We continued — home after home, family after family — checking on needs and sharing the gospel. I wish I could tell you that out of the hundreds of people that we shared with that many became believers. Sadly, I cannot. This is a Hindu/Buddhist nation. Most of the people were willing to listen to our stories and hear about the love of “the God,” but they simply wanted to put Him on the shelf alongside their other gods. The spiritual darkness was so thick that it was physically tangible.
I discovered something about myself, my people, and my God while in Nepal. I discovered that holy boldness comes when we are willing to tell people about Jesus, and I was more than willing with every encounter. Whether reading a children’s book, sharing from the evangelistic bracelet, or telling stories from the Bible, I discovered that my God is able to give me exactly what I need when I need it. Oh, I knew this already. I’ve been a pastor for 30+ years. I’ve shared the gospel thousands if not tens of thousands of times. I’ve led people to the saving knowledge of Jesus and watched as His Spirit transformed their lives. But I have never felt the peace and the power of God like I did in Nepal. Even knowing that the second village we visited had a history of physically persecuting Christians didn’t cause me to hesitate. Understanding that proselytizing is a criminal offense in Nepal didn’t stop me. It wasn’t me. It was “the God” working in me and through me. I say this not to boast but to explain that I discovered something about myself in Nepal.
I discovered something about my people in Nepal. The spiritual darkness in the states is just as palpable, but we have become so accustomed to it that we don’t even notice it. In fact, I think that the darkness here is more ominous than in Nepal because of that fact. We have grown comfortable with lostness all around us. We have become indifferent to spiritual needs among us. We have grown lazy, and because of that, we lack the holy boldness that God provides when we stand up to the powers of spiritual darkness in this sin-filled world. We, like the Nepalis, want to accept the stories of “the God,” and, like the Nepalis, we want to put Him on the shelf with all of our other gods — our homes, families, jobs, material possessions, sports, sex, etc. When Sonya and I arrived home, we literally felt guilty because of all the things we have. It was a couple of days before we even turned on the television. As for football this weekend, you won’t believe this, but we cannot seem to even get excited about it. I’m not even sure what time the game is. I wish I could say that I am holding on to those feelings, but day by day, I find myself re-adjusting back to the old way of life.
And as for God, I discovered in Nepal that more than ever, He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than all I ask or imagine. He is good all the time. He loves me. He loves Americans. He loves Nepalis. And more than anything, He wants to draw them into a relationship with Himself, and He has chosen us as the instruments to accomplish that very thing.
One quick story this morning. In the second village, we met up with Santosh, an amazing Nepali believer who served as our leader and our guide.
His team was made up of two J-girls. Journeymen, servants in the Company that goes into the world to meet needs. Chelsea and Stephi. Amazing young women full of the Spirit, strong in the Word, and powerful witnesses. Together, we arrived at the home of the witch doctor.
Yes, the witch doctor. Even he was cordial to us though he refused to let us pray for him. He knew the power of prayer, and it scared him. He told us we could pray for his family, his livestock, and his crops, but we were not to pray for him. Needless to say, we did and we are praying. Anyway, as Chelsea began relating to the witch doctor the story of the Gadarene demoniac in Mark 5, it happened. The rooster that had been otherwise silent began crowing incessantly. The chickens started making noise and coming over towards us. The cows became very agitated. You could truly sense the power of evil rearing its ugly head. But Chelsea never missed a beat. She shared the story and boldly she prayed for this witch doctor. He couldn’t understand the language, but I think he sensed the truth. Even the heathen recognize the power of God. The demons tremble at His name. Thank you, Jesus, for being greater and more powerful than all other powers in the world.