we were here. Immediately one of the leaders, a very sweet sister named Pratikala, answered, “Yes! Every week!” As the team asked God for His heart, we immediately felt that these were the people God would be raising up as future leaders of Nepal. At the end of the service, Pastor Joel, our team preacher, asked everyone to group up by churches to pray for their congregations and for revival in Nepal. Just as God poured out revival in Korea, we were exhorted to envision a Christian Nepal. This was a powerful moment as we began to cry out to the Lord together. My heart began to burn. As I started releasing the testimony of Korea over Nepal, I began to think, “Why not Nepal? What God has done in Korea, He can truly do again on a greater scale in Nepal.” Just as revival had sovereignly swept across Korea generations ago, permanently affecting the course of history, it felt like we were in the midst of history in the making in Nepal.

While the team got to experience powerful ministry from day one, what I enjoyed most about this trip was reconnecting with Uncle BP and his family as well as the other NPWM pastors. NPWM stands for Native Partners for World Mission, and it is the missions organization through which New Philly sends out our teams. Uncle BP is the national director of NPWM in Nepal. He was the one who guided us, translated at every service, and took such great care of us the whole week. Compared to other New Philly missions trips I’ve been on, we really got to spend exclusive, extensive time with Uncle BP and his family. His whole family is able to speak English in varying degrees. His eldest daughter recently got married, and invited us to her home several times where we had some very sweet times of fellowship. Uncle BP oversees several ministries especially geared towards reaching the unreached Hindu population. He also has his own political party established with a few other local Christian leaders, which desires to see greater integrity and transparency in the Nepalese government. This party already has one person in the Constituent Assembly. Uncle BP is also currently pursuing his Ph.D. He is a very well-connected man who can often be found on his cell phone talking to pastors or arranging meetings with foreign government officials. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes Prime Minister of Nepal one day. Our team was able to laugh, talk, and just relate with this powerful man of God. We were also able to connect with four other NPWM pastors and their wives. We shared stories, heard amazing ministry testimonies, and prayed for each other. It was a mutually edifying time, but also a humbling time as we were able to see how these men and women were truly living fully unto the Lord. We also met other local pastors, young and old, throughout the week who also had amazing stories to tell. The one thing that all of these ministers have in common is their genuine faith and complete surrender unto the Lord. Through these times of relational connecting with the Nepali pastors and their families, my heart for them grew and I felt God deepening our partnership with what He is doing in this nation.

As sweet as our time was in Nepal, we were also wary of the political turmoil and gathered almost every night to pray for God’s shalom over the nation. Even before the trip, our team prayed for peace and stability as there were ongoing strikes due to a new constitution, which could potentially interfere with our ministry schedule. But praise God, there were no strikes the whole week, and we were able to proceed with everything as planned and more. However, we need to keep praying. Please join us in prayer to release peace and order in Nepal. Pray against corruption among government leaders and pray that God would establish righteous men and women as leaders of the nation. Pray against the frequent blackouts, water shortages, and rising gas prices that result from this political unrest. Pray strengthening over the local pastors and open doors for them to be set in places of influence over the nation. Pray for the youth who were touched throughout our ministry to be raised up powerfully for His purposes and glory! I believe that this dramatic missions redemption I experienced is just a glimpse of God’s heart for Nepal. He truly loves this nation and has plans to prosper Nepal- to give it a hope and a future beyond what we can hope for or imagine!

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