2016 Nepal – Daniel Muntz

Containers of God

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom He has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? – Romans 9:21-24

Our first ministry debrief meeting in Kathmandu had all 13 of us (10 sisters and 3 brothers) sitting in a circle. As the lights flickered and the heater turned on and off, we went around and shared our expectations for Nepal and also our expectations for ourselves. My expectation for Nepal was to release new levels of joy into what felt like a nation left hopeless after the recent nation-shaking earthquake. For myself, prior to this this trip several people prophesied that I would grow in boldness and authority on this trip and that’s exactly what I was excited for. But little did I know how God was going to work in me. That same night, Pastor Caleb (our team preacher) declared that all thirteen of us were vessels of God and that we didn’t have to strive. Rather we had to be sensitive to and listen to the Holy Spirit. I’d heard this hundreds of times before, but for the first time, it all finally clicked.

The 8.1 scale earthquake in April of 2015 left the city of Kathmandu covered in a sheet of smog and dust. The once-paved roads felt like speed bumps and it was evident that the nation was in a state of hopelessness. Leading up to the trip, Pastor Caleb told us that he felt like God wanted him to preach on hope. When the team got to Nepal, we all came into agreement that this was exactly what the people needed to hear. We spent the first two days ministering to youth in the capital (Kathmandu). Then on the third day, we took a 10 hour bus ride down south to Hetauda, our next ministry destination.

During our first team debrief in Hetauda, Pastor Caleb told us that on Saturday (Nepal’s Sunday/day of worship), we would be splitting into 4 teams of 3-4 people with 1 person sharing their testimony, 1 person interceding, and 1 person preaching. He then asked if anyone wanted to preach and I, along with 3 others volunteered. That night I prayed hard into what God wanted me to share with the people of Nepal and the topic of the Father’s love kept being put on my heart. So that’s what I went ahead with.

On Saturday morning our team of 3 included Maggie (a reserve leader from New Philadelphia Hongdae) and Ruth (a reserve leader from New Philadelphia Itaewon), was sent to Sanopokhara New Life Church. We met Pastor Kaleb, who is also the vice chairman of the New Life Handicap Ministries & Prayer Tower. 45 people attended the service and God moved powerfully during the altar ministry, healing over a dozen people from fevers, eyes/arms/throat problems and also bringing 1 person to salvation. God not only worked in the hearts of the congregation, but He changed mine as well.

Leading up to that day, there were so many distractions from the enemy. However, through constant prayer as well as the prayers from everyone back home, God used our team as a vessel to minister with boldness and authority. What were once prophetic words were now shaping into reality. I want to emphasize that I didn’t do anything to move the hearts of the congregation. Rather, as my “container” was filled up with God, He was able to overflow into the hearts of everyone there. The same happened on our final day of ministry in Ratomate, as well as on the last day of our 3-day youth conference.

Jenn (with two n’s) Seo, an active leader at New Philadelphia Sydney, testified on true identity which flowed perfectly into Pastor Caleb preaching on identity and the Gospel during the first service. The second service saw 35 kids and 65 young adults and adults. Suzie, a reserve leader at New Philadelphia Itaewon testified on hope and freedom from depression. Pastor Caleb then preached his final sermon on having hope in Christ and receiving the fire of the Holy Spirit. At the end of his sermon, he asked everyone who wanted to receive the Holy Spirit to stand during our second out of three altar calls and boy, did the Holy Spirit engulf the room. 50 out of the 100 people stood up and got soaked by the Holy Spirit and soon after 55 youth under the age of 20 dedicated to giving their lives to serve Christ. This was powerful to say the least, but what happened next changed my life.

The last altar call was one on healing and Pastor Caleb asked everyone who needed healing to stand up. As he was speaking into the mic, the team was getting ready to minister until he threw a massive curveball at us. Instead of asking us go lay hands, Pastor Caleb asked the youth to rise and pray for those who needed healing, reiterating that we, the team from New Philadelphia, weren’t the healers, but that everyone could be used by God to heal. One second, the youth stood up and the next second the room was roaring with prayer. The team was obviously praying on the sidelines, but many of were shocked, several of us were weeping, at what we were witnessing. I believe that moment was a paradigm shift for the native congregation. What they needed was already within their own community. There were two 16 year old boys contending for a lame man in the front left hand side of the room, 3 fifteen year-old girls laying hands on an older lady in the front right-hand corner, and a 9 year-old boy praying for a 70+ year old grandmother in the back — and these are just to name a few. The room was absolutely on fire. As our ministry time closed, I could sense a new hope in the congregation and I can’t wait to hear the testimonies that come out of this community.

As our time in Nepal came to an end, I thought about how we could continue to support the nation of Nepal through prayer. If there is one thing we can pray for, it is for hope over the hopeless. There were several occasions when Pastor Caleb asked people to raise their hands if they had lost hope, and every time more than half of the room would raise their hands. Many of them have lost businesses, homes, and even family members to the earthquake and it has left a great emotional numbness. But our team was able to get a glimpse of the power of hope when the youth prayed for the sick and elderly. There is a great grace over the new generation, and our prayer is that that same fire spreads like a bushfire across Nepal.

During my time in Nepal, I realized that the more of God I contained, the easier it is to pour out. All the miraculous healing wasn’t a result of what we were able to do, but it was what God was able to do through us. We all hold the capacity. But this kind of capacity comes down to how much of God we want to let in. We are still in contact with the local youth and pastors from Nepal and as we stay prayerful, we are excited to hear even greater stories of healing, freedom, and hope!