“That prayer hasn’t been answered…”
February 5, 2013
Nepali Pastor "David" wanted to better equip Sunday school teachers at his church, so late last year he invited three trainers from another country to teach a two-day training seminar. The trainers had no idea the spiritual battle they would encounter would also become a physical one. David hosted the three visiting trainers in his home. On the first night the trainers were there, a congregation member called saying he was sick. Immediately the pastor left to go and pray with the sick person. While he was gone, seven people—three carrying sharp knives—arrived, asking for the pastor who was "converting people" away from their religion. The leader of the group was a well-known local official, a former high-ranking officer in the Nepali army and a strong Hindu.
The pastor was gone, but the angry Hindus turned their fury on the male trainer instead. They attacked him, beating and threatening him. They also damaged the church building and completely destroyed a motorbike.
David returned very late that night and was shocked to find his guest badly injured and his family cowering in fear. David grew more fearful when he learned he was the target of the attack.
Pastor David reported the attack to the police, and after a couple of days they came to "investigate." But they made no arrests, even though the family told them exactly who led the attack.
"Every day Christianity is growing in my village," said David. "That is why non-believers try to harm me. They are thinking that once we finish the pastor, once the pastor will die, the believers will scatter; there won't be Christianity."
When a VOM team met with Pastor David, his church had 70 baptized members, plus children, in a village of 2,000 people. As a former Hindu, he shares the gospel very clearly in a way Hindus can understand. He also prepares his new converts to face persecution.
"Even Jesus went through tremendous persecution in the Bible," he says. "So when you become a believer, the persecution is obvious. It is confirmed that you will have pressure and persecution. Even the Word of God says that when you believe in Christ that persecution comes to you. I encourage them with Bible verses and taking lots of testimonies from the Bible."
The threats and attacks have come. His fear is real. Pastor David prays daily that God will take the fear away. "But so far," he says, "that prayer hasn't been answered." God hasn't taken away his fear, yet the pastor continues to serve and minister and evangelize. Why?
"Because God has called me to do this," he said. "I have a vision for God's people. If I die also doing this work, God's work will continue. When I die for this one, God will give me a crown. I'll be crowned by Jesus."
David continues his work. But he fears for the safety of his wife and his three children, ages 5, 7 and 10.
"I'm very worried about them. But I teach them from the Word of God. For God, we have to bear all the consequences because we are called to this."
Before the attack, Pastor David would often go on ministry trips for several days. Now he tries to be home with his family each night so they aren't left without protection. When he needs to draw strength and inspiration, the pastor turns to the book of Daniel.
"When Daniel was given all the opportunity, he never bowed down his head to idols. And [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego] were ready to go through fire. When I read this, I don't feel that the persecution I'm going through is huge—comparing to these guys, comparing to the book of Daniel."
David asked for prayer, but his requests were not for himself. "When I go outside to preach the gospel, to bring the gospel among the non-believers, pray for my family so they'll be safe. And pray for my church believers, that when the persecution comes, they will be very strong, that no fear would come among their hearts."
YOUR TURN: What fears do you have about sharing the gospel with friends and family? Are you willing to share Christ in spite of your fears?