During the last two months, we have had an opportunity opened to us to semi-regularly visit Pashupati. Pashupati is one of the holiest sites of Hinduism, second or third depending on who you ask. It is the place where Hindus come to bring their dead to be burned and sent off to reincarnation. It is a sad and horrible place that really puts into perspective the amount of people that are daily going to hell in this nation. Urgency burns in our hearts every single time we make a trip there to share God’s love with His children. We hope, that by our efforts, some of them might be reconciled to Him. Instead of it being a place full of fear, mourning and extreme sadness, our desire is that God would use us as His vessels to bring joy, celebration, love and life into a place full of death and destruction.
Recently, we been splitting up when going to Pashupati, while Clem has been leading YWAM teams into the temple to share the love of Jesus with people in the temple, Jenny and River have been specifically visiting a home for the elderly that is attached to the temple. This place is full of the elderly who are sick, dying and depressed. They live in long corridors with a cubicle sized space that they can sleep in and keep their belongings. Many of the men and women in the home have been more or less abandoned by their families who rarely visit and, when they die, they are ‘conveniently’ located near the river where their body is burned and then brushed into the river. About two months ago, on our way to Pashupati, Jenny received a picture from the Holy Spirit of a lady wearing a purple sweater. Jenny looked around and saw a lady wearing a purple sweater sitting outside the elderly home and asked if she could pray for her. After praying for the lady’s leg, Jenny found out that this lady was one of three Christians that live in the elderly home. This lady then invited Jenny and River to pray for her sick friends in the home and come in to encourage the other believers.
Since beginning our friendship with Buddhi Maya, the Christian lady in the home, we have seen God open amazing opportunities for sharing the love of Jesus with the rest of the people in the home. God has given us lots of favour every time we go and visit. The residents also love River so much. He sits on the floor beside the bed ridden and immobile patients and puts a smile on their faces. He’s usually pretty good at letting everyone have a turn holding him and pinching his cheeks. We have even met and talked with the director and he said that he is always happy when we come because no one comes to visit and spend time with the people. He even said we are welcome to do a program and so, the next time we went, Jenny brought her guitar and felt that she should do a little worship service in the home with the three Christian ladies. Jenny was a bit nervous, she was about to publicly worship Jesus in what is essentially a part of a major site of Hinduism while worship to the Hindu gods were happening all around us. Also, some of the most radical Hindus in Kathmandu hang out at Pashupati, something that Clem unfortunately discovered while he was doing ministry inside the temple on the same day.
Jenny started by playing worship music in English so it wouldn’t be too obvious but, it wasn’t long before a crowd gathered and one lady asked if she could sing a Nepali song. Amazingly, the lady began to sing a Hillsong song in Nepali!! Jenny played along knowing that everyone in the home could now understand that the music being played was clearly worship to Jesus. In the end, Jenny got a few glares from some people but, for the most part, everyone joined in and clapped along. The name of Jesus was lifted up and exalted in the home that day and the joy of the Lord was felt as the three ladies who knew Jesus and many of their friends who didn’t celebrated and gave Glory to God in the highest.
If there is any place that we feel the urgency to share the love of Jesus it is this place and we pray that we will continue to have favour to visit and worship and pray with the residents in the elderly home. Please continue to pray for the three Christians that live there and are a light in such a big dark place.
