2015 Nepal – Zara Perciful

God Gives Good Gifts

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
Romans 5:2

Jay Masih! Jay Masih means “Victory in the Lord” in Nepali and it’s the most common way to greet fellow Christians in Nepal. Jay Masih! It is very hard to narrow down my thoughts about our week in Nepal, what it meant to me, and how I saw God moving. If you have 3 hours, I’d love to tell you all about it!! But for now, I will tell you about how God is moving in Nepal through local pastors and especially NPWM, which stands for Native Partners for World Missions, New Philly’s ministry partner throughout South and Southeast Asia.

We spent a lot of time with local pastors from several cities around Nepal. Each pastor we met runs several different ministries and has stories that are larger than life. Pastors shared about planting churches and Bible colleges, directing films, starting political parties, and small business. They spoke of walking for days to reach villages that don’t have roads, just to share the Gospel. They spoke of their trekking ministry in the Himalayas. They laughed and joked with each other and you could palpably sense the brotherly love these pastors have for one another. But even as they joked, there was a lingering heaviness to their ministry stories. Nepal is only about 1% Christian. These pastors spoke of being imprisoned in a latrine for months at a time for sharing the Gospel, only to get out and tell more people about Jesus again, risking more jail time in a literal toilet. Even while our team was in the field, we heard that Christians in a village a few hours away were kicked out, their land and all their possessions taken from them. The persecution is real… but the joy that these pastors carry is so much brighter than the darkness! They carry the light of Christ with them wherever they go. Kim, one of our team members, pointed out that these men and women are rockstars of Heaven, and we were so humbled and honored that they wanted us to pray for them. We loved hearing their stories and praying for them. These pastors in turn wanted to know about us too! They asked us about our current jobs and our future hopes and goals, and then they would pray for us! Every encounter was mutually edifying as both parties were built up in the Faith. God used them to bless us, and He used us to bless them! By this, the name of our Christ Jesus is glorified!!

If I had to single out one special moment that stood out to me on this trip, it was when I spoke to Pastor Kumar, who has founded and is directing an orphanage already at the young age of 25. Pastor Kumar and his wife take care of 15 middle school aged kids, plus their 3 year old baby girl. What a dream: 12 boys and 3 girls, all between 10-14 years old. Together, they pray, study the Bible, study for school, and just do life well. The children wake up early and knock on his door, saying “Kumar, Kumar! Wake up! It’s time to pray!” He laughed as he told me that he really likes to sleep, but the kids are worth it. They gather together before they leave for school to pray over each other. They are all the top students in their grades at school, which baffled the principal until he came to meet Kumar. Luke 2:52 states that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and men. These kids are being raised the same way! They’ve been taught to pray, they’ve been taught to study the Bible, they’re surrounded by family who loves them, and a mother and father who love them. God is using Pastor Kumar to showcase His heart for the orphan. He sets the lonely in families! He adopts us and calls us His precious son, His precious daughter! Pastor Kumar has a life I dream of. The chaos! The joy! To be a foster parent to a whole football team of teenagers: it sounds ideal! I was so blessed just by listening to him tell stories about his life!

As we continued talking, Pastor Kumar shared so much wisdom. He was born into a Christian family, so he was raised to know Jesus as Lord. Though they were poor, Pastor Kumar spoke of the richness of knowing and walking with Jesus, and how much God gives him on a daily basis. Even though his family didn’t have much money, he was given a chance to go to university, and then given opportunities for well-paying jobs and further education. But Pastor Kumar chose to go into orphanage ministry and God has always given him everything he needs. Salvation is the only thing that cost God anything, he told me, as it cost God His own life. Because God freely gives us the only thing that cost Him anything, how freely does He give the things that cost Him nothing? When we are believers in Jesus Christ, it is nothing for him to give us a house, a car, food, anything we ask Him for. We only need to ask! So there I was, in a one-room church in the countryside of Nepal, being told about the richness of God’s blessings by a 25-year-old man with 16 kids and a heart on fire for Jesus. It powerfully reinforced the lessons God’s been teaching our church through this year’s theme: “The Year of Wealth.” God desires to bless us, and it brings Him joy to bless us. He loves it when our hearts are in line with His, when we want to walk out His plans for our lives. Because has He sacrificed His life, we are able to live together with Him, our Heavenly Father, who loves us and calls us His children! Just like Pastor Kumar said, because the Lord gave us the one gift that cost Him something, He freely gives the things that cost Him nothing. Just ask! Our Father gives us good gifts just like Pastor Kumar gives good gifts to all 16 of his kids! He is a good father, and he serves God, the ultimate Good Father. I want God to use me in such a powerful way as well! I am called to adoption and youth ministry, so I asked Pastor Kumar if he would pray for me. He prayed a powerful prayer of blessing over my calling and my goals. We have been keeping in touch since I returned to Korea. He has sent me photos of the orphanage kids and he tells me that they are praying for me.

I was torn up as we left for the airport. I cried as we said goodbye to our host pastor, Uncle BP, his wife Auntie Tara, and his daughters. It’s amazing how fast people can feel like family. When Uncle BP runs for Prime Minister of Nepal someday, he is going to have a powerful campaign staff from South Korea! It blows me away every time I go to a new country, just to meet other believers. We may not have anything in common – no language, no history – but when we are united in Christ, we are one. The Cross of Jesus Christ bridges cultures. We have brotherhood, we have shared traditions, and most importantly, we have a shared eternal future together. God is doing BIG things in Nepal. He is using powerful men and women all over the country to act out His sacrificial love and extravagant grace. He is moving in politics and business. He is healing and empowering. He is caring for the orphan and the widow. His church is growing. It needs our prayers! Nepal is so beautiful. The pastors there are doing such powerful work. God took our team of 10 to encourage, pray for, and lift up powerful ministers of the Gospel in Nepal. In return, these pastors encouraged, prayed for, and lifted us up, sharing their mighty testimonies! That’s what God does! He brings us to a place of undeserved privilege, sets us in community to strengthen each other, and together we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing His glory. Amen!

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