While Jenny and River were loving the elderly in the home, Clem was inside the temple complex sharing the love of Jesus. Recently, we’ve seen people in the temple receiving the love of Jesus in amazing ways but, we’ve also had people reject the love of Jesus in very persecuting ways. During one visit, the YWAMers that Clem was with felt led by the Holy Spirit to specifically visit the sadhus, Hindu holy men, and share the love of Jesus with them. We ended up in the sadhus living quarters and, initially, we were welcomed. We sat and shared the gospel with quite a few people, most of whom seemed extremely disinterested; however, they respectfully sat and listened to us. One of the YWAMers met a man who had pan in his left leg. We asked if we could pray for him in the name of Jesus. He was hesitant initially; however, eventually he let us pray. After we prayed, the man said that he felt much better in his leg and asked us to pray for other parts of his body where he felt pain. We continued praying; however, a small crowd began gathering around us. The man’s physical condition continued improving as we prayed; however, when we began explaining what had happened, the man told us, “all the gods are the same, Jesus and Krishna are the same.” We told him that they aren’t the same and that it was Jesus who healed him, not Krishna. We began sharing the gospel; however, we could hear people in the crowd beginning to get angry with us. We continued to carefully shared the gospel even with the murmuring, focusing on Jesus and not explicitly saying anything negative about Hinduism being as respectful as possible. However, as careful as we were, the spark ignited. A Hindu man came forward, slightly drunk, and began shouting and cursing us. We calmly explained that we were simply there to love people and not to cause any problems. The man; however, began inciting the crowd. Soon, we had a small group of angry radical Hindus around us. As we stood up the leave, not wanting to cause a scene, a man forced me to sit back down on the rocks that we had been sitting. He demanded that I repeat the words “Praise Shiva” and said that we could not leave until I worshiped the Hindu gods. I told them that I would not worship their gods and that I worshiped Jesus alone. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the drunk man threw a punch at me. I wasn’t sure if I should dodge the punch to defend myself or just take the hit. Thankfully, another older man caught his arm before he hit me. The man kept trying to attack us and the other man kept demanding that we worship the hindu gods; however, eventually the older man told them to leave us alone and we were able to walk away from the situation. Amazingly, on the other side of the temple, while this was happening, Dorji, our amazing Nepali brother, was leading a woman to Jesus with some other YWAMers. The spiritual battle is so real in Pashupati, souls are being fought for and love is the only way to win.
The week afterwards, we visiting again, and this time, the team with us felt to pray near where the bodies were being burned. As we sat near the burning bodies, a man approached me and put his hands in my hands. They were swollen. He asked me to fix them. I asked why he thought I could fix them. He didn’t know we were Christian but, he said that he just felt something compel him to ask me to fix his hands. I told him that the Holy Spirit bought him to us. We prayed for his hands and the swelling dramatically decreased and the pain went away. He was so happy and actually tried to pay us; however, we wouldn’t let him. We tried to share the gospel with him; however, he interrupted us and asked us to wait. He walked off and came back a couple of minutes later with police officers. I immediately thought that we were going to get kicked out of the temple or arrested; however, it turned out that one of the police officers was a Christian! We prayed for him, his shoulder hurt, and afterwards he said that he felt better. The non-Christian police officer was amazed and said that he would go to church with his friend who was healed. We stood up to move on to another location to continue praying when, out of nowhere, our friend with the healed hands suddenly reappeared again and asked us to follow him. We followed him and he bought us to an old man whose hand was in extreme pain and looked disfigured. The man explained to us that he had broken his hand a long time ago and it never healed right. The man with the healed hands told him that we prayed for him and he was healed and, best of all, it was free! A small crowd gathered as the man with the healed hands began sharing what Jesus had done for him. The man kept telling everyone, “they prayed for me and I got healed and it’s FREE!” Along the river, in Pashupati, there are witch doctors who charge money to sick people who want to receive witchcraft for healing. Free healing, we suddenly realised was a big deal. The old man agreed to let us pray for his disfigured hand. As we prayed, the pain went away and, in the end, amazingly, it appeared that the bone actually moved and shifted into the correct place. Where his bone was jutting out was a bit of flabby skin and, he was able to move his hand in ways that he had not been able to before. Immediately others began asking us to pray for him. We began praying for a man with stomach pain and and a man with back pain. As we were praying the man with stomach pain gave a shout. He excitedly shared that the pain was gone and that he felt a cool sensation in his stomach. It wasn’t till later that we discovered why this was such an amazing exciting thing for him because, the police showed up and we were immediately escorted with nightsticks out of the Pashupati. Amazingly the two men that we had prayed for, the one with stomach pain and the one with back pain followed us. Even as the Hindus mocked and cursed us, they walked out with us saying that they wanted to know more about how they were healed. We got a cup of tea with them and waited for Dorji to show up to better translate what the man was trying to say to us. When Dorji arrived we learned that the man has had stomach pain for six months. A witchdoctor had cursed him and poisoned him six months ago and said that he was going to die. The man was leaving in two days to go for a work position abroad; however, the company was so scared of the witchdoctor that they said that if he didn’t get better he wouldn’t be able to come and work for them. The man was at Pashupati that day desperately trying to find a solution, having tried everything else. Dorji shared the gospel with the man and amazingly both men gave their lives to Jesus! Jesus is the only solution!
– CLEMENT & JENNY CHEN